Scurvy is a disease resulting from vitamin C deficiency. Classic characteristics include swollen and bleeding gums and reopening of previously healed wounds. Vitamin C is important as it is required for the synthesis of collagen in humans. Collagen is a type of protein which is basically found in many different types of tissues, like the skin, blood vessels, the bones and the cartilage.
The main cause of Scurvy is lack of vitamin C in the diet of an individual. The other factors that result in developing of Scurvy are:
- Dependency on drugs or alcohol
- Long travels or voyages on unhealthy diet
- Mental health conditions like severe depression or schizophrenia
- Smoking, as it reduces the amount of vitamin C which is absorbed by the body
- Old age- as elderly men are unable to maintain a healthy diet due to many reasons
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding, as the body needs more Vitamin C during such times
The symptoms of Scurvy usually begin three months after a person stops getting enough vitamin C in their diet. The initial symptoms of Scurvy include:
- Feeling tired and weak all the time
- Pain in the legs
- Appearance of small red-blue spots on the skin
- Swollen gums, which are soft and more prone to bleeding
- Severe pain in joints which is caused due to bleeding inside the joints
- Shortness of breath
- Easily bruised skin
As the condition progresses, the symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness in the legs, which is severe
- Eyes bulging outwards
Scurvy if treated is completely curable, as it has a simple cause and that is lack of vitamin C, and the solution for preventing it, is also simple, which is consumption of foodstuff rich in vitamin C.
One should consult a General Physician for Scurvy.
To prevent Scurvy the best way is to eat a healthy and balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as these ensure that you have enough vitamin C in your body at all times.
Some fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are oranges, lemons, blackcurrant, grapes, limes, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, kiwi, sprouts, green peppers, sweet potatoes etc.