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Scurvy Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Scurvy?

It is a disease that arises due to the deficiency of vitamin C in the body. Consuming a diet low in vitamin C puts you at an increased risk of contracting scurvy. People with the disease tend to experience edema (in few body parts), exhaustion, debility and anemia. Rarely, it can lead to ulceration of gums followed by teeth loss.

What Are The Symptoms Of Scurvy?

The symptoms start with:

  • Discomfort and tenderness in legs.
  • Irritability.
  • Fever.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Poor weight gain.
  • Hemorrhaging (bleeding).
  • Swelling over the long bones.
  • Feeling of paralysis.

Moreover, as scurvy advances, the patient can experience:

1. Bleeding gums.

2. Loosened tooth or teeth.

3. Sicca syndrome.

4. Corkscrew hair.

5. Hyperkeratosis.

6. Constochondral beading.

7. Protruding eye.

8. Bleeding in eye.

9. Petechial hemorrhage of mucous membranes and skin.

In addition to this, infants with the disease will get increasingly irritable, anxious and apprehensive.

When Is The Right Time To Seek Medical Assistance?

In case you have developed the above mentioned symptoms of scurvy such as discomfort and tenderness in legs, appetite loss, diarrhea and feeling of paralysis, then do not follow ‘the wait-and-watch’ approach. Instead, call up for an appointment with your health care provider.

What Causes Scurvy?

Consuming a diet that lacks enough vitamin C needed by the body increases the risks of developing scurvy. This can be due to:

  • Restrictive diets (because of food fads, allergies etc).
  • Anorexia.
  • Famine.
  • Ignorance factor.
  • Difficulty to ingest food orally.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Scurvy?

Even though, the disease is rare, yet it is more observed in alcoholics, older adults and people whose consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits is less. Likewise, children and infants those are on poor diets due to social or economic causes are more likely to develop scurvy.

How Is Scurvy Diagnosed?

During the visit, the physician will conduct a thorough physical exam and will need details regarding the patient’s symptoms. The doctor can then suggest lab tests that will help reveal the deficient levels of vitamins C. At times, doctors suggest radiological procedures that help to confirm its diagnosis precisely, besides it uncovers the damage the disease has managed to done!

How Is Scurvy Treated?

The disease is merely treated by providing the supplements of vitamin C. These supplements are either given orally or through injection.

How Is Scurvy Preventable?

Fortunately, yes! Scurvy can be prevented by the intake of sufficient vitamin C. This can be in the form of supplements or through a well balanced diet. By adding the following in your diet plan, you can prevent scurvy:

  • Papaya.
  • Kiwifruit.
  • Guava.
  • Blackcurrants.
  • Carrots.
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes.
  • Lemons.
  • Oranges.
  • Bell peppers.
  • Spinach.
  • Cabbage.
  • Broccoli.
  • Oysters.
  • Liver.
  • Paprika.

By : Natural Health News

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