Scurvy causes due to Vitamin ‘c’ deficiency
Scurvy is a condition caused due to vitamin c deficiency. Vitamin c is an essential compound required for synthesis of collagen and uptake of iron. The chemical name of vitamin c is known as ascorbic acid. Scurvy patients develop anemia, debility, exhaustion, edema (swelling) in some parts of the body, and sometimes ulceration of the gums and loss of teeth.
Scurvy was common in sailors and pirates on the sea, due to the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. Vitamin c is abundantly available in fresh fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits contain high amount of vitamin c. Humans, other primates and some animals lack an enzyme that is essential in synthesizing of ascorbic acid, so it is essential to take citric acid in diet. The concentration of Citric acid gets deprived if the food source is cooked or boiled for long time and storing for longer period of time.
Read our Previous Article 15 ways Vitamin C keeps healthy and fit
Symptoms of Scurvy
There are wide ranges of symptoms observed. Early symptoms include malaise and lethargy. After awhile, patients develop shortness of breath and bone pain. Myalgias may occur because of reduced carnitine production. Other symptoms include skin changes with roughness, easy bruising and gum disease, loosening of teeth, poor wound healing. Dry mouth and dry eyes similar to Sjögren’s syndrome may occur. In the late stages, jaundice, generalized edema, neuropathy, fever, convulsions, and eventual death are frequently seen.
Prevention &Treatment for Scurvy
Scurvy is prevented by adding fresh fruits and vegetables daily in the diet. Since daily supply of ascorbic is very essential for various processes. If traveling or having canned foods, it is advised to carry vitamin c tablets.
The only treatment for scurvy is to take vitamin c tablets and having rich source of vitamin c foods. This helps in easy and quick recovery from all the possible symptoms.