Scurvy- It’s Causes, Symptoms and Treatment



Scurvy is a condition caused by a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in the diet. Signs of scurvy include tiredness, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, a rash on the legs, and bleeding gums. In the past, scurvy was common among sailors and other people deprived of fresh fruits and vegetables for long periods of time.

Scurvy is very rare in countries where fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available and where processed foods have vitamin C added. It is found in fruits, especially citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, and in green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach. In adults, it may take several months of vitamin C deficiency before symptoms of scurvy develop.


The only cause of scurvy is a diet that is lacking in an adequate amount of vitamin C.

Another important cause of scurvy is stress which increases the utilization of ascorbic acid

Who is at risk of scurvy:

Men and women of all ages are at risk of scurvy.

Symptoms of scurvy are:

• a feeling of discomfort,
• tiredness,
• nausea
• muscle and joint pain
• easy bruising,
• swollen and bleeding gums,
• loosening of teeth,
• wounds healing slowly and poorly,
• dry skin and hair, and
• bleeding into muscles and joints causing pain

Beside this some other symptoms of scurvy are:

• Soreness and stiffness of the joints and lower extremities
• Bleeding under the skin and in deep tissues
• Anaemia

How to Prevent Scurvy:

Simply take in 30mg of Vitamin C per day. That’s it.

In fact, in modern times scurvy is rarely seen, due in large part to the abundance of vitamin C in a wide variety of foods and beverages. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, and grapefruit, and vegetables including tomatoes, green pepper, potatoes and many others.

Treatment of scurvy:

Increase in intake of fresh vegetables and fruits, especially citrus fruits are necessary to treat scurvy. Additionally, adults need to consume around 300-1,000 mg of ascorbic acid per day and 50mg/day in case of infants to effectively treat the disease.

Since the body does not produce vitamin C, it must be obtained from fruits and vegetables. Some excellent sources of vitamin C are oranges, olives, guava, green peppers, watermelon, papaya, strawberry, kiwi fruit, mango, honey, mango powder, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, and citrus juices or juices fortified with Vitamin C.

Potato is regarded as an excellent food remedy for scurvy. It contains up to 17 mg of vitamin C, can be found in 100 mg of potatoes. It has been noted that scurvy in Europe has become more and more uncommon with the progress of potato cultivation and it makes its appearance only when the crop fails
Another effective remedy for scurvy is the use of aamchur, a popular article of diet in Indian houses, consisting of green mangoes – skinned, stoned, cut into pieces, dried in the sun and powdered.


Source by peterhutch