Scurvy

Scurvy is a medical condition that can develops due to deficiency of vitamin C in diet. Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid) is vital for the body as it is needed to make collagen. Collagen is a type of protein found in many different types of tissue, such as skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage (which covers the surface of joints). Without vitamin C, collagen can't be replaced and the different types of tissue break down.

Scurvy was common in sailors, pirates and others aboard ships at sea longer than perishable fruits and vegetables could be stored (subsisting instead only on cured and salted meats and dried grains) and some soldiers similarly deprived of these foods for extended periods which led to deficiency of vitamin C in the body.

References: www.who.int
www.nhs.uk
www.nlm.nih.gov
 

 

Scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C in diet. There are usually other contributing factors, such as:

  • A dependency on alcohol or drugsere
  • Complex mental health conditions, such as severe depression or schizophrenia.
  • Treatments, such as chemotherapy, which cause nausea as a side effect and can result in the person losing their appetite.
  • Conditions that affect their ability to digest food, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, both of these conditions cause inflammation inside the digestive system.

Reference: www.nhs.uk
 

Scurvy can be diagnosed through the symptomatic approach.

• Scurvy can be treated by eating food containing vitamin C (such as oranges, papaya, strawberries, lemon)

• Tablets with vitamin C.

Reference: www.nhs.uk
 

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