What is Scurvy and its causes?
Maharani Devi Medical Centre
, Bengaluru Feb 24, 2018
It is a disease which is caused by the deficiency of Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is needed for making collagen, an important component in connective tissues. Connective tissues are essential for structure and support in the body, including the structure of blood vessels. Vitamin C is also needed for synthesizing dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and carnitine needed for energy production.
Symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency are visible after 8 to 12 weeks.
Early signs are:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
After 1 to 3 months, signs are:
- Small red spots
- Corkscrew hairs
- Gum disease and loss of teeth
- Poor wound healing
- Shortness of breath
- Mood changes
After more time, the person will show signs of generalized edema, severe jaundice, destruction of blood cells, sudden and spontaneous bleeding, neuropathy, and convulsions.
- Physical exam
- Blood test
- Imaging tests to look after damage resulting from scurvy.
Administering vitamin C supplements by mouth or by injection. Within 24 hours patient can see an improvement in fatigue, lethargy, pain, anorexia, and confusion.