What is a Scurvy disease? What are the symptoms and treatment methods?

By | 14 May 2021

C vitamin; It is a type of water-soluble vitamin that is taken into the body with foods, especially freshly consumed vegetables and fruits, and has many important functions such as the absorption of iron minerals in the body, energy production, and the production of structural proteins called collagen. All of the body’s needs of this vitamin, which cannot be produced in the human body, should be taken with food. Some health problems related to vitamin C deficiency may occur in cases such as not being able to eat enough and balanced, wrong eating habits or any disorder related to the absorption of vitamin C in the body. One of them is a scurvy disease.

What is a scoreboard?

Scurvy is a type of disease that develops due to the excessive deficiency of vitamin C and includes anemia, limitation of movement, weakness, bleeding, pain in arms and legs, swelling in some parts of the body, skin problems, gum disease, and tooth loss. The scurvy disease, known to exist since ancient Greek and Egyptian times, was recognized as a seafarers’ disease, for whom it was difficult to obtain fresh produce during long sea voyages. Apart from that, scurvy disease was common in many parts of the world during the war and famine periods. Although the incidence of the scurvy disease has decreased considerably with the consumption of bread enriched with vitamins and minerals in areas where the availability of food is easier and where foods containing vitamin C cannot be consumed, it may still be possible to encounter the disease in people who take insufficient vitamin C. In the case of insufficiency of vitamin C, which has an important role in collagen production in the body, disorders begin to occur in the skin and in the whole body, including blood vessels and connective tissues. In addition to these, the immune system weakens, serious complications arise, especially anemia, due to insufficient iron absorption, and cholesterol metabolism and the working order of the endocrine system are disrupted. Although scourge is the most severe stage of vitamin deficiency, individuals experiencing symptoms of vitamin C deficiency should take the necessary precautions before reaching this stage.

What are the symptoms of a scoreboard?

Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency begin to appear gradually 8-12 weeks after the intake of the vitamin is insufficient. The earliest symptoms include anorexia, weight loss, irritability and lethargy, fatigue, and weakness. If vitamin deficiency continues, more serious symptoms begin to appear between 1 month and 3 months. The most common of these are as follows:

  • Anemia
  • Bone pains and myalgia
  • Edema formation in various parts of the body
  • Formation of small spots also called petechiae and flaking on the skin surface
  • Deformations in the structure of the bristles (corkscrew bristles)
  • Thickening of the skin (hyperkeratosis)
  • Delay in wound healing
  • Gum disease and tooth loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • The emergence of mood changes, depression, and other mood disorders

If the necessary treatments are not applied after these symptoms and the vitamin deficiency continues, serious symptoms such as severe jaundice, sudden bleeding, neuropathy, fever, and convulsions may occur. Infants and children with the disease prefer the position called frog-leg posture to reduce the pain due to the contraction and pain that occurs. In addition, serious complications may arise due to subperiosteal hemorrhages occurring at the ends of long bones. If vitamin C deficiency is observed in women during pregnancy, the possibility of encountering disorders related to fetal brain development in the baby increases, while the risk of miscarriage may be in question in the mother.

What are the reasons for the scoreboard?

The reason for scurvy disease is the inadequate intake of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, or inadequate absorption by the body. Some situations that may cause this insufficiency can be listed as follows:

  • Not consuming fresh vegetables and fruits due to reasons such as low income, famine, or personal tastes
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Mental health disorders that affect diet, such as anorexia nervosa
  • Advanced age
  • Restricting dietary diversity due to allergies
  • Health problems that make oral feeding difficult or impossible
  • Smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse
  • Late or unsuccessful weaning in infants
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases affecting digestion and absorption, such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis
  • Chemotherapy applications
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Neurological disorders

How to diagnose scoreboard?

In patients who apply to health institutions with vitamin C deficiency and scurvy symptoms, first of all, the medical history of the patient is learned in detail. The drugs he uses and the acute or chronic diseases he has been questioned. After that, if vitamin C deficiency is suspected, patients should be referred to a dietician after the examination and examinations to be performed by the physician to evaluate the nutritional status and learn dietary habits. Daily vitamin C intake can be investigated by the dietician by taking nutritional records retrospectively or by asking the patient to keep a food consumption record for a few days. At the same time, an evaluation should be made according to personal preferences, food allergies, and income, and after having information about the factors that may cause vitamin C deficiency, an appropriate nutrition program should be prepared for the patient to ensure that the needs for macro and micronutrients are fully met. Information about the vitamin C level can be obtained by requesting some blood tests by the physician. In patients who are found to be insufficient in vitamins, vitamin supplements are generally recommended in addition to nutritional planning. In addition to the visible complications caused by disability, the possible problems that may occur in the body with the use of advanced examinations and medical imaging methods are investigated, and the treatment plan is determined and the patient is checked again at regular intervals in this process.

How is the scurvy treatment done?

The only and definitive treatment of scurvy disease is to meet the vitamin C needed by the body in full and to apply additional treatment for the problems that have arisen due to insufficiency. A forward-looking nutritional plan is created and the patient is asked to adapt to it. However, to treat acute complications as soon as possible and to bring the vitamin C level to normal ranges, vitamin C supplements administered orally or by injection are required. For vitamin supplements, usually, 1-2 grams daily for 2-3 days, 500 milligrams daily for the next 7 days, and 100 milligrams of vitamin C daily for the next 1-3 months is recommended. Although these doses are average amounts, the appropriate dose should be determined by the physician by evaluating many conditions such as the patient’s age, health status, and the severity of complications. After the initiation of vitamin supplementation, negativities such as drowsiness, fatigue, pain, confusion, and loss of appetite begin to disappear within 24 hours. Symptoms such as bleeding and low energy usually begin to improve within 1-2 weeks. Except for irreversible symptoms such as tooth decay and tooth loss, all other symptoms can be completely cured within 3 months with treatment. For permanent problems due to long-term disability, it is possible to benefit from medical aesthetic applications and additional treatments related to oral dental health.

To be protected from all the negativities related to scoring and vitamin C deficiency, the necessary sensitivity should be shown to a healthy and balanced diet. If you also have vitamin C deficiency or are experiencing symptoms related to it, you can apply to health institutions as soon as possible and get the necessary treatments. In this way, you can take precautions against serious and irrecoverable problems related to the scoreboard in the early period.


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