What happens when scurvy happens?

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shineinthedriverseat's profile pic

shineinthedriverseat | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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When a person has scurvy they may lose weight, be grumpy, have diarrhea, fever, rapid breathing, tenderness or pain in the legs.  They may also feel exhausted, have anemia (low iron levels in the blood) or swelling of longer bones.  They may lose teeth, have ulcers on the gums, have bleeding and a feeling of being paralyzed.

If the disease progresses the patient may have corkscrew hair, hyperkeratosis (a skin condition), bleeding in the eye, proptosis of the eye (when the eye protrudes) or sicca syndrome (an autoimmune disease).

Scurvy was common among sailors in the 16th to 18th centuries who were at sea for long amounts of time.  It is caused by not having enough vitamin C.

It is not as common in modern times but still can occur in the fetus of pregnant women, in elderly, alcoholics or people who do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

Treatment is: vitamin C provided by mouth or injection.  Scurvy can be prevented by eating foods rich in vitamin C.

mkoren's profile pic

mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Scuvry is a disease.  The initial symptom associated with it is fatigue.  As the disease progresses there could be spots on the skin, issues with a person's gums, and some bleeding.  A person may also feel tired, depressed, and may lose weight.  The disease is caused by a lack of Vitamin C.  We have known about this disease since ancient times.  The disease can be treated by getting Vitamin C administered into the person.  Orange juice is a good remedy for this disease.  One way to prevent the disease is to eat foods which have a lot of Vitamin C.  This disease can usually be diagnosed by a doctor who will do a physical exam.  It is necessary to treat the disease as death is possible if left untreated.  Fortunately, this is a treatable disease.

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