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Everything you need to know about scurvy

Last updated Tue 5 December 2017

By Peter Crosta 

Reviewed by University of Illinois-Chicago, School of Medicine

Scurvy is the name for a vitamin C deficiency. It can lead to anemia, debility, exhaustion, spontaneous bleeding, pain in the limbs, and especially the legs, swelling in some parts of the body, and sometimes ulceration of the gums and loss of teeth.

I had Extreme scurvy until I was 70 years old it caused me to have extreme pain in my knees, back, and shoulder. This made it almost impossible for me to play with my children and it caused me to have a major back operation. I take vitamin C powder daily and I have no pain and I am 85 years old.

Scurvy has been known since ancient Greek and Egyptian times. It is often associated with sailors in the 15th to 18th centuries, when long sea voyages made it hard to get a steady supply of fresh produce. Many died from the effects.

It also occurred during the Irish potato famine in 1845 and the American Civil War. The most recent documented outbreak was in Afghanistan in 2002, following war and a drought.

Collagen is a plentiful protein and vital component of muscles, organs, skin, tendons and connective tissue, such as cartilage. Cartilage, found in the knee and throughout the body, acts as shock-absorbing padding between bones, protecting joints and facilitating movement.

I told people that if they Took K2  MK7. magnesium and selenium they would not need knee and shoulder replacement. They still had knee and shoulder replacements I didn't know that the collagen between the joints of the knees was only there from enough vitamin C. I take collagen and it has helped considerably. 

With age, collagen production slows and cartilage degenerates, often resulting in pain, stiffness and inflammation that can lead to osteoarthritis. Food alone can't replace collagen in your knee joints, but certain nutrients can help preserve the collagen you have and optimize your body’s own collagen synthesis. Take collagen powder.

More People died as sailors from scurvy than died from wars. Often more than half the people traveling by ships died from scurvy.

 

Fast facts about scurvy:

Here are some key points about scurvy. More detail is in the main article.

·  Symptoms of scurvy result from severe vitamin C deficiency.

·  They include bleeding sores, tooth loss, anemia, and a reduced rate of healing for injuries.

·  It can be fatal if left untreated.

·  Scurvy is treatable with oral or intravenous vitamin C supplements.

What is scurvy?

Scurvy happens when there is a lack of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. The deficiency leads to symptoms of weakness, anemia, gum disease, and skin problems.

This is because 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.

A lack of vitamin C will also affect the immune system, absorption of iron, metabolism of cholesteroland other functions.

Symptoms

 

One of the more notable symptoms of scurvy is the loss of and damage to teeth

Vitamin C is a necessary nutrient that helps the body absorb iron and produce collagen.

If the body does not produce enough collagen, tissues will start to break down.

It is also needed for synthesizing dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and carnitine, needed for energy production.

Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency can start to appear after 8 to 12 weeks. Early signs include a loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, irritability, and lethargy.

Within 1 to 3 months, there may be signs of:

·      anemia

·      myalgia, or pain, including bone pain

·      swelling, or edema

·      petechiae, or small red spots resulting from bleeding under the skin

·      corkscrew hairs

·      gum disease and loss of teeth

·      poor wound healing

·      shortness of breath

·      mood changes, and depression

In time, the person will show signs of generalized edema, severe jaundice, destruction of red blood cells, known as hemolysis, sudden and spontaneous bleeding, neuropathyfever, and convulsions. It can be fatal.

Infants with scurvy will become anxious and irritable. They may experience pain that causes them to assume a frog-leg posture for comfort.

There may also be subperiosteal hemorrhage, a type of bleeding that occurs at the ends of the long bones.

Animal studies have shown that vitamin C deficiency in a woman during pregnancy can lead to problems with fetal brain development.

1.            What is scurvy?

 

2.            Symptoms

 

3.            Causes

 

4.            Diagnosis

 

5.            Treatment


6.            Prevention

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