Scurvy is a disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin C in your body. It is also called the ‘Barlow’s disease, after the person who described it. It affected sailors on long voyages and sea journeys earlier while it affects infants and old people the most today. Scurvy is usually accompanied by more deficiency diseases. Ascorbic acid is a prerequisite for many processes in the body, mainly for processing the two important enzymes and their collagen. Since collagen is an important part of the bone, bone health is affected too. Defective connective tissues are the reason for fragile capillaries and this leads to abnormal bleeding.

The disease affects the skin; the body’s healing processes and functions, blood vessels which result in hemorrhage and anemia and Gingivitis. Since vitamin C is a water-soluble one, the body does not store nor produce it. This is why daily intake of ascorbic acid is a must.

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Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms:

This article explains the main causes and symptoms of scurvy which are very helpful to diagnose scurvy before attacking and take some precautions without getting that.

Symptoms of Scurvy:

Here are the signs and symptoms of scurvy.

1. Depression:

The fatigue and malaise often affect your mood, because the equilibrium is destroyed. So if you have no reason to be upset, no pressure or any stress but yet you seem to be depressed all the time, then you must consider it as a symptom of something and seek treatment.

2. Dry Hair:

Vitamin C is indispensable for hair and skin health. When your body is low on this vitamin, your skin and hair are usually the first to be affected. Your hair has split ends and becomes thin and rough, tends to break away and looks lifeless, and then it is high time you add some quick sources of this vitamin in your body.

3. Fatigue:

This episode of fatigue can become chronic if you do not start consuming rich sources of ascorbic acid. If you seem to be lethargic or tired all around the day, without any specific reason and feel inactive or no desire to work at all then deficiency is definitely the culprit!

4. Slow Healing Wounds or Bruises:

If bruises and wounds take longer the usual or anticipated time to cover up you need more of this vitamin. If wounds do not heal on time, the produce a state of danger for the manifestation of pathogens, causing infection and a bunch of more problems.

5. Bleeding Gums:

This is the simplest way of understanding when your body needs more of the vitamin. While brushing if you find blood in your spit, your gums are understandably bleeding. Sometimes your gums can swell up and cause more pain along with bleeding.

6. Painful, Stiff Joints:

Inactivity is not the only reason why your joints can become stiff and inflict pain. Sometimes deficiency of this very vitamin can also cause stiffness in your joints, making it excruciatingly painful to move.

These symptoms are those that we often incur periodically or once in a while. But if these symptoms are not understood and not treated accordingly, there is a dangerous chance of such minor problems growing into a serious and major disease like scurvy. When you observe such scurvy symptoms, make sure you add more Vitamin C in your body and diet. The quickest way to do so is by having supplements. Have adequate citric fruits and vegetables rich in this vitamin.

7. Weakness Throughout The Body:

One of the most common and most sighted symptoms of scurvy is feeling weak and aching muscle tissues. This is different from fatigue, though. The pain is real and one struggles throughout the phase of the disease. One will feel weak almost throughout the day and will not feel like doing anything which will further give rise to depression (discussed earlier).

8. Irritation:

Random irritations are one of the most probable scurvy symptoms. One will feel irritated almost throughout the day due to scurvy. This is common in both genders and age is not a limitation in this case.

9. Red-Blue Spots:

Due to scurvy, small red-blue sports start appearing on the skin. This is one of the most sighted scurvy symptoms. The skin is filled with random red-blue sports which take place throughout the body. There is nothing extremely harmful about this symptom but who knows what will lead to what. In case skin infections and inflammations one cannot simply take chances.

10. Pain In The Legs:

During scurvy, almost every limb of the body aches. The pain is really intolerable in the legs. In the legs, the pain is the most and one can easily be a victim of this if he or she has a leg injury or a pre-existent pain.

Read Also: Causes of Skin Allergy

Deficiency of Vitamin C Causes:

There are some mind-blowing and astonishing causes which trigger the occurrence of scurvy. These are innumerable, hence the top 10 scurvy causes are discussed below.

1. Lack of Proper Vitamins:

Low intake of the required vitamins may trigger the occurrence of this disease. In this case, vitamin C is really beneficial for you. If you start taking proper proportions of this vitamin on a daily basis, then you can easily reduce the pain and other symptoms associated with this disease.

2. Alcohol Addicts:

Alcohol addicts beware! Scurvy has been proved to be one of those diseases that is pretty common for people who are addicted to alcohol. Consumption of excessive alcohol may lead to scurvy.

3. Bad Metal Conditions:

This is one of the most neglected causes of scurvy. One will become infected with scurvy if he or she has a bad and unstable mental condition. This will lead to the growth of false thoughts in the brain which will further affect the body as well. Among all the scurvy causes this is the worst one as this has a direct impact on the brain.

4. Not Able To Maintain A Healthy Diet:

Often it is seen that elderly people are unable to maintain a healthy diet and thus they fall in the hands of an unhealthy diet. This is one of the most common causes of scurvy in old people. They cannot maintain good health and thus they are the early victims of scurvy.

5. Drug Dependency:

Drug dependency is a common scurvy cause. If a person is extremely dependent on drugs for almost all kinds of physical issues, then he or she is more likely to be affected with scurvy. This particular cause is pretty common in teenagers and is also sighted in elderly people as well.

6. Smoking:

A chain smoker will have to face the harmful symptoms of scurvy. Among all the scurvy causes, smoking is one of the most important ones. One will easily get infected with scurvy-causing germs if they don’t quit smoking in time.

7. Breastfeeding:

A mother can get infected with scurvy as they have to feed their babies. With the outflow of breast milk goes the vitamin C as well. This is a common cause of scurvy and happens to almost all mothers.

8. Food Fads:

A lot of persons have to go through some food restrictions while they are on a weight-cutting diet. Some of these diets take out the foods containing good amounts of vitamin C as well which further causes scurvy.

9. Less Intake of Foods And Vegetables:

there are a lot of persons who avoid the goodness of fruits and vegetables. This is one of the prime reasons behind the occurrence of scurvy. One should proper amounts of fruits and vegetables to provide their body with good amounts of vitamin C.

10. Other Causes:

Besides the causes discussed above, there are still some causes for which one will have to suffer from scurvy. These cases are unknown to the doctors as of date.

Read Also: Causes Of Schizophrenia


About Saanvi

Saanvi Sharma is an excellent web content writer in health and nutrition. Her expertise in the subject stems from in-depth research and knowledge that she gained over the years. Her interest in science coupled with a bachelor's degree in biotechnology proves as an added advantage and further adds value to her writing. She is highly interested in science, thus writing quality content became her virtue.