How is scurvy treated?

If you suspect you may be suffering from scurvy, it is vital that you seek medical attention. To determine whether you have scurvy, your health care professional will ask you questions related to the disease, take a blood sample, and possibly recommend that you undergo diagnostic testing. It is very important to follow your treatment plan for scurvy precisely, and to take all medications as instructed by your doctor.

The treatment approach for scurvy depends in part on its underlying cause but will include restoring your body’s vitamin C levels to normal. This may involve use of vitamin supplements to help more rapidly replenish your body’s vitamin C and restore a healthy balance.

A specific recommendation for your own vitamin C requirements will be provided by your health care professional provided based on your age, gender, and general state of health.

What are the potential complications of scurvy?

If you are diagnosed with scurvy, you can help minimize your risk of serious complications by carefully following the treatment plan you and your health care provider design specifically for you. Complications of scurvy include:

  • Anemia and its consequences, which include shortness of breath and rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Increased incidence of infections
  • Reduced ability for wound healing

References:

Scurvy. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000355.htm. Accessed May 31, 2011.

Vitamin C. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm. Accessed May 31, 2011.

INTRODUCTION

What is scurvy?

Scurvy is a disease that affects the blood vessels, skin, and the body’s healing process, resulting in anemia, hemorrhaging of the skin, and gum disease (gingivitis). Scurvy occurs when your diet is deficient in vitamin C. Scurvy is uncommon in the United States, and those most at risk are older adults and alcoh... Read more about scurvyintroduction

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of scurvy?

Scurvy is a condition resulting from too little vitamin C in the body; it affects the normal function of the nerves, digestive system, and skin. Scurvy may result in a range of symptoms, and these can vary in intensity among individuals.... Read more about scurvysymptoms

CAUSES

What causes scurvy?

Vitamin C, also referred to ascorbic acid, is water soluble, meaning the body does not produce or store the vitamin, so it must be replenished frequently to ensure good health. Scurvy develops as a result of inadequate intake of vitamin C. If your diet is lacking in a variety of fruits and vegetables, you could be at risk of developing scurvy. Poorly balanced and inadequate diets can lead to malnutrition, which is commonly associated with scurvy.... Read more about scurvycauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Food, Nutrition and Diet