What is scurvy? Causes andprevention


  • What causes scurvy?
  • History of the disease
  • Symptoms of scurvy disease
  • Scurvy complications
  • Diagnostics
  • Scurvy treatment
  • Video
  • Scurvy prevention

If you have a question: “Zing – what is it?”, Read
carefully this stuff. Scurvy (synonym for scorching, from Lat.
Scorbutus) in our time is rare, mainly among extremely
poor and disadvantaged. Outbreaks possible during
military operations, in closed institutions (prisons, sometimes – in
armies), during long-distance expeditions.

What causes scurvy?

Scurvy is an acute illness in which the body enters
Vitamin C is not enough or not available at all (ascorbic
acid). In this case, collagen synthesis is disturbed, connective
fabric becomes fragile, becomes friability. Cartilage structure
collapsed, damaged tubular bones, depressed activity
brain. Manifestation of hormonal pathology.

Provocative factors can also be:

  • excessive carbohydrate intake;
  • harmful working conditions as well as living in an environmentally
    disadvantaged areas;
  • pathology of the stomach and intestines;
  • chronic infections that require increased
    the amount of vitamin C;
  • exhausting physical exertion;
  • chronic sleep deprivation;
  • bad habits (in smokers and alcohol abusers
    vitamin deficiency is common).

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History of the disease

The first detailed descriptions of the disease fall at the beginning of the 13th century,
at the time of the Crusades. Especially often scurvy struck sailors
going on a long voyage. So, for example, from 160
the man who went with Vasco da Gama in 1495. look for
the sea route to India, more than 100 died. The food on the ships was
extremely scarce, mostly corned beef and fish. Fresh vegetables, fruits and
Greens in swimming were considered a luxury. Lack of vitamins before
total vitamin C, and led to such sad consequences.
Outbreaks were observed in Ost-India, California (among
gold miners) in Australia (among researchers,
going inland).

In Europe, the disease began to be called “military scurry.” In the 16-19th centuries.
on the mainland, 114 extensive epidemics were recorded, with about 40 of
they fell on cities under siege where there was a shortage of food.
In Russia, the last major outbreak of scurvy was in 1849. Then
killed about 60 thousand people. Mostly the disease spread
among the population of the Baltic, Siberia, some central provinces
and was usually associated with crop failures over several years

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In 1747 the military hospital doctor james lind was
it is proved that citrus fruits (lemons, oranges) and greens are capable
prevent the development of the disease. However, for a long time it was believed
that scurvy is contagious and contagious to others. Only
in 1932 revealed the true cause of the disease.

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Symptoms of scurvy disease

If ascorbic acid does not enter the body at all,
symptoms of the disease will develop in 1-3 months. If vitamin
not enough – the process will take up to six months.

First comes the subclinical stage. Symptoms of hypovitaminosis
(deficiencies) of vitamin C are mild. The patient has
decrease in working capacity, fast fatigability, bleeding
gums when brushing your teeth, while chewing solid foods. If the diet is not
adjust and do not start taking vitamins, come actually
stages of the disease.

Symptoms Stage 1:

  • muscle weakness, muscle pain;
  • scurvy gingivitis (scurvy gum). Gums bleed, there is pain
    when chewing;
  • weakness, severe fatigue;
  • blood in urine and coughing;
  • mournful purpura (small hemorrhages on the skin).
    Does not affect the face, soles and palms.

Symptoms Stage 2:

  • peeling and dark color of the skin;
  • a person is incapable of long walking and physical exertion;
  • excruciating muscle pain;
  • rashes, sores on the skin;
  • blood from the nose, increased salivation;
  • the teeth start to loose, the gums become bluish and strong


Symptoms stage 3:

  • gangrenous gingivitis (gum tissue dies off). Start falling out
  • extensive hemorrhages – under the skin with hematomas, into the lungs with
    hemoptysis, in the kidneys (there is abundant blood in the urine);
  • bloody stools;
  • bones become fragile, fractures are possible;
  • low blood pressure;
  • abdominal pain;
  • puffiness;
  • severe depletion of the body.

Stage 2 and 3 in our time is almost impossible to see. therefore
classification has more historical significance.

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Scurvy complications

If the grief in time is not identified and treated, it is possible
the addition of an additional infection with which weakened
the body will not be able to fight. Massive events may occur.
hemorrhages, fractures, jaundice develop. Possible defeat
cardiac muscle – myocardial dystrophy. Immunity decreases, not
Hypochromic anemia is excluded. In extremely advanced cases of scurvy
leads to disability or even death.

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Usually it is not difficult. General practitioner or
a pediatrician (for children) will ask the patient about his eating habits,
learns when the first symptoms of the disease appeared. On the analysis will be
blood and urine were taken, radiography was performed. May need
consult a nutritionist.

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Scurvy treatment

It is necessary to eliminate the cause that causes scurvy. Need to saturate
patient’s organism ascorbic acid. The dose is determined by
depending on how the disease progresses. The harder
symptomatology, the higher the dosage and the longer the treatment.

Usually prescribed injections, as well as taking multivitamins. Sometimes
blood transfusion is applied.

Diet is important. It is necessary to eat food with a high content.
vitamin and protein. It is traditionally considered that the highest
the content of vitamin C in citrus. But there are products where it is
more. �”Champion” is considered to be wild rose. It contains 1000 mg of vitamin
100g of product. Then descending follow Bulgarian pepper, black
currants, kiwi, honeysuckle, Brussels sprouts, strawberries. AT
diet should also include greens, baked potatoes,
sauerkraut, wild berries (cranberries, lingonberries, blueberries, mountain ash)
and juices from them. You can cook a decoction of pine needles. 30g needles need to fill
a glass of boiling water and boil for 20-30 minutes. For taste you can add
spoon of honey or sugar. ATыпивать ежедневно в 2 приема.

Mouth can be rinsed with a decoction of oak bark, chamomile, weak
solution of potassium permanganate, as well as water with the addition of lemon juice.
Gums useful to lubricate tincture of calendula.

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