What's scurvy - Definition - Causes

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Scurvy disease is an adverse health condition due the deficiency of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in diet.

What's scurvy and its definition

Definition: It is the fatal disease due to lack of/insufficient intake of ascorbic acid in diet leading to spongy gums, loosening of the teeth, livid spots formation on the skin , bleeding from most of the mucous membranes and bleeding into the skin.
Infantile scurvy definition: Infantile scurvy is an acute form (also called as Barlow's disease) affecting malnourished children and causes subperiosteal hemorrhages, paleness, bad breath, coated tongue and diarrhea.

Causes of scurvy disease

As described earlier the main reason for this condition is the diet deficient in vitamin C and its malabsorption.
  • Dietary deficiency of ascorbic acid may be due taking diet poor in this vitamin. Diet lacking fresh fruits and vegetables leads to the ailment.
  • The process of food preparation sometimes leads to loss of ascorbic acid and is one of the causes of this disease. Food preservation and storage method also leads to this condition.
  • Infantile scurvy is sometimes found in babies, whose mothers had taken very high doses of ascorbic acid during pregnancy.
  • Scurvy disease pictures: gingivitis hemorrhage in vitamin C deficiency
    Scurvy disease pictures: Hemorrhage of gums caused by vitamin C deficiency (enlarge)
  • Infants who are not breast-fed if not given vitamin C supplements can develop the condition.
  • Persons with digestive insufficiency and elderly persons with impaired digestion develop deficiency of vitamin C.
  • Alcoholics due to impaired absorption can develop the deficiency of ascorbic acid.
  • Persons under high stress and bedridden persons have the possibility of developing this ailment.
Though there are many causes for acquiring the scurvy disease, the definition of what's it, gives us clue about the treatment and cure by supplementing the diet with vitamin C.

Related topics:
Signs and symptoms
Treatment, cure and prevention
Foods - sources

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Definition of scurvy and its causes.

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