by Diana Kohnle
Scurvy is a condition caused by an insufficient amount of vitamin C for a prolonged period of time. The condition causes weakness, anemia, and gingivitis. Scurvy is very rare in the United States and occurs most commonly in malnourished older adults and chronic alcoholics.
Scurvy is typically caused by a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables or foods fortified with vitamin C.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
The following factors increase your chance of developing scurvy:
Scurvy can be diagnosed during a physical exam, based on an analysis of symptoms and diet. Your doctor may order a blood test to measure the level of vitamin C in the blood. To diagnose scurvy in infants and children, an x-ray may be done.
The treatment for scurvy is simple and effective. To eliminate symptoms and make a full recovery, increase vitamin C intake to recommended levels. You can increase vitamin C levels by:
To help reduce your chances of getting scurvy, take the following steps:
American Academy of Family Physicians
Dietitians of Canada
Clemetson A. Shaken baby or scurvy? General Vaccine Issues. Vaccine Risk Awareness Network website. Available at: http://www.vran.org/vaccines/sbs/sbs-clemetson.htm. Accessed . Accessed April 15, 2007.
Weinstein M, Babyn P, Zlotkin S. An orange a day keeps the doctor away: scurvy in the year 2000. Pediatrics . 2001;108:e55. Pediatrics website. Available at: http://pediatrics.... . Accessed April 15, 2007.
Last reviewed October 2012 by Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 10/31/2012
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