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Scurvy – Vitamin C Deficiency – Causes, Symptoms, Remedies and Dietary Considerations

Scurvy is also called Vitamin C deficiency disease. It is one of the oldest known deficiency disease. The disease is common among children and teenagers. Humans are unable to synthesize vitamin C – which is necessary for collagen production and iron absorption – and so they must obtain it from external sources (such as citrus fruits).

CAUSES FOR SCURVY

– Lack of Vitamin C or ascorbic acid.
– Inadequate intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
– Stress which increases the utilization of ascorbic acid.
– People who have spend lot of time away from the main land like sailors.
– Ignorance.
– Difficulty orally ingesting foods.

SYMPTOMS FOR SCURVY

– Loss of appetite.
– Exhaustion.
– General weakness.
– Paleness.
– Sunken eyes.
– Bleeding of gums.
– Fragile capillaries.
– Loosened teeth.
– Petechial hemorrhage of the skin and mucous membranes.
– Eye bleeding.

Diagnosis of Scurvy is done by calculating actual vitamin C levels that can be obtained by using laboratory tests that analyze serum ascorbic acid levels.

REMEDIES FOR SCURVY

– Lime and Lemon are rich sources of vitamin C, the juice of one lime or lemon mixed in a glass of water with a teaspoon of honey should be taken for treating this condition.
– Mango powder or aamchoor is an effective remedy for scurvy.
– Try to eat potato meals at least two-three times in a week. It is very beneficial in such a condition. It contains 17mg of vitamin C in approximately 100 mg of potatoes.
– Indian Gooseberry is the richest source of vitamin C. Dry amla should be powdered with an equal amount of sugar and one tsp thrice a day should be taken daily.
– Boil about 15gms dried leaves of jaundice berry in 500ml of water till it is reduced to one-third. It should be in the doses of 2 to 4ml.

DIETARY AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

– After birth, children should be breast fed as mother’s milk is pure and fresh and contains correct proportions of all the necessary nutrients.
– Foods that contain vitamin C are oranges, lemons, blackcurrants, guava, kiwifruit, papaya, tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, bell peppers,broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, spinach, paprika, liver, oysters.
– Sleep in a well ventilated room.
– Undertake outdoor exercises like walking, swimming, cycling.

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