What Are the Effects of Scurvy?


Quick Answer

Scurvy can lead to anemia, skin hemorrhages and gum disease, thought the condition lends itself to easy treatment through nutritional supplements to correct vitamin C deficiencies, notes Healthgrades. People who do not get treatment for scurvy may contract a severe form of anemia that doctors should treat immediately.

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Vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, which is uncommon in the United States, and affects the skin, blood vessels and the healing process, states Healthgrades. Easy bleeding or bruising, fatigue, nosebleeds, frequent infections and painful, swollen joints are symptoms of scurvy. Some people experience only mild symptoms, while others develop severe anemia and repeated infections. People who experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fainting, muscle pain or rapid heartbeat should seek medical attention immediately.

People can help prevent scurvy or limit its effects by eating well-balanced diets with lots of fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol, not smoking and taking all prescribed vitamins and supplements, according to Healthgrades. Doctors diagnose scurvy by asking questions related to the condition, taking blood samples to test for vitamin levels, and in some cases, performing additional diagnostic testing. People must follow the treatment plans prescribed by their doctors precisely, and they must take all prescribed medications to alleviate the effects of scurvy and restore the vitamin C in their bodies to acceptable levels.

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