What Are Some Signs and Symptoms of Scurvy?


Quick Answer

Early symptoms of scurvy, a rare condition in modern times, include loss of appetite, difficulty gaining weight, fever, rapid breathing and diarrhea, according to Medical News Today. Discomfort and tenderness in the legs may also occur.

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Patients with scurvy may experience swelling as well as feelings of paralysis, notes Medical News Today. Bleeding and irritability are other early signs of scurvy. As the scurvy progresses, the patient's teeth may become loose in conjunction with bleeding of the gums. Petechial skin and mucous membrane hemorrhages may occur, appearing as small, red pinpoints on the skin.

The eyeballs may bleed and begin to protrude, and the cartilage between the joints may also begin to bleed. Corkscrew hair is another potential symptom, adds Medical News Today. In some cases, patients with scurvy develop the skin disorder hyperkeratosis and sicca syndrome, an autoimmune condition that affects connective tissue.

When infants have scurvy, pseudoparalysis may cause them to take on a comforting frog leg position, according to Medical News Today. Progressive irritability, apprehensiveness and anxiousness are common. Sufferers may also develop bleeding at the lower ends of long bones. To diagnose scurvy, a doctor may conduct a physical examination, take a symptom inventory and run laboratory tests to check the patient's vitamin C levels.

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