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How can scurvy affect someone's everyday life?

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June 28, 2009 6:17PM

== == Scurvy is a disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C, which is required for the synthesis of collagen in humans. The chemical name for vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is derived from the Latin name of scurvy, scorbutus. Scurvy leads to the formation of spots on the skin, spongy gums, and bleeding from the mucous membranes. The spots are most abundant on the thighs and legs, and a person with the ailment looks pale, feels depressed, and is partially immobilized. In advanced scurvy there are open, suppurating wounds and loss of teeth. Scurvy isn't much of a problem for most today because vitamin C is easy to come by and the minimum daily requirement is found in most people's diet. But if someone has scurvy, it obviously makes them less appealing to men and/or women. It down plays someones "swagg" or swagger. It also makes you look older than you are because of teeth loss. Edit: Ascorbic acid is the Latin word for "without scurvy". Prior to the discovery of vitamin C, scurvy was responsible for the death of one-half to two-thirds of the crew on prolonged ocean voyages where the diet consisted solely on cereals and meat. James Lind's recommendation to include limes or lemons (rich sources of vitamin C) in the daily menu was ignored at first by the British Navy, but eventually became the source of the nickname for British sailors "limeys". The major symptoms of scurvy result from vitamin C's role in the formation of collagen. Poorly formed collagen results in small, pinpoint hemorrhages under the skin; poor wound healing or breakdown of old scars; spongy, bleeding gums; dry, scaly skin;damage to blood vessels; swollen, tender joints and aching bones; gangrene; muscle cramps; and loosened teeth. General weakness and lethargy, loss of appetite, depression, swollen legs and arms, and shortness of breath also are symptoms of scurvy. Severe vitamin C deficiency and scurvy are rare in the US; however, marginal deficiencies and poor dietary intake of vitamin C are common. Most large scale surveys report inadequate intake of vitamin C. Alcohol and tobacco use, stress, limited food intake and poor intake of fruits and vegetables, chronic illness, and long-term use of some medications contribute to vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy is prevented with a dietary intake of 10mg a day.