Health Encyclopedia

Scurvy

Scurvy

Scurvy is a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. It causes weakness, swollen joints, muscle hardness, gum problems, tooth loss, and slow healing of wounds.

People who are malnourished or who do not eat enough foods that contain vitamin C are at risk for scurvy. Citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and tangerines), berries, melons, red and green bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and dark green, leafy vegetables are all good sources of vitamin C.

Scurvy is treated with daily vitamin C (ascorbic acid) tablets. Symptoms usually improve quickly.

Last Revised: June 20, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Alan C. Dalkin, MD - Endocrinology

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