What Causes Scurvy?

A person who is significantly deficient in vitamin C has a condition called scurvy. Left untreated, scurvy can lead to many debilitating ailments and disorders, including anemia, ulcers on the gums resulting in tooth damage and loss, pain in the legs, and swelling. Scurvy was a prominent ailment in various parts of history, typically due to famine. Sailors would also contract scurvy after embarking on long voyages since it was difficult to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables. In the present day, scurvy continues to be a problem in developing countries as well as among specific socioeconomic populations within the developed world. It is essential to know the underlying causes and engage in preventative measures to combat scurvy.

Restrictive Diets


Restrictive diets, also known as allergy diets, are those which eliminate certain foods from one’s diet to determine which are causing an allergic reaction or unwanted symptoms. This type of dieting may be necessary for one’s health, but it’s important to use caution when engaging in a restrictive diet and make sure the body is still consuming the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Of course, many also engage in restrictive diets in order to lose weight, which is the wrong approach for lasting change.

A typical, healthy diet can provide the necessary daily amount of vitamin c the body needs to prevent scurvy, simply through the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Restricting certain foods increases the risk for scurvy. It is recommended a vitamin C supplement is taken if needed to reduce the risk of a deficiency developing.

Continue for more on what can cause scurvy.