Scurvy happens when there is a lack of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. The deficiency leads to symptoms of weakness, anemia, gum disease, and skin problems. This is because vitamin C is needed for making collagen, an important component in connective tissues. Connective tissues are essential for structure and support in the body, including the structure of blood vessels. A lack of vitamin C will also affect the immune system, absorption of iron, metabolism of cholesterol and other functions.

Symptoms of Scurvy

Some of the non-specific symptoms of scurvy may includes- fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fever, painful joints, etc.

Late symptoms of scurvy- swollen, spongy and purplish gums that are prone to bleeding, loose teeth, very dry hair that curls and breaks off close to the skin, slow-healing wounds,premature stopping of bone growth (in babies and children), etc.

Sources of Vitamin C

Fruits such as oranges, lemons, strawberries, blackberries, guava, kiwi fruit, and papaya and vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage are considered to be the best natural sources of vitamin C. 

Remember, overdosing on vitamin C can cause problems, so never take more than the recommended dose of a vitamin C supplement without your doctor’s knowledge and approval.