Scurvy

Symptoms of scurvy

Treatment

Complications of scurvy

Prevention

Scurvy or scurvy is caused by vitamin deficiency (vitamin C deficiency). An insufficient amount of ascorbic acid in the body or its complete absence becomes a cause of violations of collagen production. It is this protein that is responsible for the strength of the walls of blood vessels and the elasticity of connective tissues.As a result of a persistent lack of vitamin C, the structure of cartilage is disrupted, the tubular bones are destroyed, and bone marrow function is reduced.

With scurvy, the bone bed of the teeth atrophies. The disease often occurs against the background of other forms of vitamin deficiency. For example, simultaneously with rickets with a deficiency of vitamin B or with folic anemia with an insufficient amount of vitamin B12 in the body.

Symptoms of scurvy

The first clinical symptoms of scurvy appear 1-3 months after the development of an acute ascorbic acid deficiency in the body.

The patient feels weak, gets tired quickly, suffers from dizziness. He becomes irritable, drowsy, feels pain in the joints and calf muscles. These symptoms are not yet specific signs of scurvy and can only be suspected if there are cases of prolonged fasting, malnutrition or intestinal absorption in the patient’s medical history.

The progressive development of scurvy leads to changes in the tissue of the gums: specific pallor appears, then cyanosis of the mucous membranes. The condition of the interdental papillae also changes, bleeding occurs in the oral cavity. At the site of injury, dark-purple tissue seals are formed with signs of internal hemorrhage. Patients suffer from pain when chewing and feel discomfort due to increased salivation.

Treatment

The main role in the treatment of scurvy plays diet therapy. The food ration of the patient must necessarily include food – sources of vitamin C. Fresh vegetables, fruits, berries, juices and salads based on them should form the basis of therapeutic nutrition for scurvy.

In case of severe bleeding of tissues, drip or injection injection of ascorbic acid is prescribed. It is common to fight inflammation in the mouth with scurvy by rinsing with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, treating the mouth with hydrogen peroxide and an oil solution of vitamin A.

Physiotherapy is recommended for all patients with signs of limited articular mobility: remedial gymnastics, mud applications, massage, hydrotherapy. With concomitant anemia, iron and vitamin B12 preparations are prescribed.

Complications of scurvy

Late treatment of scurvy can lead to the accession of a secondary infection. The patient appears ulceration on the gums, bad breath. A gradual loosening of the teeth may result in their complete loss.

Patients with scurvy have a specific appearance: their skin is yellow-brown in color with a characteristic bumpy surface caused by small hemorrhages in the hair bags. Patients move with great difficulty due to severe joint and muscle pain.

Digestive disorders, triggered by scurvy, manifested in the oppression of gastric and intestinal motility, insufficient secretion of enzymes. Vitamin C hypovitaminosis also affects the heart. In patients with reduced blood pressure, quickens the pulse, weakens the power of heart pushes. Concomitant infectious diseases and other forms of avitaminosis lead to massive hemorrhages, bone fractures, patient disability, and sometimes death.

Prevention

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To prevent scurvy, nutrition is often sufficient. Special attention should be paid to the quality of food in winter and early spring time. The excellent prevention of scurvy is the constant use of fresh, canned or frozen vegetables and fruits. With an insufficient daily amount of vitamin C in the diet (less than 30 mg in children and 50 mg in adults) it is recommended to take complex vitamin preparations, such as undevit , roars . Prophylactic use of synthetic ascorbic acid in its pure form should not exceed 70-100 mg per day.

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