Scurvy is a health condition that can be experienced in people with a deficiency of Vitamin C that is also known as ascorbic acid in their bodies. In the ancient days, it said that this health condition was mainly common in sailors among other people who lacked access to fresh fruits and vegetables for longer durations of time. Even though it cannot be said that the condition mainly thrives in sailors, Scurvy is still very prevalent in those states where people are not able to access fresh fruits and vegetables.
The main reason why those who are not able to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables are at higher risk of developing scurvy is that ascorbic acid is mainly obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps in the development of tissues, facilitation of the metabolism of fats and lipids, immune function and also healing of wounds.
When looking at Scurvy, it is also vital to take note of the fact that there are recommendations on the amount of Vitamin C that a person is able to take in a diet. However, you will be able to learn more about that from the rest of this article.
Scurvy is said to be mostly prevalent in children and young people. However, in certain countries, this may not be so. For instance, in England, scurvy is not very prevalent in children. Despite all these, it should be noted that scurvy is able to affect anyone without regard to gender, age, color or race.
Causes of Scurvy
The main cause of scurvy that is even used in its description is lack of Vitamin C. However there are also other conditions that are believed to be able to lead to the development of this condition in different people. Studies on this condition reveal that when a person lacks Vitamin C in his or her body, the body will not be able to produce new collagen that gives way for the formation of the condition. When there is no supply of new collagen, the body becomes weak and starts to deteriorate leading to scurvy.
There are several other conditions that can lead to scurvy apart from just the lack of ascorbic acid. Some of these conditions include:
- Dependency on drugs and alcohol.
- Inadequate intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Complex mental conditions like very serious depression.
- Treatments like chemotherapy among others that lead to nausea.
- Inability to digest food properly that can be as a result of Crohn's disease.
- Fad diets.
- Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa.
One thing about the above mentioned conditions is that not necessarily those who have them or undergone some the procedures are able to develop scurvy. However, studies have shown that those who have undergone certain procedures or have some of the conditions that are listed above have got higher chances of developing scurvy. Besides, the conditions may also vary from one person to the other.
Symptoms of Scurvy
There are several signs that one can rely on to be able to determine whether they have scurvy or not. Since this condition can affect anyone without regard to age or gender, the symptoms may be similar in those who have got scurvy. However, there are also certain symptoms that may vary from individual to other based on the particular cause of the condition. This means that, a person who may have developed scurvy as a result of lack of vitamin C and complex mental conditions may depict certain different symptoms from that person who develops the condition as a result of lack of ascorbic acid and fad diets.
It is always advisable that everyone gets to know the symptoms of scurvy since the condition can affect anyone. Besides, it may also be tricky for everyone to determine the right amount of Vitamin C that they are supposed to take in their diets. As a result of this, one of the most ideal ways of determining if you have scurvy is through the symptoms.
Below are some of the symptoms of scurvy that you need to know:
- General body weakness,
- Sunken eyes,
- Swollen gums and loose teeth that may fall after sometime,
- Pains in the joints that may at time make it difficult to walk,
- Blurred vision,
- Wounds taking too long to heal,
- Discomfort and irritation,
- Weight loss,
- Swellings in the legs,
- Thin air,
- Inability to gain weight among others.
Scurvy Home Remedies
Home remedies for scurvy are some of the measures that you are able to employ in order to reduce the health risks that come with scurvy. Apart from just reducing the risks of the disease, when the home remedie4s are used properly, you are able to have an improved quality of life. This is because, most of the home remedies that are available for scurvy are mainly plants or plant extracts that have got different health benefits.
The other reason why it is recommended that you rely on the home remedies is that most of them are readily available and can be obtained without spending lots of money like in other conditions. Besides, they can also be easily prepared and used at home since they have got very simple procedures of preparation. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Below are some of the home remedies for scurvy that you are able to rely on in any case you may have developed the condition:
- Lemon- Lemon is known to be the prime source of Vitamin C hence it is an effective remedy for those who are suffering from scurvy. When using lemon, ensure that you obtain the extract and mix it with one tablespoonful of honey. Put the mixture in a glass of warm water and take it twice everyday.
- Indian Gooseberry- This is also another home remedy for scurvy that can be used in relieving the symptoms of the condition. When using the Indian Gooseberry, ensure that you look the one in powder form and then mix it with sugar in the same proportion. After mixing the two thoroughly, take one tablespoonful with a glass of milk each and every night before you go to bed. This will help you in the recovery from the condition much quickly. If you cannot get the powder form of the Indian Gooseberry, you can also use the fruit orally. It is recommended that you eat about four fruits of the Indian Gooseberry everyday at different intervals.
- Amachur- This name might sound very unfamiliar to many people; however, it simply refers to powdered mango powder. You can mix it about a half tablespoonful of the powder in a glass of water each day.
- Cow milk and breast milk- This is recommended to infants who are having scurvy. However, when giving the combination of the tow kinds of milk, do not give to much but just in moderation.
- Lime or lemon Juice- When mixed with a glass of water, lemon juice can also be an effective herbal remedy for scurvy. Besides, the mixture of lemon juice ands water can also be topped up with honey. Lime or lemon juice is also very rich in Vitamin C and can help in eliminating the symptoms of the condition faster.
- Potatoes- Potatoes are also recommended to those who are suffering from scurvy because of its richness in Vitamin C. In fact, from 100mg of potatoes alone, the patient is able to obtain up to 17mg of Vitamin C. However, when using this remedy, it is not a must that the patient's meal has to include potatoes everyday. Potatoes can be substituted with other foods rich in Vitamin C like thyme, parsley, strawberry among others.
- Jaundice Berry- The leaves of this herb are known to contain anti-scurvy elements making it ideal in the treatment of the condition. In order to make an ideal herbal remedy, the leaves of Jaundice berry are the ones that are recommended for preparing a decoction. The decoction of the leaves of this berry should then be administered to the patient in doses of 2 to 4ml each day. However, the dosage may at times change based on the condition of the patient.
Apart from just the above mentioned home remedies, it is also advisable that the diet of a person suffering from scurvy should contain foods rich in Vitamin C like sweet lemons, oranges, tomatoes, grapes, potatoes and even vegetables like cabbages, broccoli, and green pepper among others. It is also recommended that you should see a doctor so that you are able to get a comprehensive medical advice since scurvy is a health condition.
Diet for Scurvy
Since Scurvy is mainly caused as a result of Vitamin C that can be obtained from the diet, nutrition is a major aspect that should be considered. In fact, proper dieting is one of the best ways through which you can be able to manage scurvy. It is important to ensure that your diet has provisions for foods like:
- Sweet lemons, citrus fruits among other fresh fruits.
- Fresh vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes among others
- Legumes and unprocessed grains
Prevention of Scurvy
The most ideal way that you are able to keep scurvy at bay is by ensuring that you take Vitamin C at least every day in your diet. It is recommended that the daily intake of Vitamin C peer day should be 30Mg. Determining the exact measure of this might not be quite easy in most people. However, the best way to go about is to ensure that:
- You include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Some of these include citrus fruits, grapes, apples, avocados, tomatoes, green pepper, potatoes among others.
You do not have to include all the above mentioned or other kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet daily but Vitamin C can also be obtained in certain foods and beverages too. However, it is best if you relied on fresh fruits and vegetables instead of the processed foods and beverages.
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