ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Are the Symptoms of Scurvy?

Updated on December 29, 2017
Anita Hasch profile image

I live on a homestead in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Writing and reading are my passion.

Fruit, Veggies for Vitamin C

Scurvy occurs after vitamin C has been eliminated from the diet for at least three months. This vitamin is obtained from fruit and veggies.

  • Humans cannot synthesize vitamin C, which is necessary for the production of collagen and iron absorption.
  • Vitamin C plays an important part in the formation of collagen, a component of connective tissue. It is metabolized in the liver by oxidation and sulfation.
  • Vitamin C is required to remove free radicals thereby protecting DNA and vessel walls from damage caused by free radicals.

Source

Symptoms of Scurvy

Scurvy is a condition which is characterized by weakness, fatigue, and aching limbs, especially in the legs.

  • Bleeding in the joints causes extreme pain.
  • Joints may be swollen and tender so that patients cannot walk.
  • Gums may become red, soft and spongy.
  • Shortness of breath occurs and skin bruises easily.
  • Scurvy can then cause jaundice. Oedema (which is swelling caused by a buildup of fluid)The patient becomes thin and anemic and the skin is infected and covered with black blotches.
  • This is caused by a long deficiency of vitamin C in the diet.

Those that are at Risk of Scurvy

Although scurvy is not common it still occurs occasionally

  • People that smoke need more vitamins because of lower vitamin C absorption.
  • Pregnant women need to take more vitamin C
  • People with Aids and Cancer
  • People with type 1 diabetes
  • Children on restrictive diets because of food allergies

People at risk also include those with malnutrition, alcoholics and those who are on diets with no fresh fruits and veggies.

Columbus Reaches the Americas

Christopher Columbus and his crew might have avoided scurvy if they’d sailed directly from Spain to La Isabella, a journey of two months or less.

It took up to three months of vitamin C deprivation for the sailors to become sick with scurvy. But when Columbus and his companions reached the Americas, they landed at San Salvador where Columbus had left nearly 40 men from his 1492 voyage of discovery. He returned to find all of those men dead. Unfortunately the fruits growing on the Island were unknown to them. If they had eaten the fruit they would not have died.

So the ships set sail again and spent another month at sea before landing at the site that would become La Isabella. By then the voyagers were weak and malnourished. Many of their provisions had been spoiled so they did not have much fresh food.

Columbus first trip to the New World

The skeletons that were found suggest scurvy killed America’s first settlement. Christopher Columbus and his crew landed at the island that he named San Salvador, which is today called Bahamas.

In 1494 he founded the colony ‘La Isabella,’ in the New World. On his second trip Columbus faced many obstacles. The seafarers planned to settle in an unknown land far from home, among hostile locals.

Source

Attempts at Farming Failed

  • The settler’s attempts at farming failed and they sent letters to Spain requesting food such as salted fish and salt pork.
  • They ate none of the local fruits such as guavas which were rich in vitamin C.
  • Neither did they eat fish that were plentiful. Many of the colonists died. La Isabella was abandoned in 1498.

The Importance of Fruit in Your Diet

Including fruit into your diet. Is it important for your health.

See results

© 2016 Anita Hasch

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      6 months ago from Brazil

      How interesting that what they (the settlers) needed, vitamin c, was there and they just didn't realize it.

      I recently read that a boy in the UK had scurvy and because it is almost unheard of in a first world country, the doctors took some time to diagnosis it.

      Where I live, we get an abundance of fresh fruit so our vitamin c levels must be okay.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      21 months ago from sunny Florida

      We have so many opportunities in our country to prevent scurvy. Sadly that is not the case worldwide. We learned about scurvy many moons ago when I was in elementary school...thanks for the refresher.

      Angels are on the way as the beautiful Florida morning prepares to dawn. ps

    • Anita Hasch profile imageAUTHOR

      Anita Hasch 

      22 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks Nadine. I find it amazing that they knew what to add to their diets to avoid scurvy, but just ignored it.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      22 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      How ignorant that the settlers did not eat what was locally available like local fruits - guavas or fish. Interesting article Anita

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)