scurvy


scurvy
scurvily, adv.scurviness, n.
/skerr"vee/, n., adj., scurvier, scurviest.
n.
1. Pathol. a disease marked by swollen and bleeding gums, livid spots on the skin, prostration, etc., due to a diet lacking in vitamin C.
adj.
2. contemptible; despicable; mean: a scurvy trick.
[1555-65; SCURF + -Y1]

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or vitamin C deficiency

Nutritional disorder caused by deficiency of vitamin C.

Deficiency interferes with tissue synthesis, causing swollen, bleeding gums; loose teeth; sore, stiff joints and legs; bleeding under the skin and in deep tissues; slow wound healing; and anemia. The scourge of sailors on long sea voyages, scurvy was recognized as diet-related in 1753, when James Lind showed that drinking citrus juice could cure and prevent it, leading to the concept of deficiency diseases. Full-blown scurvy is now rare, and adequate vitamin C usually cures even severe cases in days.

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also called  vitamin C deficiency 

      one of the oldest-known nutritional disorders of humankind, caused by a dietary lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), a nutrient found in many fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly the citrus fruits. Vitamin C is important in the formation of collagen (an element of normal tissues), and any deficiency of the vitamin interferes with normal tissue synthesis, a problem that underlies the clinical manifestations of the disorder. Scurvy is characterized by swollen and bleeding gums with loosened teeth, soreness and stiffness of the joints and lower extremities, bleeding under the skin and in deep tissues, slow wound healing, and anemia.

      Although accounts of what was probably scurvy are found in ancient writings, the first clear-cut descriptions appear in the records of the medieval Crusades. Later, toward the end of the 15th century, scurvy became the major cause of disability and mortality among sailors on long sea voyages. In 1753 Scottish naval surgeon James Lind (Lind, James) showed that scurvy could be cured and prevented by ingestion of the juice of oranges and lemons. Soon Citrus fruits became so common aboard ship that British sailors were referred to as “limeys.”

      In modern times, full-blown cases of vitamin C deficiency are relatively rare; they may still be seen in isolated elderly adults, in people following restrictive diets, and in infants fed reconstituted milk or milk substitutes without a vitamin C or orange juice supplement. Symptoms peculiar to infantile scurvy (Barlow disease) include swelling and pain of the lower extremities and lesions of the growing bones.

      Administration of vitamin C is the specific therapy for scurvy. Even in cases of severe deficiency, a daily dose of 100 mg (1 mg = 0.001 gram) for adults or 10 to 25 mg for infants and children, accompanied by a normal diet, commonly produces a cure within several days.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scurvy — Scur vy, a. [Compar. {Scurvier}; superl. {Scurviest}.] [From {Scurf}; cf. {Scurvy}, n.] 1. Covered or affected with scurf or scabs; scabby; scurfy; specifically, diseased with the scurvy. Whatsoever man . . . be scurvy or scabbed. Lev. xxi. 18,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scurvy — Scur vy, n. [Probably from the same source as scorbute, but influenced by scurf, scurfy, scurvy, adj.; cf. D. scheurbuik scurvy, G. scharbock, LL. scorbutus. Cf. {Scorbute}.] (Med.) A disease characterized by livid spots, especially about the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scurvy — 1560s, noun use of adj. scurvy (early 15c.), variant of scurfy (see SCURF (Cf. scurf)). It took on the meaning of Du. scheurbuik, Fr. scorbut scurvy, the disease characterized by swollen and bleeding gums, prostration, etc., perhaps from O.N.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • scurvy — [skʉr′vē] adj. scurvier, scurviest [< SCURF] 1. former var. of SCURFY 2. low; mean; vile; contemptible n. [< SCURVY the adj.] a disease resulting from a deficiency of ascorbic acid in the body, characterized by weakness, anemia, spo …   English World dictionary

  • scurvy — index iniquitous, objectionable, odious, poor (inferior in quality) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • scurvy — adj *contemptible, despicable, pitiable, sorry, cheap, beggarly, shabby Analogous words: *base, low, vile: *mean, abject …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • scurvy — ► NOUN ▪ a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by bleeding gums and the opening of previously healed wounds. ► ADJECTIVE (scurvier, scurviest) archaic ▪ worthless or contemptible. ORIGIN from SCURF(Cf. ↑scurfy) …   English terms dictionary

  • Scurvy — Classification and external resources Scorbutic gums, a symptom …   Wikipedia

  • Scurvy — A disorder caused by lack of vitamin C. Symptoms include anemia; soft, bleeding gums; and bumps under the skin near muscles. Scurvy in early childhood can cause musculoskeletal problems. Treatment is by including foods high in vitamin C in the… …   Medical dictionary

  • scurvy — n. a disease that is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Unlike most animals, humans cannot synthesize ascorbic acid and must obtain it from fresh fruit and vegetables. The first sign of scurvy is swollen bleeding gums, and a… …   The new mediacal dictionary


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