The Symptoms of Scurvy

Great debility; lassitude: mental depression; sunken eyes; pain in the limbs and joints: pallor; livid Ups; sore mouth; bleeding gums; blood spots in the skin; nosebleed; hemorrhage from the lungs and bowels; shortness of breath; scurvy condition of the skin.

This long list of symptoms by no means includes all of the morbid conditions observable in this disease. As they are the leading symptoms, however, we need not increase the length of the enumeration. The disease is usually of a chronic character, the condition of the patient becoming successively worse so long as the disease continues, finally resulting in the inflammation of the internal organs, particularly the pericardium and pleura. Dropsy of the chest is also frequently produced. The patient finally dies from exhaustion and general dropsy, inflammation of some one of the internal organs, or hemorrhage from the bowels.

The Causes of Scurvy

Scurvy is usually attributed to the restriction for a long time to salt meat and bread without fresh vegetables. So many cases have been observed which have been produced from other causes, that salt is no longer considered as the only agent in causing the disease. It has been known to break out with very great virulence in consequence of exposure to cold, especially to cold and wet, and also from prolonged exposure to heat. It has also been known to occur in consequence of great exhaustion, prolonged melancholy, and similar causes. In northern countries, particularly Russia, a form of disease known as land scurvy is common among people who live in cold, damp cellars, and are destitute of the comforts of life. An eminent English physician has lately called attention to the fact that scurvy is not infrequently produced in women of the lower classes in some parts of England in consequence of the use of tea. It thus appears that this disease may be produced by the gross neglect of almost any principle of the laws of hygiene.