A disease now rare in developed countries, caused by inadequate vitamin C consumption. Scurvy disturbs the production of collagen. The collagen is unstable, causing weakness of small blood vessels and poor wound healing. Haemorrhages (bleeding) can arise anywhere in the body, including the brain. If it arises in the skin, the bleeding appears as bruising. Loosening of the teeth and bleeding into the gums are widespread. Bleeding into the joints and muscles causes pain.
Scurvy is treated with large doses of vitamin C. Bleeding ceases within 24 hours, healing resumes, and muscle and bone pain quickly disappear.