Scurvy - Treatment 

Treating scurvy 

Scurvy is treated with vitamin C supplements, which can quickly improve your symptoms.

Some symptoms, such as joint pain, will usually resolve within 48 hours. Most people will make a full recovery within two weeks.

Once your symptoms improve, you should be able to get enough vitamin C by eating a healthy, balanced diet and you will no longer have to take supplements.

See preventing scurvy for more information.

Referral to a specialist

You may also be referred to a health or social care specialist to address the underlying reasons for developing scurvy in the first place. The type of specialist will depend on the underlying cause. For example, you may be referred to a:

  • a dietitian if you have scurvy caused by a very unhealthy diet and there are no underlying factors
  • a social worker or occupational therapist if your scurvy was caused by an inability to cook for yourself because of disability or poor health
  • gastroenterologist – a doctor who specialises in treating digestive conditions, such as Crohn's disease, if your scurvy is caused by this type of condition
  • a psychologist if your scurvy is associated with a mental health or behavioural condition, such as depressionschizophrenia or anorexia nervosa

Page last reviewed: 24/01/2013

Next review due: 24/01/2015

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The eatwell plate

Use the eatwell plate to get the balance of your diet right. It shows you how much to eat from each food group