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Infantile scurvy: an old diagnosis revisited with a modern dietary twist.

Abstract

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is necessary for the formation of collagen, reducing free radicals, and aiding in iron absorption. Scurvy, a disease of dietary ascorbic acid deficiency, is uncommon today. Indeed, implementation of dietary recommendations largely eradicated infantile scurvy in the US in the early 1900s. We present a case of an otherwise healthy 2-year-old Caucasian girl who presented with refusal to walk secondary to pain in her lower extremities, generalized irritability, sleep disturbance, and malaise. The girl's parents described feeding the patient an organic diet recommended by the Church of Scientology that included a boiled mixture of organic whole milk, barley, and corn syrup devoid of fruits and vegetables. Physical examination revealed pale, bloated skin with edematous, violaceous gums and loosening of a few of her teeth. Dermatologic findings included xerosis, multiple scattered ecchymoses of the extremities, and perifollicular hemorrhage. Laboratory and radiographic evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of scurvy. The patient showed dramatic improvement after only 3 days of treatment with oral ascorbic acid and significant dietary modification. In this case report, we revisit the old diagnosis of scurvy with a modern dietary twist secondary to religious practices. This case highlights the importance of taking a detailed dietary history when evaluating diseases involving the skin.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Pediatric Dermatology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida 33125, USA. cynthiajburk@yahoo.com

    Source

    MeSH

    Administration, Oral
    Ascorbic Acid
    Child, Preschool
    Diet
    Edema
    Female
    Gingival Diseases
    Humans
    Religion
    Scurvy
    Tooth Mobility
    Vitamins

    Pub Type(s)

    Case Reports
    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    17428115

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Infantile scurvy: an old diagnosis revisited with a modern dietary twist. AU - Burk,Cynthia J, AU - Molodow,Rona, PY - 2007/4/13/pubmed PY - 2007/6/20/medline PY - 2007/4/13/entrez SP - 103 EP - 6 JF - American journal of clinical dermatology JO - Am J Clin Dermatol VL - 8 IS - 2 N2 - Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is necessary for the formation of collagen, reducing free radicals, and aiding in iron absorption. Scurvy, a disease of dietary ascorbic acid deficiency, is uncommon today. Indeed, implementation of dietary recommendations largely eradicated infantile scurvy in the US in the early 1900s. We present a case of an otherwise healthy 2-year-old Caucasian girl who presented with refusal to walk secondary to pain in her lower extremities, generalized irritability, sleep disturbance, and malaise. The girl's parents described feeding the patient an organic diet recommended by the Church of Scientology that included a boiled mixture of organic whole milk, barley, and corn syrup devoid of fruits and vegetables. Physical examination revealed pale, bloated skin with edematous, violaceous gums and loosening of a few of her teeth. Dermatologic findings included xerosis, multiple scattered ecchymoses of the extremities, and perifollicular hemorrhage. Laboratory and radiographic evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of scurvy. The patient showed dramatic improvement after only 3 days of treatment with oral ascorbic acid and significant dietary modification. In this case report, we revisit the old diagnosis of scurvy with a modern dietary twist secondary to religious practices. This case highlights the importance of taking a detailed dietary history when evaluating diseases involving the skin. SN - 1175-0561 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17428115/full_citation/Infantile_Scurvy:_An_Old_Diagnosis_Revisited_with_a_Modern_Dietary_Twist L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.2165/00128071-200708020-00006 ER -