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Issue: Issue 5 – 2018


Case Report

Scurvy in Anorexia Nervosa: a case report

Author(s):
Maria João Peixoto, Patrícia Nunes, Raquel Melo, and Sertório Timóteo
Abstract:
Introduction: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is associated with numerous medical complications and almost every body system can be adversely affected. There may be multiple skin signs, most of them a direct consequence of malnutrition due to starvation. Humans require exogenous vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and they must obtain it from dietary intake through vegetables and fruits. Clinical manifestations occur after vitamin C has been eliminated from the diet for 1-3 months. 
Case Report: This case report illustrates a 21-year-old woman, diagnosed with AN restriction subtype who developed ecchymosis and petechiae on the torso and legs. The diagnosis of scurvy was made based on clinical findings and dietary history, with therapeutic evidence as soon as vitamin C supplementation begins. After two weeks of treatment the cutaneous signs fully disappeared. 
Discussion: In many patients with AN adequate intake of fruits and vegetables is preserved, so the diagnosis of scurvy is counterintuitive. The best confirmation of the diagnosis of scurvy remains a complete clinical recovery following vitamin C supplementation. Although scurvy is regarded as a disease from the past, we should be aware of its existence in developed countries as a complication of AN.

Keywords: Anorexia Nervosa, Scurvy, Ascorbic Acid Deficiency..

International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health 2018; 5:9
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21035/ijcnmh.2018.5.9
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