How scurvy affects your digestive, circulatory, and skeletal system
Scurvy affects the digestive system because without vitamin C, your teeth and gums would be very unhealthy, and you would not be able to mechanically digest food very well. Also, vitamin C is important for digestion because it helps to absorb iron. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant in your body, helping to remove damaging oxidizing substances and to protect against harmful chemicals that form as a product of digestion. When you ingest vitamin C, it aids digestion by helping to dispose of the waste products of metabolism, keeping your digestive system healthy and able to function.
A symptom of scurvy is hemorrhaging. Hemorrhage is when blood escapes from a ruptured vessel. A common site of bleeding is hair follicles, but hemorrhaging can occur in any organ. Bleeding within the skin appears as bruises. Gums become swollen and wounds heal slowly. Bleeding can take place in the tissues covering large bones. It can also occur in the areas of the heart and brain. Bleeding in or around vital organs can be fatal.
The bone changes occur between the end of the diaphysis and growth cartilage. Osteoblasts fail to form osteoid (bone matrix) for bone formation, resulting in the stop of bone formation. The growth plate thickens as a result of the calcification of the growth cartilage at the end of the long bones. Preexisting bone becomes brittle and experiences resorption (the absorption into the circulation of cells or tissue), resulting in microscopic fractures of the spicules between the shaft and calcified cartilage. The periosteum becomes loosened, resulting in hemorrhaging at the ends of the long bones.