Brief Report: Scurvy as a Manifestation of Food Selectivity in Children with Autism
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Scurvy was diagnosed in seven children at Boston Children’s Hospital. All of the children had a developmental disorder and autism was the most common. They had a long-standing history of food selectivity with diets devoid of fruits and vegetables, and none of the children were supplemented with a multivitamin. They presented with limp, and an elaborate panel of tests and procedures were undertaken before the diagnosis of scurvy was made. Treatment with vitamin C led to rapid recovery of symptoms. This report emphasizes the importance of considering nutritional causes of musculoskeletal symptoms in children with autism and restrictive diets.
KeywordsScurvy Vitamin C Autism Developmental disorder Sensory processing disorder Food selectivity Children
We acknowledge the patients, their families, and the teams of dedicated providers at BCH for working together toward a diagnosis of scurvy, with special thanks to Drs. Susan Connolly and Jeannette M. Perez-Rossello in the Department of Radiology.
N.S.M. conceived of the study, participated in its design, acquisition and interpretation of data, and participated in drafting the manuscript; C.T. participated in the design, acquisition of data, and participated in drafting the manuscript; S.W. made substantial contributions to analysis and interpretation of data, was involved in critically revising the manuscript, and contributed to important sections pertaining to nutrition in the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
For this type of study formal consent is not required.
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