Deficiency Diseases

Topics: Vitamin, Beriberi, Nutrition Pages: 5 (1195 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Diseases that are caused by the lack of some particular nutrient in a person's diet are called deficiency diseases. Nutritional diseases are diseases in humans that are directly or indirectly caused by a lack of essential nutrients in the diet. Nutritional diseases are commonly associated with chronic malnutrition. Additionally, conditions such as obesity from overeating can also cause, or contribute to, serious health problems. Excessive intake of some nutrients can also cause acute poisoning 1. Night-blindness:

A child having this disease is unable to see properly in the dark. His eyes become dull and listless and the skin becomes dry. If not treated in time, the child may become blind. There are plenty of symptoms that can be associated with night blindness, but the condition is usually characterized by having difficulties seeing at night, in poor light and in darkness during daytime. Other common symptoms of night blindness also include blurred vision and dry eyes. Another symptom is the significant reduction of the contrast vision which can be noted most easily by being unable to see pedestrians in poorly lit streets. Persons who suffer from night blindness cannot read or watch television for extended periods of time because their eyes get tired easily. These persons also have problems getting adjusted when coming from brightly lit areas towards dimly lit areas. People who suffer from night blindness usually have troubles driving at night and they often require extra light when reading. As a result of impaired vision a person may stumble on the pavement or the stairs. Sometimes laser vision surgeries may result in night blindness as a side effect of the procedure. Cause:

This disease is caused due to the deficiency of vitamin A in the diet. Cure
Increase of vitamin A ingestion by eating certain types of food and the intake of supplements are usually a part of the treatment. One should stop taking any glaucoma medications and visit an ophthalmologist to get the eyes tested Treatment: A child suffering from night-blindness should take a diet rich in vitamin A. Carrots, fish, fruits, milk, butter, etc., are all good sources of vitamin A.

2. Beri-beri:
This is basically a disorder of the nerves. It affects the health of eyes %and skin, growth of the body, formation of muscles and blood. There may also to be stomach and intestinal disturbances. Cause:

This disease is caused due to the deficiency of vitamin-B.
The affected child must eat the foods rich in vitamin B like milk, fish, meat, cereals, egg, etc., and also seek medical advice from a doctor. Causes
There are two major types of beriberi:
Wet beriberi affects the cardiovascular system.
Dry beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome affect the nervous system. Beriberi is rare in the United States because most foods are now vitamin enriched. If you eat a normal, healthy diet, you should get enough thiamine. Today, beriberi occurs mostly in patients who abuse alcohol. Drinking heavily can lead to poor nutrition, and excess alcohol makes it harder for the body to absorb and store thiamine. A rare condition known as genetic beriberi is inherited (passed down through families). People with genetic beriberi lose the ability to absorb thiamine from foods. This can happen slowly over time and symptoms occur when the person is an adult. However, because doctors may not consider beriberi in nonalcoholics, this diagnosis is often missed. Beriberi can occur in breast-fed infants when the mother's body is lacking in thiamine. The condition can also affect infants who are fed unusual formulas that don't have enough thiamine. Getting dialysis and taking high doses of diuretics raise your risk of beriberi. Back to TopSymptoms

Symptoms of dry beriberi include:
Difficulty walking
Loss of feeling (sensation) in hands and feet
Loss of muscle function or paralysis of the lower legs
Mental confusion/speech difficulties
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