Question

Would like to know about Beriberi disease.

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Answer

Beriberi Disease

Definition and Cause:

Beriberi is an ailment that affects the nervous system due to a deficiency in thiamine (vitamin B1). The term "beriberi" originates from a Sinhalese phrase meaning "I cannot, I cannot", repeated for emphasis.

Types of Beriberi: There are two main types of beriberi:

  1. Dry Beriberi
  2. Wet Beriberi

Symptoms:

Dry Beriberi:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of sensation in hands and feet
  • Loss of muscle function or paralysis of the lower legs
  • Mental confusion and speech difficulties
  • Pain
  • Strange eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Tingling
  • Vomiting

Wet Beriberi:

  • Awakening at night short of breath
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath with activity
  • Swelling of the lower legs

Treatment:

Treatment of beriberi involves the administration of thiamine hydrochloride, either as an injection or in tablet form. The response is usually rapid and dramatic, with patients often showing a marked improvement within hours of receiving the treatment. In some cases, health can be significantly transformed within an hour of administration.


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