Beriberi

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A person with beriberi

Beriberi is a disease of the nervous system caused by a person not getting enough thiamine (vitamin B1) in the diet. Thiamine is needed to break down food such as glucose. It is also found on the membranes of neurons. Symptoms of beriberi include severe lethargy and tiredness. There are also problems that affect the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, muscles, and gastrointestinal systems. It is often found in people with a history of drinking too much alcohol.[1] There are two kinds of beriberi, wet and dry. Wet beriberi mainly affects the cardiovascular system.[1] Dry beriberi affects the nervous system.[1] There is also a rare type of genetic beriberi.[1]

Symptoms of wet beriberi[1][change | edit source]

  • Difficulty in walking
  • Loss of feelings in the hands and feet
  • Loss of movement in the legs
  • Mental confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Strange eye movements
  • Tingling feelings on the skin

Symptoms of dry beriberi[1][change | edit source]

  • Waking up short of breath
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Heart rate gets faster
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • The heart gets bigger.

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Beriberi - PubMed Health". ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 22 July 2010]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001379/. Retrieved 23 May 2011.