Beriberi is a thiamine deficiency which is relatively uncommon in the United States. In the Middle East and Asia, it is seen among people who wash their rice before they eat it. They develop a thiamine deficiency while replete in other vitamin status (wet beriberi). It is characterized by malaise and fatigue, an increased cardiac output secondary to decreased systemic vascular resistance and increased venous return, and edema with enlarged cardiac silhouettes and pulmonary effusions. They respond very well to thiamine replacement.
Dry beriberi is thiamine deficiency in generalized protein calorie malnutrition and is more commonly seen in the United States. Individuals with poor caloric intake which is relatively high in carbohydrates, e.g., alcoholics, are at risk. The usual clinical picture is an elevated heart rate with warm hands (representing the decreased systemic vascular resistance), and a generalized neuropathy (including motor deficits and decreased reflexes). This can be associated with a nutritional cirrhosis or paresthesias of the extremities. Treatment is with thiamine replacement but may include early digitalis and diuretics.
What is beriberi? Who gets it? Photo Gallery
Maybe You Like Them Too
- DR Karen Sherman Lead Researcher at The Seattle Group Health Center
- To Start Winning The Battle of The Bulge You Need to Be Able to Separate Fact From Fallacy
- Are There any Foods That can Help Reduce Stress?
- I Pack Lunch to Save Money But am Getting Sick of The Same Old Same Old Any Tips to Spice Things Up?
- Shopping at a Local Farmers Market is One of The Best Ways to Improve Your Diet and Your Overall Health