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Pellagra

A potentionally fatal disorder due to a niacin deficiency. Dermatitis, dementia, and diarrhoea are a result of this disorder.

Symptoms

The initial symptoms are lethargy, irritability, depression, weight loss, and, the skin exposed to sun light is inflamed and itchy; weeping blisters in acute attacks, the tongue becomes bright, swollen, painful, and red in colour.

Causes and incidence

This disorder is primarliy seen in poor, rural parts of the world in india. The body is unable to absorb most of the niacin in maize, unless the maize is initially treated with lime water which is an alkali.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made from the patient’s dietary history and condition.  A varied diet and a daily intake of niacin generally brings about a cure.


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