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Vitamin B3 deficit
Vitamin B3 deficit


Pellagra

Definition:

Pellagra is a disease that occurs when a person does not get enough niacin (one of the B complex vitamins) or tryptophan (an amino acid).



Alternative Names:

Vitamin B3 deficiency; Deficiency - niacin



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Pellagra is caused by having too little niacin or tryptophan in the diet. It can also occur if the body fails to absorb these nutrients. It may develop after gastrointestinal diseases or with alcoholism.

The disease is common in parts of the world where people have a lot of corn in their diet.



Symptoms:

Symptoms of pellagra include:

  • Delusions
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflamed mucus membranes
  • Mental confusion
  • Scaly skin sores


Signs and tests:



Treatment:



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:



Prevention:



References:

So YT, Simon RP. Deficiency diseases of the nervous system. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 57.

Kumar N. Neurologic presentation of nutritional deficiencies. Neurol Clin. 2010;28:107-170.




Review Date: 10/14/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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