What were the physical problems caused by pellagra?

What were the physical problems caused by pellagra?

What were the physical problems caused by pellagra?

The main symptoms of pellagra are dermatitis, dementia, and diarrhea. This is because niacin deficiency is most noticeable in body parts with high rates of cell turnover, such as your skin or gastrointestinal tract. Dermatitis related to pellagra usually causes a rash on the face, lips, feet, or hands.

What part of the body does pellagra affect?

Pellagra is a disease caused by a lack of the vitamin niacin (vitamin B3). Symptoms include inflamed skin, diarrhea, dementia, and sores in the mouth. Areas of the skin exposed to either sunlight or friction are typically affected first….

Frequency Rare (developed world), relatively common (developing world)

What happens pellagra?

Pellagra is a systemic disease that results from severe vitamin B3 (Niacin) deficiency. Mild deficiency may go unnoticed, but a diet chronically low or without Niacin may result in the 4 D’s: diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and possibly even death. Usually diarrhea will occur before the other D’s.

How do I know if I have pellagra?


  1. Delusions or mental confusion.
  2. Diarrhea.
  3. Weakness.
  4. Loss of appetite.
  5. Pain in abdomen.
  6. Inflamed mucous membrane.
  7. Scaly skin sores, especially in sun-exposed areas of the skin.

What disease is caused by niacin deficiency?

Niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency results in a condition known as pellagra. Pellagra includes the triad of dermatitis, dementia, and diarrhea and can result in death. Niacin deficiency can occur through genetic disorders, malabsorptive conditions, and interaction with certain medications.

Is pellagra infectious?

Pellagra is caused by an unidentified infectious agent, possibly transmitted by an insect. Pellagra is uncommon among persons with access to a diet varied with meat, milk, and leafy vegetables. If caught early, pellagra responds to treatment that includes a varied diet.

How do I know if I have niacin deficiency?

Vitamin B3 deficiency symptoms include fatigue, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, a swollen bright red tongue, poor circulation, and depressed mood. Cracked scaly skin that is highly sensitive to the sun is another symptom of vitamin B3 deficiency.

Is there a cure for pellagra?

Medical Care. Oral therapy with nicotinamide or niacin usually is effective in reversing the clinical manifestations of pellagra. Because patients are often malnourished and have other vitamin deficiencies, provisions for a high-protein diet and the administration of B-complex vitamins are needed for complete recovery.

What are the 4 D’s of pellagra?

Pellagra defines systemic disease as resulting from a marked cellular deficiency of niacin. It is characterized by 4 “D’s”: diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death. Diagnosis of pellagra is difficult in the absence of the skin lesions, and is often facilitated by the presence of characteristic ones.

How many people have died from pellagra?

Some of the symptoms she saw in both the mothers and surviving pups resembled those of a debilitating disease called pellagra. The illness affected more than 3 million people and killed more than 100,000 in the United States, primarily in the South, between 1900 and 1940.

Who is most at risk for pellagra?

In the United States, individuals most at risk for developing pellagra are alcoholics, as a result of malnutrition. Both alcoholism and not consuming enough green vegetables, seafood, meat, and eggs commonly cause primary pellagra.

Do people still get pellagra?

Pellagra often is considered to be extinct in developed countries, but it still occurs in rare instances. It is caused by niacin deficiency, but can also develop secondary to deficiency of tryptophan, a precursor of niacin.

Is pellagra reversible?

Pellagra can be reversed by giving niacin accompanied by a high energy diet that is rich in all other B-vitamins, zinc, and magnesium that are important for optimum metabolic reactions in the body.

What are the signs and symptoms of pellagra syndrome?

Pellagra syndrome is characterized by Dermatitis, Diarrhea, Dementia, which leads to Death. Patients suffering from pellagra have symptoms of brown discoloration of the skin, especially in sun-exposed areas. Advanced stages of pellagra cause increased pigmentation, which usually leads to thin varnish-like eruptive scales.

What happens if pellagra is left untreated?

Untreated pellagra will lead to death, sometimes called the “fourth D,” within a few years. In the early stages, pellagra symptoms may be vague. Patients with the condition may only have one or two of the “Ds” along with other nonspecific symptoms. The rash and diarrhea, however, are seen in the majority of cases.

What does pellagra look like on the face?

Pellagra is chiefly characterized by the development of symmetrical red rashes (dermatitis) on the face, arms, feet and back of hands of it sufferers. The rashes look like sunburns and worsen on being exposed to sunlight, revealing photosensitivity in patients. Presence of such rashes is a further confirmation of the nutritional disorder.

What kind of rash can you get from pellagra?

Dermatitis related to pellagra usually causes a rash on the face, lips, feet, or hands. In some people, dermatitis forms around the neck, a symptom known as Casal necklace.

What symptoms does a person with pellagra have?

Symptoms of Pellagra Diarrhea Insomnia Skin lesions Red skin Hair loss Inflammation of mucous membranes Aggression Light sensitivity Confusion Nerve damage

What is pellagra caused by?

Pellagra is a disease caused by low levels of niacin, also known as vitamin B-3. It’s marked by dementia, diarrhea, and dermatitis, also known as “the three Ds”.

Who is at risk of pellagra?

People at risk for pellagra include those with a poor diet that is lacking in niacin and/or tryptophan. Pellagra can also result from a disease, disorder or condition that affects the absorption or processing of niacin in the body. This is called secondary pellagra.

What is the cause of Secondary pellagra?

Secondary pellagra occurs when sufficient niacin is consumed but not taken up and used by the body. Secondary pellagra is often caused by gastrointestinal diseases that prevent absorption of niacin. Because tryptophan is needed to make niacin, low levels of tryptophan may also lead to pellagra.