Deficiency Diseases Definition - What are Deficiency Diseases

Deficiency diseases are disorders caused by a lack or deficiency of a substances, essential to the proper functioning of the body, such as various vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Deficiency diseases often result from an inadequate diet, but they can also be caused by metabolic disorders, such as pernicious anemia (which is caused by inadequate absorption of vitamin B12); intestinal disorders; overexcretion of the substance in the urine, feces, or by vomiting; the presence of a parasite, for example, a hookworm or tapeworm; or by a prolonged illness.

The most common deficiency diseases are those caused by a lack of vitamins or minerals.
They include:
  • Anemia (lack of iron);
  • Scurvy (lack of vitamin C);
  • Beriberi (lack of vitamin Bi);
  • Night blindness (lack of vitamin A);
  • Rickets and osteomalacia (lack of vitamin D);
  • Goiter (lack of iodine).

Some symptoms of deficiency diseases?

Scurvy    may cause bleeding from the gums.
Vitamin B deficiencies can cause cracking at the corners of the mouth and a magenta-colored tongue.
Vitamin D deficiency can, when it is severe, result in rickets and body deformities involving long bones.

Deficiency diseases treatment

In most cases the Deficiency diseases are treated by a special diet that is rich in foods that restore the deficient substance. The diet is sometimes supplemented with vitamin tablets or specific drugs.

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