A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of THIAMINE in the diet, characterized by anorexia, irritability, and weight loss. Later, patients experience weakness, peripheral neuropathy, headache, and tachycardia. In addition to being caused by a poor diet, thiamine deficiency in the united states most commonly occurs as a result of alcoholism, since ethanol interferes with thiamine absorption. In countries relying on polished rice as a dietary staple, beriberi prevalence is very high. (From Cecil Textbook of medicine, 19th ed, p1171)


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