Clinical Review

Forgotten but Not Gone? A Probable Case of Wet Beriberi.

Case In Point

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In the United States, malnutrition is a common and severe medical problem. The obesity epidemic is well recognized. But overconsumption of calories does not guarantee adequate nutrition. Many Americans are deficient in important micronutrients. Cordain and colleagues report that one-third of Americans are deficient in folate, as defined by the U.S. recommended dietary allowances from 1989 and 30% of Americans are deficient in thiamine by the same criteria.1 Recognizing micronutrient deficiencies can be difficult.

Thiamine deficiency may be more prevalent than is recognized. These authors describe a case of probable wet beriberi, outline challenges in making this diagnosis, review factors that may precipitate the disorder, and discuss treatment.


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