How is pellagra treated?

Treatment for pellagra begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine whether you have pellagra, your health care provider will ask you questions, request a blood sample, and possibly prescribe diagnostic testing. It is important to follow your treatment plan for pellagra precisely and to take all medications as instructed.

The treatment approach for pellagra depends on treating the underlying cause for pellagra. Treatment will include returning niacin and tryptophan (if needed) to normal levels. Administering supplements will help to replenish these substances until balance is restored.

Specific recommendations for your specific niacin requirements will be provided by your healthcare provided based on your age, gender, and health.

What are the potential complications of pellagra?

You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of pellagra include:

  • Dementia
  • Depression

References:

  1. Pellagra. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000342.htm.
  2. Niacin. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002409.htm.
INTRODUCTION

What is pellagra?

Pellagra is a disease that affects your digestive system, skin, and nerves, resulting in dermatitis, diarrhea, and mental disorders. The most common cause of pellagra is not having enough niacin (primary pellagra). Other causes of pellagra are associated with digestive disorders that reduce the absorption of niacin in your... Read more about pellagraintroduction

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of pellagra?

Pellagra is a condition of having too little niacin in the body and affects the normal function of the nerves, digestive system, and skin. Pellagra may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity from person to person.

Common symptoms of pellagra

You may experience pellagra symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these common sympt... Read more about pellagrasymptoms

CAUSES

What causes pellagra?

The most common cause of pellagra is inadequate intake of the B vitamin known as niacin (primary pellagra). The most typical cause of primary pellagra is not consuming enough green vegetables, seafood, meat, and eggs. Alcoholism is commonly associated with pellagra as the result of malnutrition.

Secondary pellagra occurs when sufficient niacin is consumed but not taken up and used... Read more about pellagracauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System


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