pellagra


pel·la·gra

noun \pə-ˈla-grə, -ˈlā-, -ˈlä-\

Definition of PELLAGRA

:  a disease marked by dermatitis, gastrointestinal disorders, and mental disturbances and associated with a diet deficient in niacin
pel·la·grous \-grəs\ adjective

Origin of PELLAGRA

Italian, from pelle skin (from Latin pellis) + -agra (as in podagra, from Latin)
First Known Use: circa 1811

pel·la·gra

noun \pə-ˈlag-rə, -ˈlāg-, -ˈläg-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PELLAGRA

: a disease marked by dermatitis, gastrointestinal disorders, mental disturbance, and memory loss and associated with a diet deficient in niacin and protein—compare kwashiorkor

pellagra

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Nutritional disorder caused largely by a deficiency of niacin, marked by skin lesions and digestive and neurological disturbances. Dermatitis usually appears first, with abnormal sensitivity to sunlight. It may look like a severe sunburn, later becoming reddish brown, rough, and scaly. Diarrhea usually alternates with constipation, along with mouth and tongue inflammation and cracking and dry scaling of the lips. Later, mental abnormalities may include nervousness, depression, and delirium. Mild cases of niacin deficiency respond to a well-balanced diet alone. Pellagra still occurs where diets consist mostly of corn, which is low in both niacin and tryptophan (converted to niacin in the body), with little or no protein-rich food. It can also be a side effect of chronic alcoholism.

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