What is deficiency diseases?

Diseases that are caused by the lack of some particular nutrient in a person's diet are called deficiency diseases.

1. Night-blindness:

A child having this disease is unable to see properly in the dark. His eyes become dull and listless and the skin becomes dry. If not treated in time, the child may become blind.

Cause:

This disease is caused due to the deficiency of vitamin A in the diet.

Treatment: A child suffering from night-blindness should take a diet rich in vitamin A. Carrots, fish, fruits, milk, butter, etc., are all good sources of vitamin A.

2. Beri-beri:

This is basically a disorder of the nerves. It affects the health of eyes % and skin, growth of the body, formation of muscles and blood. There may also to be stomach and intestinal disturbances.

Cause:

This disease is caused due to the deficiency of vitamin-B.

Treatment:

The affected child must eat the foods rich in vitamin B like milk, fish, meat, cereals, egg, etc., and also seek medical advice from a doctor.

3. Scurvy:

People suffering from scurvy have swollen and bleeding gums. They lose weight and become weak. Their teeth start shaking and become loose.

Cause:

This disease is caused due to the deficiency of vitamin-C.

Treatment:

Oranges, citrus fruits, cabbage, amla, etc., should be included in the diet of the patient.

4. Rickets:

In this disease, the bones of the legs become thin, deformed and curved (bow-legged). The bones of the child become weak and soft.

Cause:

This disease is caused due to the deficiency of vitamin D.

Treatment:

The affected child must eat the foods rich in vitamin D like milk, fish, meat, butter, egg, etc., and take the advice of a doctor.

5. Anaemia:

In this disease, the level of the haemoglobin becomes low gets tired very easily and feels weak. The skin becomes pale. The lips and nails become dull and colourless.

Cause:

This disease is caused due to the deficiency of iron.

Treatment:

The person should have plenty of green, leafy vegetables like spinach and cabbage. Meat, apples, beans, dry fruits, etc., should be included in the diet.

A doctor must also be consulted immediately.

6. Goitre:

In this disease, there is swelling around the neck region of a person.

Cause:

This disease is caused due to the deficiency of iodine.

Treatment:

The affected person needs to add iodised salt to his or her food.

Malnutrition

A child in this condition becomes weak and thin. He shows poor growth compared to other children. He gets tired easily. There may be swelling on the feet and hands. The hair becomes very thin and skin of the child gets dark and starts peeling. Such a child is said to be suffering from malnutrition.

Cause:

Deficiency of proteins and carbohydrates causes this disease.

Treatment:

Patients of this deficiency should eat food rich in proteins and carbohydrates. Milk, cereals, starch and sugars, meat and eggs should be a part of their diet.