What Are Examples of Deficiency Diseases?

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Lack of sufficient dietary elements such as proteins, vitamins and nutrient minerals causes various deficiency diseases, according to Healthline. Examples of deficiency diseases along with the respective nutrients whose lack results in the conditions include: beriberi (vitamin B1), kwashiorkor (protein), goiter (iodine), anemia (iron), marasmus (protein), pellagra (vitamin B3), scurvy (vitamin C), rickets (vitamin D) and osteoporosis (vitamin D and calcium).

Nutrient deficiencies lead to an array of diseases and health conditions, including dementia and death, explains Healthline. Vitamin deficiencies are associated with several deficiency diseases, underscoring the need to ensure sufficient vitamin intake. Mineral deficiencies are also associated with diseases, including goiter, rickets and anemia. A nutritional deficiency can be caused by intake of inadequate nutrients, or a defect in the body’s absorption mechanism.

Goiter is characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland. Marasmus and kwashiorkor are symptoms of malnutrition in young children. Over 30 percent of the world’s population is anemic as a result of iron deficiencies, according to the World Health Organization. According to George Krucik, M.D., of Healthline, eating a healthy diet and taking approved dietary supplements help in alleviating deficiency diseases. Before taking any nutrient supplements to treat a deficiency disease, speaking with professional nutritionist or doctor is recommended.