Are you familiar with the term beriberi? If you are here to find a treatment for the disease then it’s quite clear that you are well aware of the term and if not keep calm in that case too as we are here to solve or answer all your queries.

In this particular article we are going to throw light on certain aspects of disease beriberi. We will give you an insight into the term and let you know what beriberi is, how it occurs and what are different treatments available for it. Here are the points that are under discussion in this article:



What is beriberi?

Beriberi is an ailment or disorder that is caused due to lack of vitamin B-1 or thiamine. If not diagnosed timely, beriberi can get worse and can cause serious health disorders and even can lead you to heart failure or death.

Types of beriberi:

There are two sub forms or types of beriberi which include:

  • Wet beriberi
  • Dry beriberi

Wet beriberi: Wet beriberi is characterized by cardiovascular damage or disorder. It affects the heart and vascular system. It can cause fast or increased heart rate which many times leads to heart failure. Wet beriberi can damage capillary walls which cause peripheral vasodilation.

Wet beriberi may lead on to certain fatal conditions as:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Dyspnea on exertion
  • Vasodilation
  • Heart failure


  • Increased heart rate
  • Swelling in lower legs
  • Difficulty breathing or short breathing mostly after waking up.
  • Short breath during physical activities.

Dry beriberi: Vitamin B-1 or thiamine deficiency with nervous system involvement is called dry beriberi. Poor caloric intake and less physical activity are the basic causes of dry beriberi.


Dry beriberi may result in:

  • Confusion
  • Trouble moving legs
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Decreased muscles function or activity
  • Unintentional eye movement
  • Paralysis
  • Trouble in speaking
  • Vomiting
  • Pain etc.

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome:

Severe cases of beriberi are usually associated with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. These (Wernicke encephalopathy and korsakoff syndrome) are forms of brain disorder or brain damage which occur due to lack of thiamine.


Above mentioned conditions can cause:

  • Disturbed muscle functions
  • Confusion
  • Loss or memory hallucinations
  • Vision problems

Causes of beriberi:

There are various causes of beriberi and risk factors may include:

  • Diet low in vitamin B-1 or thiamine
  • Alcoholism
  • Excess use of white rice
  • Genetic conditions
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Difficulty absorbing thiamine food
  • Dialysis


Beriberi can be treated by increasing thiamine levels in the body. One can take supplements rich in thiamine or an injection to provide thiamine to the body. Treatment or medication depends on the patient’s medical condition and his response to the treatment.

It is necessary to cure the cause of beriberi in the beginning as if the condition gets fatal or severe it may remain forever even after treatment.

To prevent beriberi one must maintain a balanced healthy diet which contains enough amount of thiamine or vitamin B-1. Foods which are rich in thiamine are:

  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Dairy products
  • Meat
  • Nuts and seeds