Pellagra is the vitamin deficiency disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin B3 (niacin) or tryptophan. It is common in countries such as Africa, Indonesia, China that have corn as their staple diet, because corn doesn't contain niacin. It is a treatable condition, but it can be fatal if left untreated for any time over four years.
Causes: Pellagra can be caused by the deficiency of Vitamin B3, gastrointestinal problems which reduce the low absorption of nutrients, prolonged diarrhoea caused by some diseases and medicines and consumption of alcohol which reduces the absorption of nutrients and vitamins.
Symptoms: Photosensitive dermatitis on both sides, diarrhoea, and dementia are the three main symptoms. Insomnia, weakness, fatigue, paralysis of extremities, emotional disturbances, digestive problems and other nerve disorders may also occur.
Medical treatment: The main allopathic treatment is nicotinamide. Food products containing B3 such as green vegetables, meat, and seafood are advised. Soup containing corn silk (stigmas of flowers of maize) helps reduce the symptoms of pellagra.
Contraindications: Stop consumption of alcohol. A high amount of nicotinamide dose is harmful hence medical advice is necessary for dose and duration of the supplement.