Beriberi The Natives Disease in Indonesia
During the nineteenth century another strange disease began to develop, particularly in Indonesia and other parts of the Orient. This was the era of the great industrial revolution. Natives called the disease beriberi, a name still used by doctor today. People suffering from this disease became nervous and irritable. Their appetite was poor and they developed frequent digestive disturbances. Their muscles seemed to waste away, and they became weak and mentally depressed.
If not treated properly, the patient would suffer from a failing heart. Swellings would appear in the legs and other parts of the body, and there would be difficulty in breathing, followed by pains over the heart another painful condition known as neuritis, or inflammation of the nerves, would develop. The patient would be irritable and suffer from a poor memory. A similar condition is often seen in alcoholics and others who live on a poor diet. All are tired and irritable. They sleep fitfully, if at all. Most are constipated, and suffer from “gas” and other vague abdominal complaints and body ailments.
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