n. a nutritional disorder due to deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine). It is widespread in rice-eating communities in which the diet is based on polished rice, from which the seed coat (which is rich in thiamine) has been removed. Beriberi takes two forms: wet beriberi, in which there is an accumulation of tissue fluid (oedema), and dry beriberi, in which there is extreme emaciation. There is nervous degeneration in both forms of the disease and death from heart failure is often the outcome.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.