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  • Pellagra


    Pellagra is a disease caused by a lack of the vitamin niacin (vitamin B3). Symptoms include inflamed skin, diarrhea, dementia, and sores in the mouth. Areas of the skin exposed to either sunlight or friction are typically affected first. Over time affected skin may become darker, stiff, begin to peel, or bleed. There are two main types of pellagra, primary and secondary. Primary pellagra is due to a diet that does not contain enough niacin and tryptophan. Secondary pellagra is due to a poor ability to use the niacin within the diet. This can occur as a result of alcoholism, long-term diarrhea, carcinoid syndrome, Hartnup disease, and a number of medications such as isoniazid. Diagnosis is typically based on symptoms and may be assisted by urine testing. Treatment is with either niacin or nicotinamide supplementation. Improvements typically begin within a couple of days. General improvements in diet are also frequently recommended. Decreasing sun exposure via sunscreen and proper clothing is important while the skin heals. Without treatment death may occur. It occurs most commonly in the developing world, specifically sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Tooth discoloration


    thumbTooth discoloration (also termed tooth staining) is abnormal tooth color, hue or translucency. External discoloration is accumulation of stains on the tooth surface. Internal discoloration is due to absorption of pigment particles into tooth structure. Sometimes there are several different co-existent factors responsible for discoloration.

  • Mucositis


    Mucositis is the painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, usually as an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer. Mucositis can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, but oral mucositis refers to the particular inflammation and ulceration that occurs in the mouth. Oral mucositis is a common and often debilitating complication of cancer treatment. Oral and gastrointestinal (GI) mucositis affects almost all patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), 80% of patients with malignancies of the head and neck receiving radiotherapy, and a wide range of patients receiving chemotherapy. Alimentary tract mucositis increases mortality and morbidity and contributes to rising health care costs. For most cancer treatment, about 5–15% of patients get mucositis. However, with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), up to 40% get mucositis, and 10–15% get grade 3–4 oral mucositis. Irinotecan is associated with severe GI mucositis in over 20% of patients.

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