How To Treat Beriberi Patients Who Have Been Unconscious For 4 Hours?

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I want to ask, my brother’s body is swollen / some say he says beriberi, it’s been almost 4 hours unconscious, how do I handle it?

1 Answer:

Hello Rekapurnama,


Beriberi is a disease that arises because the body lacks vitamin B1. This vitamin plays a role in maintaining the function of body tissues and as a source of nutrition. There are several types of beriberi namely dry beriberi and wet beriberi. Dry beriberi generally affects the peripheral nervous system. The symptoms experienced by the patient are disturbed motor movements, sensory disturbance and reflexes especially in the muscles in the lower part of the body.


Wet beriberi generally causes injury to the heart muscle and capillaries. As a result, the function of the heart pump for circulation is disturbed (heart failure) which causes edema (swelling) in the peripheral tissue due to discharge from the blood vessels. Other symptoms of wet beriberi are shortness of breath, increased heart rate, awakening at night due to shortness, enlargement of the heart organ.


Cases of Wernicke-Korsakoff encephalopathy that usually accompany dry beriberi can be characterized by dazed symptoms, impaired memory, hallucinations, impaired vision, to decreased consciousness. The cause is lack of nutrient intake (vitamin B1), liver fibrosis, impaired use and absorption of vitamin B1 associated with alcohol consumption.


Diagnosis of beriberi obtained from physical examination, blood tests (thiamine levels), urine examination, MRI / CT-scan. Treatment of beriberi is by giving vitamin B1 supplements either orally (taken) or by injection. In patients with severe conditions (heart failure) or critical conditions, the treatment is aimed more at overcoming conditions that endanger their lives.


Generalized edema (swollen body) causes not just beriberi. Other conditions of heart failure, hypoalbuminemia, kidney disorders, can also cause symptoms of generalized edema. It is better to consult further and discuss with the doctor who treats your brother to get an explanation of the patient's proper diagnosis and treatment to be performed. Thus the explanation from me, hopefully useful.

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