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Keshan Disease Information

Keshan disease is a condition of the heart. Keshan disease is a potentially fatal form of cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). This disease is characterized by a blood circulation disorder, endocardium abnormality and myocardium necrosis. Selenium deficiency is thought to be a major factor by Chinese scientists. It is caused by dietary deficiency in the mineral selenium. Keshan disease is an endemic form of dilated cardiomyopathy which is found in areas of China where dietary selenium deficiency is common. Keshan's disease is closely associated with very low dietary intakes of selenium. Selenium supplements has been found to protect people from developing Keshan disease but cannot reverse heart muscle damage once it occurs.  Keshan Disease, named after an outbreak in the Chinese district of Keshan in 1935, damages the heart muscles and eventually causes death. Keshan disease may be the result of several interacting causes including a dominant nutritional deficiency (selenium), other nutritional factors, and an infectious agent (virus). Treatment is selenium supplementation.

Causes of Keshan disease

The common causes and risk factor's of Keshan disease include the following:

  • Dietary deficiency in the mineral selenium.
  • A Coxsackie virus.

Symptoms of Keshan disease

Some sign and symptoms related to Keshan disease are as follows:

  • Dizziness.
  • Tinnitus and vertigo.
  • Headache.
  • Difficulty sleeping.

Treatment of Keshan disease

Here is list of the methods for treating Keshan disease:

  • Treatment is selenium supplementation. The recommended dietary allowance is currently 55 micrograms of selenium per day for adult men and women, 60 micrograms per day for women during pregnancy and 70 micrograms per day for women during lactation.


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