Deficiency, magnesium: Lack of magnesium, which can occur because of inadequate intake or impaired intestinal absorption of magnesium. Low magnesium levels are often associated with low calcium and potassium levels because these nutrients interact with each other. Magnesium deficiency causes increased irritability of the nervous system, as evidenced by spasms of the hands and feet, muscular twitching and cramps, spasms of the larynx, and other symptoms. Treatment involves ensuring intake and absorption of the recommended dietary allowances of magnesium, currently 420 mg per day for men and 320 mg per day for women. One should not take more than 350 mg per day in supplement form, however.
- Deficiency, phenylalanine hydroxylase
Deficiency, phenylalanine hydroxylase: See Phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency.
- Deficiency, protein C
Deficiency, protein C: Protein C is a protein in plasma that enters into the cascade of biochemical events leading to the formation of a clot. Deficiency of protein C results in thrombotic (clotting) disease.
- Deficiency, selenium
Deficiency, selenium: Lack of the essential mineral selenium, which can cause Keshan disease, a fatal form of disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) that was first observed in Keshan province in China and has since been found elsewhere. Treatment involves ensuring intake of the recommended dietary allowance of selenium, currently 70 mg per day for […]
- Deficiency, sphingomyelinase
Deficiency, sphingomyelinase: Also called Niemann-Pick disease, this is a disorder of the metabolism of a lipid (fat) called sphingomyelin that usually causes the progressive development of enlargement of the liver and spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), “swollen glands” (lymphadenopathy), anemia and mental and physical deterioration. Niemann-Pick disease is hereditary and follows an autosomal recessive pattern. The parents are […]
- Deficiency, UDP-glucuronosyltransferase
Deficiency, UDP-glucuronosyltransferase: Underactivity of a liver enzyme that is essential to the disposal of bilirubin (the chemical that results from the normal breakdown of hemoglobin from red blood cells). The deficiency of this enzyme (UDP-glucuronosyltransferase) results in a condition called Gilbert’s disease in which there are mild elevations of bilirubin pigment in the blood. The […]