Vitamin B1 Deficiency

Vitamin B1 Deficiency: Signs, Symptoms and Remedies

Vitamin B1 is one of the best nutrients that the body requires for proper growth and symmetrical physique. It fastens the metabolism by breaking down the carbohydrates and the proteins consumed through the food. It helps the body in growth, functionalities, and development of cells too. Another aspect of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is that it is not stored by the body and hence you will be required to maintain its intake in good quantities to avail its benefits. If you do not keep the intake regular, it can result in Vitamin B1 deficiency which can be fatal for the body. The growth and the development of the cells will take a hit and deformity will take place. Check out some of the Vitamin B1 deficiency as well as the signs and symptoms which complement it.

Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B1 Deficiency

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When the body undergoes Vitamin B1 Deficiency, it will show various signs and symptoms. The insufficiency might cause neurological symptoms such as trouble in walking or pain in the back or Beriberi or breathing problems as well as a rapid heartbeat. It can also lead to low blood pressure and sometimes to cardiac arrest as well. Extreme deficiency might cause slurred speech, odd eye movement and gait abnormalities from Wernicke encephalopathy. Let us find out the signs and symptoms of Vitamin B1 deficiency in full information.

Neurological Problems

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The deficiency of B1 certainly and most likely causes Neurological problems such as the following: Loss of sensation in extremities (feet/hands), Tingling sensation, Trouble with walking, Loss of muscular function in lower legs, Paralysis of your lower legs, Speech difficulty, Confusion, Pain, Vomiting and Unusual eye movements or nystagmus. In this case, if you are a heavy drinker, you might suffer more. If the nervous system is not getting enough Thiamine, it might result in beriberi which affects the nervous system.

Cardiovascular Problems

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Deficiency in Vitamin B1 can cause a condition called wet beriberi. The symptoms are sometimes missed entirely by many people as these are mild and very common. You can often confuse this with other problems like routine fatigue. The wet beriberi conditions can affect the cardiovascular system badly. The problems arising from wet beriberi can be: Shortness of breath when you are doing any physical activity, Night waking due to shortness of breath, Weakness, swelling in the lower legs, Low blood pressure or hypotension, Tachycardia or a rapid heart rate, Lactic acidosis or lactate build-up in your blood causing your blood pH to drop.

Now if you ignore these symptoms for long, it might badly affect the circulatory system of the body resulting in organ freeze. Look out for extreme shortness of breath, coughing with blood, palpitations, and chest pain.

Problems caused due to Shoshin Beriberi

Associated with Vitamin B1 Deficiency, the Shoshin Beriberi is a form of beriberi which causes cardiac problems in most people. The symptoms that arise from the Shoshin beriberi include Low blood pressure, Cold and clammy hands and feet, Renal shutdown/kidney failure, Severe metabolic acidosis, a condition where your kidneys aren’t flushing enough acid from your system, Cardiac shock and heart failure, a result of leaving this beriberi unmanaged.

Major causes of Vitamin B1 deficiency

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There are varieties of causes leading to deficiency if Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). These are as follows:

  • Those with malabsorption syndromes which prevent the body from properly using or retaining the thiamine consumed via food or supplements.
  • Chronic alcoholics
  • Elderly people
  • Anyone with HIV/AIDS
  • Diabetics
  • Pregnant women who have experienced a lot of vomiting over an extended period (protracted vomiting)
  • Anyone who has had bariatric surgery
  • Those with cirrhosis of the liver
  • People undergoing hemodialysis treatments
  • Heavy tea and coffee drinkers
  • Betel nuts consumers
  • People consuming a lot of raw fish and shellfish

How can you treat a Vitamin B1 deficiency?

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One can treat Vitamin B1 deficiency with following procedures –

  • Intake of 10 mg thiamine (oral doses) every day for a week, then 3–5 mg a day for 6 weeks to overcome a mild vitamin B1 deficiency.
  • Control on food intake
  • And regular medical checkup

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