Thiamine Deficiency Health Effects

by Sam Malone


Thiamine or vitamin B1 deficiency is caused primarily due to the insufficient intake of this vitamin in the form of natural sources in the diet. Other factors like pregnancy, lactation and hyperthyroidism may also lead to the excessive use of thiamine in the body, causing its deficiency. Also, prolonged diarrhea and persistent liver ailments may reduce the body's capacity to assimilate thiamine properly and thereby cause its deficiency. Thiamine plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats. However, it is soluble in water and is thus needs regular replenishment through food, otherwise there might soon arise an acute deficiency of thiamine in the body. Thus, its deficiency in the body causes lack of energy leading to fatigue, inability to concentrate, drowsiness, headache, nausea and vomiting . Besides these, pain in the abdomen, weight loss, irritability and depression are some of the other effects.

The patient may also experience loss of appetite, muscle cramps, joint pains, and swelling and numbness in the limbs. If allowed to persist, these symptoms can lead to beriberi, which is a serious ailment that may even lead to nervous disorders and heart ailments. In addition, the deficiency of thiamine can cause problems in the synthesis of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and thereby create serious digestive disorders. Since thiamine also has antioxidant properties, its deficiency can make the patient vulnerable to respiratory ailments and infections. It has been found that those who smoke and drink excessively are at a much higher risk of suffering from thiamine deficiency than those who do not.

Thiamine deficiency is a serious problem and requires medical supervision and treatment. In case the condition of the patient is critical, thiamine hydrochloride tablets or injections are administered to him/her for fast and effective recovery. You should include natural sources of thiamine in your diet if you are diagnosed with this condition. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and raw vegetables. Milk and other dairy products also help treat thiamine deficiency . It is also popularly believed that whole grains and cereals and unrefined rice and wheat are better than processed ones, as they have a higher content of B vitamins. Sprouts, pulses and legumes are also recommended to those who have thiamine deficiency. You should also consume nuts, peas and brewer's yeast on a regular basis to prevent and treat thiamine deficiency. Egg yolk, fish, meat and liver are especially useful in raising the levels of thiamine in the body.


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