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5 Signs of Vitamin B1 Deficiency

Those who are interested in how nutrition affects the human body may want to keep advised about the signs and symptoms of various vitamin deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin B1 or thiamine. Although many vitamin deficiencies have been made largely obsolete by the general availability of different food sources, it's still possible for today's modern citizens to neglect their diet and unknowingly experience a vitamin deficiency.

What Is Vitamin B1?

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is an essential mineral that helps give the body needed energy by providing needed elements for processing carbohydrates. It also helps to maintain the central nervous system's operations. Many foods naturally contain this vitamin, and some others, including breakfast cereals, are often fortified with vitamin B1 in order to give consumers an even better chance of maintaining levels of this nutritional element.

What Is a Vitamin B1 Deficiency?

With vitamin B1, there are some very common types of deficiencies that apply. Perhaps the main one is known as "beriberi." This kind of vitamin deficiency often stems from eating white rice, where the husks that contain vitamin B1 have been discarded. This is, in some societies, a common illness, and something that must be treated with a supplement or significant dose of thiamine.

Another common kind of vitamin B1 deficiency is found in developed communities where many different food sources are available. In these places, alcoholism is often the agent for this vitamin deficiency. As the individual ingests a large amount of alcohol, the natural depressants act on the nervous system, while any remaining vitamin B1 is flushed away through the diuretic properties of the alcoholic beverage. This combination can lead to a severe vitamin B1 deficiency.

There are a number of main symptoms associated with beriberi or vitamin B1 deficiency, including:

1. Weight Loss 

The individual may lose weight as a general aspect of the malnutrition the often accompanies this vitamin deficiency.

2. Weakness

Because the body cannot properly process fuel into energy, someone with a vitamin B1 deficiency may become excessively weak and lack the normal energy required for many routine functions.

3. Irregular Heart Rate

This vitamin deficiency may also affect the heart rate, as the nervous system is generally depressed.

4. Emotional Disturbances

Some types of vitamin B1 deficiency include night terrors, panic attacks, and other emotional responses to the changing chemistry in the body.

5. Wernicke Encephalopathy

This syndrome affects the memory and other aspects of the mind. It is often physically induced by an inadequate supply of vitamin B1. These kinds of secondary mental and physical disorders are proof that a vitamin deficiency is in its advanced stages and needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Medical experts mention that alcoholics are primarily at risk for this kind of condition. However, some risk of vitamin B1 deficiency also applies to those involved in gastric bypass or other types of changes to the gastrointestinal system. Anyone who seems to display symptoms of a vitamin B1 deficiency should visit their qualified medical professionals immediately to get more information about whether they are condition is being caused by a lack of this essential vitamin.

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