Vitamin B1 deficiency


A vitamin B1 deficiency This can occur when you eat low in vitamins, have an increased need (eg during pregnancy) or can only absorb the vitamin in the intestine in a reduced way. High alcohol intake, eating disorders, long-term infusion diets and kidney disease can also lead to vitamin B1 deficiency. Learn more about the effects of vitamin B1 deficiency.

Article overview Vitamin B1 deficiency
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency: causes
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency: symptoms
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency: special form beriberi
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency: Special form Wernicke's encephalopathy

Vitamin B1 deficiency: causes

Actually, vitamin B1 (thiamine) is contained in sufficient quantities in the diet. Vitamin B1 deficiency is therefore observed mainly in developing countries, where deficiency or malnutrition can not meet the demand.

When people in industrialized countries develop a lack of thiamine, it is mostly because the intestine does not absorb enough of the vitamin. Possible reasons for this are gastrointestinal or liver diseases, but also alcohol abuse and eating disorders. During pregnancy, the need for vitamin B1 is increased. This sometimes also leads to a vitamin B1 deficiency, especially in pregnancy sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum).

In addition, there are foods that contain substances that inhibit the absorption of vitamin B1 - if you consume them in the appropriate amount. These include, for example, tea, coffee, but also tea leaves or betel nuts, which are often chewed in some countries. Also, various freshwater fish and clams contain an enzyme that cleaves thiamine. This is only a problem if they are consumed raw. When cooking, the enzymes are destroyed.

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Vitamin B1 deficiency: symptoms

Vitamin B1 is necessary above all for the carbohydrate metabolism and thus the energy production. Therefore, thiamin deficiency affects many areas, including the nervous system. :

  • sleep disorders
  • weight loss
  • anorexia
  • nausea
  • Cardiovascular failure
  • Muscle weakness and paralysis
  • Muscle aches
  • Calf cramps or
  • mental changes such as anxiety, depression, irritability

Left untreated, a vitamin B1 deficiency causes death.