Thiamine deficiency results in serious complications in the human body and adversely affects the health through various disorders. The Human body requires thiamine to break down the different types of sugar compounds for better absorption. But, Due to lack of Thiamine in the body leads to serious complications.
The symptoms vary depending on the type of thiamine deficiency. Wet beriberi and Dry beriberi are two types of deficiencies associated, while the former symptoms are associated with congestive heart failure, like breathing with exercise or when lying down and constant swelling in the legs. The symptoms of latter are symptoms weakness, paralysis of muscles or limbs, the problem of sensing vibrations, and other nervous system symptoms.
Consequences of Thiamine deficiency:
Thiamine is also called as vitamin B1 and is an essential nutrient necessary for the tissues and the brain. Skeletal muscles, heart, liver, kidney and brain contains high amounts of thiamine which is essential for functioning of enzymes which are extremely important for the breakdown of complex sugar compounds into simpler molecules. This vitamin bolsters the growth of enzymes which are required for generating numerous chemical reactions in the body. For example; synthesizing neurotransmitters in the brain and accelerates the growth of nucleic acids, essential in making the cell’s genetic material and also the production of fatty acids, steroids, and complex sugar molecules.
In addition to this, There is a chance to generate free radicals which are produced due to lack of thiamine levels in the body. These free radicals interfere with the body’s defense system and affect all the organ systems.
However, the cells in the cardiac and nervous system and heart are very sensitive to the effects of thiamine deficiency. Ultimately this hampers the functioning of cardiovascular and nervous systems.
The major consequences of this deficiency are cardiac diseases like increased blood flow in the blood vessels, heart failure, and retention of sodium and water in the blood.
Causes of Thiamine deficiency
This may occur in two ways, Consumption of thiamine may be hindered or this vitamin may be lost due to various factors.
Most diets are supplemented with thiamine to reduce the deficiency. Especially in individuals with incredibly poor diets, such as alcoholics. While in another case, thiamine is being lost due to a genetic condition or kidney condition.
Read the effects of Thiamine deficiency:
Excessive consumption of alcohol may lead to a neurological disorder known as WKS (Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome) and also cognitive impairment. While, Chronic alcohol consumption causes deficiency and also lowers the enzyme activity in several mechanisms which include inadequate dietary intake, less intake of thiamine in the cells.
This vitamin is an important cofactor for several enzymes to promote the brain cell metabolism, which is essential for the production of precursors in the cells and-and bolsters the production of ATP, an energy supplying molecule. So Thiamine deficiency can significantly reduce the activity of these enzymes, which will have deleterious effects on the brain cells.
Various regions in the brain also suffer due to alcohol’s effects, which promotes alcohol induced thiamine deficiency. The cerebellum tends to suffer the most and extremely sensitive to the effects of thiamine deficiency. The cognitive deficits typically related with chronic alcoholism are damage to the cerebellum or the frontal lobes, which are connected to the cerebellum through neural pathways.
Accordingly, By increases the levels of thiamine in the body through food or other dietary supplements may significantly reduce the damage. The consequences of cerebellar damage can be avoided and also some brain functions typically related with the frontal lobe.
If this neglected or left untreated in a critical situation, the complications may be severe and life threatening. The complication of wet beriberi is Congestive heart failure, a condition where the heart loses its ability to supply blood. Other neural consequences like coma and psychosis are possible.
To conclude that, this deficiency can be cured through thiamine supplementation and changes to any basic dietary habits which may have caused the deficiency. Thiamine supplementation may be given orally or through injection, which actually depends on the type and the cause of thiamine deficiency you are suffering. The best way to cure is to identify in the early stages and counter with a treatment, where the most symptoms linked with thiamine deficiency could be resolved. People who are suffering thiamine deficiency should receive long-term monitoring of their thiamine levels and make sure that this deficiency does not return.