Vitamin B1 Deficiency Symptoms In Adults – Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining cellular function and consequently a wide array of organ functions. Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin B1 acts as a coenzyme to convert carbohydrates into energy in the body, helps manufacture hydrochloric acid for digestion and is useful in malabsorption conditions.
Vitamin B1 Deficiency Symptoms In Adults – Deficiency of thiamin leads to wholesale degeneration of the body, particularly the nervous and circulatory systems, and eventually death. Deficiency of thiamine can lead to the development of beriberi and/or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
Beriberi is a disease caused by a vitamin B-1 deficiency, also known as thiamine deficiency. There are two types of the disease: wet beriberi and dry beriberi. Wet beriberi affects the heart and circulatory system. In extreme cases, wet beriberi can cause heart failure. Dry beriberi damages the nerves and can lead to decreased muscle strength and eventually, muscle paralysis. Beriberi can be life-threatening if it isn’t treated.
The most important manifestations of deficiency are weight loss, as well as problems with the heart and nervous system.
Early symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, irritation, poor memory, sleep disturbances, pain in the chest, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort and constipation.
The symptoms of beriberi vary depending on the type.
Wet beriberi symptoms include:
- shortness of breath during physical activity
- waking up short of breath
- rapid heart rate
- swollen lower legs
Dry beriberi symptoms include:
- decreased muscle function, particularly in the lower legs
- tingling or loss of feeling in the feet and hands
- mental confusion
- difficulty speaking
- involuntary eye movement
Peas, potatoes, oranges, egg yolk and most fortified breakfast cereal are also significant sources of thiamine. Foods high in thiamin include fish, seeds, nuts, beans, green peas, tofu, brown rice, squash, asparagus, and seafood. The current daily value (DV) for vitamin B1 is 1.2mg.
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