Thiamine Side Effects

Potential Side Effects of Thiamine Deficiency (Vitamin B1)

Thiamine (vitamin B1) is a water-soluble vitamin and not a fat-soluable vitamin. Because of this, it is very unlikely that you will ever reach a toxic amount of it in your body. When taken orally there is very little danger of thiamine toxicity. As with any vitamin, thiamine deficiency can be a major concern that should not be taken lightly.Thiamine Deficiency Causes

Thiamine deficiency can occur for many different reasons.
These reasons may include:

  • liver dysfunction
  • alcohol abuse
  • kidney dialysis
  • crash or extreme dieting
  • prolonged periods of intravenous nutrients
  • use of DCA (dichloroacetate) to treat cancer

Consumption of sugars such as candies, pop or soft drinks, and commercially processed foods (where sugar is often used as a preservative). Also, any food that quickly converts into sugar in your body is the same as eating sugar itself.
Foods that quickly convert into sugar (glucose) in your body include:

  • white bread
  • white pasta
  • white rice (use basmati or brown rice instead)
  • potatoes
  • beets
  • carrots
  • honey

Thiamine Deficiency Symptoms

The more refined or processed a food is the quicker it is gets into your bloodstream. In the case of sugars this is a bad thing.
A lack of thiamine in your diet can cause a decrease in appetite, disrupt digestion, constipation, weight loss, depression, nervous exhaustion, and sleeplessness. It can result in muscular weakness, leg cramping, slower than normal heartbeat, irritability.

Because thiamine deficiency can cause muscle weakness it is particularly dangerous where the heart is concerned. Heart muscles can get fatigued and the upper chambers can lose strength and become enlarged. Thiamine deficiency is common in alcoholics. Prolonged alcohol abuse greatly lowers the amount of thiamine that the body absorbs. Alcohol can actually block thiamine assimilation in the small intestine, this makes it particularly difficult to keep an adequate amount of thiamine in your body and interfers with the digestion of food. This means you will not get all the nutrients from your food. This can lead to further complications as the food you eat is not properly processed.

Thiamine deficiency presents in two main ways:

  1. cardiovascular disease which is known as “wet beriberi”
  2. nervous system disease,called “dry beriberi” or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (“wet brain”)

Both are usually caused by alcohol abuse. Thiamine deficiency can also be caused by using DCA (sodium dichloroacetate) to treat cancer. DCA depletes the bodys stores of thiamine and can lead to thiamine deficiency.