Yes. Thiamine is so important a deficiency can actually be deadly.
If left undiagnosed it can lead to your organs failing, coma and even death. While most bariatric surgeons have not known a patient to have suffered a B1 deficiency and consider it rare, our BariatricEating groups are so large that we have witnessed many members horrible deficiencies and even deaths.
This is why vitamins & regular lab work aren't optional. You've got to cover yourself on the important vitamins just in case you are one of the unlucky few who cannot extract nutrients.
But what they heck is it?
Thiamine is one of eight essential B vitamins that has many important functions throughout the body. Thiamine is also commonly known as B1.
Long story short, it is used by your cells and is responsible for helping convert food into fuel for your body to function.
Humans are not able to produce thiamine. This means it must be consumed through food and in our case vitamin supplements as our intake is dramatically altered after Weight Loss Surgery.
This is a vitamin deficiency that often sneaks up on Post-Ops as it’s hard to pin down.
Some signs of it are fairly vague and include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Tingling Sensation in your fingers, toes, hands and feet.
- Dragging of the feet or even stumbling
- Blurry Vision
Get your labs done. Regularly. If you no longer have a Bariatric Surgeon, your Primary or General Practitioner can manage this for you - but make sure they run a full B panel when doing your labs, so you can occasionally be checked for Thiamine deficiency. Read this article if you need to know what to ask them to look for.
Stay on top of your health. Pay attention to how you feel. Speak up for yourself if you think something isn't right. It's easier & cheaper than the alternative.