What is it?

Thiamine (B1) and Niacin (B3) are vitamins essential for many processes in the body.
Good sources for niacin and thiamine include yeast, whole grains and legumes.
Niacin deficiency causes pellagra.
Thiamine deficiency causes two clinical phenotypes:
-Beriberi (infantile and adult)
-Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome - refers to a spectrum of signs and symptoms. Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) is an acute syndrome that has been particularly reported in chronic alcoholics, and as a consequence of weight loss surgery. Korsakoff syndrome refers to a chronic neurologic condition that usually occurs as a consequence of WE.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Low Thiamine
- Low Niacin
- Korsakoff's syndrome

Signs & symptoms

* pellagra is characterized by dermatitis (skin disease), diarrhea and neurologic symptoms.
* infantile beri-beri – becomes clinically apparent between the ages of 2-3 months. clinical features may include cardiac problems, bluish skin, shortness of breath, vomiting, soundless cry and neurologic symptoms.
* adult beri-beri – may be "dry" or "wet." Dry beriberi is the development of a symmetrical peripheral neuropathy characterized by both sensory and motor impairments, mostly of the distal extremities. Wet beriberi includes signs of cardiac failure (shortness of breath, swollen legs and more), in addition to neuropathy.
* Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome – Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) is characterizes by visual problems such as rapid eye movement and double vision, loss of muscle coordination and confusion. Korsakoff syndrome is characterized by chronic mental impairment, including impaired short-term memory and confabulations (production of fabricated memories).

Diagnosis

* physical examination – your doctor will look for any signs of cardiac problems or skin problems, and will perform a full neurological exam.
* Blood and urine tests – to evaluate vitamins status
* In many cases, diagnosis involves seeing if your symptoms respond to vitamin supplements.

Treatment

treatment is mainly by thiamine/niacin supplements, given orally or intravenously.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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