After Gastric Bypass Surgery, Important to Check Vitamin B1 Deficiency

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Roman Bystrianyk, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. "After Gastric Bypass Surgery, Important to Check Vitamin B1
    Deficiency", American Acadamy of Neurology, December 26, 2005,

    St. Paul, Minn. - A deficiency in vitamin B1 can be a serious
    complication following a popular surgery to treat obesity, according to
    a case study published in the December 27, 2005 issue of Neurology, the
    scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. If untreated,
    vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to Wernicke encephalopathy, a severe
    neurological condition.

    In the study, a 35-year-old woman developed many difficulties after
    gastric bypass (bariatric) surgery for obesity. Difficulties included
    nausea, anorexia, fatigue, hearing loss, forgetfulness, and ataxia, or
    an inability to coordinate muscle movements. By the 12th week following
    surgery, she had lost 40 pounds and had difficulty walking and

    "This case highlights the variability of Wernicke encephalopathy
    where the classic trio of eye movement abnormalities, confusion, and
    ataxia are seen in less than 20 percent of patients," said Heidi
    Schwarz, MD, who wrote a related commentary. "It is unusual because
    the patient also had hearing loss."

    An MRI scan showed abnormal signals in various parts of the woman's
    brain, indicating a deficiency in vitamin B1. Also known as thiamine,
    vitamin B1 is essential for carbohydrate metabolism and normal
    functioning of the nervous system. When her intravenous dose of vitamin
    B1 was increased to 100 mg every eight hours, her eye muscles gradually
    returned to normal and her confusion decreased.

    Eleven days after her dose of vitamin B1 was increased, a follow-up MRI
    scan showed the abnormal signals had decreased. The scan also indicated
    spots in the premotor and motor regions due to hemorrhaging, which is
    another sign of Wernicke encephalopathy.

    "The neurological complications following gastric bypass surgery are
    diverse," said co-author Raul N. Mandler, MD, a Fellow of the
    American Academy of Neurology and neurologist at The George Washington
    University in Washington, D.C. "Vitamin B1 deficiency and Wernicke
    encephalopathy should be carefully considered in surgically treated
    obese patients."

    The American Academy of Neurology, an association of nearly 19,000
    neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving
    patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor
    with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing
    disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer's
    disease, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, autism and multiple sclerosis.

    For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit