Thiamine Deficiency After Weight Loss Surgery
Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is an important vitamin. It is found in a wide variety of foods including beef and pork and some beans and peas as well as certain grains. It is also fairly common that thiamine can be deficient among overweight people prior to surgery. Further deficiency can be a result of gastric bypass surgery or any other operation that involves significant malabsorption. Again, it’s not likely to be decreased in people with Lap-Band surgery unless they have really cut down on their intake of beef and pork and the kinds of food that contain thiamine.
Like vitamin B12, thiamine or B1 is also involved in the functioning of the nerves and the nervous system, so deficiencies of thiamine often would result in tingling or burning sensation of the feet and toes and sometimes muscle cramping. Sometimes confusion could result also if people have a severe deficiency. Thiamine is usually included in the general multivitamin that we recommend that all our patients take after weight loss surgery and if people were to develop some unusual numbness or nerve symptoms, then we would test specifically for vitamin B1 with a blood test. I should mention that we routinely test for vitamin B12 because it is such a common deficiency. We do not routinely test for vitamin B1 deficiency because it is really quite uncommon overall.