Thiamine deficiency after vsg

Just an FYI. I have been diagnosed with thiamine deficiency, Wernickes Encephalopathy, post vertical sleeve gastrectomy (4 years post op). I also have PA requiring shots every other week and I am receiving IV thiamine also every other week. I have also been diagnosed with chronic iron deficiency anemia and receive monthly infusions of venofer. Be advised that the Diagnosis for Wernickes is no longer reserved for alcoholism. There has been an increase in VSG patients being diagnosed. The trifecta of symptoms is: memory deficits, ataxia, nystagmus. The Ataxia and Nystagmus resolved within first thiamine infusion.

9 Replies

  • Poor you! I think both thiamine and B12 and other deficiencies will become more common with this type of surgery. Hopefully it will become better recognised then. Hope you feel better soon!

  • This paper may be of some interest - though perhaps too late to have prevented problems arising:

    Wernicke’s encephalopathy after sleeve gastrectomy: Literature review

    This is the full paper. :-)

  • Thank you so much for this. I foresee this issue becoming more commonplace. Hard to reconcile the positive aspects of dramatic weight loss (120 lbs +) in the light of such serious deficiencies.

  • Couldn't agree more.

    Further, the compromised ability to absorb things from the gut is likely to impact on a number of non-food things - medicines. Somehow it seems unlikely that will be top of the pile in research and development of new "drugs".

  • Could someone please explain what a sleeve gastrectomy is? 

  • I know little to nothing - this might help:

    Anyone know a better link?

  • "gaining popularity in children and adolescents. "

    Seems odd to irreversibly change a young person's stomach, when the weight loss process would have an end point...

  • Use of the word "popularity" in relation to such things always jars. Like "levothyroxine is the most popular thyroid hormone medicine" simply because 90% (or whatever the real number is) of thyroid sufferers are prescribed it.

    Surely the popularity is in dramatic weight loss - not the means to it being major surgery?

  • Removal of 85% of the stomach leaving behind a "sleeve" about the size of half a banana...

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