Pregnancy Use

Safe during pregnancy and lactation.

PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Thiamine is necessary for healthy functioning and is involved in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, the production of DNA, several neurotransmitters and nerve and muscle function.

• Supplements are used to treat deficiency or prevent secondary deficiency in people at risk (e.g. alcoholism, malabsorption syndromes, hyperemesis, chronic diarrhoea, hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, lactation, fever, acute infection, folate deficiency, strenuous physical exertion, breast feeding, adolescent growth, severe liver disease and chronic use of loop diuretics).

There is a higher incidence of deficiency in people with CHF; however, it is not known whether correction of the deficiency will improve disease symptoms.

• High-dose thiamine supplements relieve symptoms of dysmenorrhoea according to one large RCT.

• Additionally, some early research has found an association between Alzheimer's dementia and low plasma thiamine levels with supplementation producing some benefits; however, further investigation is still required.

• Oral supplements are non-toxic, but should be used with caution in patients with cancer.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this vitamin do for me?

Thiamine is necessary for healthy functioning and is involved in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, the production of DNA, several brain chemicals and nerve and muscle function. Supplements are taken to avoid deficiency states that can occur, for Vitamin B1 1210

instance, in alcoholism, extreme vomiting, chronic diarrhoea or malabsorption

syndromes. In high doses, It may relieve symptoms of painful menstruation and may be a useful adjunct In CHF. When will it start to work?

Thiamine supplements can have dramatic effects on deficiency states within 24 hours. The response time for other conditions, such as dysmenorrhoea and CHF, also appear to be reasonably fast. Within two menstrual cycles, supplementation produced marked reductions in dysmenorrhoea, and CHF patients treated for only 7 weeks showed positive responses. Are there any safety issues?

Taken orally, thiamine is considered non-toxic. People with cancer should consult with their physician before taking high-dose thiamine supplements.

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