thiamine deficiency-beriberi in America

Manifestations of Thiamine Deficiency: Another Case of Beriberi in America

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Why Publish Another Case?

Just last week, we published a case of classic beriberi in a 23 year old man, and now, yet another case comes to our attention. Most in the medical profession are under the false impression that beriberi, thiamine deficiency, has been eradicated in Western cultures. It has not. In fact, a number of factors in modern Western culture have aligned to make thiamine sufficiency more precarious than ever. High calorie malnutrition and toxicant exposures are top among them. For a detailed look at thiamine deficiency in modern cultures, see our new book: Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia, and High Calorie Malnutrition.

Kaleidoscope of Symptoms Associated with Thiamine Deficiency

There are a colossal number of symptoms associated with thiamine deficiency. The symptoms are confusing and not being seen for what they represent. First of all, let me make it clear: we are oxygen consuming animals and anything that interferes with oxygen utilization in the body will produce symptoms that are called to our attention by the brain and demand explanation. Any adverse sensation whether it be pain, itching or any other symptom is expressly a result of brain action. Joint pains are not perceived in the joints. They are perceived in the brain, even though the joint is actually the location of the inflammation.

The body consists of 70 to 100 trillion cells, all of which have to cooperate in producing human function. Each of these cells requires energy that is developed in specialized organelles within each cell. These organelles are called mitochondria and the way that they produce the required energy is by the combination of oxygen with glucose. Known as oxidation, thiamine is a major catalyst in this process and can be compared to a spark plug in a car cylinder. No gasoline (glucose), no function. No oxygen, no function. No spark plug (thiamine), no function. If oxidation in the mitochondria is compromised, the function of the cell in which they reside is also compromised. Because the brain and heart are the highest oxygen consuming organs in the body, it is not particularly surprising that these organs are the most affected in the disease called beriberi.

Please remember that this is an extremely ancient disease for which no cause was known for centuries. The word beriberi, according to the Oxford English dictionary, comes from a Sinhalese phrase meaning “weak, weak” or “I cannot, I cannot”, the word being duplicated for emphasis. I think of the body as being like an orchestra. Every organ knows exactly what it has to do, but its action must be monitored by the brain which acts as the conductor in playing “the Symphony of Health”.

A Case of Unrecognized Beriberi

The woman whose symptoms are discussed here is 38 years of age. During childhood she experienced what she called a great deal of pain, repeated episodes of candida infection (yeast) breathing trouble with swimming and running, reactive hypoglycemia, chest pain, panic attacks and nausea. She has recently experienced dizziness.

How Was She Treated?

Because the many physicians that she has seen were unable to find significant laboratory changes, the symptoms were usually explained as “it is all in your head”. This is really a pejorative diagnosis because it is assuming that the unfortunate patient is either inventing the symptoms or experiencing them in her imagination. The paradox is that the symptoms are produced in the brain by abnormal signals between the brain and body organs. They are just as real as any other symptom where there is physical evidence of its cause.

Modern medicine seems to think in extraordinarily limited terms and prednisone is offered for many different symptoms as it was in this case. Prednisone made her symptoms worse as indeed it often does. Dizziness was treated by a chiropractor by an “adjustment of the Atlas” (the first bone in the neck that supports the skull) and made her worse. She was found to have scoliosis of the spine and without going into details, this is because of compromised oxidation in the brainstem. It results in asymmetric motor signals to the muscles on either side of the spine, producing the typical curvature.

Understanding the Clinical Clues

The symptoms in childhood indicated even then oxidation was inefficient.

Difficulty breathing. She had breathing trouble when swimming or running, indicating that the breathing control mechanisms in the brain were affected.

Reactive hypoglycemia. She consumed a great deal of sugar and reported reactive hypoglycemia, a classical effect of thiamine deficiency caused by the excessive sugar. It results in overproduction of insulin, hence the drop in blood sugar.

Digestive problems. She reported “stomach problems” in pregnancy, gastritis and GERD, all of which can occur with thiamine deficiency.

Panic attacks. Chest pain, panic attacks and nausea are all related to brain oxygen compromise.

Nystagmus. Her dizziness, reported to be associated with “vertical downbeat nystagmus” are both typical of beriberi.

Yeast infections and Brewer syndrome. She had repeated episodes of yeast infection. This is an opportunist organism, meaning that it is detecting a body situation which is favorable to it and not to its host. Of course, yeast is used to create alcohol from sugar and the squeaks and bubbles experienced by the patient represent the effects of ongoing fermentation in the bowel. So her complaint of “constantly feeling drunk” is quite real and is known as the Brewer syndrome.

Connecting the Dots: The Myriad Manifestations of Thiamine Deficiency

The history in this woman indicates that her health problems existed in childhood and may well have started because of her mother’s pregnancy. She indicated that she consumed a great deal of sugar, by far and away the easiest way to produce thiamine deficiency. The nystagmus and dizziness are manifestations of oxidative dysfunction in the brain and indicate the ongoing problem. There may well be a genetic mechanism involved. However, the genetic mechanism can be mild enough not to result in symptoms unless nutrition and stress events are involved. She reported that she had experienced a number of surgical interferences, each one of which may have been sufficient stress to initiate downgrading in her thiamine deficiency. We now know that a marginal deficiency can be converted into full-blown deficiency as a result of the energy consumption required in meeting the stress.

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Derrick Lonsdale M.D., is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN), Fellow of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (FACAM). Though now retired, Dr. Lonsdale was a practitioner in pediatrics at the Cleveland Clinic for 20 years and was Head of the Section of Biochemical Genetics at the Clinic. In 1982, Lonsdale joined the Preventive Medicine Group to specialize in nutrient-based therapy. Dr. Lonsdale has written over 100 published papers and the conclusions support the idea that healing comes from the body itself rather than from external medical interventions.


  1. Can someone PLEASE PLEASE tell me how to get the carbon dioxide from soda from my head/brain (circulated there) lungs etc ….

  2. I also forgot to mention I don’t know if this is from the carbon dioxide or vitamin deficiency but I had tingling in my brain? tingling down my neck and my upper/mid back tingling that hurts and burns I’m also wondering if I take these b vitamins or whatever I may be deficient in (absorption problems-due to toxins (fat soluble)) how much do I take and if I can’t absorb fat if they are fat soluble?

  3. Hi back in April I swallowed about a spoonful and a half of olive oil daily for two weeks then in may I had 4 drops of grapefruit seed extract then a few days later turmeric maybe a day or two later a spoonful of olive oil again within a day or two later I became symptomatic by the beginning of June I was losing weight rapidly and could not absorb fats from food I took vit c 1000 mg a few times between May and June as well near the end of June I started feeling dry I drank coffee and had a odd reaction one cups caffeine seemed to increase for more than 3 days it also seemed I peed all my water out almost all I was dry inside out but why? Turmeric! I learned it is hydrophobic-repells water so it obviously absorbed into my body the wrong way and not feeling like I was detoxing it perhaps suppresses the cyp3a4/p450 etc enzymes so without understanding all this and feeling like it was somehow also blocking iron? I ate bone broth but wait eat that with a super dehydrated body….no….but I did and it seemed to make me feel a waxlike feeling inside but when it’s hot my feet sweat and it’s slippery (broth detoxing?) Anyway I drank soda it got trapped in my stomach then it circulated carbon dioxide around my body intestines,brain,eyes (my tears are cold),blood, and lungs I’m dry still so I guess it was trying to detox I smell a gas smell that doesn’t leave my lungs cause I have no water to cleanse it and on hot days sometimes cooler ones day I’m having breathing problems/oxygen problems the gas in my lungs is the air breathed into my head and it makes me sick my co2 levels were low I feel like they are getting lower I know from may-july not absorbing fats is not helping especially the vitamins that are fat soluble I just wish there was a way to get better from this I tried pumpkin seeds in June and it seemed to make the turmeric more water soluble perhaps to come out but the carbon dioxide that got trapped is my biggest problem what you described in the thiamine deficiency sounds like my problem to I think it is contributing as well I just wish all these toxins were out of my body but how? Any advice is appreciated I’m really unwell and I hope to get well soon from this thank you

  4. Dr. Lonsdale – I have gastritis, esophagitis, methane-dominant SIBO, IBS. I also have burning mouth syndrome. Things started going downhill five years ago when I took multiple courses of antibiotics for a mouth infection, followed by medications (PPIs and other acid reducers, and antidepressants.) My current symptoms are episodic nausea, fatigue, headache, alternating loose stools and constipation, abdominal pain, muscle twitching and tinglings, dry, burning mouth, tongue sores, sensation of mouth, throat, and abdominal swelling, and low body weight.. My diet has become more and more limited and I can’t tolerate oral supplements at this point. I have somewhat elevated ferritin levels in the high 300’s.

    It seems like my whole digestive tract has somehow lost its integrity. Even table salt irritates my mouth and makes my throat swell. The many doctors I’ve seen are no help.

    I requested b vitamin testing recently, and both plasma b1 and b2 were low (7 nmol/L and <5 nmol/L, respectively). I am going to see a clinic next week about supplementation by IV or injection . Do you have any general recommendations on how to go about this, regarding dosages, frequency etc.? Do you generally recommend B-complex supplementation? In the past even relatively small oral doses of B12 have given me insomnia, so I would like to avoid that for the meantime.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. Also, I was wondering if you could comment on the use of plasma b1 testing as discussed in this article:

    • You have acquired mitochondrial damage via the antibiotics. Your I/V treatment may be dictated by the clinic that you are going to but it should contain 100 mg of thiamine and you should be aware of “paradox/refeeding syndrome” as is posted on this website. It explains why symptoms get worse before they improve and notes that the duration of this “paradox”, although unpredictable, is the best prediction of success. Do not interpret it as “side effects” as in using drugs, because the misinterpretation causes people to “blame” the supplements as ” being toxic to me”

  5. dr Lonsdale, i have 6 years old daughter, diagnosed with ROHHAD (rapid onset weight gain , hypothalamic disfunction and autonomic dysregulation) 2 years ago. she is progressively got worse by the time and depend on bipap machine during her sleep. this syndrome is terminal and many kids already lost their life. i am reading your books and decided she has thiamine deficiency. i am giving her 1000mg benfothiamine orally, and many other supplements (mg, zinc, SOD, other vit B s ) .however, she has very low lactate that confuse me . i am asking as a desperate mom, can i contact you?

    • From what you say here, there is no doubt that your daughter has a defect in oxidative metabolism which is affecting the hypothalamus and brainstem. Its most likely cause is genetic in origin, even though it is an exact replica of what could happen in the brain from thiamine deficiency. The first step in diagnosis would be to ascertain what gene, if any, is compromised. The new science of epigenetics tells us that genes can be manipulated through the use of nutritional components. I would suggest, that because the presentation of the disease is almost certainly mitochondrial in nature, that you should persuade the physicians to give injections of B complex because they have nothing to lose, even if it doesn’t work. I would like you to post details of your daughter’s health from birth and your health during the pregnancy since she only began to have this problem at the age of six years. Also, is there a history of alcoholism in the family or anybody else with a family history of disease?

  6. If anyone is feeling down about spending so much money on supplements, a recent popular article titled “the Great Nutrient Collapse” may be motivating. If the team the journalist focuses on is correct, they have found an increase in sugar and carbohydrate content in plant foods over the last several decades, as well as a decrease in magnesium!

    • Yes, that is one more reason everyone is so deficient. Will have article on that shortly. In fact, I was just doing the background work yesterday. The gist, even if one has a pristine diet, the foods we eat have less nutrient content by calorie than in the past. Since few among us have pristine diets, the likelihood of deficiencies is even greater. I think the one think the authors of the studies cited in that article fail to touch upon is why CO2 levels are rising and why the adaptation in the plants is occurring. It’s relative to the chemicals we use so frequently across not only agriculture but every field in modern life. And those chemicals, not only cause the switch and the rise in CO2, but evoke a myriad of other processes.

      • I will be very interested to read this article; thank you.

        I never felt better than when I lived in Europe for a few months. I know Europe has these issues as well, but I wonder if food is just enough better, and the environment just enough cleaner, that it’s possible to tell the difference? I would like to know more, especially if we could be doing better than we are.

    • PS. I do realize that added sugars make more of a difference in anyone’s diet than a slight change in the composition of natural foods. But even if it is blue on black, it encouraged me to remember to take my magnesium along with my B1.

  7. I am extremely deficient in vitamin D and B1,B2,and B12. I cannot tolerate oral vitamin D, so I have to get it from the sun. Is this a bad move? Will it stress the need for the other b vits? What about uvb lamps- do they impose the same amount of stress ?

      • Hello Dr Lonsdale …..I would think small intestine infections like candida or sibo would be a big factor in this disease. The bad guys down in your gut are encouraged to flourish by the problematic antibiotic and carb combo commonly ingested here in the US. They then end up stealing B vitamins from their host…..thus still causing this deficiency today, even in a “fortified” country like the US. Dr Mark Pimentel at Cedar Sinai in LA (Mr Sibo) believes SIBO is from a neuropathy that affects that small intestinal digestive wave (the name escapes me) which helps “wash” the bad guys down the river to where they belong. Now I have positive tests for candida and sibo. I also have various neuropathies and other Beriberi symptoms. I basically pass out now after eating any sort of carbohydrate and wake up hung over-like. Doctors thought I had “Possible MS” for years but 3 negative spinal taps have said I dont. A1C is always around 5.3 and I just tested my B1 and it was 107( nurse was unfamiliar with test btw)….b12 was 460. So what to do here, it’s not like I can eat a lot of B vitamin fortified foods or yeasts for that matter. Kill the fungus somehow and then take the vitamins? Would going with the “Banana Bag” be worth a try?….or does lipothiamine orally work just as well? Thanks for your Time and Knowledge Dr Longsdale……Mike

        • Please describe your “neuropathies and other beriberi symptoms” Are there any symptoms that foretell “passing out”. Do you have IBS? If so. diarrhea, constipation or alternating both? What are the “hung over-like symptoms? How long have you been sick? Were you ever completely well? Do you have a family history of alcoholism? Your age? Please fill in the blanks!!

          • Thanks for the quick response Doc. A lot of blanks to fill in here. It’s a long and winding medical mystery tour I’ve been on. Many doctors, many theories, but no concrete answers.

            48…6’2″ 195lbs…BP usually 120-30/80-90…temperature always in 97’s now. Cholesterol numbers could better ldl usually 130, triglycerides sometimes high 150, homocysteine 15, sed rate low, psa low, Ana test always negative. TSH a 2. HIV negative. Oddities.. positive for one MTHFR gene, HLA-B27 gene, and I have tested three times for high levels of yes cysticercosis, not in poop though so they say I dont I have it. I just got overall (?) Igg, iga, igm test back and was within normal limits.

            No family alcoholism as far as I know, I don’t drink, never really did outside of college. I have never smoked or did drugs. Three grandparents lived to 90, parents alive, some heart trouble on father’s side and cancer on mothers side. Upper GI issues on dad’s side, lower gi on mom’s side.

            Yes I was pretty healthy( only hay fever) until I had sinus surgery at 28( deviated septum). Then I proceeded to get regular sinus infections which I took antibiotics for. Then came gerd and acid reflux in my early 30s which I took ppi’s for. At first, my gerd problem was food sticking, acid up, and esophageal spasms but I had a couple of dialations and then it seemed to change to what it is now chronic burping and bloating. I did get a bad stomach bug in Thailand in the middle of all that (low acid from ppi I think helped). Then came the neuropathies first in my pinky toes about 10 years ago( emg postive, scattered white particulate matter on brain scan, negative spinal tap). Then some depression which I took anti depressants for. Some weight gain(225), fatigue, and sexual disfunction from those, stopped taking those went away. All was somewhat manageable, not a lot of chronic body pains, until 3 years ago, when I got what was thought to be prostatitis. A urologist prescribed 5 different antibiotics in 6 months to try and treat. They didn’t work, what seems to work is avoiding certain foods citrus, spicey, sugar. If I don’t its burning, go many times a night, basically like I have an infection. Its almost like my gut stopped digesting in a way, that tangerine I just ate went straight through and burned on way out. After taking all these antibiotics I gradually developed chronic low burning back pain that started on left side now on both sides. But it doesn’t get worse with movement or yard work, its worse eating or sitting down. Mri’s show a back for my age but no nerve impingement. Chronic bilateral leg pain, especially in Achilles tendons and hamstrings. Its like I could pull them at any moment but dont, its Charlie horse cramp like pain, and no sciatic pain shoots down from my back. Poor recovery, I can still mow the yard but my legs are shot for days after. Many minor food allergies now on skin prick test, allergiest thought was weird. Can get a little wheezy after eating certain foods(dairy) Eyes went from great “you could fly jets with those eyes” to boughts of blurryness, floaters, and rapid eye fatigue, bloodshot or pink a lot. Neuropathies in hands and feet generally worse now and added a more random than chronic facial one. Which feels like I get frost nip, not bite, just nip. Daily short term memory problems, trouble focusing, scattered, and general apathy. I’m not very productive or organized and its frustrating. Pains around my chest and upper back but recent heart ultra sound/stress test was normal. Colonoscopy was normal(hemroids). I seem to get dehydrated now more easily. Often I’m light headed and slightly dizzy, slightly wasted. Higher chemical smell sensitivities. Get rash now under my mustache if I grow one. I get warts now on my feet and finger, never got before this period. Just many new daily body pains arose since this last round of antibiotics I took, and they are not getting better, only worse. I was hiking 20 miles and doing a 1000 push ups a week before the antibiotics( one was 90 pills of cipro) I still have strength but a lot of chronic pain now too as you can see, so I dont exercise really.Through all this none of my mri scans have changed, back, neck, brain all the same as 10 years ago when I just had a little tingling in my pinky toes. I rarely ever get colds, flu’s, or sinus infections now…I think because I wash my nose out with salt water now in shower daily. Avoiding all this was as Simple As Salt doc.

            ….Neuropathies: chronic burning, partially numb pinky sides of both feet worse towards toes. Pin pricks on pinky side of both hands, that side of hands fall asleep really fast in a book reading postion. I get neuropathies in my face that seem to come and go regularly, perhaps related to certain foods? Example eating apples can now make it tingle. These neuropathies are not totally numb, some feeling still 🙂 My chronic low back pain on both sides burns, not like normal back pain you get from time to time through your life from moving stuff wrong.

            …IBS: I tested postive for methane producing SIBO this last year. They think that sibo is ibs or a form of ibs or ??? Dr’s don’t know much about it, I brought it up to them to test. I get both constipation and diarrhea…alternating. Bloating and burping with almost everything I eat/drink….hello future vegan?(Shoot me now please) Lots of chronic stomach noises, always gurgling. I think it’s all just neuropathies caused by toxins. Which all they got for is meds, which I’ve tried, didnt work and give you other things. I’m a poster man for gut-brain connection for sure though.

            …Beriberi: just found this old school malady , but it fits pretty good I think, perhaps, maybe etc. But I havent been on the Nina, the Pinta, or Santa Maria with Christopher Columbus lately or in a prison camp. So I dont know. Wet…I have shortness of breath during physical activity, occasional resting bounding heart rate, slight edema in lower legs, random pains in heart area. Dry…the lower leg pains, the tingling in hands and feet, neuropathies, overall pain/soreness, mental issues, eye problems (but not that weird eye moment thing). Dry really sounds like fibromyalgia which my current rheumatologist thinks I have, last one didnt. Wernicke/Korsakoff I could say I have some of these symptoms, but not total loss just more difficulties, but no hallucinations.

            …Passing out after eating carbs: This is a weird one for sure, I can eat a sandwich in the middle of the day(anytime), or some beans, or rice or cereal or pizza and get really tired. If I sit down I will fall asleep, I have to really watch myself if I drive. This has been happening for awhile in this last three year period. But perhaps maybe longer with just fatigue after eating? I will usually wake up later feeling more foggy, nervey, body pain and out of it…hung over like. I’m not really a person who gets headaches, so those are more rare. I came across this Auto-Brewery Syndrome or Gut Fermentation Syndrome recently. Which seems to fit and which seems to point to Candida and it’s ability to produce acetaldehyde. I don’t start slurring my speech like a drunk though, just lose consciousness easily. And what’s the deal with Candida, doc’s dismiss it as not a problem unless you’re in the hospital dying of aids. Your immune system will take care of it they say, but it seems to me all the antibiotics and carbs are making it a problem. Why many people are on ppi’s, vitamin deficient, leaky gut, and then chronically ill…like me!

            I don’t take any on-going meds currently, I just finished taking Rifaximin( from my friendly Canadian pharmacy) for the sibo ( did nothing) . I have a script of Diflucan sitting here waiting to take for the Candida. Trying some herbals first. A Banana Bag or Lipothiamine( the best?) on deck? My last resort is low dose naltrexone, any thoughts on its use ?

            I know it’s a lot Doc, but you asked for it 😉 Thanks for doing this, taking the time to read my book here, and any knowledge you can share. Once a Doc always a Doc I guess…I commend you for still wanting to make a difference in people’s lives….you are a true healer.


            • This is an excellent example of polysymptomatic disease. It is inevitably mitochondrial in nature. It may have been noted that beriberi is the “great imitator”, because it itself is a mitochondrial disease. I can only advise you and suggest you find a physician who is prepared to give you nutritional IVs. I would advise also that you start taking Lipothiamine. Start slowly with 50 mg a day because it may make the symptoms worse temporarily. This is called paradox because it is the opposite of what is expected. If it occurs, it will continue to be a nuisance for an unpredictable time, as long as a month or more. If it doesn’t occur you can proceed to increase the dose according to experience and there is no obvious upper limit. You also need magnesium at 250 to 300 mg a day and a well-rounded multivitamin. If you get adverse symptoms initially it is probably the best sign of eventual improvement.

              • Thanks Doc…Wouldn’t treating the candida/ yeast infection in the gut with the Diflucan (have a 3 week script here) first make the most sense here ? My thought is I probably don’t absorb vitamins and nutrients to well down there due to this infection? But again I never get flu and cold sick really, so my immune system must be working somewhat, it’s confusing. I really feel better if I don’t eat at all, mentally sharper for sure. But my various neuropathies and burping persist even when I fast. I noticed Allithiamine comes from garlic it seems, I eat raw garlic regularly but notice no difference in my neuropathies. Is Lipothiamine that different in its effect? Lastly is my b1 level of 107 a problem?…its within the “normal limits” ( 70 to 220) according to the lab. Can you have Beriberi at 107 or people with it have much lower levels?

            • The antibiotics are likely the culprits here, the PPIs probably set the stage and the antibiotics tipped the scale. My guess, you have no ability to absorb nutrients because of the long term use of these meds. With the MTHFR mutation, your methylation capacity is problematic as well, so the cascades of reactions you experience are complicated to say the least. The issues with the esophagus were likely relative to mitochondrial issues, exacerbated by dietary sugars/carbs (read Dr. Lonsdale’s posta on esophagitis). The PPIs and the subsequent surgeries probably worsened it. Warts – low vitamin A, interestingly enough. Passing out after eating carbs, especially simple carbs, likely relative to the thiamine dump. Read Gabriella Chow’s post. Though relative to a post vaccine reaction, she too experienced the passing out relative to simple carbs, but also, relative to low salt. It’s a long post, but it demonstrates how complicated some of these conditions ares. The fungal infection is simply opportunistic because everything else is screwed up bacterially – no good bacteria and the balance of power shifts. Post antibiotic, particularly fluoroquinolone antibiotic, fungal infections are common. We have a number of posts on those as well. The key is to feed your body/your mitochondria what they need to survive and heal. Unless and until you do that, nothing else will work. I would argue, nothing else will work period. You might also consider our new book: Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia and High Calorie Malnutrition. It details all of these symptoms and the mechanisms and how to treat. You’d be surprised how many oddball symptoms come up when the mitochondria are starved and the autonomic system goes haywire relative to thiamine and other nutrient deficiencies.

              • Thank you Dr Marrs for joining in here. In my case the antibiotics led to the ppi use in my opinion. Antibiotics(Against Life) just mess up how your gut works and should be avoided unless totally necessary. Fungus seems to take over after taking them and it craves carbs. Therefore you crave carbs. Its an addiction, I’m proof, even down to the same time of day when it hits (it’s fungus feeding time). Its sounds crazy but my experience tells me its true. I’ve read Cipro was developed to treat Anthrax, not simple sinus infections. There is a whole community of people out there who claim to be “floxed” by fluoroquinolones, I’m probably a member that community . But what would pharmaceutical sales be without side effects and more meds to treat them?! I cant tell you how many times I’ve had nurses say “good for you” when I say I dont take any meds now. Because so many people take several… it’s nuts, it’s wrong. PPI’s: It’s funny I had a gastro doc that took ppi’s himself say “they’re perfectly safe, i’ve been taking them for years”. I was prescribed 4 a day at one point (didn’t take the 4). Now the good Gastro Doc’s tell you to get off them, they are bad. But many still prescribe them, and many doc’s still prescribe Cipro too. Even though it has two black box warnings on it. There is a med out there I’m curious about though, and wonder if you know anything about it, and it’s effect on nerve issues? It’s Low Dose Naltrexone (ldn), regular strength Naltrexone is ironically given to alcoholics( to help them kill alcohol cravings & …uh fungus?). Functional gastro docs are prescribing it for a sibo prokenetic. Also its being used in fibro and MS patients. It’s generic and cheap but has to be compounded. Evidently there are no side effects it seems. Do you have any knowledge on it? I take several vitamins daily: D3 5000mg, k2 45mg, vit C 1000mg, zinc 15mg, COQ10 100mg, mag citrate 360mg, methylated ( after recent mthfr test) Bcomplex. Currently trying molybdenum and undecenoic acid for my fungus. Get vit A through carrot juice, just had levels checked for first time, will see on the wart connection. I do all this with no real improvement. Am I missing something key here(right b1..NT factor?) or is the fungus in my gut stealing what I need? I need to go to IV injections like Dr Longsdale suggested?
                I will check out your book and thanks for the help and knowledge….Mike

                • Hi Mike,

                  You sound exactly like me! Wondering if you feel better after starting thiamine? Anything that has helped you would be greatly helpful. Thanks!

    • If you are interested in this subject, you will find a lot more about thiamine in the book that we have written together. I suggest that you obtain “Thiamine Deficiency, Dysautonomia, and High Calorie Malnutrition” it is available on Amazon books.

  8. Dr. Lonsdale, Is PCOS related to insulin resistant and Thiamine deficient? May PCOS be a consequence of Gardasil shots?

    • I am afraid that I do not know. I have come to the conclusion that the Gardasil vaccine is really a form of stress imposed on the adaptive mechanisms required for response to stress. It might be that PCOS is indeed the result of a deviant stress response that there is no concrete evidence, much less as to whether it is related to thiamin deficiency

  9. Dr Lonsdale,
    How do I find a doctor to treat this? My doctor still doesn’t really believe me despite showing her this article about me. I have just started reading your book.
    Do you know why I would be gaining weight taking thiamine (100 mg/day)? I’m already overweight, and don’t like this side effect.

  10. Dr Lonsdale,
    How do I find a doctor to treat this? My doctor still doesn’t really believe me despite showing her this article? I have just started reading your book.
    Have you found B1 connected to other inborn errors of metabolism? I saw maple syrup urine disease mentioned in your book. I have the organic acids in my urine suggestive of isovaleryl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency and the genes for beta-ketothiolase deficiency.
    Do you know why I would be gaining weight taking thiamine (100 mg/day)? I’m already overweight, and don’t like this side effect.

  11. Thiamin as far as we know is inactive. We still do not know what thiamin monophosphate does in the system. Thiamin diphosphate activates a whole series of enzymes that are important in energy metabolism. Thiamin triphosphate is still a bit of a mystery. So I think we can safely say that we have not uncovered the full extent of the actions of thiamin in its many different forms. I suggested that the Chinese laborers who succumbed to beriberi after sun exposure were already marginally deficient in thiamin. The stress of ultraviolet light has to be met by adaptive mechanisms that require energy. When they tried to meet the stress their effective energy metabolism was weighed in the balance and found wanting. Their supply of thiamin was inadequate. Please note that this is a hypothesis, not a scientific proof. However, we can say that all forms of stress, whether it be ultraviolet light, radiation, surgery or infection are able to precipitate thiamin deficiency. If there is thiamin adequacy, the brain/body adaptation is able to reach its maximum capacity. If it is inadequate there will be a consequent depletion of ability to meet the stress.The final strength of any resistance is dependent upon its weakest point.

    • Does it means that anyone under stress of any kind should consider taking thiamine and a complex with the all the Bs? When I was young, my mother used to give us the Bs complex when we got antibiotics. But since I grow up I haven’t heard any doctor suggesting to take them, not even taking probiotics.

      • This is a good example of how artificial our lives have become. I have defined “stress” as virtually any mental or physical force that you have to face in your life journey. Yes, it requires an acceleration of your ability to synthesize energy to adapt to whatever form of stress you are meeting and this is a normal response if you are perfectly healthy. If the brain is lacking in the energy surge required, you may develop mental or physical symptoms. This is caused by the brain trying to tell you that you are not appropriately adapting to the stress. The symptoms have to be interpreted for what they mean. It is true, however, that by taking a B complex on a daily basis, together was magnesium and a multivitamin may make it easier to face any form of physical or mental stress. This is based on the assumption that the nutrient density of modern diet is inadequate, particularly if it is encumbered by sugar and empty calories that reflects our artificiality.

        • Dr. Lonsdale, I understand that taking supplements is not the point. The point is to get enough vitamins and minerals from the food that you eat. Eating properly you may get vitamins and enzymes that we may not even have heard about yet. The problem is that even eating right sometimes your immune system may go down because life can get complicated. And, that is when you get sick and is very hard to find doctors that look for the cause of the symptoms instead of looking for a medication that will control the symptoms.
          There is a very interesting presentation from Ted talks about a doctor that overcame multiple sclerosis by feeding her mitochondrias with the right food and the right supplement when she was already in a wheelchair.. There is also a scientist from the University of Alberta called Bonnie Kaplan that talks about the impact of the nutrition in mental healthy

          • I totally agree with you. The point that I have tried to make is that the necessity of eating good natural food has been stated so many times, and has been so ineffective throughout the Nation, nobody really listens anymore. Talking to children and adolescents in particular is like talking to the wall. If and when they develop the inevitable mental or physical symptoms, they visit their family physician who makes a diagnosis of psychosomatic illness. If the physician were able to recognize that his patient’s symptoms are due to malnutrition, he can give him a pill or a series of pills that would be acceptable to his psychological approach to his symptoms. When he got better, he would thank the physician and think that it was marvelous medicine. Now of course I recognize that this would be subterfuge, but perhaps it would help a lot of people who otherwise simply struggle with attempts to gain symptomatic relief that rarely works. A brief survey of this website reveals that many people are suffering and seeking relief from the symptoms that their physician fails to recognize for what they are. That is why our recent book by Lonsdale and Marrs entitled “Thiamine Deficiency, Dysautonomia and High Calorie Malnutrition” is aimed at physicians but is also aimed at the intelligent public. One of my books “A Nuttritional Approach to a Revised Model for Medicine” was written for the general public. Both books are available on Amazon books.

            • I bought both of them. Hopefully one day doctors will have a different approach to illness, However, to happen many changes are needed. Nutrition and orthomolecular medicine need to be included in the curriculum of medical school.
              I wish schools in Canada could offer real food at lunch time for the kids. That would be a good way to educate the kids. Nutrition week would be another way to make kids understand the value of the good food. I believe schools could create a program to make that information enjoyable and informative because kids do not want to get fat or acne or to be slow to understand the math concepts.. And being well nourished can make a difference and maintain their focus. They would not struggle with so many disorders that we see nowadays. I know a lady whose two kids (7 and 9) are on heavy medication for ADD, and the medication, of course, is not really working. However, they keep given to them!?!?!?!

    • Dear Doctor Lonsdale, my 2w year old daughter has alopecia universalis. She lost all of her scalp and body hair two weeks after Gardasil shots, three years ago. Now I know that Gardasil is reported to deplete the body of Thiamine. My daughter had some eating problems and she was extremely underweight at the time. She was surely already marginally deficient in many vitamins and minerals, and in Thiamine as well. She started having many other health issues that are exactly like vitamin B1 deficiency symptoms. These problems started all at once following the Gardasil shot, along with alopecia. She went to many doctors, unfortunately none adressed the vitamin deficiency issue. I started researching and feeding her a nutrient rich organic diet, but yet I know that the malnourisherd body needs therapeutic doses of these nutrients for optimum function so that it can start to grow hair again. What would you recommend?

      • There is no doubt in my mind that this represents a prolonged state of high calorie malnutrition. You state that she had many symptoms of vitamin B1 deficiency. I think that you should describe the symptoms briefly as a post on this website.A “nutrient rich organic diet” will not settle the issue now. That is what she should have had. The evidence for this kind of thing points to the vaccination as a stressor to a person that is in a state of marginal deficiency. The energy demand to meet the stress is inadequate. I would not be surprised if this young lady is a top class student and athlete. The reason that I suggest this is because a highly developed brain requires a highly developed fuel. The question that I have is whether a “highly developed fuel” represents modern nutrition! The brightest and the best are more at risk for disaster.

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