Who is most at risk of suffering from Wernicke encephalopathy?

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
February 20, 2024
Some Houston residents may take vitamin supplements without knowing whether they have a true need for them. In many cases, these supplements do little to benefit a person unless the individual has been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency by a medical professional and prescribed a supplement. On the other side of that situation, you may have a vitamin deficiency that your doctor missed, and as a result, you may have suffered significantly.
In particular, if you have a vitamin B1 deficiency, you may develop a serious condition known as Wernicke encephalopathy. This disease can affect your brain and nervous system, and as a result, you could suffer substantially negative effects, especially if the condition goes untreated.
Who is at risk?
A vitamin B1, or thiamine, deficiency can affect many different types of people. However, certain individuals face higher risks of developing the deficiency than others. You may have a greater risk of this deficiency and Wernicke encephalopathy if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • Someone who regularly consumes significant amounts of alcohol
  • Someone with an eating disorder
  • Someone with a stomach condition
  • Someone with a serious disease, such as AIDS
  • Someone with serious kidney issues
  • Someone who has undergone gastric bypass or other weight-loss surgery
  • Someone who vomits often and for a long period of time
  • Someone undergoing chemotherapy
  • Someone lacking the proper nutrition in his or her diet
  • Someone who has a serious mental health condition
  • Someone between the ages of 45 and 65

Alcohol abuse and poor diet can affect anyone of any age, and any of the risk factors listed here could also. Because Wernicke encephalopathy can affect your ability to walk, your strength, your ability to concentrate and your vision, it is important that you determine if you have a vitamin B1 deficiency and treat it quickly.
Delayed diagnosis
If your doctor failed to properly diagnose you with a vitamin B1 deficiency in a timely manner, you may have suffered serious negative effects. The delayed diagnosis likely also meant a delay in treatment, which could mean that your effects have more of a lasting impact than may have occurred had treatment for the condition taken place earlier. As a result, you may have reason to file a medical malpractice claim against the liable parties in order to seek compensation for resulting damages.
No one should sweep your health concerns under the rug, and medical professionals have a duty to properly diagnose and treat conditions. If you believe that your medical care providers did not meet this duty, you may want to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

February 20 2024

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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