Doctors in Raleigh are warning in a study that a few
obesity surgery patients have developed a serious neurological
condition with symptoms of confusion and poor coordination.
It's linked to a lack of vitamin B-1.
Wernicke encephalopathy, which is caused by a thiamine
deficiency, is normally associated with severe alcoholism or
However, researchers at Wake Forest University School of
Medicine say it can also occur within a few months of obesity
surgery if patients stop taking prescribed vitamin supplements or
if they vomit frequently, preventing vitamins from being absorbed.
The study's author, Sonal Singh, says patients who show such
symptoms need to get help immediately.
And Singh also says the number of cases might increase as the
number of bariatric surgeries performed in the U-S continues to