Vitamin B, Thiamine and Neuropathy

This week in biochemistry, we learned about the TCA cycle (Tricarboxylic Acid). This cycle is important in reducing some of the electron carriers (NADH) for the electron transport chain in the mitochondria (lots of science words), which ultimately is important in making energy (ATP) for our cells to function! Anyway, there are multiple B vitamins that go into the cycle which we get from our diets. One of those is Thiamine. When we are Thiamine deficient, it can cause multiple different problems but one of the potential symptoms is peripheral neuropathy!!! Peripheral neuropathy presents as decreased sensation in the extremities (peripheries like hands and feet). Along with decreased sensation, burning, numbness and/or tingling can also be present. Podiatrists commonly diagnose and treat multiple types of neuropathy, especially in patients with diabetes. I remember multiple patients at Pueblo Ankle and Foot Care not having any feeling in their feet and even having wounds that they weren’t aware of because of their loss of sensation. Not all patients with neuropathy are deficient in Thiamine but some are. One of the products that Pueblo Ankle and Foot Care sells to its patients is Neuremedy. This is a vitamin supplement for patients with neuropathy and guess what it has in it?? Thiamine!! I thought this was a pretty great connection between something that I’m learning here in Biochemistry that applies directly to work as a Podiatrist!

On a side note, when our dishwasher runs in our apartment, it sounds like We Will Rock You, by Queen. It’s the little things. 🙂

Oh and also, I passed my test this week! Granted I scored a 76% which isn’t as good as I wanted but I did pass and that’s what matters! I learned from the test and am changing my study techniques for the next one so I can do better!

Have a good week everyone.

Levi Smith, PMAC & Podiatry Student at DMU

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