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Thiamine deficiency observed in a cancer patient's caregiver

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 January 2019

Hideki Onishi*
Affiliation:
Department of Psycho-oncology, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, Saitama, Japan
Mayumi Ishida
Affiliation:
Department of Psycho-oncology, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, Saitama, Japan
Nozomu Uchida
Affiliation:
Department of General Medicine, Ogano Town Central Hospital, Saitama, Japan
Takao Takahashi
Affiliation:
Department of Supportive Medicine, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, Saitama, Japan
Daisuke Furuya
Affiliation:
Department of General Medicine, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, Saitama, Japan
Yasuhiro Ebihara
Affiliation:
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, Saitama, Japan
Izumi Sato
Affiliation:
Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Graduate School of Medicine and Public Health, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Tatsuo Akechi
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioral Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Aichi, Japan
*
Address for correspondence: Hideki Onishi, MD, PhD, Department of Psycho-oncology, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, 1397-1 Yamane, Hidaka City, Saitama 350-1298, Japan. E-mail: honishi@saitama-med.ac.jp

Abstract

Objective

Thiamine deficiency (TD) is recognized in various kinds of disease with associated loss of appetite including cancer; however, TD has not been recognized in the family caregivers of cancer patients to date.

Method

From a series of cancer patient caregivers, we reported an aged family caregiver who developed TD while caring for the cancer patient.

Result

The caregiver was a 90-year-old male. He had been accompanying his wife, who was diagnosed with colon cancer 4 years previously, on hospital visits as the primary caregiver, but because of psychological issues, he was recommended to visit the psycho-oncology department's “caregiver's clinic” for a consultation. Detailed examination revealed that his appetite had been only about 50% of usual from about one year before, and he had lost 12 kg in weight in one year. The diagnosis of TD was supported by his abnormally low serum thiamine level.

Significance of the results

This report demonstrates that there is a possibility that care providers could develop TD from the burdens associated with caregiving. TD should be considered whenever there is a loss of appetite lasting for more than 2 weeks, and medical staff should pay careful attention to the physical condition of care providers to prevent complications resulting from TD.

Type
Case Report
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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