Sun, Dec 23, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Poor diet can cause headaches, health issues, doctor says

By Su Meng-chuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, and staff writer

People should beware of eating too much convenience store food, as a nutritional imbalance could lead to other health problems, a Taichung-based doctor said.

Shih Yi-en (施懿恩), an attending physician at Cheng Ching Hospital’s Department of Neurology, said that he recently treated a male patient complaining of severe headaches during sex — a condition the patient feared was because he was developing a malignant brain tumor.

Shih cited the patient as saying that the condition had begun when he got married and always acted up when he was having intercourse with his wife.

A carotid ultrasound showed that while he did not have a brain tumor, his blood was flowing abnormally quickly through the blood vessels in his brain — almost double or triple the average speed among adults, Shih said.

A blood test showed that the man had a vitamin B12 deficiency, Shih said.

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in maintaining an individuals’ neurological health and a long-term B12 deficiency could lead to dementia, cervical spondylosis and stroke, Shih said.

The man was suffering from cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, a complication of having autonomic dysfunction, which was brought on by his vitamin B12 deficiency — and was experiencing cerebrovascular spasms due to the excited state of his body during intercourse, Shih said.

The man was a late sleeper, chronic drinker and chronic smoker, Shih said, adding that he ate convenience store food and other processed food frequently prior to his marriage, resulting in his vitamin B12 deficiency.

The man was cured of his headaches after taking B12 supplements and medication to control cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome for a month, Shih said.

Vitamin B12 can be found in pork, beef, eggs, milk, cheese, clams, Atlantic mackerel and sardines, as well as other foods, Shih said, adding that a person should not become vitamin B12 deficient as long as they maintain a balanced nutritional diet.

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