Choline deficiency is caused by inadequate intake of choline-rich foods, such as eggs, beef liver, nuts, and soybeans. It can also result from certain medical conditions, including liver disease, malabsorption disorders, and certain medications.
Choline deficiency is typically diagnosed through a blood test that measures choline levels. Additional tests may be done to identify underlying medical conditions that can lead to choline deficiency.
Differential diagnosis of choline deficiency includes other nutritional deficiencies, such as folate or vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as liver diseases, malabsorption disorders, and certain medications.
Treatment of choline deficiency depends on the underlying cause. If the deficiency is caused by inadequate intake, increasing dietary intake of choline-rich foods such as eggs, beef liver, nuts, and soybeans can help. If the deficiency is caused by an underlying medical condition, treatment of the condition may be necessary. Supplementation with choline, either orally or intravenously, is also an option.
With adequate choline supplementation and dietary changes, a person with choline deficiency can have a good prognosis. However, if the deficiency is caused by an underlying medical condition, the prognosis may depend on the underlying condition.