7 nutrients can offer relief from diabetic neuropathy
(NaturalHealth365) At least 100 million: that’s how many Americans are currently living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of these people aren’t even aware of their diagnosis yet. Since this can delay their treatment, it can also their risk of related complications, including diabetic neuropathy.
No doubt, nerve pain, weakness, and other issues caused by diabetic neuropathy can be life-altering. But, for people living with this debilitating issue, there is hope!
Growing research reveals that increasing your intake of at least seven key nutrients can provide a natural remedy to uncomfortable neuropathy signs and symptoms.
Painful diabetic neuropathy linked to lower quality of life and limb loss
Diabetic neuropathy is a leading complication of diabetes – as many as half or more of people with type 2 diabetes will develop it. It occurs when chronically elevated levels of blood sugar inflame, irritate, and ultimately damage nerves and the small blood vessels that support them (especially in the hands and feet).
Damage caused by diabetic neuropathy can affect nerves that transmit both motor information and sensory information. That’s why symptoms of the condition – including numbness, tingling, burning, diminished reflexes, delayed skin healing, heightened sensitivity to temperature or touch, weakness, and muscle spasms in the arms or legs – can affect the way you feel and move.
Conventionally trained doctors often prescribe medications to manage diabetic neuropathy. These medications may help, but they’ll typically only hide symptoms and can be incredibly expensive to boot (not to mention replete with side effects like constipation, nausea, and chest pain).
Fortunately, we have evidence showing that certain nutrients can relieve, prevent, or even slow the progression of this condition.
Promising research reveals these 7 nutrients can manage, slow down and even reverse diabetic neuropathy
Are you at your wits end with your painful diabetic neuropathy? Chat with an integrative physician about adding some of these nutrients to your daily routine:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, are potently anti-inflammatory and have even been shown to reverse nerve damage and restore nerve function in animal studies. The minimum recommended intake is about 500 milligram (mg) of DHA and EPA per day, but studies reveal that beneficial effects may be optimized with an intake of 1,000 mg per day or more.
- Vitamin D: A 2017 study from the Journal of Diabetes Research found that supplementing with vitamin D can improve quality of life and significantly reduce pain in people with neuropathy. It’s consistent with data showing a link between Vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of neuropathy. Health experts often advise getting around 1,000 to 2,000 international units of vitamin D per day or more.
- Curcumin: Another powerful anti-inflammatory compound, curcumin (from turmeric) has been shown to turn on the body’s own pain-relief system, prevent oxidative stress and damage, and minimize abnormal electrical signals sent by damaged nerves. Recommended daily dosages range from 500-2,000 mg of curcumin per day.
- Alpha-lipoic acid: This natural substance has been shown to prevent neuropathy from worsening and can relieve common symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling, and reflexes. At an intake of just 600 mg per day, research has even shown that people with diabetes are able to reduce their dependency on conventional pain medications.
- Folic acid: This B vitamin – that’s super important for fetal devleopment – has also been found to reduce the levels of an acid in the body called homocysteine, which is associated with nerve damage and heart disease. Research reveals that supplementing with 1,000 daily micrograms of folic acid for four months can lead to improved nerve function and healing.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine: This amino acid acts as a natural pain-reliever and neuroprotective agent. Taking anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 mg per day is linked to reduced pain and disability, increased nerve growth and repair, and increased nerve conduction velocity.
- Benfotiamine: Last, but not least, on the list is benfotiamine – a fat-soluble version of thiamine (vitamin B1). Consuming around 320 to 600 mg per day (even for less than a month) has been shown in studies to improve both pain and sensation in people with diabetic neuropathy.
In addition to these nutrients, be sure to look for other natural remedies to alleviate and manage your diabetic nerve pain, including: smoking cessation, exercise, massage, warm baths, meditation, and acupuncture.
Ultimately, it’s all about never giving up on your desire to live a pain free life and finding what works best for you.
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