People with type 2 diabetes and unstable or poor blood sugar control are prone to various levels of nerve damage or neuropathy. How does this show up… usually as numbness, tingling and loss of feeling, particularly in your hands and feet. Sometimes you have no perception of touch or temperature on the soles of your feet, and walking may be an ordeal. Or even continuous pain and aching in your lower legs from which you find it difficult to get relief.
The conventional way of treating the various associated diabetic conditions, including peripheral neuropathy, is with drugs. Sometimes certain drugs actually worsen the diabetic condition leading to more intensive drug therapy. If you have never taken supplements before, the idea of taking them can seem strange to you. You may even equate supplements with medications, but they are not.
Nutritional supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, phytonutrients or plant nutrients, or substances found in the metabolic pathways of your body. As you already know, vitamins and minerals are substances your body requires to survive.
Herbs are not required by the body but they have been used for thousands of years to correct disturbances in the body, even serious disease. Phytonutrients are some of the ingredients found in herbs and plants that work to reverse certain health conditions.
Peripheral neuropathy is a diabetic complication when your hands and feet become very difficult to feel. They go numb. When this happens, you know the nerves are not being fed properly. They need the extra nutrients so they can work as they were meant to. That’s when supplements can make a big difference.
Five supplements that can help you overcome peripheral neuropathy are:
1. B vitamins: The B vitamins including biotin, choline, inositol and thiamine all work together to feed and nourish your nerve impulse transmissions.
2. Lecithin: Lecithin is made from soybeans which contains phospholipids. Phospholipids are important in all membrane structure, especially myelin sheath production and nerve protection
3. Alpha-lipoic acid: Alpha-lipoic acid has long been used in Europe for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Research indicates this powerful antioxidant blocks the enzyme that causes swelling and protects your nerves.
4. L-Arginine: This amino acid increases circulation and can help in cases where the strength in your muscles has decreased.
5. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA): Diabetics often have difficulty converting dietary fats to GLA… supplemental GLA has been found to be effective therapy for peripheral neuropathy.
No supplement is going to cure you of peripheral neuropathy altogether, but any relief from the pain and tingling of this common diabetic complication can make a difference. As well as considering taking supplements for your peripheral neuropathy, it is also important to prevent more harm from high blood sugar levels.