Diabetic Neuropathy and Nutritional Supplements

Your requirements in nutritional supplements are different than those of other people.

If you have insulin dependent diabetes, you know you need to take insulin to keep your blood sugar under control…

You’ve probably also been told to exercise…

And you’ve definitely been told to watch your diet – especially when it comes to sugar…

What you might not realize is that there are nutritional supplements and vitamins you can take to help control your blood sugar as well.
And many of these supplements can also help with the effects of diabetic neuropathy – one of the chief contributors to amputations in diabetic patients.

The number of clinical studies that show adding key nutrients to the health care regimen of diabetic neuropathy patients is growing constantly.

Granted, these nutritional supplements will not take the place of proper diet, controlling your blood sugar and a sound exercise plan, but they can definitely improve the effectiveness of all of these pieces of the diabetic neuropathy puzzle.

What You Should Look For in Nutritional Supplements

As a patient with diabetic neuropathy, your requirements in nutritional supplements are different than those of other people. While many companies use the convenience of their once-a-day multivitamin as a selling point, a pill you take only once a day is only going to be really effective for the two hours after take it. You need more than that for the symptoms of your diabetic neuropathy.

To get the full effect for treating your diabetic neuropathy, you need to maintain a steady therapeutic level of these vitamins and nutrients throughout the day to help keep your blood sugar under control.

Choose supplements that you take at last three times a day to keep the levels steady in your blood stream.

And look for nutritional supplements that come from an FDA approved manufacturer to ensure that what you’re taking is pharmaceutical grade.

Which Vitamin Supplements You Should Take

There is so much information on the market now about nutritional supplements and vitamins. Don’t go out there and buy vitamins without being prepared. Do your research and talk to a specialist like your NeuropathyDR® clinician to make sure you’re taking the right vitamins for your specific diabetic neuropathy symptoms. We have a very specific protocol in our clinics.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet of the Top 12 vitamins and nutrients for diabetic neuropathy treatment to help you identify some of the essential supplements that can help your diabetic neuropathy and exactly what they do:

Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – helps maintain healthy oxygen levels in the blood stream which means that you less chance of nerve damage due to poor oxygen levels reaching the nerves. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of thiamine for the average person is 1.0 to 2.4 mg per day but diabetic neuropathy patients should take in the range of 60 mg per day in equally divided doses.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – works in combination with Vitamin B6 to help your body use glucose properly. The RDA is 1.2 to 1.6 mg per day but therapeutic levels should be around 60 mg per day.

Vitamin B6 – along with folic acid and B12, it helps prevent nerve damage and heart attacks. It can also help prevent diabetic blindness and/or vision loss. Therapeutic levels should be at least 60 mg per day but be very careful with your dosage. Some toxicity has been reported with extremely high levels of B6.

Vitamin B12 – works with folic acid to help prevent stroke and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy. It also helps relieve neuropathy pain.

Biotin – when taken in combination with chromium, biotin (a B vitamin) helps insulin work more effectively, keeps the pancreas working well, and lowers blood sugar levels.

Chromium – when taken with biotin, helps insulin work better, keeps the pancreas working well and lowers blood sugar levels.

Copper – helps protect the cells in the pancreas that make insulin healthy, helps prevent diabetes related damage to blood vessels and nerves and lowers blood sugar levels.

Folic Acid – works with B12 to help prevent strokes and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy.

Magnesium – helps relieve diabetic neuropathy pain and helps insulin work more effectively.

Manganese – helps prevent damage to blood vessels and nerves.

Selenium – sometimes called an insulin imitator, selenium helps take blood sugar into the cells. Selenium protects against blood vessel and nerve damage from elevated blood sugar levels, two of the contributing factors in diabetic neuropathy.

Zinc – helps blood sugar get into the cells and insulin work more efficiently.

These supplements, when used properly and under the care and supervision of your NeuropathyDR® clinician, can help improve your diabetic neuropathy symptoms and lessen the chances of permanent nerve damage and eventual amputation.

But take note – these supplements will not take the place of eating properly and exercising. They work in combination with a healthier lifestyle, not in place of it.

And never self prescribe vitamins supplements and nutrients. Work with you NeuropathyDR® clinician to arrive at the levels you need for your particular diabetic neuropathy and blood sugar control issues. As with many other things, too much of a good thing can do more harm than good if not properly regulated and monitored by a specialist.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

Manual Therapies for Your Diabetic Neuropathy

If you have diabetes and one or more of these symptoms[1]:

Chiropractic care for diabetic neuropathy patients usually concentrates on correcting misalignments in the spine.

  • Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Deep pain, especially in your legs and feet
  • Loss of sensation and ability to feel warmth or cold
  • Muscle cramps
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in your arms, hands, legs or feet
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness, especially when you try to stand up
  • Drooping facial muscles
  • Loss of bladder control

You’ve probably been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy.

Your doctor has probably explained that diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy specific to patients who have diabetes and that diabetic neuropathy is caused by lack of blood flow to the nerves and elevated and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

You’re probably taking painkillers…

You’re probably closely monitoring your blood sugar (hopefully)…

You’re probably being more careful about your diet (as you should)…

So how are your diabetic neuropathy symptoms now?

If they’re not improving, you might want to add something else to your treatment plan…

Chiropractic and Manual Physical Therapy Treatments for Diabetic Neuropathy

Chiropractic care for diabetic neuropathy patients usually concentrates on correcting misalignments in the spine.  Those misalignments can wreak havoc on your nervous system and your internal organs – including the pancreas, a direct link to diabetes.

If the other pieces of your treatment puzzle are not working as quickly as you had hoped, and you’re doing everything else your doctor tells you to do, contact your local NeuropathyDR® specialist.  Your NeuropathyDR® has an exclusive treatment protocol with proven results for diabetic neuropathy patients.  An integral part of that treatment protocol is chiropractic adjustment to correct problems with your spinal alignment.

Pain Reduction and Nerve Repair

As a result of your chiropractic adjustment for diabetic neuropathy, the next step in your treatment for diabetic neuropathy is taking steps to reduce your symptoms and help the nerves repair themselves.  This can be done through a combination of topical pain medications, manual manipulation of the bones and joints to properly align the nervous system and nerve stimulation.

Proper alignment of the bones and muscles and nerve stimulation are all important aspects of successful treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

Personal Care Tips For The Diabetic Neuropathy Patient

Diabetes is the fifth deadliest disease in the United States and the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is growing at an alarming rate.

One of the things that makes diabetes so deadly is the risk for infection and resulting amputation.  Diabetic neuropathy is a serious contributing factor in the risk for amputation.

While you’re undergoing treatment for diabetic neuropathy[2] and having chiropractic adjustments, pay particular attention to your feet, hands, arms and leg.  Contact your NeuropathyDR® specialist immediately if you notice any blisters, sores, torn skin, or inflammation.   The combination of your diabetes and your diabetic neuropathy can lead to very serious infections that are slow or impossible to heal.   This can lead to dire complications that can be avoided if you receive the proper medical treatment early.

Do a visual inspection and don’t rely on soreness or pain.  Your diabetic neuropathy impairs your ability to feel pain in your extremities and you may not notice the problem until it’s too late for successful treatment.

Keep a close eye on your diabetes.  Make note of any of the symptoms we described.  If you have any of the issues we’ve discussed, contact your local NeuropathyDR® and take full advantage of their expertise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathies, including diabetic neuropathy and their ability to provide chiropractic care to correct misalignment in your spine.

The positive effects of chiropractic adjustment on diabetic neuropathy are being affirmed by a growing number of case studies.  Give it serious consideration in treating your diabetic neuropathy.

For more information on coping with diabetic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com/.


Flu Vaccine and Peripheral Neuropathy

It’s that time of year again…

For the average, healthy person getting a flu shot is a no-brainer.

Pre-flu season…

And everywhere you look are signs advertising “Flu Shots – Walk Ins Welcome” or “Get Your Flu Shot Today.”

For the average, healthy person getting a flu shot is a no-brainer.

After all, the flu accounts for 200,000 hospitalizations every year and up to 36,000 deaths.  If you can take a shot and avoid that, why wouldn’t you?

But if you have peripheral neuropathy caused by

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer (and you’re undergoing chemotherapy)
  • Shingles
  • HIV/AIDS or some other immune system disorder
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Gluten sensitivity (also known as celiac disease)
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Hereditary neuropathy

You may think that a flu shot isn’t for you.

HIV patients tend to be especially skeptical about receiving the vaccine.

If you have peripheral neuropathy caused by any of these underlying illnesses, you need to make an informed choice about whether or not to get a flu shot.

This is what you need to know.

The Flu Vaccine Will Not Actually Make You Sick

Contrary to urban myth, the flu vaccine will not make you sick.  It works by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that actually fight the virus. It does not give you the flu.

You also need to know that there is no evidence that the flu shot will make your neuropathy symptoms worse if your neuropathy is caused by any of the underlying illnesses we listed above.  In fact, the Centers for Disease Control strongly recommends that peripheral neuropathy patients with any of these illnesses receive a flu shot every year because they’re more prone to developing serious complications if they get the flu.

A Word of Caution for Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP Patients

If your peripheral neuropathy is caused by Guillain-Barre Syndrome or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), talk to your NeuropathyDR clinician or other medical professional before you receive the flu vaccine.

Because the vaccine keeps you from getting the flu by tricking your immune system into producing antibodies to fight it off,  if you have neuropathy caused by Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP,  this immune stimulation may actually cause a relapse in patients with a history of either of these illnesses.

If you have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome and the resultant peripheral neuropathy in the past, it might be a good idea to wait at least one year after your symptoms are gone before you receive the flu shot.

If you have CIDP and your symptoms are still present, you might want to avoid the flu vaccine.  Talk to your NeuropathyDR clinician or other medical professional and consider the chances of complications from the vaccine as opposed to the health risks of actually getting the flu.  Take into account:

  • Advanced age
  • Other chronic medical conditions
  • Possible relapse triggered by getting the flu virus

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you receive the flu shot every year if you fall into any of these groups:

  • You’re six months to 19 years old
  • You’re 50 years of age or older
  • You have a chronic medical condition (lung, heart, liver or kidney disease, blood disorders, diabetes)
  • You live in a nursing home or other long term care facility
  • You live with or care for someone at high risk for complications from the flu (healthcare workers, people in your household (i.e., children too young to be vaccinated or people with chronic medical conditions)

In the end, the decision to get the flu shot or take a pass on it is up to you.  Talk to your NeuropathyDR clinician or other medical professional before you make your decision and do what’s best for you.

For more information on coping with your peripheral neuropathy, get our Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com/.