Nutritious meals, along with the appropriate amount of vitamins, contribute to a healthier life among individuals. There is currently no FDA-approved cure for neuropathy and hence adopting a healthier lifestyle is a great way to help relieve symptoms. Additionally, low-carb diets are popular among neuropathy patients. Here is a quick guide to help you learn more about this diet for neuropathy. However, consult your physician before making any changes to your meals.
What is a low-carb diet?
About 60-70% of diabetic patients are known to suffer from peripheral neuropathy. Hence, they need to make sure to control their blood glucose levels. A low-carb diet restricts the amount of carbohydrates one can consume and instead focuses on replacing them with proteins. For example, a low-carb meal could include meat plus an alternative to pasta, such as vegetable noodles or shirataki noodles. There are many types of low-carb diets, including ketogenic and Atkins diet.
How do low-carb diets work?
Low-carb diets enforce a lower consumption of carbohydrates, such as pasta and bread, and switch to an increased protein consumption. First, avoiding excessive sugar or starch helps our body stabilize the blood glucose levels. Secondly, a decrease in insulin (fat-storing hormone) helps in the fat-burning process. Lastly, a high level of ketones in the body through the proteins may also make you feel more satiated (full for a long time) and in turn reduce the amount of food consumed.
What are the benefits of low-carb diets?
A higher blood glucose level is the leading cause of neuropathy in patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy. Moreover, these diets help you maintain your blood sugar level within the proper standards and in some cases, can reverse type 2 diabetes.
What are the disadvantages of low-carb diets?
On The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy’s website, Dr. Shanna Patterson discusses ketogenic diets and adds that more research needs to be done before these diets can be recommended to neuropathy patients who might have a preexisting cardiac condition. There is not enough research supporting the fact that ketogenic diets do not increase chances of heart diseases.
Current Research and Studies on Ketogenic Diets
The research article “Ketogenic Diets and Pain” discusses the study conducted to check the ability of ketogenic diets to reduce pain. Based on the results, some evidence does suggest that a ketogenic diet helps suppress neuropathic pain similar to pain medications like gabapentin. Although there is no evidence on whether it helps treat neuropathy, there is evidence that it does help relieve the pain involved with the condition.
Additionally, the research article “A Ketogenic Diet Reduces Metabolic Syndrome-Induced Allodynia and Promotes Peripheral Nerve Growth in Mice” compares the effects of a ketogenic diet on mice. Results confirmed that these diets help with pre-diabetes complications and also benefits peripheral axons and sensory dysfunction.
Keep in mind that different things work for different patients. If you want to learn more about these diets and other nutritional facts, consult your physician and dietitian.
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- “Low Carb Diet and Diabetic Neuropathy Prevention”. Diabetes.co.uk
- “A Ketogenic Diet Reduces Metabolic Syndrome-Induced Allodynia and Promotes Peripheral Nerve Growth in Mice”. NCBI
- “Which diet to choose for healthy eating with neuropathy”. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
- “A Low-Carb Diet for Beginners”. Diet Doctor
- “Ketogenic Diets and Pain”. Sage Journals