Peripheral neuropathy is a condition involving damage to the peripheral nerves due to various underlying conditions, including diabetes, chemotherapy, HIV and autoimmune disorders. Since there is currently no FDA-approved cure, patients depend on pain relievers and lifestyle changes to manage their symptoms and ease pain.
Good nutrition is essential as it helps build a strong immune system. A strong immune system may help fight diseases, infections and the flu. For people suffering from diabetic peripheral neuropathy, controlling blood sugar levels can help manage pain. Low-carb diets and ketogenic diets have helped some people reduce the symptoms of their neuropathy. Along with nutrition, a balanced intake of vitamins is important. This article will look at nutrition and related factors that may help you manage your condition.
Controlling blood sugar levels
Persons with diabetes must regularly check their blood sugar levels to ensure they are within a healthy range. It is important to manage carbohydrate intake as the body breaks down carbs into sugars before digestion. Fiber helps slow carb digestion, thereby slowing sugar absorption. Opting for whole grains and reducing your intake of processed foods may also help you maintain your blood sugar levels. Other ways to control blood sugar include regular exercise, managing your sleep as well as your stress level.
Consult your physicians and dieticians to find out how and if you should incorporate vitamins and supplements to help manage your peripheral neuropathy.
Vitamin B: A deficiency of vitamin B-12 was found to be one of the causes of peripheral neuropathy, as it causes nerve damage. Besides vitamins and supplements, low-fat dairy foods, fish and eggs are a good source of vitamin B. Oysters and mussels provide about 4 times the RDI (Reference Daily Intake) of vitamin B12 per serving.
Vitamin C: Studies have shown that vitamin C has played an important role in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It helps protect tissues and cells from oxidative damage.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D levels are related to neuropathy pain and balance issues.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E has analgesic properties and studies have shown that a single dose or regular intake of low doses of vitamin E is effective in treating neuropathic pain.
Dehydration occurs when the amount of water your body loses is more than what it takes in. Staying hydrated can help you tackle other issues, such as headaches, and improve your focus and mood. Water is also important for nerve function. Low water levels lead to a disruption of nerve function, which can result in pain.
Low-carb diets and gluten-free diets are popular with those suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Celiac disease can pose risk factors in causing neuropathy. Malabsorption of important nutrients is common in people who suffer from celiac disease, particularly for those who are newly-diagnosed or have not treated their condition. Consult a dietician or physician to find out what foods aggravate and alleviate your nerve pain to help build a diet according to your body’s needs.
Each neuropathy patient will respond differently to various diets and treatments. To learn more about specific measures you can take to control your peripheral neuropathy, consult your physician and dietitian.
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