Neuropathy pain is a complicated and frustrating condition for doctors and patients. Nutrition plays a large part in nerve health, and many pain management doctors may now consider nutrition therapy a viable part of your treatment.
B vitamins are essential for normal nerve function. A good B-100 B-complex vitamin taken daily helps keep your nerves in top shape to prevent pain. The two most important B vitamins are B2 (Riboflavin) and B12.
- Riboflavin is responsible for altering the chemical makeup of the other B-vitamins to make them available to the body. Without B2, nutrients such as B6, folate, iron and niacin cannot metabolize properly.
- Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve function because it maintains the health of the myelin sheath, which covers and protects nerves. Once the sheath deteriorates from a B12 deficiency, the nerves are exposed, which causes neuropathy symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness and weakness. A B12 deficiency also causes brain dysfunction.
- CAUTION: B-6 should not be taken in doses higher than 200 mg, because it has been shown to actually cause neuropathy symptoms at higher doses.
The National Institutes of Health say that up to 70 percent of diabetics suffer from some type of neuropathy. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to lead to a greater risk of diabetes, so it is essential in preventing and controlling the symptoms of the disease. Studies have shown that pain and symptoms of neuropathy can be decreased significantly with high-dose vitamin D therapy. Ask your pain management doctor about what dosage of vitamin D may work for you.
Magnesium is essential to the normal functioning of both peripheral and central nerves. A deficiency can cause the nerves to become excited and increase pain sensitivity by increasing transmission of pain sensations.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Several studies show that the antioxidant, Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) helps lower blood sugar levels, but its ability to kill free radicals helps the most with neuropathy. It also may help with autonomic neuropathy, which is nerve pain in the internal organs. ALA is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, so it may provide protection for nerve tissue there as well. Your pain management doctor may prescribe oral supplements or injections of ALA to help restore nerves to normal function.
Researchers are making large strides in providing the links between nutrition and neuropathy pain. Talk to your pain management doctor about nutritional therapies that may help you live a more normal, pain-free life. Contact a Pain Treatment Center in your area for more information.Share