Severe numbness, shooting pains, and a sensation of terribly swollen feet are common complications associated with diabetes. The cause of these pains is severe damage to the nerves traveling to the lower legs and feet.
I have had the occasion to treat several people with this condition as well as the more severe autonomic neuropathy, which is also fairly common with diabetes and can be associated with abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmia), abdominal pains, and gastrointestinal malfunction.
Medications for these conditions mostly mask symptoms while doing nothing to correct the problem.
Worse yet, some are associated with significant side effects.
A number of natural compounds and extracts have been shown in studies (as well as in my own experience) to significantly improve neuropathic pain and disability.
Most effective were hesperidin, curcumin, DHA and borage oil, R-lipoic acid, Ginkgo biloba, tocotrienols, and the B vitamins.
All of these have been shown to be highly effective and safe.
For more difficult of cases of neuropathy, you might add St. John’s wort to the regimen.
The doses I have used successfully include the following:
• Curcumin — 500 mg of the bioperine form taken three times a day with meals
• Hesperidin — 500 mg taken three times a day with meals
• DHA — 1,000 mg twice a day with borage oil 1,000 mg twice a day
• R-lipoic acid — 300 mg taken three times a day with meals
• B-complex with the riboflavin-5-PO4 and Pyridoxal- 5-PO4 included. One capsule three times a day
• Folinate — 500 mcg a day
• Methylcobalamin — 5,000 mcg a day (sublingual)
• N-acetyl-L-Cysteine — 750 mg taken three times a day with meals
If the pain still persists, then add:
• Ginkgo biloba — 120 to 180 mg per capsule standardized with 24 percent flavone glycosides and 6 percent terpene lactones. One capsule taken twice a day with a meal. Do not take with any blood thinning medications or aspirin or ibuprofen.
• St. John’s wort — 300 mg of the 0.3 percent hypericin taken three times a day with meals. It can cause a hypersensitivity to the sun, which disappears once stopped. It can also interfere with the metabolism of certain drugs, which your pharmacists can advise you concerning your medications.
• Benfotiamine — 150 mg capsules; one taken twice a day with a meal. This is a long-acting form of vitamin B1, which has shown significant benefit in experimental diabetic nerve pains.
In most cases, the pain lessened progressively the longer the supplements were taken.
Not only do most people experience better control of blood sugar, they also reduce nerve inflammation (the cause of the pain) and free radical damage, improve nerve microvascular blood flow, and stimulate repair of the damaged nerves.
Patients will also reduce the damage caused by the diabetes in a number of organs and tissues, such as the eyes, the blood vessels, the heart, lungs, the kidneys, and the brain.
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