Neuropathy occurs when nerve damage leads to pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in one or more parts of the body. Several different things can cause neuropathy; one of the most common is diabetes. Neuropathy can cause a great deal of suffering, sleep deprivation and depression. Fortunately there are ways to protect your nerves, as well as reduce the symptoms if you have already been diagnosed with neuropathy.

Approximately 60 percent of people with diabetes eventually develop neuropathy. Nerve damage is responsible for many of the complications of diabetes; it is the leading cause of lower limb amputations in diabetics. You are more likely to develop neuropathy if you have poor control over your blood sugar or you have sustained high blood sugar. Rates of diabetes are climbing rapidly all across the world. People are also developing type 2 diabetes at a younger age than has previously occurred. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they are to develop neuropathy. It can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable condition and conventional medical treatment often produces very unsatisfactory results.

What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

The following symptoms are possible:

  • Numbness, prickling, or tingling sensations in the feet or hands. Symptoms come on gradually and can spread upwards into the arms and legs
  • Sharp, jabbing or throbbing sensations
  • Freezing or burning, painful sensations
  • Burning hot feet or legs while in bed at night
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch in specific places
  • Poor coordination and increased incidence of falling
  • Numbness of the feet and not feeling your feet while walking
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bowel, bladder, or digestive problems can occur if nerves to those organs are affected

What causes neuropathy?

These are the most common causative agents:

  • Diabetes
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • AIDS
  • Long term high alcohol intake
  • Chemotherapy and radiation
  • B vitamin deficiencies
  • Some medications, particularly antibiotics
  • Tumors affecting the spine
  • Pressure on a nerve, such as caused by an injury

The following strategies can help protect your nerves

--Avoid sugar and flour and the foods and drinks that contain them. Also avoid industrial seed oil and every food that contains it. The only safe vegetable oils to consume are cold pressed olive oil, cold pressed macadamia nut oil or organic coconut oil.

--The cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins can cause neuropathy, along with a host of other side effects. Examples of statins are Lipitor, Pravachol, Zocor and Lipex. If you are taking one of these drugs and suffer with neuropathy, you may want to discuss this with your doctor. Our book Cholesterol the Real Truth gives you a treatment plan to lower your cholesterol.

--Have a blood test for vitamin B12. Deficiency is extremely common, and apart from neuropathy can cause fatigue, foggy head, low mood and low motivation. The diabetes medication metformin can cause B12 deficiency.

--Make sure your diet contains sufficient protein. It is very important to eat protein at each meal. This will help to keep your blood sugar stable and significantly reduce the risk of carb and sugar cravings. It is easier to maintain a healthy diet if you are feeling satiated. Meat, seafood, poultry, and eggs are all excellent sources of protein. Plant foods like legumes, nuts, and seeds do contain some protein, but they also contain quite a lot of carbohydrate, and the protein in them is poorly digested (not very bio-available). Whey is another great source of protein and having a whey protein smoothie is quick and convenient when you don’t have the time to cook a proper meal.

--Make sure you’re not deficient in the minerals required for healthy blood sugar control. They are primarily chromium and magnesium. It is very difficult to obtain enough of these minerals through modern diets, and some medication increases the loss of these minerals from your body, particularly diuretics. Chromium and magnesium work best when combined with the herbs Gymnema and bitter melon, such as in Glicemic Balance capsules. People who experience high levels of stress usually need to take a magnesium supplement because stress washes it out of your body.

--If you’re a diabetic or pre diabetic, berberine is extremely beneficial because it helps normalize blood sugar and blood insulin levels. Berberine also helps improve blood fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides, which are often elevated in diabetics.

--Ensure you have plenty of beneficial fats in your diet, as fat provides a protective coating around your nerves and facilitates their function. You can find beneficial fatty acids in fish, olive oil, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, whole eggs, virgin organic coconut oil and the fat on grass fed red meat.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.