Sayings like "an apple a day keep the doctor away" and "you are what you eat" highlight the importance of a healthy diet to our overall well-being. Several studies have shown that nutrition plays a contributing role. Still, it's not the only thing that determines whether or not we get certain diseases or how our bodies react to them. This is why many dietary aids and recommendations for dealing with specific health issues exist. One such condition is called nerve repair damage.
Weakness, numbness, and discomfort are all symptoms of nerve repair damage, a form of nerve failure. Diabetic nerve repair damage is a common cause of peripheral nerve repair damage. Still, other illnesses, including lupus, Guillain-Barre syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjorgen's syndrome, can also produce nerve repair damage. In some situations, nerve repair damage might manifest as a response to chemotherapy.
Although there are conventional treatments for nerve repair damage, new research suggests that nutritional supplements may help some people manage their symptoms. Supplemental nutrition typically has fewer adverse effects than other therapy options. Still, it's smart to consult your doctor before stopping the traditional medication and beginning a new dietary supplement. Here are six nerve repair-related dietary supplements worth discussing with your physician:
The presence of vitamin B-12 in various foods is essential for healthy neuron and red blood cell development. Low vitamin B-12 levels have been linked to an increased risk of nerve repair damage and other neurological issues.
The following medications have been linked to B-12 deficiency:
- A common remedy for managing type 2 diabetes is metformin (marketed under a variety of brand names, including Glumetza, Riomet, and others)
- Medicine that blocks the production of acid in the stomach is called a proton pump inhibitor (Prevacid 24 HR, Prilosec OTC, others)
- Histamine (H-2) blockers, which lower stomach acid (Tagamet HB, Pepcid AC, others)
Vitamin B-12 supplementation may aid with diabetic nerve repair damage; however, this is not yet proven. Pilot studies have shown that this method can help reduce pain and other strange feelings. B-12 supplements are often used to treat nerve damage caused by diabetes, but this hasn't been shown to work for people who lack vitamin B-12.
When taken correctly, vitamin B-12 supplements are considered safe. Fish, lean red meat, and breakfast cereals with added vitamins are all great food choices that naturally contain vitamin B-12.
Numerous foods contain the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid. Tissue damage can be avoided or mitigated with the help of antioxidant molecules the body can use (oxidative stress). Diabetic nerve repair damage is a disorder that includes oxidative stress. Researchers have found that alpha-lipoic acid can also help reduce glucose levels in the blood.
Several small studies have shown that people with nerve damage caused by diabetes can get relief from their symptoms, such as less pain and better scores on nerve function tests. More extensive research is needed.
When appropriately used, alpha-lipoic acid supplements have a shallow risk of adverse effects. However, alpha-lipoic toxicity may develop if you take this supplement while suffering from a severe lack of thiamin (vitamin B-1). If you regularly consume large quantities of alcohol, you should not take alpha-lipoic acid. Spinach, broccoli, and yeast are all natural sources of alpha-lipoic acid.
The kidneys and liver create acetyl-L-carnitine as a chemical molecule. The oxidative stress in the body can be lowered with the help of acetyl-L-carnitine. It may play a role in the maintenance and repair of nerve tissue.
In a few clinical trials, people with diabetic nerve damage who had their nerves repaired felt less pain and had fewer other problems with their senses. They also did better on nerve function tests. There was additional evidence from these studies to show that beginning treatment early in the disease's progression yields better results. Further research is required.
When used correctly, acetyl-L-carnitine supplements have a low risk of adverse effects. Nausea, vomiting, and agitation are all possible adverse reactions.
Don't take acetyl-L-carnitine if you're also taking the blood-thinning drug warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), as doing so can increase the effectiveness of warfarin and the risk of bleeding. Acetyl-L-carnitine may worsen hypothyroidism and seizures in people prone to them or who already have them.
A healthy Diet is Essential
Even though research into the link between dietary supplements and diabetic nerve repair damage is still going on, most people agree that eating a healthy diet is integral to controlling your blood sugar and diabetes complications like diabetic nerve repair damage.
Aim for a healthy-eating plan that's naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Healthy meal plans focus on the following:
Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains
Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
Lean meats, fish, and poultry without the skin
Physical Activity Plays a Crucial Role, Too!
Blood sugar control relies heavily on regular physical activity. If you're on medications to control your blood sugar, talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. Diabetes patients should exercise at least 150 minutes weekly at moderate to strenuous intensity. Try to get at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise most days of the week.
Avoid dehydration by chugging water before, during, and after exercise. And remember to put on a sturdy pair of shoes to keep your feet comfortable.