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Can You Reverse Diabetic Neuropathy

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A Low Carbohydrate Diet

How To Reverse Peripheral Neuropathy

This is a BIG question. Many people recommend a low carbohydrate diet , for type 2 diabetes reversal. And here’s why this is the worst idea possible.

A low carbohydrate diet like keto can provide weight loss. In the short term. It can even offer initially better blood glucose levels because you’re not getting much glucose into your body. Again, this is in the short term.

But over the long term, flooding your body with a high-fat diet can be disastrous for your long-term health.

Because you’re skyrocketing your insulin resistance, and basically turning your diabetes into a ticking time bomb.

Because the moment you eat any more glucose, all of that effort towards “diabetes reversal” will have actually been even worse for you!

So while a low carbohydrate diet can seem tempting , you’ll likely pay for it in the long term.

What Are The Common Symptoms Of Neuropathy

The result of this damage includes everything from chronic pain to impaired digestive system, urinary tract, and cardiovascular function. But the most common signs of neuropathy include pain, tingling, and numbness in the extremities.

When such symptoms set in, the idea of exercising can become a bit scary. After all, sense of touch is your bodys built-in protective system, says Jason Machowsky, RD, CSCS, a sports dietitian and exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. So if that protective system isnt running at top speed, and your hands and feet are tingling or even numb, how safe is your workout?

Management Of Sensory Loss

As with muscle weakness, it is not possible to repair the damaged nerves that control sensation. However, it is vital not to ignore this problem, as the sensory loss of neuropathy can lead to severe injuries and infections:

  • Wound care: If you have neuropathy, your injuries and wounds may not be as painful as they normally would have been without neuropathy. However, this lack of pain is a real problem, as you may not notice a wound becoming larger or becoming infected due to the lack of pain. Therefore, whenever you have a wound or an injury, you need to pay close attention to keeping it clean and watching for signs of infection, even if you cannot feel the pain.
  • Physical therapy for balance: Sensory loss interferes with balance, and physical therapy can help you learn how to maximize your abilities and compensate for your deficits so that you can maintain better balance.
  • Electrical stimulation: The therapy of electrically stimulating muscles may be helpful in reducing the sensory loss of neuropathy, and some research studies point to benefits of this method.

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So Is Diabetic Neuropathy Reversible

There are many sites/sources on the internet that claim that you can reverse neuropathy in 7 days which is a nice tagline but not true. True neuropathy will take more than 7 days to reverse.

So although a 7 day reversal of neuropathy may not be possible, there is still hope.

While many report that diabetic neuropathy is a progressive degenerative and irreversible complication of diabetes, this no longer holds entirely true.

More research and neurologists are now classifying diabetic neuropathy into 3 categories:

1) Reversible

3) Almost impossible to reverse

And the treatment will differ depending upon the category you fall in.

Now if you want to to treat diabetic neuropathy effectively it involves looking at the following 5 areas:

Guidelines For Treating Diabetic Neuropathy

Can Diabetic Neuropathy be Reversed?

Even though reversal of nerve damage is not possible, you should not give up hope in regaining your quality of life and slowing the progression of this disease. There are four goals that you want to aim to accomplish when setting out to treat this disease:

  • Reducing pain
  • Restoring function
  • Avoiding further complications

While there are pain medication drugs that you can take for pain relief, these treat the symptoms, not the cause. In order to find lasting relief, there are many natural lifestyle changes and holistic methods that you can employ to slow the progression and fight the causes of neuropathic pain.

Read Also: How Long Does Thc Stay In A Diabetics System

Risk Factors For Diabetic Neuropathy

The risk factors for diabetic neuropathy are similar to those for hyperglycemia. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Poor blood sugar control
  • Weak or shrinking thigh muscles
  • Weakness in your hand

Well touch on each of the symptoms below, and focus on which forms of diabetic neuropathy tend to cause them. However, its recommended that you get immediate medical help if:

  • You have a cut or sore thats infected and wont heal
  • You have a burning, tingling, weakness, or pain that interferes with daily activities or sleep
  • You experience changes in urination, digestion, or sexual function
  • You experience dizziness or fainting
  • Or, if you experience the above symptoms in tandem with a known diagnosis of some form of diabetes

Vitamins & Supplements For Neuropathy

Vitamins and supplements are often recommended to neuropathy patients. Its unclear whether or not and to what extent they help prevent, treat, and alleviate diabetic neuropathy. But many people have reported the lessening of pain and the decreasing of symptoms intensity.

Vitamin B-12, Alpha-lipoic acid, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, N-acetyl cysteine, Curcumin, and Fish oil are the ones usually used by neuropathy patients. Vitamins and dietary supplements for neuropathy must be part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. Always ask for your doctors advice first.

Also Check: Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes In Children

Can Diabetic Nerve Damage Be Reversed

One of the many challenges faced by people with diabetes is the risk of diabetic nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy.

This painful condition is caused by chronically high blood glucose , and often manifests in the legs and feet.

In this article, well discuss the types, causes, and symptoms of diabetic nerve damage, and explore how changing your diet to treat, in tandem with medication, can significantly lower your blood glucose and help combat this condition.

How I Was Able To Reverse My Diabetic Neuropathy

Reverse diabetic neuropathy with the help of Dr. Bao Thai

One evening both of my hands and forearms simply went numb. It felt similar to when your hand goes to sleep and you have a tingling and prickling feeling not pleasant. I had never experienced this before and thinking it would go away on its own, I waited a week before seeking medical advice.

At the hospital, the doctor diagnosed the symptoms as diabetic neuropathy and told me that she was not sure if the symptoms would ever go away sometimes they do and sometimes they dont. I was really scared because I felt like I could not live my life in that type of constant pain.

I dedicated myself to getting and keeping my blood sugar in the normal range, eating extremely healthy and exercising every day. Luckily, a blood test revealed that my fasting glucose level was 110 which is in the normal range right on the border, so I was not prescribed diabetic medication. But I knew that I had type 2 diabetes for years before.

The doctor gave me three prescriptions to help with the neuropathy. One was simply B vitamin supplements which I took three times a day. Diabetic neuropathy can be caused and aggravated by a lack of B vitamins in the blood.The other prescription which helped was simple muscle ointment similar to Bengay which I rubbed on the painful areas. Both of these prescriptions seem to moderately help.

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Home Remedies And Natural Treatments

This is a great place to start after having gained a sense of control over your blood sugar levels. There are certain supplements, vitamins, procedures and topical creams that can help you manage and/or prevent early stages of peripheral neuropathy from progressing rapidly.

i.) Supplements and/or vitamins

Neuropathic pain can be treated effectively when certain vitamins are consumed. And these vitamins are readily available in certain types of food. However, not everyone is able to absorb all of those nutrients from the food they eat. Whether that be from dietary restrictions or from a disease. All 4 of the following supplements/vitamins are supported by research in treating nerve pain/nerve damage due to diabetic neuropathy. While others such as omega 3 fish oil, curcumin, evening primose oil, and acetyl-L-carnitine have shown positive results as well.

ii.) Acupuncture

Has been demonstrated to successfully reduce pain from peripheral neuropathy. Studies have shown how beneficial it is in those dealing with pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.

iii.) Topical creams

Capsaicin when applied topically may improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. However, to confirm its efficacy further RCTs need to be conducted.

iv.) Medications

There are certain groups of medications that are particularly good at controlling and/or managing neuropathic pain. These groups include anticonvulsants , antidepressants , opioids and other nonopoid pain relief medications.

v.) Physical therapy

Reversing Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Through Exercise

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government.Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details.
First Posted : September 27, 2018Last Update Posted : October 14, 2021
Condition or disease
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Study Type :
Reversing Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Through Exercise
Actual Study Start Date :
  • Change in Body mass index measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. The BMI calculation divides an adult’s weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. For example, A BMI of 25 means 25kg/m2.
  • Change in glycosylated hemoglobin The glycosylated hemoglobin test shows what a person’s average blood glucose level was for the 2 to 3 months before the test. This can help determine how well a person’s diabetes is being controlled over time.
  • Change in C-reactive protein Used to evaluate your risk of developing coronary artery disease, a condition in which the arteries of your heart are narrowed. … A simple blood test measures C-reactive protein.
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    Bariatric Surgery And Gastric Bypass

    This is the last, most extreme medical procedure people tend to use to treat diabetes.

    Bariatric surgery is a very effective, if invasive treatment for type two diabetes.

    This is because bariatric surgery changes how your body absorbs and uses nutrients from food. It literally shuts off some parts of your stomach and reroutes your digestive system entirely.

    And when it comes to diabetes, this is a very effective treatment because so much type two diabetes is linked with obesity in the first place.

    However, there’s a big, big asterisk to gastric bypass and bariatric surgery.

    First, there are potential side effects and complications from bariatric surgery that can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening emergencies.

    And second, if you don’t change the habits that lead to your bariatric surgery and gastric bypass in the first place, you may end up in the same position years down the line.

    When it comes to such a big piece of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment like this, there’s no way we can make a healthy recommendation about when or if to take this procedure.

    We can only recommend trying to use the aforementioned strategies to reverse insulin resistance first, and only use bariatric surgery as a last resort.

    Diagnosis Of Diabetic Neuropathy

    Can You Reverse Diabetic Neuropathy

    The good news is that the diagnosis is generally made directly by your doctor based on your symptoms, history and physical examination findings.

    On exam, the following signs will be assessed:

  • Whether your blood pressure and heart rate are normal/well controlled
  • If there are any changes in skin color and texture of the affected extremities
  • Whether or not you have sensitivity to touch and temperature
  • If you have any decrease in muscle tone
  • If an ankle reflex is still present
  • And finally doing a tuning fork test to check for vibration status.
  • And although there is no bad news, most doctors will still conduct confirmation tests if needed. These tests include an EMG study which records how active a muscle actually is and a NCV study which records the speed at which signals get passed along the nerve fibers.

    Remember, seeing your healthcare provider as soon as you start to feel symptoms is important for early diagnosis to take place. An earlier diagnosis may lead to your diabetic neuropathy being reversed before it progresses further.

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    Diabetic Neuropathy Cannot Always Be Reversed

    Although I was lucky, the fact is that many cases of diabetic neuropathy cannot be reversed. After many years of exposure to high blood glucose, the nerves are damaged and simply do not respond. Doctors are hard pressed to explain why this is. As mentioned, the exact triggers and mechanisms of neuropathy are not well understood at this time.

    If you experience the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy is critical that you get your blood glucose level under control. Monitor it daily and take oral diabetes medication if needed. Even if your symptoms cant be reversed, you may be able to prevent the symptoms from spreading to other areas of your body.

    See your doctor to get medications and prescriptions which can help to alleviate the pain. Unfortunately, most commonly prescribed medications are only moderately effective at reducing the pain associated with neuropathy. By all means, get treatment immediately and dont delay.

    Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Reversed All You Need To Know

    Both types of Diabetes mellitus are often associated with other serious health concerns.

    These comorbid conditions can take the form of nerve damage, wounds that wont heal, and organ failure, just to name a few. Theyre also present more often than not a recent study found that of type II diabetic adults, 97.5% have one or more comorbid disease and 88.5% had two or more.

    One comorbid condition that fewer people are familiar with is diabetic eye damage, known as retinopathy. Left untreated, this condition can progress into partial or total blindness.

    Can diabetic retinopathy be reversed, and how does it affect your vision and eye health long-term? If youre wondering if theres hope for your diabetic vision loss, read on for the answers to those questions and more.

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    Peripheral Neuropathy Could Be Reversed By Fda

    Treatments for peripheral neuropathy, the numbness and pain most commonly felt in the fingers, arms and legs due to nerve damage, tend to focus on managing pain. But an international team may have found an alternative approach that could potentially reverse symptoms with a class of drugs already in use for other conditions.

    Addressing the underlying condition behind neuropathysuch as diabetesis a major part of alleviating symptoms, but there is no approved treatment that focuses on nerve degeneration. While studying mechanisms involved in neuron growth and regrowth, scientists from UC San Diego and the University of Manitoba, alongside colleagues from St. Boniface Hospital and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, identified a pathway that stunts the outgrowth of neurites, which connect neurons to other neurons.

    The activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors inhibits the growth of sensory neurons. The team found that blocking this pathway reversed the effects of peripheral neuropathy in mouse models of Type 1 and 2 diabetes, HIV and chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. Their findings were in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

    The best part? A number of antimuscarinic drugs, such as atropine and pirenzepine, are already approved and on the market for other indications, ranging from incontinence to peptic ulcers. This could lead to a potentially speedy path to clinical use.

    Read more on

    Before You Break A Sweat Determine Whether You Need Neuropathy Treatment

    Dr Prax: The ONE reason why you haven’t reversed your neuropathy yet.

    If you feel tingling, numbness, loss of sensation, or pain from common clothing like socks or even bedsheets, thats your cue to stop what youre doing and potentially seek treatment for neuropathy. If you find from checking your feet daily that you have a blister or ulcer, be sure to notify your physician to help prevent infections.

    Loss of sensation in the foot or ankle can significantly increase the risk of getting infections in those areas from routine cuts or abrasions, Machowsky says. Since you may not feel the extent of the damage done and therefore not take action to treat it until it becomes a major medical emergency.

    Meanwhile, if youre standing on the gym floor performing squats, its the nerves in your feet that help you gauge your bodys positioning and maintain balance, he explains. Both are vital to performing your workouts safely and effectively.

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    Nerve Damage In Neuropathy Progresses Sooner Than Previously Thought Lending Urgency To Earlier Detection And Treatment

    With his pain gradually improving, William Loughran is headed back to the gym.

    Mohammad Khoshnoodi

    If we wait until these patients have large-fiber neuropathy, weve needlessly lost time and nerve function. This is one more reason to be aggressive about controlling patients glucose levels.

    William Loughran retired from his job as a bank director in northeast Maryland in 2014, when he was 68. Like many new retirees, he vowed to ramp up his exercise routine.

    I started going to the gym three or four times a week and walking every day, he says. I felt better than I had in years.

    But then, after a long day of walking with his son during a visit to California, it began: I went to bed, and the soles of my feet felt like they were on fire, Loughran recalls. It was jabbing pain, pins-and-needles pain, and it was pretty severe.

    Within weeks, Loughrans feet had become so painful that driving his car was a struggle. Just the slight pressure from the pedals was too much to tolerate, he says. For months, he spent almost all of his time at home, in bare feet.

    After several false starts with physical therapists, podiatrists and other specialists, Loughran realized that he needed to see a neurologist. He searched online and learned that Johns Hopkins has a prominent research program in peripheral neuropathy.

    In Loughrans case, the blood work strongly suggested prediabetes. He is acting accordingly. Ive cut out sodas, he says, and Im trying to get back to exercising.

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