May 25, 2018; by Briana McDonald, Staff Writer Silver-Bulletin (UtopiaSilver.com) Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases that affects Americans today. This disorder creates a host of complications, one of them being nerve pain, also called peripheral Neuropathy. Although it can feel out of your control, the nerve damage caused by diabetes due to high blood sugar levels doesn’t have to control your life. Together we will explore some natural remedies for diabetic nerve pain.
Symptoms and Types of Diabetic Nerve Pain
There are four main types of diabetic neuropathy; peripheral, autonomic, radiculoplexus neuropathy, and mononeuropathy.
- numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or changes in temperature
- burning or tingling
- sharp cramps and pains
- increased sensitivity to touch
- muscle weakness
- loss of reflexes
- loss of coordination and balance
- feet issues such as ulcers, infections, and bone and joint pain (1)
- lack of awareness that blood sugar levels are low
- bladder issues, including frequent UTI’s
- constipation, diarrhea or both
- slow emptying of the stomach causing nausea, vomiting, bloating and loss of appetite
- issues swallowing
- problems controlling body temperature
- increased heart rate at rest
- sharp dips in blood pressure after sitting or standing that makes you feel like you may faint
- vaginal dryness
- erectile dysfunction
- decreased sexual response
- difficulty rising from sitting
- abdominal swelling
- weight loss
- eventual weak and shrinking thigh muscles
- severe pain in the hip and thigh or buttock that occurs in a day or more
This condition usually affects one specific nerve in the face, middle of the body, or leg. It’s much more common in older adults. It can come on suddenly and cause severe pain. These symptoms may appear:
- in the shin or foot
- low back or pelvis
- front of thigh
- chest or abdomen
These issues may lead to other complications such as:
- difficulty focusing
- double vision
- aching behind one eye
- paralysis on one side of your face
Causes of Diabetic Nerve Pain
Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar levels damages nerves and interferes with their ability to send out proper signals. Having uncontrolled high levels of sugar in the blood also weakens the walls of the small blood vessels that supply the nerves with oxygen and nutrients.
Other causes include:
- Inflammation of the nerves
- Smoking and alcohol abuse
- Genetic Factors. (Genetics do not cause Diabetes, but can contribute to a lesser or greater propensity
Now that we now the cause and the symptoms, let’s focus on some solutions.
Natural Remedies for Diabetic Nerve Pain
First and foremost we have to look at what causes diabetes in the first place which is the lack of the nutrient GTF Chromium in our diets today. Whole wheat and raw sugar from sugar cane are rich in chromium. The refining of whole wheat into bleached, white flour removes 91 per cent of that chromium. The refining of raw sugar into white sugar removes 98 per cent of that chromium. The refined flour and refined sugar are quickly reduced in the body into simple sugars that require chromium to be efficiently metabolized – chromium that is substantially no longer there. The most important component for your body to use the refined flour and refined sugar is very nearly entirely removed. This turns foods wholly good for you into those which are essentially unholy foods to you. Quite literally every time you consume a refined, white flour or refined, white sugar product your body loses chromium. (2)
So the very first natural remedy for diabetic neuropathy is…..
- Follow a healthy diet – by eliminating ALL processed foods! It it comes in a box or package and is currently sitting in your pantry BURN IT. Then never buy it again. Consume whole, unprocessed foods and eat plenty of healthy fats and lean proteins over refined carbohydrates. Be sure to include high fiber foods as well that are packed with nutrients but low in sugar/artificial ingredients such as:
- veggies and whole fruits – all kinds which are high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and essential electrolytes like minerals and potassium.
- wild caught fish – to get all the yummy omega-3 fatty acids which will help lower triglycerides
- healthy fats – like coconut oil/ coconut milk, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados
- lean protein foods – such as grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken, cage-free eggs and sprouted beans/legumes which are also loaded with fiber!
- you can also implement stevia which is a no calorie sweetener in place of table sugar. (3)
- Supplement with GTF Chromium– if you are experiencing complications with diabetes my guess is your are extremely deficient in GTF chromium. Supplementing with 100 mcg 3 times daily has been consistently shown to help diabetics. This number has not been pulled out of thin air, in fact human studies done 40 years ago showed that 200 to 290 micro grams of dietary chromium intake maintained chromium equilibrium. In other words, this is how much you needed to take in each day so you don’t lose more than you use.
- Exercise– this will help you maintain a healthy weight, control blood sugar levels and high blood pressure symptoms, increase strength and endurance, decrease depression and increase range of motion. A 2012 study showed us that regular exercise cause significant reductions in pain and neuropathic symptoms caused by diabetes and increased intrapidermal nerve fiber branching. (4)
- Work hard, play hard, RELAX HARDER – managing stress is one of the most important things you can do to help keep inflammation levels down. Exercising, meditating, or practicing healing prayer or simply spending more time in nature can help to lower stress and pain and ease diabetic nerve pain.
- Consumer more Vitamin B12– many diabetics are low in this nutrient which can worsen nerve damage.
It may take time to see improvements but remember to be patient and try different things until you feel relief. Consistency is king!