If you or someone you know is dealing with diabetic neuropathy, you are aware just how painful and debilitating this condition can be. The numbness, discomfort, and loss of sensation in the extremities isn’t just inconvenient—it can cause real problems. Fortunately, several effective therapies for diabetic neuropathy exist. Here are a few of my favorites.
Chelation. Chelation is an intravenous therapy that binds to metal ions in the blood, carrying them to the kidneys where they are excreted in the urine. Used for heavy metal poisoning, chelation also improves circulation, which helps alleviate symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP). EECP increases blood flow to the extremities and reduces symptoms of diabetic and peripheral neuropathy. During 35 one-hour sessions, pressurized cuffs are placed around the lower extremities. With each beat of the heart, the cuffs contract, squeezing blood up toward the heart and throughout the body, increasing circulation.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). HBOT is administered in a specially designed, pressurized chamber. When 100 percent oxygen is inhaled in this environment, it is easily absorbed, even in areas where blood supply is limited. This infusion helps boost circulation and improves a wide number of conditions, including diabetic neuropathy.
Infrared Light Therapy. Infrared light therapy (brand names Health Light and Anodyne) delivers special wavelengths of infrared light through the skin to the affected tissues, increasing the production of nitric oxide (a signaling molecule in short supply in diabetics). This painless procedure enhances blood flow, improves circulation, and has restored sensation in 93 percent of patients in eight separate clinical trials.
Alpha Lipoic Acid. Also known as lipoic acid or ALA, alpha lipoic acid is my top supplement recommendation for treating diabetic neuropathy. ALA is an extraordinary antioxidant that, in addition to quenching free radicals, has been shown in clinical studies to improve pain, burning, numbness, and other symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. The suggested dose is 600-1,200 mg per day in divided doses.
High-Dose Antioxidants. Because oxidative damage plays a large role in diabetic neuropathy, high doses of antioxidants are imperative. Aim for 300-800 IU of vitamin E, a minimum of 1,000 mg of vitamin C, and 15,000 IU of vitamin A (as mostly beta-carotene.) A high-quality multi should contain these levels.
B-Complex Vitamins. When it comes to supporting nerve health, B-complex vitamins are essential. Suggested minimum doses are 800 mcg of folic acid, 150 mcg of B12, and 75 mg of B6. Again, a good multivitamin/mineral supplement should contain these doses.
Fish Oil. Inflammation is also a factor in diabetic neuropathy and fish oil is just the supplement to counteract this symptom. For best results, take 2-8 g of high-quality fish oil daily.
For more information or to schedule these treatments at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, call (866) 944-8253 or submit the Contact Us form below. Look for these supplements in health food stores, online, or order by calling (800) 810-6655.