If you have insulin dependent diabetes, you know you need to take insulin to keep your blood sugar under control. You’ve probably also been told to exercise. And you’ve definitely been told to watch your diet – especially when it comes to sugar. What you might not realize is that there are nutritional supplements and vitamins you can take to help control your blood sugar as well. And many of these supplements can also help with the effects of diabetic neuropathy – one of the chief contributors to amputations in diabetic patients.
The number of clinical studies that show adding key nutrients to the health care regimen of diabetic neuropathy patients is growing constantly.
Granted, these nutritional supplements will not take the place of proper diet, controlling your blood sugar and a sound exercise plan, but they can definitely improve the effectiveness of all of these pieces of the diabetic neuropathy puzzle.
What You Should Look For in Nutritional Supplements
As a patient with diabetic neuropathy, your requirements in nutritional supplements are different than those of other people. While many companies use the convenience of their once-a-day multivitamin as a selling point, a pill you take only once a day is only going to be really effective for the two hours after take it. You need more than that for the symptoms of your diabetic neuropathy.
To get the full effect for treating your diabetic neuropathy, you need to maintain a steady therapeutic level of these vitamins and nutrients throughout the day to help keep your blood sugar under control.
Choose supplements that you take at last three times a day to keep the levels steady in your blood stream.
And look for nutritional supplements that come from an FDA approved manufacturer to ensure that what you’re taking is pharmaceutical grade.
Which Vitamin Supplements You Should Take
There is so much information on the market now about nutritional supplements and vitamins. Don’t go out there and buy vitamins without being prepared. Do your research and talk to a specialist like your favorite clinician to make sure you’re taking the right vitamins for your specific diabetic neuropathy symptoms. We have a very specific protocol in our clinics.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet of the Top 12 vitamins and nutrients for diabetic neuropathy treatment to help you identify some of the essential supplements that can help your diabetic neuropathy and exactly what they do:
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – helps maintain healthy oxygen levels in the blood stream which means that you less chance of nerve damage due to poor oxygen levels reaching the nerves. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of thiamine for the average person is 1.0 to 2.4 mg per day but diabetic neuropathy patients should take in the range of 60 mg per day in equally divided doses.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – works in combination with Vitamin B6 to help your body use glucose properly. The RDA is 1.2 to 1.6 mg per day but therapeutic levels should be around 60 mg per day.
Vitamin B6 – along with folic acid and B12, it helps prevent nerve damage and heart attacks. It can also help prevent diabetic blindness and/or vision loss. Therapeutic levels should be at least 60 mg per day but be very careful with your dosage. Some toxicity has been reported with extremely high levels of B6.
Vitamin B12 – works with folic acid to help prevent stroke and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy. It also helps relieve neuropathy pain.
Biotin – when taken in combination with chromium, biotin (a B vitamin) helps insulin work more effectively, keeps the pancreas working well, and lowers blood sugar levels.
Chromium – when taken with biotin, helps insulin work better, keeps the pancreas working well and lowers blood sugar levels.
Copper – helps protect the cells in the pancreas that make insulin healthy, helps prevent diabetes related damage to blood vessels and nerves and lowers blood sugar levels.
Folic Acid – works with B12 to help prevent strokes and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy.
Magnesium – helps relieve diabetic neuropathy pain and helps insulin work more effectively.
Manganese – helps prevent damage to blood vessels and nerves.
Selenium – sometimes called an insulin imitator, selenium helps take blood sugar into the cells. Selenium protects against blood vessel and nerve damage from elevated blood sugar levels, two of the contributing factors in diabetic neuropathy.
Zinc – helps blood sugar get into the cells and insulin work more efficiently.
These supplements, when used properly and under the care and supervision of your own clinician, can help improve your diabetic neuropathy symptoms and lessen the chances of permanent nerve damage and eventual amputation.
But take note – these supplements will not take the place of eating properly and exercising. They work in combination with a healthier lifestyle, not in place of it.
And never self prescribe vitamins supplements and nutrients. Work with your clinician to arrive at the levels you need for your particular diabetic neuropathy and blood sugar control issues. As with many other things, too much of a good thing can do more harm than good if not properly regulated and monitored by a specialist.
And never self prescribe vitamins supplements and nutrients. Work with you NeuropathyDR® clinician to arrive at the levels you need for your particular diabetic neuropathy and blood sugar control issues. As with many other things, too much of a good thing can do more harm than good if not properly regulated and monitored by a specialist.