Reduce Neuropathy Pain with Alpha Lipoic Acid

Neuropathy – the “tingling” feeling or loss of sensation in the feet, legs, and fingers – is one of the most distressing symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, about 60 to 70 percent of diabetes patients have neuropathy. The risk rises with age and the longer a person has had diabetes; the highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years.

The symptoms of neuropathy range from numbness and tingling in the feet to an intense, deep pain in the muscles of the legs. Left untreated, neuropathy continues to get worse. The physical symptoms travel from the toes and feet up the leg (or, in some cases, from the fingers and move up the arm) and nerves and muscles continue to deteriorate.

The prescription drugs that are typically recommended for diabetic neuropathy vary, but they all have their share of significant side effects. They range from antidepressants and anti-seizure medications, to pain relievers and anti-nausea medicines. Alpha-lipoic acid may provide an effective alternative.

A clinical study found that 300 mg of alpha-lipoic acid taken twice a day reduced neuropathy symptoms, improved triglyceride levels, and better overall quality of life. Alpha-lipoic acid, a naturally occurring compound in the body and from food sources, helps normalize the intake of blood sugar by the muscles, and improves peripheral nerve activity. This coenzyme is required for mitochondrial energy, so it literally helps power the body at a cellular level. And while alpha-lipoic acid may not, on its own, affect blood sugar levels, it does appear to prevent the damage that can occur from elevated blood sugar.

If you struggle with elevated blood sugar levels, consider supplementing with the clinically studied level of alpha-lipoic acid at 600 mg per day. You may want to combine it with nerve-protecting B vitamins, anti-inflammatory herbs like boswellia, and supportive minerals, including zinc and chromium.

Abstract:

Agathos E, Tentolouris A, Eleftheriadou I, Katsaouni P, Nemtzas I, Petrou A, Papanikolaou C, Tentolouris N. Effect of α-lipoic acid on symptoms and quality of life in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. J Int Med Res. 2018 May;46(5):1779-1790.

Objective To examine the effect of α-lipoic acid on neuropathic symptoms in patients with diabetic neuropathy (DN). Methods Patients with painful DN were treated with 600 mg/day α-lipoic acid, orally, for 40 days. Neuropathy Symptom Score (NSS), Subjective Peripheral Neuropathy Screen Questionnaire (SPNSQ) and douleur neuropathique (DN)4 questionnaire scores were assessed at baseline and day 40. Quality-of-life treatment effects were assessed by Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory (NPSI) and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Changes in body weight, arterial blood pressure, fasting serum glucose and lipids were also assessed. Results Out of 72 patients included, significant reductions in neuropathic symptoms were shown by reduced NSS, SPNSQ and DN4 scores at day 40 versus baseline. BPI, NPSI, and SDS in terms of work disability, social life disability, and family life disability scores were also significantly reduced. Moreover, 50% of patients rated their health condition as 'very much better' or 'much better' following α-lipoic acid administration. Fasting triglyceride levels were reduced, but no difference was found in body weight, blood pressure, fasting glucose, or other lipids at day 40 versus baseline. Conclusions A-lipoic acid administration was associated with reduced neuropathic symptoms and triglycerides, and improved quality of life.

Here is the link to the complete article: Effect of α-lipoic acid on symptoms and quality of life in patients with painful diabetic neuropathyEffect of α-lipoic acid on symptoms and quality of life in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

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