Mailbag: This Secret “Shuts Off” Nerve Pain

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

You’ve got questions…

We’ve got answers!

Neuropathy is a painful and uncomfortable problem for many folks.

It can cause pain, tingling or numbness in your feet and legs and even pins and needles in your hands.

And if you’re diabetic, you’re at greater risk for experiencing this kind of agony.

But you’re not alone.

Many Living Well Daily readers have written in with questions about neuropathy, and today, I’m going to introduce you to a certain vitamin that may help combat it.

This simple, natural secret may help you finally shut off that nerve pain once and for all.

Let’s dive in…

Hey, Natalie,

I’ve heard neuropathy can be caused by a vitamin deficiency. Do you know if this is true? And if so, how do I find out if that’s what’s causing my problem?

Thanks,

Julian G.

Thanks for the important question, Julian.

Neuropathy is the result of damage to your nerves, and it primarily affects the legs, feet and hands. Depending on which nerves are affected, symptoms range from numbness, tingling and pain in the extremities to more severe symptoms like digestive and heart issues.

High blood sugar or diabetes can damage your nerves and cause neuropathy.

For some folks, neuropathy is a minor annoyance — for others, it can be disabling, painful and even deadly. Regardless of where you fall in this range, there’s a natural substance that can help you combat this kind of nerve damage and the pain that comes with it — vitamin B12.

In fact, having low vitamin B12 levels can increase your risk of experiencing neuropathy, regardless if it’s caused by diabetes or not.

But being diabetic puts you at even greater risk for experiencing neuropathy.

You see, diabetics are 22 percent more likely to be B12 deficient than folks without diabetes. And when you couple that with the fact that one of the leading diabetes medications, metformin, can rapidly decrease your vitamin B12 levels, you can see why many diabetics experience neuropathy.

So if you’re diabetic and taking metformin, there’s a good chance you’ll develop neuropathy.

But diabetes and medications aren’t your only worries when it comes to depleting B12 levels. Age, poor diet, certain acid-reflux meds and drinking alcohol can also lower your levels and lead to painful neuropathy.

On the other hand, maintaining a healthy B12 level can protect your nerves and help keep your neuropathy symptoms at bay.

Fortunately, upping your B12 intake is easy to do on your own. One easy way is to eat more B12-rich foods, like red meat, eggs and poultry. Or you can simply take a B12 supplement. For best results, find a supplement that contains B12 in its natural form, methylcobalamin.

If you suspect you’re B12 deficient, you should talk to you doctor about it. They can order a simple blood test to determine your status and may recommend B12 injections or supplementations to boost your levels.

Do you have any health questions you want answered? Drop me a line at nmoore@lfb.org.

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily

Ed. Note: Please send your feedback: nmoore@lfb.org – and click here to like us on Facebook.


Sources

[1] Nutritional and Vitamin Deficiency Neuropathy

[2] The Prevalence of Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Cross-Sectional Study

[3] Study of Vitamin B12 deficiency and peripheral neuropathy in metformin-treated early Type 2 diabetes mellitus

[4] Keeping Tabs on Vitamin B Advised with Metformin

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

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