Neuropathy is a term that describes nerve-affecting disorders that can cause unpleasant or painful symptoms. Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes or a common side effect of chemotherapy. There are traditional medicines to treat neuropathy.
1. Fish Oil for Neuropathy
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to repair nerves, fish oil supplements are effective in preventing neuropathy complications. It also helps relieve discomfort and muscle soreness. It is available in the optional form. You can take up to 5,400 mg of fish oil a day.
A study explored the potential of fish oil on diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Studies show fish oil can decrease the progression of diabetic neuropathy and even reverse it. The anti-inflammatory effects fish oil help to reduce pain and discomfort.
The neuroprotective effects of fish oil supplements can help stimulate the outgrowth of neurons. While the results are encouraging, however, to elaborate on these findings, we need more studies.
2. B Vitamins for Neuropathy
B vitamins are useful because they promote the safe functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B deficiency also triggers peripheral neuropathy. Vitamin B-1 (thiamine and benfotiamine), B-6, and B-12 should be included.
Benfotiamine is like vitamin B-1, also known as thiamine. Therefore, it is efficient in reducing pain, inflammation, and preventing nerve damage. However, vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause permanent nerve damage if left untreated.
Vitamin B-6 can help protect the nerve. But you need not take over 200 milligrams (mg) of B-6 per day. Getting higher amounts can also cause damage to the nerves and cause neuropathic symptoms.
Research suggests that vitamin B supplements can prevent neuropathy complications. This may be because B vitamins can promote the regeneration of nerve tissue and enhance nerve function.
B vitamins can help relieve nerve related pain and inflammation. These studies showing the value of benfotiamine combined in the treatment of neuropathy complications. Hence, benfotiamine has a positive effect on diabetic neuropathy.
The above studies show that discomfort was reduced, and the condition improved. But a small study found that people with type 1 diabetes who took 300 mg of benfotiamine a day showed no significant nerve function or decrease in inflammation.
3. Curcumin for Neuropathy
Curcumin is a herb best known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties. It can help relieve tingling and numbness in your hands and feet.
An animal study in mice that took turmeric supplements for 14 days decreased chemotherapy-induced neuropathy complications. It had a positive impact on pain, swelling, and loss of function.
The levels of antioxidants and calcium in mice improved. However, to expand on these results, we need greater human studies.
4. Alpha-Lipoic Acid for Neuropathy
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplements can be effective in the treatment of diabetes and cancer-induced neuropathy complications. It can reduce blood sugar levels, enhance nerve function, and ease painful symptoms in the legs and arms such as discomfort, itching, tingling, prickling, numbness, and burning. You can take up to 1,200 mg per day in capsule form.
Alpha-lipoic acid has a positive effect on the conduction of nerves and decreased neuropathic pain. A small study shows that alpha-lipoic acid is useful in protecting people from diabetic neuropathy and oxidative damage.
5. Acetyl-L-Carnitine Supplements
Acetyl-L-carnitine is an antioxidant and amino acid. In addition, it can increase levels of energy, create healthy nerve cells, and reduce neuropathic pain. A standard dose is 500 mg twice daily.
According to the study, peripheral neuropathy complications, cancer-associated fatigue, and physical conditions were improved after consuming acetyl-L-carnitine supplements.
Participants had 3 grams of acetyl-L-carnitine per day for 8 weeks. They observed significant differences in just 12 weeks between the groups.
Talk to your doctor before you consume these supplements or change your treatment plan. However, we do not intend these supplements to replace any treatment plan approved by the health care providers for neuropathy complications. However, such supplements may be superior to other treatment options, as they have fewer side effects. In other ways, these supplements can also support your overall well-being.
Is Fish Oil a Potential Treatment for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy? Curr Diabetes Rev. 2018.
Benfotiamine in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy–a three-week randomized, controlled pilot study (BEDIP study). Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2005.
Benfotiamine in diabetic polyneuropathy (BENDIP): results of a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2008.
The effects of long-term oral benfotiamine supplementation on peripheral nerve function and inflammatory markers in patients with type 1 diabetes: a 24-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2012.
Effect of curcumin in mice model of vincristine-induced neuropathy. Pharm Biol. 2015.