Great results! Treating neuropathy naturally...
In December of 2002 I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. As most people who encounter type 1 diabetes later in their life, you go through several months of shock and denial. Those first few months were quite hard but it did not take long before my blood sugar was under control. The following year I discovered the insulin pump. It is a great tool and a huge blessing. I feel very sad for people in other parts of the world who do not have such a medical device. It is such a wonderful tool to help me control my diabetes.
In October of 2004 I noticed something strange about my left foot. I do a lot of work at my computer so my feet are on the floor a lot. On this particular day I was at my desk working and I felt a small vibration on the bottom of my foot. My computer tower sits on the floor and the floors are wood. At first I thought the vibration was simply from the computer vibrating against the floor and that my foot could feel it. But I soon discovered that even when I walked away I could still feel a small vibration on the bottom of my foot.
Some weeks later I went ahead and saw my endocrinologist and she somewhat dismissed that it could be related to diabetes since I had only been a type 1 diabetic for less than a year. But five years later I still have this small vibration on the bottom of my foot with additional cold sensations and up the outside part of my leg-Â above my ankle. Over the years I did see a podiatrist and foot and ankle specialist as well as nerve specialists. The first few years seeing these specialist did not really help. There were plenty of tests and x-rays but no real diagnosis. Then I finally met Dr. Cheng. If my memory serves me correct she was a foot surgeon for the United States Army before she came to our Arnett clinic facility. She finally narrowed down that this was definitely nerve related and possibly an injury from the past, when I was a small child - a posttraumatic injury.
In the end she concluded that it would take time for the nerve to heal, it could take more than a year. So a year passed, and some healing did take place but still vibration on the bottom of my foot. I least the cold sensations had dissipated for the most part. A few months ago I went and visited the nerve specialist. This time around, his nerve tested indicate that I have small nerve damage, the very beginnings of neuropathy. He prescribed Neurontin to me and it did seem to help, although I slept more than normal and gained about 5 pounds. Once I knew that it was nerve related I want to make sure that it was not so much from me being a diabetic but maybe an injury. So I scheduled to see a foot specialist from another city who concluded as well that this was definitely an isolated nerve problem and not any other tissues or bones causing the nerve problems.
The foot doctor did conclude that this was definitely nerve related and due to neuropathy and my diabetes. When I heard that my heart broke a bit, I am young and neuropathy normally takes place in older people (50 and above). Early on in my and her knowledge is said that it would take years for this kind of health issue to come up due to my diabetes. Keep in mind, for the most part my blood sugar is controlled quite well. There is room for improvement for my A1C (blood glucose levels) but nothing that would cause neuropathy in the early years of juvenile diabetes.
I was concerned and questioned the status of my health even more. The foot specialist went on to suggest to increase my dosage of Neurontin or try a new medicine called Lyrica. After doing some major research I decided that I did not want to take these prescriptions unless I had to. Both types of medicine cause weight gain, slurred speech, sleeping more, less motivation and many more things that would require me to change my lifestyle and my working habits. Since this problem is on the bottom of my foot, the last thing I need to do is
carry more weight around. Working less hours was not an option. I had lived with this problem for five years, I can live with that for more - until something better came along. During my research I also found some surprisingly natural solutions. I am quite surprised that none of my specialist were even aware of these alternatives. Let me iterates solutions, because many group studies have taken place regarding these natural alternatives.
My research found that there are several vitamins and nutrientsÂ that can help with the nerve damage and in some cases reverse the nerve damage. I was quite leery to believe that something could reverse my nerve damage, especially since I had it for five. Alpha Lipoic Acid, Acetyl-L-carnitine, B vitamins, and Benfotiamine are the main supplements that you mentioned a lot when dealing with neuropathy treatment. Benfotiamine is the main supplement the helps the nerves reduce microvascular damage from high blood sugar. Acetyl-L-carnitine helps with peripheral nerve trauma. Alpha Lipoic Acid also helps a bit with diabetic neuropathy and plays a role in blood sugar control. A good vitamin B supplement is thought to help the nervous system stay nourished and healthy.
After doing my research I went out and bought all of these supplements and began taking them on August 4 (2008). At the same time I was also taking the Neurontin prescription. On the fourth day I noticed that my foot vibration was much less. I decided to not take the Neurontin for several days to see if the supplements were actually helping. The following days the bottom of my foot began to feel less and less vibration. And now as of today I can say I am Neurontin free and the vibrating intensity have reduced significantly. I am still taking all of the supplements and I plan to for another four to six weeks. The research said that most group studies took the Benfotiamine for at least six weeks, so that is the deciding factor for the amount time I will take these supplements.
I am a praying man, and there have been many times I've prayed for comfort for my foot. Sometimes those prayers were answered but only for short amount of time. We can never know why God doesn't answer our prayers (miraculously) as we would like him to. But, I do still give him credit, the creator of creation, to this new neuropathy relief that I am experiencing. Benfotiamine is not a man-made substance, but a derivative of vitamin B1 or thiamine, also called orbenphothiamine. And for that, I want to publicly say "Thank you God for this relief I am experiencing!". After dealing with this problem for 5+ years, I was beginning to think I would have to deal with it for the rest of my life. Coincidentally that is what both the nerve and foot specialist said as well. It does my heart good to know that a God made - natural solution can play a better role in my health, and possibly reverse my nerve problems. The man-made prescription only diminished the problem - a short term and less healthy solution.
Feel free to ask questions about my progress or neuropathy problems in the comment form below.