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Around 30 million Indians suffer with peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve disorder that causes tingling, numbness, and discomfort. Diabetes is the leading cause of neuropathy, accounting for up to 70% of all cases. While anti-inflammatory medicines and other treatments can be beneficial, did you know that the foods you eat can influence your neuropathy symptoms? Learn how dietary modifications can help reduce neuropathy pain and inflammation.
At DRC, we treat a wide range of diabetes-related neurological problems, led by our specialist Dr Soumya. Dr. Soumya may recommend dietary adjustments as part of your treatment strategy to assist alleviate your neuropathy symptoms. Here’s what you need to know.
Carbohydrates, blood sugar levels, and nerve function
Controlling your blood sugar levels is essential if you have diabetes. Chronically high blood sugar destroys nerves, preventing them from transmitting correct impulses. The basic technique for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is to limit carbohydrate intake. This includes eating healthful carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and non starchy vegetables and staying within the carbohydrate range prescribed by your doctor. This will keep your neuropathy from worsening and will help you avoid diabetic neuropathy problems like foot ulcers.
The lowdown on dietary fat
The kind and amount of fat in your diet can have an impact on nerve function. Elevated fat levels in the blood can damage sensitive nerve fibres and cause or aggravate neuropathy. The saturated fat present in animal meals has the greatest influence on boosting LDL, a dangerous type of cholesterol. Reduced saturated fat consumption can assist support nerve function and prevent neuropathy from worsening. Here are several examples:
Limit your intake of fast food.
Select low-fat dairy products.
Avoid eating processed meats.
Choose lean cuts of beef.
Instead of frying, bake and broil.
Reduce your use of animal products.
Choose unsaturated oils such as olive, sesame, and walnut.
Mercury, fish, and neuropathy
Fish provides vital fats that your body requires to function properly, and while it is advised that you eat at least two meals each week to get health advantages, if you have neuropathy, you must exercise caution. Certain fish contain high quantities of mercury, a toxin that, at excessive levels, can damage nerves and cause or aggravate neuropathy.
Larger fish collect more mercury than smaller fish because they live longer. Mercury levels are high in king mackerel, orange roughy, swordfish, tuna, and grouper. Choose low-mercury fish if you have neuropathy, such as:
Cod, salmon, catfish, pollock, haddock, and tilapia are all examples of fish.
Eliminating alcohol from the equation
Alcohol is poisonous to your nerves, and drinking too much of it can induce or worsen neuropathy. Aside from being physically hazardous to nerve tissue, alcohol lowers absorption of B vitamins and vitamin E, both of which are essential for neuron function. To best control your neuropathy, avoid alcohol completely.
Nutrition and nerve support
Adopting a nerve-supportive dietary pattern is one of the most important actions you can take to manage neuropathy. Vitamins B6, B12, folate, thiamin, and E are all required for normal nerve function. A varied diet rich in lean protein, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains is the best way to receive enough of these elements. If you have a deficiency, your provider may prescribe supplementing one or more of these vitamins in addition to your diet.
Managing neuropathy entails taking the necessary steps to halt its progression, reduce the risk of consequences, and relieve related symptoms. Having the appropriate care team might mean the difference between life and death. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Soumya for effective diabetic neuropathy care, call us or book your request online.
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