Your diabetic neuropathy patients know they need to keep their blood sugar under control…
Your role is to make sure your patients understand exactly what supplements can do for them.
They know they should exercise…
They know they have to watch their diet, especially when it comes to controlling their sugar intake…
When it comes to medication, insulin is probably first and foremost in their minds.
And it should be. Taking their insulin properly can mean the difference between life and death to a diabetic neuropathy patient.
What they may not realize is that in addition to taking their insulin, watching their diet and a good exercise program, there are nutritional supplements and vitamins that can help control their blood sugar and lessen the effects of diabetic neuropathy.
Granted, these nutritional supplements will not take the place of proper diet, controlling blood sugar and a sound exercise plan, but they can definitely improve the effectiveness of all of these pieces of the diabetic neuropathy puzzle.
Your role in all this is to make sure they understand what they should take, how much, how often and exactly what those supplements can do for them.
What to Look For in Nutritional Supplements
Diabetic neuropathy patients have different requirements from their nutritional supplements than other patients. A pill they take once a day is not enough because it’s only going to be really effective for the two hours after they take it. They need more than that for the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
To get the full effect for treating diabetic neuropathy, they need to maintain a steady therapeutic level of these vitamins and nutrients throughout the day to help keep blood sugar under control.
Your diabetic neuropathy patients should choose supplements they take at last three times a day to keep the levels steady in the blood stream.
And look for nutritional supplements that come from an FDA approved manufacturer to ensure that what they take is pharmaceutical grade.
Which Vitamin Supplements They Should Take
There is so much information on the market now about nutritional supplements and vitamins. Your diabetic neuropathy patients need know what they’re buying before they go out and just load up on supplements. Your job as a NeuropathyDR® clinician is to educate them and make sure they’re taking the right vitamins for their specific diabetic neuropathy symptoms.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet of the Top 12 vitamins and nutrients to provide to your diabetic neuropathy patients to help them identify some of the essential supplements that can help their diabetic neuropathy and exactly what they do:
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – helps maintain healthy oxygen levels in the blood stream which means that they have less chance of nerve damage due to poor oxygen levels reaching the nerves. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of thiamine for the average person is 1.0 to 2.4 mg per day but diabetic neuropathy patients should take in the range of 60 mg per day in equally divided doses.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – works in combination with Vitamin B6 to help the body use glucose properly. The RDA is 1.2 to 1.6 mg per day but therapeutic levels should be around 60 mg per day.
Vitamin B6 – along with folic acid and B12, it helps prevent nerve damage and heart attacks. It can also help prevent diabetic blindness and/or vision loss. Therapeutic levels should be at least 60 mg per day but be very careful with your dosage. Some toxicity has been reported with extremely high levels of B6.
Vitamin B12 – works with folic acid to help prevent stroke and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy. It also helps relieve neuropathy pain.
Biotin – when taken in combination with chromium, biotin (a B vitamin) helps insulin work more effectively, keeps the pancreas working well, and lowers blood sugar levels.
Chromium – when taken with biotin, helps insulin work better, keeps the pancreas working well and lowers blood sugar levels.
Copper –helps protect the cells in the pancreas that make insulin healthy, helps prevent diabetes related damage to blood vessels and nerves and lowers blood sugar levels.
Folic Acid – works with B12 to help prevent strokes and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy.
Magnesium – helps relieve diabetic neuropathy pain and helps insulin work more effectively.
Manganese – helps prevent damage to blood vessels and nerves.
Selenium – sometimes called an insulin imitator, selenium helps take blood sugar into the cells. Selenium protects against blood vessel and nerve damage from elevated blood sugar levels, two of the contributing factors in diabetic neuropathy.
Zinc – helps blood sugar get into the cells and insulin work more efficiently.
These supplements, when used properly and under your care and supervision as their NeuropathyDR® clinician, can help improve diabetic neuropathy symptoms and lessen the chances of permanent nerve damage and eventual amputation.
Emphasize to your diabetic neuropathy patients that these supplements will not take the place of eating properly and exercising. They work in combination with a healthier lifestyle, not in place of it. By properly taking these supplements, watching their diet, exercising and complying with all of your treatment requirements as their NeuropathyDR® clinician, they greatly improve their chances of living a life free of the pain of diabetic neuropathy.
Let us help you reach this challenging patient population.
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