Taking vitamin B can prevent peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes

Taking vitamin B can prevent peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes

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It was diabetes seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2019 based on 87,647 death certificates in which diabetes is listed as the leading cause of death, according to the American Diabetes Association. In 2019, 37.3 million Americans, or 11.3 percent of the population, had diabetes.

The latest study by the International Diabetes Association found that one in four diabetic patients interviewed reported that they did not receive adequate information about the disease. As a result, many patients failed to properly care for the complications, which seriously hampered their daily life.

Diabetes causes peripheral neuropathy

Patients with diabetes are often unaware of the connection between peripheral neuropathy and diabetes. Therefore, they may misinterpret sensations of physical paralysis as part of aging. Since the symptoms of diabetes are not always obvious in the early stages, by the time some patients seek medical treatment, the disease may have progressed significantly.

Endocrine and diabetes specialist Dr. Tsang Man-wo of United Christian Hospital points out that diabetes is the main cause of peripheral neuropathy. Nerve fibers in the peripheral nervous system are damaged, causing peripheral nerve injuries or microvascular dysfunction due to elevated blood glucose levels.

Peripheral neuropathy can lead to numerous health risks, including sensory loss, muscle atrophy, and tremors, increasing the risk of injury and making daily activities challenging. Patients with diabetes are prone to other serious health conditions, such as skin ulcers and leg amputation caused by diabetes mellitus.

How to prevent peripheral neuropathy?

Tsang suggests that the best way to prevent lesions or further deterioration from diabetes is to control blood sugar levels. In addition to blood sugar control, patients should maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, avoid smoking and alcohol consumption, and exercise regularly.

In addition, patients should take enough vitamins B1, B6 and B12 to more effectively support the health of blood vessels and the nervous system.

Vitamin B1 deficiency affects the heart and legs, damages nerves and possibly causes beriberi, also known as thiamine deficiency. A lack of vitamin B6 affects the blood and brain, signaling transduction of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 deficiency affects blood and nervous system regeneration or worse, causes scurvy, pernicious anemia, loss of sensitivity and dementia.

Metformin is a common medication used to treat diabetes. However, the higher dose and prolonged use, especially for three or more years, can affect the absorption of vitamin B12 in the intestine, leading to peripheral neuralgia.

Tsang says that by increasing the intake of B vitamins specifically for the nervous system, such as B1, B6 and B12, the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can be alleviated and prevented.

The doctor suggests that when patients experience numbness in the extremities, especially diabetics, they should not ignore the possibility of peripheral neuropathy and confuse it with arthritis or sciatica.

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