(Nutrition can play a big role in getting better)
People who have had neuropathy for a while often are prescribed many different drug therapies seeking to decrease their painful symptoms. Some people end up taking so many drugs that they believe that only a new drug can help them. They don’t consider that good nutrition keeps nerves healthy in the first place. We try to help our patients by informing them just how important nutrition is to restoring proper nerve function. Healthy nerves work right without causing you pain. And they work without the need to try to block painful neuropathy symptoms with a cocktail of many drugs. In this article we discuss the role of Vitamin D in keeping your nerves healthy so that you can better understand the best way of regaining your health and fight off the painful symptoms of neuropathy.
Vitamin D: an essential nutrient
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in many functions of the human body. Most people know that it is needed to help put calcium into your bones. It is also very important for a healthy immune system. If your vitamin D goes too low, you can suffer widespread aches and pains and more illnesses like flu and colds. Also people who suffer seasonal affective disorder (SAD) where they experience depression in the short days of the winter months can be helped by taking extra vitamin D. But did you know that vitamin D also has a role in neuropathy?
Vitamin D and Neuropathy Nutrition
If your D levels go too low, you may experience neuropathy symptoms.
Vitamin D is necessary for the body to manufacture substances called neurotrophins. Neurotrophins are produced by the body to repair nerves and where possible to regenerate nerves.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353091/
Neurotrophins are the family of proteins that induce the development, function, and survival of nerve and brain cells.
Vitamin D upregulates neurotrophins, such as NGF (nerve growth factor) and GDNF (glial-derived neurotropic factor), up to fivefold. https://biofoundations.org/vitamin-d-upregulates-neurotrophins/
How you get vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because when UV rays from the sun hit our skin, your body can make your own between Memorial Day and Labor Day, if you have the right foods in your diet, and if you don’t use a sun blocker. If you are a major science nerd you can read how this happens here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4642156/.
Unfortunately if you live in northern climates, it is very difficult to get enough sun rays in the winter. Also most of us live and work or go to school inside for hours and hours so we are also missing out on the sun rays in this way, not to mention wearing clothes and using sun screen.
You can get some vitamin D from dark and oily fish. But it may or may not be enough to maintain optimum health or to heal hurt nerves. This is why taking a vitamin supplement may be necessary. At this office we only offer a vitamin D supplement that has vitamin K2 along with it so the calcium in your diet is safely deposited in your bones where it belongs. Without taking Vitamin K2 you may deposit calcium in your arteries where you don’t want it to go.
Checking Vitamin D Levels on Blood tests
For neuropathy patients we ask for vitamin D levels to be checked by blood test during our initial work up visits. Then we can suggest proper dosages of this very important vitamin.
Vitamin D can be toxic in very large amounts so this is why checking on your levels is necessary.
If you need vitamin D supplementation we suggest another blood test in 90 days to make sure your body is properly absorbing the nutrient.
We are here to help
For help with handling a complex condition like neuropathy, please give us a call at 978-535-6155. You can ask to schedule a free 15 minute consult where the doctor will learn a little more about your condition and then let you know what options we can offer to help you with your neuropathy treatment.