Low Carb Diet and Diabetic Neuropathy Prevention

It is hypothesised that being on a low-carbohydrate diet may be used as a method for potentially limiting or reversing the progression of diabetic neuropathy.

This is due to the fact that a main contributing factor to neuropathy is prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels.

By reducing carbohydrate content, and in turn blood glucose levels, symptoms of nerve damage may be reduced.

Diabetic neuropathy is the name given to nerve damage that can occur in a diabetic as a result of high blood glucose levels or hyperglycemia.

Neuropathy is grouped into three different types; focal, peripheral and autonomic.

Symptoms of these can often include

Neuropathy in people with diabetes can be present in different forms:

Peripheral neuropathy typically refers to nerve damage that can affects the feet, legs and hands. This may be recognised as numbness or burning or tingling in the extremities like toes and fingers.

Autonomic neuropathy is when nerve damage affects the functioning of organs which can lead to digestive and urination problems, difficulties with temperature regulation or sexual dysfunction.

How a low carb diet may prevent diabetic neuropathy

Prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels is recognised as the leading cause of neuropathy in people with diabetes.

Because a low-carb diet helps to reduce blood sugar levels, this significantly could reduce the risk of neuropathy occurring if good HbA1c levels can be achieved for a number of years.

Can a low-carb diet treat neuropathy?

Researchers have asserted that a very-low-carb diet may have potential in treating neuropathic pain but, to date, there is a lack of research showing evidence of this. [269]

So far, the evidence of a low-carb diet treating or reversing neuropathy is limited to anecdotal reports.

A number of members of the diabetes forum have reported that following a low-carb diet has helped them to reverse the symptoms of neuropathy they were previously suffering from.

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