Normally, sugar is broken down and pushed into the cells using insulin produced in the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin, and those with type 2 diabetes produce ineffective insulin. Neuropathy is a condition that occurs in diabetes when nerves in the body are damaged, which can affect muscle control and cause pain. For those who wish to avoid or supplement medical treatment, there are natural cures for diabetes and neuropathy. However, always check with your physician before replacing medications with a herbal treatment.
Bitter Melon Juice
Bitter melon juice contains natural insulin that has none of the side effects of medical insulin. Since bitter melon helps fight diabetes, it can also be helpful for those with diabetic neuropathy. Bitter melon is low in sugar, and the juice can be consumed raw. Diabetics can also cook the bitter melon and use it in salads.
Cinnamon is useful in preventing diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. A chemical in cinnamon called MHCP helps stimulate the production of insulin in the pancreas. Cinnamon powder can be added to virtually anything for flavor. However, those with neuropathy should think twice before using cinnamon, as cinnamon has made neuropathy worse in one case study.
Gymnema sylvestre is an Indian plant that contains the chemical GS4. GS4 increases beta cells in the pancreas, thereby increasing insulin production. Gymnema sylvestre also contains gymnemic acid, which lowers blood pressure. Since gymnema sylvestre fights diabetes, it can also fight diabetic neuropathy.
Garlic contains antioxidants, which reduce the free radicals that can damage cells. Studies conducted by the Suzuka University of Medical Science also found that the chemical allicin found in garlic treats both types of diabetes. Garlic also treats neuropathy caused by diabetes.
Chromium is a mineral that is essential in the sugar breakdown process. Chromium helps insulin attach itself to sugar, which increases the effectiveness of insulin in type 2 diabetes. Chromium also helps the body utilize glucose. Chromium can be found in broccoli, mushrooms, beans and lentils. Studies conducted by the British Food Standards Agency have found that chromium reduces the incidence of neuropathy.
Banaba is an obscure herb found in the islands of Kiribati in Micronesia. Banaba is used as a weight loss supplement. One common contributing factor to diabetes is obesity. But beyond helping with obesity, banaba also contains corosolic acid and tannins. Both of these chemicals reduce blood sugar levels.
The pain caused by neuropathy can be treated naturally with vitamins B-1, B-12, C and E. These vitamins contain antioxidants that can help reduce free radical damage and inflammation. Lowering physical stress on the body can also reduce neuropathy pain.