Neuropathy, Benfotiamine and ALA

For the past couple of months I have been asking questions about vitamins that can be used for Neuropathy treatment, and wanted to point out where I am with these at this moment in time. Two vitamins I am taking to combat Neuropathy are Benfotiamine and Alpha Lipoic Acid (there is also R-Alpha Lipoic Acid). Alpha Lipoic Acid is also known as ALA and R-ALA. ALA should not be taken with antacids (including prescribed medications for acid reflux, ect.) R-ALA is supposed to work better than ALA, and I will try it when my supply of ALA is depleted. I tried ALA on an empty stomach. I do not recommend that, and now take all my vitamins with food. I eat about every two hours of my waking hours, including a snack before bed, and space out the vitamin dosages throughout the day. Currently, I am taking Benfotiamine 150mg caps four times a day, and ALA 200 mg caps three times a day.
I started these only one capsule a day to see how these would go, and gradually increased the dosage to the current levels. Most of what I have read does not recommend more than these amounts per day. Although, I have not found information yet, that says higher dosages of Benfotiamine and ALA over what I am taking would be harmful. (As a side bar I have found information warning not to take more than 200 mg of vitamin B6 per day.)
Putting aside the B6 and getting back to the Benfotiamine and ALA, I have noticeable relief from the neuropathy in my feet since I have been using Benfotiamine and ALA. I don’t keep good records of when I start using something, but I started using ALA probably about six weeks ago and the Benfotiamine about four weeks ago.
My past experiences with ‘medications’ on the whole has not been good, and in some cases I have found vitamins to be superior to a medication in treating an ailment.
I put this information out to help clarify to myself what I am doing vitamin wise with neuropathy, and to hopefully receive feed back if anyone sees a flaw in what I am trying.

Back in the early 90s when I first started getting neuropathy in my lower legs my endo at Guy’s Hospital in London recommended large doses of Evening Primrose Oil spread throughout the day. I can’t now remember the dosage I took but I seem to remember 3 capsules, 3 times a day, I also remember it became rather expensive. But after 6 - 12 months the neuropathy went away and didn’t return until a year or so ago. I now take ALA and Evening Primrose Oil, but I’m not strict enough and the neuropathy is always there but quite mild. Has anyone else found success with Evening Primrose Oil?

What types of stretching exercises you would recommend?

I stated above that I was going to try R-ALA after my supply of ALA was depleted. I did some more checking and the difference I find in the two is that more of the R-ALA stays in your system, than does the ALA. After comparing the prices, it might be more cost effective to increase the dosage of ALA, instead of switching to R-ALA. That is what I have done. In relation to my post at the start of this thread, I am now taking 200mg of ALA four times a day.

Has the benfotiamine made any noticeable difference?

I just read this article on it, so I’m going to get some and try it. It gives the starting dose and what to reduce it to for maintenance.
I’m already using ALA.

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/07/18/vitamin-reverses-nerve-pain/

Yes, it has made a very noticeable difference for me. I am not cured, but get along much better. As I stated above, I take it with ALA. I buy the (Doctor’s Best) Benfotiamine at The Vitamin Shoppe, and the ALA at Walgreen’s when it is on sale for buy one, get one free.

I started taking it yesterday. 80 mg is the dose recommended on the bottle and that’s what I’m sticking with for now. The recommended dose for treating neuropathy is 300 mg 2X a day, but I’d rather start slowly, as I tend to have allergic reactions to new things, even supplements.

I noticed some sensations of pressure, and “ants crawling” on my wrist off and on all day, and also a slight buzzing / pins and needles sensation in both hands and up my arms. More crawling sensation today, and more buzzing. Some pain too, but tolerable.

Its doing something. I just hope the weird sensations don’t keep me up at night, I have a hard enough time getting any sleep, LOL!

Good luck Emmy! Hope it helps you.
Joanne

I agree with starting out slowly on the dosage. That’s what I do, and then after a few days I increase the dosage.

Well, the weird sensations seem to have stopped. I’m up to two capsules a day now, 600mg.

That is good. The Benfortiamine and Alfa Lipoic Acid have helped a great deal. That being said, it is not a cure for me, although it seems to be for some people. I still have a ways to go, and will be talking to a neurologist about this next month.

I hope it’s helping Emmy. How is it this week?

Hi Nelin,
Good to hear that you are better. Hopefully the neurologist will have some answers. Kelly said that it takes some time to heal. My doctor gave me a series of B12 shots. It seems to have worked well because I don’t have any more neuropathy symptoms. There is still some loss of sensation in a toe or two but the chiropodist said that it could take months to return. Good luck! Joanne

About the same. No changes.

I had my visit with the neurologist. He told me that the neuopothy will never go away. However, he said there are things we can do to calm the symptoms and lessen the pain. He agrees with taking the ALA and Benfotiamine, (although they help, as I mentioned above in this discussion, they are not a cure for me). He mentioned the normal things as well, such as soaking the feet, taking extra care with them by using proper shoes, etc. He also, started me on Gabapentin (Neurontin). I am to take it 30 minutes before bedtime at a beginning low dose and gradually build up to a higher dose, and after 3 weeks have passed, call his nurse.
I will report to this discussion how I am doing in a few weeks.
If anyone has any comments on this medication, I am interested in hearing them.

Hi Nelin: I guess neuropathy is the same as diabetes… once you have it you have it for life even if you don’t have the symptoms.
Good luck with the new treatment. Joanne

I was told to soak my feet in lukewarm water, not hot and not cold water, water that is the same temperature of the body, add a bit of ivory liquid as a disinfectant, and soak for 15 or 20 minutes before bed. Then rinse the feet in clean water, and pat dry. I find it helpful.

Thanks Peetie, I will post any progress or non progress. The neat thing about TuDiabetes is the sharing of information. There are many on this site who are willing to share their diabetic experiences which gives us knowledge we cannot always gain from a doctor visit and educates us, so we can ask better questions of the doctors when we see them.

Thanks Neilin

hello. Boy This sight is a breath of fresh air. been following your comments this evening trying to understand what my son at age 21 is going through since his DKA in September. a week after he came home from hospital started having numbness and aloooot of pain in his feet legs lower back. feels like feet are on fire ect. finally got him on Gabapenten and Tramodol for the pain. I've noticed the vitamins you are talking about seem to work for others so I will ask the doctor when we go again on the 28th. Life is hard enough at his young age but now this. I wish I could take it away but I know I cant. Good luck I will be following this disscusin. Thanks Kimberly