Neuropathy----what helps? heals?

Does anyone have any experience or know of anyone who does with what helps heal neuropathy?

I have had 4 or 5 months with high numbers and now am feeling numbness in the bottom of my toes and even a little in my fingertips.

I have been told by a foot doctor---who is very good---that since it's new if I am to get and keep good #'s it will heal.

Why does everyone tell us "you just need to get good #'s and every thing will be ok----Does anyone really know how hard it is to "get good #'s" besides a Type 1!!!!!!!!!---I don't think so.

Anyways, I am also doing acupuncture every other week, walking daily and taking Alpha Lopeic Acid. With this I have read that you need to take 600mg a day to have an impact and if you do it can heal the nerves. And then my endo told me recently that that high of a dosage can be toxic----because of some experiment with mice--how in the hell do we really know what to do.
I did mention this to a knowledgeable health store owner who said that his customers are having help taking 200mg of the R Alpha Lopeic Acid---with the R type you don't need as much?????

So I am working hard on getting better #s and am starting a Paleo diet which I do believe will be very healthy and be less carbs. Also, I am giving up my one craft beer each day----plan on only drinking one each weekend day.

Anyone, have any comments / thoughts on the above----greatly appreciated.

It’s unfortunate that some type 1’s are prone to complications - I seem to be one of them. Kidney damage and neuropathy for me. I know how difficult “good numbers” are, but I do it. I have had a1c’s in the low fives for almost two years, so I know how hard it is. I gave up white food, got my basel set (I have been lucky, my Basel needs are pretty constant so don’t need to split my dose or use a pump), figured out my I:C ratio and then walked every day. I don’t eat many bad carbs, but have more carbs now. Lots of fruit and a bowl of Cheerios or wheat bread and eggs at breakfast and a long walk, plus cardio or strength training every day (fewer carbs on the rare day I take a break). I also do some exercise bare foot - check out for some great barefoot workouts that really helped me. I now follow her weekly schedule, adding on days I feel I need more. I also bike when weather allows. But the daily walk is the base. I test a lot! But I don’t over treat lows - a skittle or two corrects a 60 and 4-6 skittles corrects lower. If I worked out hard, I drink lots of water and hang out about an hour if I have an unexpected high after a workout (maybe take a unit or two if it’s really high). Then I test and correct from there. I don’t eat many carbs after lunchtime - I find it too hard to get to a level I’m comfortable with to sleep and not go low or wake up high. It works for me. But a lifestyle diet only works if one can stick to it without going on crazy binges! If paleo doesn’t work, then try something else. Or add some carbs, don’t make yourself nuts. I found what works for me (and still eat a black&white cookie or a real sundae one in a while!!) you have to do what works for YOU. But to have “good numbers” (numbers you set for yourself that you are comfortable with), you likely have to cut back on carbs (I found cutting them

Drastically and then adding them back - eating to my meter - worked for me. Possibly try that?)

I also take 600 mg ALA. I’ve never heard about toxicity at that level - mice are a lot smaller than us!! Do your own research and decide for yourself.

I spend most of my time 80-110. I am comfortable there. Over 120 my left foot tingles. I’m not comfortable there, and I wonder what may be going on with my kidneys, too.

Good luck. Not sure you can totally reverse the neuropathy, but mine is very minor now, with exercise and “good numbers”.
Oh yeah, I have a low/no carb vodka beverage 4-5 days per week. Once you figure out a lifestyle diet that works for you, add back the craft beer and figure out the correct bolus. Test, test, test!! (And enjoy your beer!)

I have been told by a foot doctor---who is very good---that since it's new if I am to get and keep good #'s it will heal.
Why does everyone tell us "you just need to get good #'s and every thing will be ok----Does anyone really know how hard it is to "get good #'s" besides a Type 1!!!!!!!!!---I don't think so.
Not to be flippant, they tell you this because it's true (well, not the hyperbole about "everything", but the basic idea).

I'm living proof that getting your BG under tight control will heal neuropathy. I had all sorts of issues a year ago when I was out of control @ 11+% a1c. Turned on a dime and started tight control in June.

It took a while, and the neuropathy got painful before it got better, but after about 8 months it was resolved.

Like you, I was lucky to have the opportunity to catch it early, and do something about it before the neurons were permanently damaged.

So, get busy controlling that blood sugar! I worked hard to keep myself in normal range during fasting (80-100), and stay below 140 postprandial (although it's impossible to be perfect on this, I never spend much time over that unless I really screw up).

You need to set your own goals, and review them with your doctor. I offer my situation as an example.

Good luck!

One more thing, Darrol -- how are you administering insulin? A few things to consider, and if you're not intimately familiar with these, search around the site and post questions:

  • Are you carb counting and then calculating bolus doses on that basis? Are you fastidious, or do you wing it?
  • Do you pre-bolus before eating? Learning how your body's unique timing to insulin works is critical to getting numbers down -- once you know your body's reaction well to insulin, you can get ahead of the food, and keep the BG from spiking too much.
  • Are you familiar with glycemic index, and do you consider it when evaluating the mix of stuff you eat?
  • Pump or MDI? If on MDI and open to considering a pump, consider it. Tight control will require administration of insulin many times during the day. On my pump, I sometimes bolus a dozen times in a day, with meals, snacks, corrections, etc. I never could do that on MDI. Life just doesn't provide the environment at all times necessary to give an injection. I an push a button on my pump controller anywhere, any time.
  • What sort of data do you have regarding your BG? How often do you test? Information is power! In my opinion, all diabetics should have a CGM if they want one -- there's no better way to make the hour-by-hour decisions necessary to achieve tight control. Short of that, test, test, test! A dozen times a day. Always before meals, and 2 hours after finishing eating. Those of the most critical numbers (and your wake-up and bedtime numbers).
That's a good start. Other's will fill in the holes. The bottom line with this disease, unfortunately, is it demands attention 24/7/365. It's possible to dial in a treatment protocol that makes it quite livable and mostly just annoying, but you've gotta work at it, try different things, and be a burr in the sock of physicians and insurers that stand in the way of you getting what you need to properly treat it.

Wow---thanks a lot---very helpful and encouraging


thanks so much
I have had a CGM for several months now and think it influenced me to get lazy on estimating carbs. I realize I need to put more effort into calculating carbs and matching insulin. I have been essentially living out of my car the last 5 months and that has not helped---but recently moved to Grand Rapids Mi and so that has changed for the better. I really don't want to go to the pump--don't mind the shots. I am planning on getting an artificial pancreas when they are available. I have been trying to time the insulin and now wait for 30 minutes before eating---and still my bs seems to shoot up before the insulin starts to act.

Hey Darrol,

Tough situation, especially living out of a car. Makes D management more difficult, but as always the biggest obstacle is oneself.

A CGM is a Godsend. It's like having sight restored when you're blind. In the end, only you can pay attention to it, and take action.

The good new is it sounds like your problem is pretty simple to solve: Get much more active administering correction boluses, and being more precise about meal bolusing.

If you have your correction factor and IC ratio nailed pretty good for your own metabolism, you're really just looking at more attention to carb counting precision, and probably more injections during the day to deliver corrections.

Me? I correct if I'm over 140 2 hours after eating, regardless of how "precise" I bolused. However, I have the technical advantage of a pump computer doing all the IOB accounting, so the risk of overdosing insulin is pretty small.

What objections do you have to a pump?

Thanks Dave
Regarding why I do not want to have a pump is ???????
It just seemed like something I did not want to have attached to me and deal with. And especially now that I have a CGM I really don't want to have 2 things attached to my gut. I chose the CGM because I believed that would be the more beneficial of the two and I knew I had to do something to get better control and wake me up in the night if had a low because I was continually getting less sensitive to when that was happening. I don't mind giving myself a shot--usually painless. I will get the artificial pancreas when it is available ---all one unit and almost normal #s