Neuropathy and BG control

Gretchen Becker Health Guide
  • Researchers have reported that a compound formed when blood glucose (BG) levels are high, called methylglyoxal, causes neuropathy. They say they are working on ways to reduce the levels of methylglyoxal.


    This would certainly be nice. But what is really sad when one reads a summary of the article in  Nature Medicine is the comment that “roughly 50% of patients with diabetes” develop neuropathy.


    We know that neuropathy is caused by high BG levels, and many people can reverse their neuropathy by bringing their BG levels to normal or close-to-normal levels. If 50% of people with diabetes develop neuropathy, that means half of all people with diabetes are not controlling their BG levels.

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    I suppose this isn’t really surprising, as so many continue to be told by their nutritional advisors that they should cut way back on fat and eat more carbohydrates instead, as this will raise their BG levels. Even if they take drugs to try to control the BG levels, the levels are apt to fluctuate all day long.


    Also, many people who are advising people with diabetes assume they won’t be able to modify their lifelong habits very much, so they don’t try to teach them how. And many people who are diagnosed with diabetes really don’t want to change their diets very much, if at all. They want the doctor to give them a pill so they can keep eating what they’ve always eaten.


    So instead of working harder on nutritional research and advice, our society works on yet-more drugs to treat a condition that in many cases could be reversed by diet alone.


    However, knowing that it’s high BG levels that cause neuropathy should be an incentive for us to keep our BG levels close to normal. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. Hurting all the time is no fun.


Published On: May 14, 2012