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For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

Posted by Sharon W on 4/23/03 at 12:39 (116932)

Here's something a bit different: I found an article describing a study on apha lipoic acid, an over-the-counter supplement supposed to be a metabolic antioxidant whose proponents have repeatedly claimed will help with nerve problems. Here's the link:

http://my.webmd.com/content/article/63/72066.htm

Here are a couple of quotes:

'After just 14 treatments, patients with diabetic neuropathy who received high doses of intravenous alpha lipoic acid had a threefold improvement in pain, numbness and other symptoms compared with those treated with placebo.'

'But it didn't act only as a pain medication,' says researcher and Mayo Clinic neurologist Peter Dyck, MD. 'Alpha lipoic acid seems to actually change the metabolism of the nerve or blood supply to the nerve, and we noted some relief in symptoms.'

'Alpha lipoic acid is available over-the-counter in dosages of 50 to 150 mg. Dyck is currently conducting a study measuring the efficacy of those capsules in other diabetic patients. The powerful antioxidant has been used for nearly 30 years in Europe to treat diabetic neuropathy and is being studied in the U.S. as a treatment for HIV, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions. '

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I don't know if alpha lipoic acid would help someone with foot problems that aren't related to diabetes... but if your stomach can handle it, it just might be worth giving it a try!

Sharon
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Re: For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

Cherie on 4/24/03 at 19:32 (117027)

I had a very bad nerve injury to my foot and after months of nerve pain I went to the health food store. The nutritionist put me on alpha lipoic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B complexes and I had a significant reduction in my pain in 10 days. My podiatrist stabbed me in the tibial nerve during ESWT treatment and caused horrible nerve damage that has taken me months to be able to just walk without pain and numbness. I believe in the supplements, they made a huge difference.

Re: For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

Pauline on 4/24/03 at 20:06 (117032)

Thanks for the information about your supplements. They certainly are worth a try for posters experiencing nerve pain.

Was your tibial nerve pain caused by the ESWT treatment itself or by the placement of the injection the doctor used to numb your foot if you didn't have a general anesthetic?

Re: For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

Cherie on 4/24/03 at 21:40 (117041)

When the doctor was injecting the medication into my foot after I was asleep he hit my nerve. I knew immediately the next day and he kept telling me that I could not be hurting as bad as I was because there were no side effects to ESWT. My foot hurt SO bad and I had no feeling in my big toe, in the joint under my big toe, and my arch and I still don't 6 months later. After 6 wks of being blown off by this guy, I went to a pain mgmt doctor and he sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. They both say it is just a waiting game and the pain is much better. I was basically out of work for almost 2 months because I could not walk. I had nerve conduction studies and the neurologist said I had significant nerve damage, but it could completely heal. I'm still really angry, but I was told that this is not negligence, it could happen any time you have a procedure done on your foot. My little day surgery with no side effects changed my life forever.

Re: For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

Pam S. on 4/25/03 at 20:19 (117142)

Cherie:
I am so sorry this happened to you. Was this dr. very experienced with this procedure. Do you think it is better to have a general? This really makes me nervous. I am glad the supplements helped you. I bet over time you will improve. It just may take some time.

Re: For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

Cherie on 4/26/03 at 19:32 (117207)

I think that myself and another patient were his 1st patients since he was trained. You HAVE to have the conscious sedation, the procedure is way too painful to be awake. The doctor I went to who is helping me try to recover also does the procedure and he has had great success with it, he is a very well established orthopedic surgeon. He told me that the patient must be put to sleep because it would just be too painful. The sedation isn't bad, you are only out a few minutes and it is not deep sedation. I think my procedure was a success because my heels do not hurt. I was SO overwhelmed with the nerve injury that the heel pain became non-important, I was worried about being able to walk again. I really had very little problems with the other foot that was not massacred by the doctor. My new doc tells me that most physicians who deal with feet end up accidentally injecting the tibial nerve, but I'm still mad as hell at my podiatrist. Good Luck..

Re: For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

Dorothy C. on 5/04/03 at 23:44 (117817)

Sharon,
Thank you for the very interesting reference about using alpha lipoic acid for neuropathy. That reference had several interesting and useful points in it. Sharing that research link is much appreciated.
Dorothy C.

Re: For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

Dorothy C. on 5/07/03 at 18:16 (118049)

Since Sharon posted the information about alpha lipoic acid, etc., I have been taking alpha lipoic acid with Vitamin C (I once read that alpha lipoic acid is best potentiated by Vit. C)and B-complex supplements. Maybe it's coincidence, maybe it's placebo effect, maybe it's 'magic', but I have improved a few more degrees of 'better' since doing so. The experiment continues. Thank YOU for the information.
Dorothy

Re: For those who think they may have nerve problems - worth a try?

john h on 5/08/03 at 09:07 (118083)

I was reading in Prevention Magazine that there are studies underway for a product (creme) that you rub on that has been shown to be very effective against peripheral nerve pain. The article noted that it is probably three years always from use with the general public. It has and is being tested on humans. I forget it's main ingriedent.