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CAN VITAMIN-D HELP with POLYNEUROPATHY?
Vitamin-D and polyneuropathy
Vitamin D is currently in high demand, especially because it has been in the media often due to its effects on health.
But what about vitamin D and polyneuropathy? Can it really help? Who can actually profit? How great are the effects? What are the risks? How much vitamin D can you take?
As with all vitamins, there are big expectations and sometimes exaggerated results are reported. It is difficult to find reliable information.
That is why I have summarised the results of some studies about vitamin D and polyneuropathy in this artilce and translated them into practical recommendations.
THE MOST COMMON VITAMIN DEFICIENCY
It is already known that a lack of vitamin D is associated with numerous health problems.
According to some studies, a lack of vitamin D increases the risk of heart disease, bone fractures, autoimmune diseases and even some types of cancer.
It is also known that a lack of this "sun vitamin" is very common in the northern parts of the world. This is because the vitamin is only found in small amounts in our food. Most of our vitmain D is made in our body, when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, in northern countries, this is usually too little.
Consequently, our bodies cannot produce enough of it and this is why many people now refer to vitamin D as the only vitamin that should be taken in addition to the normal diet.
But what does this mean for polyneuropathy?
VITAMIN-D DEFICIENCY AND POLYNEUROPATHY ARE RELATED
A lack of vitamins is of course always associated with negative consequences.
Whether vitamin D deficiency plays a role in polyneuropathy has so far mainly been investigated in diabetics. For other forms of polyneuropathy there is, unfortunately, little research available.
Numerous studies on the topic suggest that people who suffer from diabetes and have too little vitamin D in their blood are more likely to develop polyneuropathy.
A meta-analysis (a study that summarises the results of many studies) published in the Journal of endocrinological investigation, reported that diabetics who suffered from a vitamin D deficiency were almost three times more likely to develop polyneuropathy. You can read the article here.
So if you suffer from diabetes, you should pay particular attention to having enough vitamin D in your blood.
The deficiency seems to add up with the diabetes and cause huge negative effects..
Whether the lack of vitamin D also leads to an increased risk of polyneuropathy in people who do not suffer from diabetes has not yet been scientifically clarified. However, my personal assumption is that there is also a connection.
VITAMIN-D PROTECTS AGAINST BReaking BONES
Vitamin deficiency is not just a potential risk factor for polyneuropathy, it also has other effects on our bodies.
People suffering from polyneuropathy have a significantly increased risk of stumbling, falling and injury. If you also have fragile bones, you are more prone to have fractures.
Vitamin D is useful here as it helps to maintain the stability of bones by facilitating the incorporation of calcium.
Those who have enough vitamin D in their blood are therefore protected against osteoporosis and fractures. This is especially true if calcium and vitamin K2 are absorbed in sufficient amounts in combination with vitamin D.
Help yourself with the right exercises for polyneuropathy!
VITAMIN D IS ALSO IMPORTANT FOR your MUSCLES
Those who have too little vitamin D also have poor muscle function. This means less muscle power, but also a greater risk of falling.
In some trials, people who had too little of the vitamin in their blood were given a dietary supplement to compensate for the deficiency.
The people who took the supplement fell about 20 percent less often than those who only received placebos in the time they were observed for the study. This would mean that potentially, one out of five falls and the consequent injuries could be prevented.
Since polyneuropathy patients are prone to falling very frequently and are often suffer injuries after falling, this is another reason to ensure adequate vitamin D consumption.
It is a good idea, to also protect yourself from falling with balance exercises. You can find exercises to do at home here:
DOES VITAMIN-D CURE POLYNEUROPATHY?
As a matter of fact, there is some evidence for this.
In two studies, patients suffering from polyneuropathy caused by diabetes who had too little vitamin D in their blood were given supplements to correct the vitamin deficiency. (Click here to read one of the studies).
This resulted in an improvement of the symptoms.
It seems, therefore, that polyneuropathy can actually improve if you make up for the lack of vitamin D.
However, it is not yet possible to say how great an effect it has based on the studies that have been carried out so far, and it depends very much on the individual case.
It is safe to say that in polyneuropathy it is highly recommended to compensate for a vitamin D deficiency though.
DO big ammounts of VITAMIN D help with POLYNEUROPATHY?
Until now I wrote only about making up for a deficiency in vitamin D. What if you already have enough vitamin D? Should you also take supplements then? Could large doses of vitamin D even cure polyneuropathy?
Taking more vitamins than you actually need is not helpful and can be dangerous.
Vitamin D is not a miracle cure that you have to take as much of as possible to get the most benefit.
Your body needs a certain amount of it. If you have taken that amount, there is no point in taking more.
You can actually hurt yourself with too much vitamin D though. There have been cases of life-threatening kidney failure due to vitamin D overdoses, for example.
Under medical supervision, it is possible to do a high-dose therapy. This involves the administration of very large amounts of vitamin D. People have tried this hoping to cure polyneuropathy.
As far as I know, however, all such attempts have been disappointing. If you would like to try this anyway, you should definitely not try this by yourself.
Anyone who wants to take large amounts of vitamin D must first be examined by a doctor to see if their body can handle it. You must also carefully follow a certain diet with low calcium to reduce the risk of kidney damage.
VITAMIN D HELPS WITH POLYNEUROPATHY - WHEN THERE IS A DEFICIENCY
It is quite possible to get some relief from polyneuropathy with vitamin D and especially to reduce its degrading effects on the body.
However, this is only true if you suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. If you already have enough vitamin D, it will not be helpful to take more.
Vitamin D is definitely not a miracle cure for polyneuropathy.
If you do suffer from polyneuropathy, you should have your vitamin D levels checked to see if you have a deficiency.
DO you NEED VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS if you have POLYNEUROPATHY?
With almost all vitamins, it is true that you can get enough of them from a healthy diet. Unfortunately this is not the case with vitamin D.
There are only very small amounts of it in our food. This is also the reason why our body can produce the vitamin itself. However, the average person living in the northern countries, spends far too little time in the sun.
If you live in the north, it is therefore very difficult to compensate for a lack of vitamin D without taking supplements.
If you suffer from a deficiency it is almost inevitable to take vitamin supplements. As a rule of thumb; liquid preparations are better than pills. As a liquid, it can be more easily absorbed by your body.
If you have not yet taken a vitamin D test, but still want to take vitamin D, you should not take too much. Currently, up to 2000 IU daily is considered safe.
Summary on Vitamin D and Polyneuropathy
So to sum up, here is what you should do about vitamin D if you suffer from polyneuropathy:
Take about 1000 IU of vitamin D daily, as recommended by most manufacturers (unless a doctor or therapist gives you different advice)
Take drops instead of pills so that the vitamin D can then be more easily absorbed
As a polyneuropathy patient, have your vitamin D levels measured, especially if you have diabetic polyneuropathy.