Neuropathy, Vitamin B1, and Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Thiamine, or vitamin B1, can actually improve blood sugar levels—and, thus, diabetes.

Not too long ago, we spoke about a very important vitamin, and its role in neuropathy and chronic pain. This vitamin was B1, or Thiamine. As you may remember, B1 is part of the family of water-soluble vitamins, and our body storage is limited. Therefore, it is relatively easy to become deficient or suffer from low levels relatively quickly.

Perhaps the most significant cause of low thiamine in our society is the high carbohydrate diets that so many people consume. You see, thiamine is necessary for our bodies to produce energy. When we lack thiamine, a whole host of health problems can develop.

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Avoid processed breads and grains, as well as sugars, soft drinks, candy, and virtually all sweets.

What many patients and their doctors may be ignorant of is the fact that thiamine, or vitamin B1, can actually improve blood sugar levels—and, thus, diabetes.

In fact, in borderline diabetes, vitamin B1 may actually help drop blood sugars, and what is called glucose tolerance, or how our bodies handle sugar, to normal within a month.

I have even seen insulin-dependent diabetics drop their blood sugars over 200 points, one recently virtually overnight with as little as 25 mg of thiamine.

Like many nutrients, this is one place you really need to work with your clinicians. You and your doctors need to know that taking additional vitamin B1 can reduce need for medications, and sometimes even insulin.

This becomes even truer as you improve the overall quality of your diet. You and your doctors also should be aware that all not all vitamin B1 is created the same.

In particular, we are very partial to Alithiamine. It is tolerated better than most other forms and is taken up by the body more efficiently than the common thiamine hydrochloride.

And this is precisely why that we recommend all diabetic patients get in the habit of checking their blood sugars on a regular basis.

This is also why sticking to to a carbohydrate-controlled diet is also essential.

The most important things to avoid are processed breads and grains, as well as sugars, soft drinks, candy, and virtually all sweets. You also need to be very careful with sugary or dried fruits.

Some excellent sources of thiamine in the diet include tuna, sunflower seeds, pistachios and other nuts, as well as many beans.

As you may recall, these are also key components of a Paleo-type diet.

Be sure to add more of these to your diet on a daily basis and work closely with your healthcare professionals on optimum supplementation to help improve your diabetes!

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