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Diabetic Neuropathy: Can a Vegan Diet Reduce Pain?
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Diabetic Neuropathy: Can a Vegan Diet Reduce Pain?

   Some people who have Type 2 diabetes suffer from physical pain. Although medication can alleviate some symptoms, they often come with other side-effects. But there’s hope for treatment as a new study has found that a vegan diet which is low in fat could help ease the frustrating and stressful symptoms.

  • What Causes Pain in Diabetes? 

The common source of pain for people with Type 2 diabetes is peripheral diabetic neuropathy. This causes symptoms such as burning, numbness, and pain in the legs and arms. This happens because diabetes affects the nerves of the body, disrupting the signals they send to the brain concerning pain.

  • The Study

In the study, 35 adults who have Type 2 diabetes and pain from neuropathy were studied. 17 of the participants were given low-fat vegan diets as well as told to take Vitamin B12 supplements for five months. The diet largely comprised of fruits, vegetables, legumes, as well as grains. The rest of the participants took Vitamin B12 supplements but followed their regular diets for the time of the study. The study was led by Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

  • Promising Results 

After the five months were up, the study found that those people who followed the vegan diet lost about 15 pounds on average, while the other group lost only about one pound. The vegan group also displayed improved blood pressure readings and less pain from neuropathy. But the greatest part of the results was that when the nerves in the participants' feet were tested by the doctors, it was found that the vegan diets actually decreased nerve function decline! This is a powerful study that shows just how beneficial vegan diets can be, for a variety of health conditions including diabetes. There’s no doubt that even if you are free of any health conditions, a diet focused on vegan foods and nutrients can help to maintain your overall health and keep you feeling great.   *Image courtesy Visionär / Dollar Photo Club

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