Peripheral Neuropathy and Whole30


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My husband has severe inherited peripheral neuropathy in his feet and beginning in his fingers that began to manifest itself about 3 years ago. He is now a week into Whole30.  I have a theory (that is somewhat substantiated by website research) that body-wide inflammation will exasperate and heighten the level of his daily, chronic pain and thus he needs to eat a GF, sugar/wheat/grain/legume-free diet to help control it.

 

Has anyone on this forum suffered from PN and reduced pain by adopting the Whole30 lifestyle?  Would love to hear some positive testimonials.  

 

Thanks!

 

 

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My mom also has pretty severe peripheral neuropathy, among multiple other health issues, and I've been trying to get her to alter her diet to see if anything helps. I realize I'm not actually helping you with this response, but I'm curious too!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used to have this and since going gluten, grain and dairy free, plus treatment for my MTHFR, it's completely gone (as is the gluten-induced ataxia).

 

If anyone with this has not been tested for MTHFR genes, you should be (especially if it runs in the family).

 

Neuropathy is a symptom of B12 deficiency. You can have high levels of B12 in your blood (so your tests look okay), but it’s not being absorbed and cannot be used by your body.

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  • 9 months later...

I have peripheral neuropathy (PN) in my feet and am hopeful that Whole30 eating will reduce or eliminate it at some point.  I am only on day 13 so I am not yet able to comment about how the program does or does not impact my PN.  But...I will repost when/if something changes.  

 

As I understand it, persistently high blood sugar levels caused the capillaries in the extremities (feet/toes in my case) to dry up and die. My glucose readings have decreased substantially :) in the first 13 days so I am hopefully optimistic that some of the affected capillaries will respond to the healthy eating by the 30 (60? 90? 120?) day point.  

 

I would love to hear from others who are/were experiencing peripheral neuropathy. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Bill W - I have PN, but my condition wasn't caused by diabetes. Although I am obese my medical records show that I've never had high A1C levels, so it doesn't appear that my blood sugar levels had anything to do with my developing PN. I also have other neurological conditions so the best understanding is that there is a genetic basis for my multiple neurological problems.

 

I'm explaining all of that to say that I selected the Whole30 program in the hope that it would not only help control my intake of unhealthy carbohydrates so I could take some weight off and reduce the chronic pain from my PN and orthopedic problems caused by the birth defects in one of my feet, but also reduce the overall inflammation in my body that seems to aggravate the PN pain in all of my extremities.

 

I have a long way to go to complete my first 30, but judging by how my clothes are fitting things are moving in a very positive direction. 

 

I would be very excited to hear about your experiences.

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Aside from MTHFR testing, the entire Vitamin B group is often recommended for nerve healing/health, so it's worth a try, but you may find enough results from Whole30.

 

If you don't get the results you are looking for, inflammation is a good next step to look at medically.

Cortisol testing and the auto-immune protocols are very helpful for some people, but only you can find what works best for your unique body :)

 

I get a touch of PN whenever I get a gluten contamination. Dairy gives me inflammation, but PN only appears from dairy if I consume it for long periods of time.

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I see that MTHFR testing is genetics testing... (Had to do a quick Google search to unravel the acronym   ;).) The series of genetic disorders identified by that test don't seem to mesh with the types of birth defects that I have, but I think you're on track with saying that I need to have genetic testing to know what the root causes of my disorders are, if those defective genes can ever be identified. I have a consultation appointment with a new neurology group in a few weeks to discuss that and other issues. It may, however, come down to a question of whether my insurance will pay for genetic testing even if that information might provide better treatment guidance for my doctors.  

 

As for Vitamin B, I was originally prescribed the medical food Metanx for several months but I'm currently on the prescription medical food PoDiaPN. 

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For what it's worth, you don't have to rely on your doctor or insurance for genetic testing.

I got my genetic testing from 23 and me for $100, which is how I found out about my MTHFR status. They can only tell you your ancestral background until they get FDA approach, but then they give you a file with all your genes that you can get interpreted by other sites. The best part is as science advances and other genes are investigated further, you still have the 1 file that you can keep getting updated info on. Some have concerns about security of that information so do your research, but for me, it was worth it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Grgtt -- thanks for replying to my PN post - was beginning to think no other Whole30ers were dealing with this. 

 

My update is that I have now completed the Whole30 cycle and have basically extended it so I am still compliant about 95% of the time.  As to how the program has impacted my Peripheral Neuropathy I wish I could offer a victory speech but unfortunately the improvement has been minimal (am I just doing a little better because I want to believe Whole 30 has helped?).  The good news for me is that my Blood Sugar has dropped from the 140's to the 100's, and I did lose 15 pounds - yea!  I am hoping that with continued healthy eating, the PN will improve - but - the nerve endings were probaly damaged beyond restoration from my prior poor eating habits and it looks like I will need to just be glad I went Whole30 when I did so that I didn't exacerbate my PN further.

 

You WILL feel better and likely loose a bunch of weight on the program - Stay with it through the whole 30 days -- I'm cheering for you :)

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First of all congratulations, Bill W, on your health improvements and on completing your Whole 30! :D The weight loss and decrease in your blood sugar levels must be a great overall help for your diabetes and overall wellness. As you pointed out the nasty side of PN is that once the nerve damage is done we're stuck with the painful consequences. You know I actually forget that at times so I try to convince myself that the PN and other disorders (occipital and trigeminal neuralgia) will just 'heal up' and go away one day.

 

I really appreciate your encouragement to stick with the program. I'm psyched to do that because I can already see a BIG change in how some of my clothes are fitting, as well as a reduction in the edema that I have in my calves and ankles. That's a really big deal for me because I have limited mobility due to my birth defects, so any inflammation in my legs makes the lovely orthopedic-nerve-chronic-pain-cycle thing so much worse at times.

 

Thank you so, so much for sharing your update. I'm on day 18, so I hope that you still check in on the forum over the next few weeks so I can let you know how I do at the end of my first Whole 30.

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  • 2 years later...

I just found this thread and see that's the posts aren't recent, but I have PN too, in my case idiopathic.  I don't have diabetes and my blood sugar levels are fine, so as my neurologist put it, "There is a cause, we just don't know what it is." I went on Whole30 aiming to eliminate sugar from my diet, but hoping it would help with the neuropathy. So far -- Day 6 -- I see no effect, unfortunately. 

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1 hour ago, jgogo said:

I just found this thread and see that's the posts aren't recent, but I have PN too, in my case idiopathic.  I don't have diabetes and my blood sugar levels are fine, so as my neurologist put it, "There is a cause, we just don't know what it is." I went on Whole30 aiming to eliminate sugar from my diet, but hoping it would help with the neuropathy. So far -- Day 6 -- I see no effect, unfortunately. 

Hang in there -- some issues take the full 30 days or even longer to resolve, six days is definitely early to be seeing results. Do come back and let us know if you get any results or not. 

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Thanks, Shannon. I knew it was too soon to see any change, but wondered whether Whole30 had helped others with neuropathy. I did email my neurologist today about MTHFR . She said my information about its function was correct, but since my B12 level is fine, that is not a cause in my case. So, we'll see what happens when I've finished Whole30.   

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I have PN due to diabetes. I am on day 7 and my sugars are fantastic. I had to turn down my insulin pump due to lows. I am seeing a difference in the foot pain. It is almost too good to be true! I have heard gluten can effect PN also so maybe it’s a combination 

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I have PN too, but it's idiopathic, not due to diabetes and it's not painful; I just have numbness in my legs and feet which affects my balance and sometimes makes me afraid to walk. (I never walk up or down stairs without holding onto a railing.)  My B12 level is fine. I'm on Day 14 of Whole30 and haven't noticed any improvement in my PN, I'm sorry to say, but I feel better in other ways, such as more energy. I'm sticking with it and still hopeful. 

 

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