One of the most common presentations in practice is the affect of neuropathy on a person’s quality of life.
Neuropathy equals nerve damage.
It is commonly seen in diabetes, causing numbness, weakness and pain, especially in the hands and feet.
Brilliant medical marketing is directing sufferers to discuss this with their primary physician, who has been efficiently briefed on a drug-based solution which has it’s own adverse event issues.
Recent research is linking metformin – the most commonly prescribed drug in diabetes – to a deficiency in vitamin B12 levels, which in turn contributes to peripheral neuropathy. This research was presented to the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2015 Meeting.
What is puzzling is that guidelines from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association, do mention vitamin B12 deficiency as a risk of metformin treatment for type-2 diabetes, but they don’t make recommendations for screening or supplementation.
The consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency, like neuropathy or mental changes, might be profound, according to the lead researcher.
What this means is that the drug metformin might be contributing to peripheral neuropathy, separate from the effect of the diabetes itself.
So, where does this leave a person with diabetes?
What might we advise pour patients?
They can have their levels of vitamin B12 checked, but why wait? If they have peripheral neuropathy, and they have diabetes, use a supplement of vitamin B12. It is very poorly absorbed in tablet form, so the best results are in a sub-lingual tablet (which dissolves in the mouth and allows absorption through the oral cavity) or as a liquid oral spray, again being absorbed through the mouth.
The researchers are quite unequivocal. Supplement with B12 if you have diabetes. The physicians though, are hesitant to agree with this.
I wonder why?