Vegan Diet Could Improve Diabetic Nerve Pain

Eating a plant-based diet could help to relieve diabetic nerve pain, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine found that adults who were put on a low-fat vegan diet for 20 weeks experienced significant improvements in pain, which was measured through a questionnaire, a physical assessment and electrochemical conductance tests in the foot.

Diabetic neuropathy is a common side effect of the blood sugar condition, which can lead to numbness, tingling, and pain in the feet, hands, legs, or arms. This type of nerve pain can lead to amputations, obesity, depression, and a lower quality of life.

“A dietary intervention reduces the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, apparently by improving insulin resistance,” said Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee. “The same diet also improves body weight and reduces cholesterol and blood pressure.”

Weight loss an added benefit

Participants in the study were also given weekly nutrition classes and lost an average of 14 pounds over the 20-week period on the vegan diet.

Plant-based eating may help to lower "bad" cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and improve insulin resistance.

“The dietary intervention is easy to prescribe and easy to follow,” said Cameron Wells, M.P.H., R.D., director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee. “Steel-cut oats, leafy greens, and lentils are widely available at most food markets and fit well into most budgets.”

Source: PCRM

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