Alpha Lipoic Acid (also referred to as ALA) is a fatty acid and an antioxidant that can protect the body’s cells from the damage caused by effects of free radicals. Unlike other antioxidants Alpha Lipoic Acid is equally water and fat soluble which means it is very freely absorbed by the body as a supplement. Alpha Lipoic Acid can be given in supplemental form either intravenously or by mouth in capsule form, and it is commonly available within the United States as an over-the-counter supplement.
The medical benefits to using Alpha Lipoic Acid are numerous, as it has been shown to help with brain function and stroke, dementia, eye problems, HIV, sciatica, cancer, liver problems, hepatitis, vascular disease, cataracts, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, burning mouth syndrome, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as diabetes. In the case of diabetic neuropathy research has shown that Alpha Lipoic Acid can greatly reduce the painful symptoms that are associated with peripheral neuropathy. In fact Alpha Lipoic Acid has been used in Europe for years to treat the condition of neuropathy successfully.
Treatment for Neuropathy
Specifically for individuals who are dealing with Diabetic neuropathy, Alpha Lipoic Acid has been shown to reduce the symptoms of pain, sensitivity to touch, heat or cold, as well as symptoms of burning, itching, numbness, or tingling that are commonly associated with the nerve damage that has taken place. While it may take a several weeks for the treatment to show full results as well as symptom improvement, any improvement is typically most welcomed by patients seeking relief from peripheral neuropathy.
Other research has also shown that Alpha Lipoic Acid may help with another condition related to diabetes referred to as autonomic neuropathy. Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves of the internal organs as opposed to peripheral neuropathy which affects the nerves of the extremities of the body. Alpha Lipoic Acid is a dietary supplement and should only be used under the supervision of a doctor because of the possibility of side effects or interactions with other medications a patient may be taking. This is especially important for those who also have diabetes, as Alpha Lipoic Acid can lower sugar levels when combined with other types of medication used for treating diabetes, the simple solution for avoiding complications in that regards is just very careful glucose monitoring.
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