The fifty-pills-a-day neuropathy cure
You read the title correctly. I have nearly cured myself of peripheral neuropathy, and this is my secret formula:
- Strenuous exercise for one hour each day
- A strict diet (no cheating!)
- Fifty pills a day
And I should add…
- No drugs. None. Zero.
After six months of self-treatment:
- My fingers have recovered 100 percent of their feeling and dexterity.
- My feet have recovered by 90 percent.
Plus unexpected side benefits:
- I’ve shed 20 pounds of excess belly fat and am close to my ideal body weight.
- My LDL cholesterol levels have dropped from “borderline dangerous” to right-in-the-middle “normal” (after throwing my statin drugs—the likely cause of my PN—in the garbage).
- I have more energy and a clearer mind than I’ve felt in years.
- My wife says: “You’re better looking these days.” (She would say that).
It works for me. Please note that I said for me. I hope you’ll be inspired by my findings and find a cure for you.
Search for a cure
My family doctor told me it was untreatable. The hospital neurologist said there’s no cure. Doom-and-gloom neuropathy support forums spoke of nothing but pain and drugs, pain and drugs, assuring me my condition would only get worse and worse until I was reduced to a throbbing crippled lump of flesh mainlining six-syllable painkillers.
“Cure Neuropathy” books told me nothing I hadn’t learned after a day of web browsing. Curiously, three such books, under three different author names, published in three different years, have the identical content. Are we being scammed? Various neuropathy clinics boasted impressive results in convincing YouTube infomercials, but the nearest one to me was 8000 miles/13,000 kilometers away. No one in my hemisphere seemed to know a thing about this terrifying disease. I was on my own.
To make a long story short, I did the research. Not just hopping onto the first robot-voice YouTube video touting this or that miracle remedy. I set aside my work—I couldn’t concentrate anyway—and did deep research for three months straight. One nutrient at a time, I followed the information trail and read every study, report, and anecdote I could find. My sources were scientists, doctors, naturopaths, homeopaths, Chinese medical practitioners, and people like you and me, obsessed with finding a cure. I cross-checked and verified, and compared notes. Sadly, there is a lot of lazy reporting on “Doctor Google”. Someone heard something somewhere, then someone else quotes it and it somehow becomes established fact. Weeding out the nonsense took up 90 percent of my time.
I came up with a list of natural supplements. Then, cautiously, one substance at a time, I became my own lab rat, feeling my body’s reactions—good and bad. Based on my own observations, I’ve tweaked, added to, and deleted from my list over the past many months. I consulted a naturopathic doctor, who studied my course of supplements, told me I’d pretty much gotten it right, except for a few suggested tweaks. I felt vindicated.
Maybe I’m overdoing it. Many of these may be unnecessary, but they haven’t done me any harm. Six months since starting this course, my neuropathy is almost gone.
- I am not a medical professional. This article is not medical advice. I am not responsible for any unwanted reactions you may experience by consuming any of these supplements.
- THIS COURSE OF SUPPLEMENTS WORKS FOR ME. In no way do I imply that the same will cure or improve your condition.
- I am not taking any painkillers or other medications. Therefore I have done no investigation as to interactions between any of these substances and any medications not on my list. Many of the substances on this list may have interactions with your own medications. For example, several have blood-thinning properties or will lower blood sugar levels.
- Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. Consult a naturopath or other open-minded health care provider you trust.
My fifty pills (and other stuff) a day
Upon waking up (thirty minutes before breakfast) (7:30 am)
- R-Lipoic Acid (sodium stabilized) · 4 x 150 mg
- Biotin · 1 x 300 mcg
- L-Arginine + L-Citrulline · 2 x 250 mg / 250 mg
- Hawthorn Extract · 1 x 300 mg
- Quercetin + Bromelain · 2 x 800 mg / 165 mg
Before breakfast (7:45 am)
- Folate (Vitamin B9) (5-methyltetrahydrofolate) · 1 x 400 mcg
- Vitamin C (calcium ascorbate) + Rutin · 1 x 1000 mg
- Zinc + Copper · 1 x 15 mg / 1.5 mg
- Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) · 2 x 1000 mcg
Add to breakfast smoothie (8:00 am)
- Acetyl L-Carnitine · 2 x 500 mg
- Sulfur (Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane) · 1 x 1000 mg
- Turmeric · ¼ teaspoon
Taken with or shortly after breakfast (8:00 am)
- Vitamin D3 · 1 x 2000 iu
- Vitamin E (D-Alpha-Tocopherol + D-Tocotrienols) · 1 x 50 mg
- Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol) · 2 x 100 mg
- Evening Primrose Oil · 1 x 500 mg
- Omega-3 (Algae based) · 1 x 630 mg
- Black Pepper Extract (Piperine) · 1 x 10 mg
- Rhodiola Rosea · 1 x 500 mg
After lunch (12:30 pm)
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) (Benfotiamine) · 1 x 250 mg
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) (Nicotinamide) · 1 x 500 mg
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) · 1 x 500 mg
Thirty minutes before dinner (7:00 pm)
- R-Lipoic Acid (sodium stabilized) · 4 x 150 mg
- Biotin · 1 x 300 mcg
- L-Arginine + L-Citrulline · 2 x 250 mg / 250 mg
- Hawthorn Extract · 1 x 300 mg
- Quercetin + Bromelain · 2 x 800 mg / 165 mg
After dinner (8:00 pm)
- Vitamin E (D-Alpha-Tocopherol + D-Tocotrienols) · 1 x 50 mg
- Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol) · 2 x 100 mg
- Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone-7) · 200 mcg (2 x 100 mcg)
- Omega-3 (Algae based) · 1 x 630 mg
- Black Pepper Extract (Piperine) · 1 x 10 mg
- Turmeric · ¼ teaspoon
Before bed (10:30 pm)
- Folate (Vitamin B9) (5-methyltetrahydrofolate) · 1 x 400 mcg
- Vitamin C (calcium ascorbate) + Rutin · 1 x 500 mg
- Magnesium · 4 sprays (70 mg)
- Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) · 2 x 1000 mcg
- Ashwagandha · 1 x 670 mg
- Bacopa Monnieri · 1 x 750 mg
See below for descriptions of each of these substances. But first, to answer your question:
Isn’t that kind of…um…overdoing it?
Perhaps. But a drastic illness calls for drastic measures. I’m sure that some of these supplements are essential, while some may be unnecessary. But I don’t know which is which. All I know is that it’s working.
It does make travel a bit of a nuisance. I need extra luggage just for all my pills (by the way, the photo at the top of this page is my post-breakfast meal during a recent extended stay in central Portugal; and that’s water, not wine).
I don’t consider this to be long-term therapy. I am concerned about the effect on my liver. That’s why, at some point soon, I’ll gradually cut down, while listening to my body. But there is no question in my mind that this aggressive therapy has given my health the drastic boost it desperately needs.
Isn’t a daily multivitamin good enough?
No. No. No. Absolutely not!
Vitamin skeptics often remark that taking vitamins and supplements results in little more than expensive urine. And they have a point! Many vitamins are not well absorbed by our bodies; they might be destroyed by stomach acids or simply not pass the various cellular barriers to get into our blood or nerves. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to which form of supplements we take, when to take them, what to combine them with, and what not to combine them with.
In later posts I’ll write in detail about many of the supplements on my list. But for now, here’s a brief summary of each, which explains which form of each nutrient is least likely to become expensive urine.
I’ve grouped them as follows in terms of importance (to me):
· Absolutely essential
· Helpful (this does not mean ‘optional’; it only means these are the first ones I will experiment with lowering doses or removing from the list. For now, every item on my list is essential to me.)
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
Of all the supplements that help treat neuropathy, B12 is at the top of the list. It is required for building and maintaining the coating around our nerves called the myelin sheath—which is exactly what our immune systems are attacking when we have neuropathy. It has been well-documented that B12 deficiency is a leading factor in causing neuropathy. Vegetarians and vegans are highly prone to B12 deficiency, as are most people as we get older. Thus, B12 supplementation is crucial. The trouble is, B12 is not well absorbed in supplement form. This is why high megadoses are recommended (it’s water soluble, so it won’t endanger your liver). Important: Most B12 on the market is cyanocobalamin, which is hardly absorbed at all into the bloodstream, and is really not worth taking. There is a more potent form of B12 called methylcobalamin, which is far better assimilated into the bloodstream, but is of course more expensive. Yet even with methylcobalamin, absorption is weak when swallowed as a pill, as some of it is destroyed by stomach acids on the way down. The best way to take B12 is through injection. However, sublingual ingestion is second-best: this means holding it under your tongue and letting it get absorbed through the mucus membranes while it slowly dissolves in your mouth. Caution: one study indicates that high doses of B12 may increase lung cancer risk in older male smokers. The same study found no increased risk for females. If you have or had cancer, please do your own research about B12. Should be taken with Folate, preferably on an empty stomach.
R-Lipoic Acid (sodium stabilized)
The other superstar supplement for neuropathy treatment, and the most expensive. One study after another has linked significant improvements in neuropathy symptoms with the use of Lipoic Acid. Specifically, it repairs nerves by enhancing the delivery of blood, oxygen, and glucose into nerve fibers, and eases neuropathic numbness and pain. Countless doctors and patients testify that Lipoic Acid works miracles.
There are four types of Lipoic Acid: S-Lipoic Acid (S-LA), a synthetic form; R-Lipoic Acid (R-LA; the R stands for Racemic), a natural form derived from plants; Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), which is a 50:50 blend of S-LA and R-LA; and Stabilized R-Lipoic Acid (Na-R-LA or Na-R-ALA; the Na means sodium), which is R-LA combined with sodium salts. The synthetic form alone has little effect on the nerves, while R-Lipoic Acid performs the miracles. Trouble is, R-LA is highly unstable and can deteriorate so rapidly at anything above room temperature, that it can lose all potency between your mouth and your gut. Stability is greatly improved by combining R-LA and S-LA into Alpha Lipoic Acid, the most common form on the market. However, the newer process of sodium-stabilized pure R-LA is much better at maintaining potency all the way through the gut and into the bloodstream. Manufacturers of stabilized, or “bio-enhanced”, Na-R-Lipoic Acid, claim ten times greater bioavailablity than Alpha Lipoic Acid. One nutritionist suggests that Evening Primrose Oil enhances absorption even further. Caution: Possible side effects include lowered blood sugar levels, upset stomach, or temporary skin rash. Also note that Lipoic Acid in all forms depletes Biotin (Vitamin B7), which supports cell energy, hair, and bones. Therefore you should consider adding Biotin to your supplements. Must be taken on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before or after eating, with Hawthorn and Biotin, and possibly with Evening Primrose Oil.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) (Benfotiamine)
An effective weapon for reducing inflammation and neuropathy symptoms, and to increase nerve conduction. Again, not all Thiamines are alike. Benfotiamine is nearly four times more bioavailable than other forms. Caution: Thiamine is poorly absorbed in the presence of high glucose levels; therefore, diabetics are sometimes recommended to pair it with Pyroxidine (Vitamin B6), which regulates glucose. See below for my reasons for not including Pyroxidine on my supplement list.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) (Nicotinamide / Niacinamide)
Niacin plays a big role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, and just plain gives a boost to the nervous system. Niacin comes in three forms: Nicotinic Acid, usually labeled as plain Niacin, the one which makes your face tingle; Inosotol Hexanicotinate, marketed as “No-Flush Niacin”; and Nicotinamide (also called Niacinamide). Of the three, only Nicotinamide repairs nerves. Not only that, but it energizes the whole nervous system. Various sub-forms include Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) and Nicotinamide Riboside, both of which are jaw-dropping expensive, so I stick to an inexpensive product labeled as Niacinimide, which our bodies convert to NAD anyway. Caution: Niacin in high doses (3000 mg+) can spike blood sugar levels. Taken long-term in such high doses, niacin can be toxic to the liver. The dosage I’m on is a bit on the high side. I may halve it soon.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
A shortage of this B vitamin will cause “pins and needles” in fingers and feet, and is a listed cause of neuropathy. Pantothenic Acid is involved in many important body functions, including formation and support of nerve endings and small blood vessels. While it is available in a number of foods, Pantothenic Acid, like B12, is water soluble, so safe to supplement in higher doses.
Folate (Vitamin B9) (5-methyltetrahydrofolate)
Folate deficiency is linked to B12 and iron deficiency, and is also a contributing cause of neuropathy. Because of Folate’s complex interactions with other nutrients, deficiency can be caused by other factors than simply not getting enough from food. Folate therapy has been shown to improve nerve conductivity. Again, not all Folates are alike, so it’s best to find biologically active versions rather than cheap folic acid. Should be taken with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C.
Vitamin C (calcium ascorbate) + Rutin
Along with its well-known benefits as an antioxidant and immune booster, Vitamin C, when combined with Rutin, promotes repair to the myelin sheathing of nerves. Vitamin C is also essential for the absorption of many other nutrients. Although cheap Vitamin C as ascorbic acid is helpful, other forms such as calcium ascorbate are more powerful. Combining with Rutin and bioflavinoids (another good partner to Vitamin C) is essential for neuropathy treatment. Fortunately, many of the better Vitamin C supplements include both Rutin and bioflavinoids. Higher doses than 500mg daily are a waste of money, since your body flushes out the excess. Should be taken with Folate, B12, and Zinc.
Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol)
This essential enzyme boosts cell energy and protects mitochondria throughout our bodies, enabling damaged cells to more easily repair themselves. That especially goes for nerve cells. In a study on neuropathic rats CoQ10 treatment completely restored nerve conduction to the same levels as healthy rats. If it’s good enough for rodents…well, it may not be good enough for me. As with nearly everything on this list, there are different types of CoQ10: Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. Both are good. The former converts in the body to the latter, so taking Ubiquinol is more direct and efficient. Must be taken during or after a meal containing healthy oils or fats, and with pepper or Piperine for proper absorption.
An amino acid often used by bodybuilders to supercharge mental focus and fat loss, and for pain relief. For us, it’s a powerful neuroprotector, which shields nerves from further damage. Most promising of all, studies suggest it works to actually regenerate nerves. I buy it in bulk powder form, which is significantly less expensive than pills, though it has a very sour taste.
Among its other benefits as a “super food”, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and immune booster, which has been shown to reduce neuropathy symptoms. Many articles recommend taking a concentrated extract of Curcumin, one of the major beneficial substances in turmeric, but I disagree. There are at least 34 other essential oils contained in turmeric. Recent studies in India indicate that several of these are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream than Curcumin and have similar or supplementary effects. Therefore, ‘full-spectrum’ turmeric (meaning: the whole root, not an extract) is most effective for treating neuropathy. That means, the cheap turmeric powder you can buy at Asian groceries is better for you than an expensive extract. Must be taken with pepper or Piperine for proper absorption.
There may be some recent controversy over whether Omega-3 supplements are actually beneficial for cardiovascular health, but there is clinical proof that Omega-3 revitalizes damaged nerves. Not all Omega-3 fatty acids are alike. Yes, flax seeds and most nuts contain an Omega-3 called ALA, but ALA has little effect on nerve health. We want EPA and DHA, the most commonly-found source of which comes from oily fish like salmon, cod, and sardines. The down side of fish oils include the chance of heavy metal contamination in the fish. On an ethical and environmental level, natural stocks of wild salmon, sardines, and especially cod are under enormous pressure, on the verge of collapse in some places, partly because of the explosive worldwide demand for Omega-3 supplements.
Some evidence points to krill oil as a superior source. Krill are tiny crustaceans which live in every ocean (blue whales subsist on a diet of krill, and you don’t hear them complaining of numb fingers). Krill oil also naturally contains Asaxanthin, an antioxidant which makes Omega-3 oils more effective. Unfortunately, in recent years, other studies place doubt on the effectiveness of krill-sourced Omega-3 for human nutrition. So the jury is out.
Growing evidence points to algae-based sources of Omega-3 as the most well-assimilated into the body. After all, krill and fish are not naturally endowed with Omega-3; they get it from the microorganisms they eat, such as algae. Going to the original link in the food source lowers the chance of heavy metal pollution found in many fish. It is also vegan. On an ethical and environmental level, using algae-sourced Omega-3 instead of fish or krill reduces pressure on fast-depleting stocks of oily fish and other sea life. For all these reasons, I have switched completely to vegan algae-sourced Omega-3 supplements.
If taking Omega-3 from non-krill sources, then Asaxanthin supplementation is a good idea.
New information as of May 2022: A new study pointing to a correlation between fish oil Omega-3 supplements and prostate cancer is causing quite a stir, particularly on several YouTube channels. Subsequent articles in respected journals are extremely critical of the study, since they did not do any control methods, did not factor in dietary intake of Omega-3, and did not consider other factors as potential correlation markers. What’s more, in places like Japan and Inuit communities, where consumption of Omega-3 is quite high, the rate of prostate cancer is no different than anywhere else. So please take the alarmist YouTube videos with a grain of, um, unrefined Himalayan sea salt.
Black Pepper Extract (Piperine)
Piperine is the substance in pepper that makes it spicy. It also protects certain nutrients on their journey through the acid swamp in our stomachs. It therefore increases the absorption rate for such things as Coenzyme Q10 and Turmeric, making them up to ten times as potent. Without pepper or Piperine, you’re wasting most of the therapeutic effect of these other nutrients. You can take a small amount of pepper (black, chili, or cayenne are all fine) with your other supplements, or get inexpensive Piperine in extract form. Typically with turmeric and fresh pepper you take them in 4:1 ratio: that is, 1 unit of turmeric plus 1/4 unit of pepper. In my case, I take 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric twice a day, which means I need a few shakes of black pepper or half a small red chili in my food at the same time. Note: you need to use freshly ground black pepper or fresh chili pepper. The Piperine component deteriorates fairly quickly from old, dried, ground pepper that’s been sitting on your shelf. Must be taken with Coenzyme Q10 and Turmeric.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common contributing factor to neuropathy. Our bodies synthesize their own Vitamin D from sunlight on our skin, and as more of us lead entirely indoor lifestyles, D deficiency is a rising problem. Thus, the best therapy is to go outdoors with some exposed skin for at least half an hour every day. But a hospital study concluded that high doses of D3 over a limited period actually help to repair nerve damage caused by neuropathy. Should be taken with Vitamin E. Should also be taken with Vitamin K2, either at the same time or (as some nutritionists believe) eight hours apart.
Vitamin E (D-Alpha-Tocopherol + D-Tocotrienols)
Vitamin E supplementation can reduce neuropathy symptoms, including pain and numbness, by protecting nerve cell membranes and mitochondria. It also promotes nerve regeneration. Start by eating Vitamin E rich foods such as sunflower seeds and wheat germ. As for supplements, be careful to get one from natural (preferably non-soy) sources. There are two main kinds of Vitamin E, Tocopherol and Tocotrienol, and each comes in Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma forms, all of which are good for nerves in different ways. Cheap Vitamin E supplements are synthetic Tocopherols, sometimes labeled DL-Alpha-Tocopherol. Better to get the natural form, D-Alpha-Tocopheral (without the L). You can also find Tocotrienol capsules. A supplement which combines both (and preferably contains all four of the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma forms of either Tocopherol or Tocotrienol) will be the most effective. Must be taken with Evening Primrose Oil.
Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone-7)
Vitamin K2 is directly involved in the health, growth, and repair of nerve cells. A human trial indicated that neuropathy patients tend to have low K2, and that K2 supplements noticeably improved their neuropathy symptoms. The most effective form of K2 is Menaquinone-7, also called K2-7. Don’t confuse Vitamin K1 and K2, since their properties are completely different. Vitamins K2 and D3 are considered a “dynamic duo”, enhancing each other’s effect on the nerves, bones, and arteries. The duo is often packaged together. However, some nutritionists suggest that taking them eight hours apart is the proper timing, so that’s what I’m trying for now.
(updated September 2022) Magnesium is on every health practitioner’s must-have list for treating neuropathy, eye problems, and other issues. Magnesium deficiency is common in most developed countries because of modern factory farming methods, so it’s no surprise that many people with neuropathy have low magnesium levels. Magnesium supplementation helps to improve recovery and regeneration of nerves, as well as to reduce pain in general. As with so many supplements, there is a confusing variety of magnesium forms, with Magnesium Malate probably the best absorbed in pill or powder form. It turns out that numerous studies have shown that magnesium is poorly absorbed in supplement form, no matter what kind it is. On the other hand, magnesium oil sprayed or rubbed into your skin shows an almost immediate improvement in magnesium levels in the blood after just a few days. This might seem counterintuitive, but more and more studies bear it out. Magnesium oil is also an excellent treatment for muscle pain. Get a good quality pure magnesium oil spray derived from natural sources, such as from the Zechstein seabed in the Netherlands or the Dead Sea, since these also contain trace minerals. Spray a little on your skin or on aching muscles before bed. NOTE: Your skin will itch for a while or feel dry after spraying magnesium oil. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then you can rinse off the residue and apply aloe vera to soothe the skin if necessary. A minority of people develop allergy-like rashes after using it. If this happens to you, discontinue it and the symptoms will go away. Then you have to try supplements and high-magnesium foods such as organic almonds, cashews, black beans, quinoa, spinach, and dark chocolate (70-85% cacao).
Zinc + Copper
Zinc is a tricky one. It is absolutely necessary to protect against nerve damage. Zinc deficiency has been linked to neuropathy, yet too much zinc can be mildly toxic. While many foods such as beans, oats, and nuts are rich in zinc, short-to-medium-term zinc supplementation is often used for stimulating nerve healing and improving nerve conductivity. Warning: excess zinc can deplete copper in your body. Any zinc supplement should include copper at a 10:1 ratio. I prefer a supplement containing both, made from fermented vegetables and herbs. Should be taken with Vitamin C.
Hawthorn berries contain a powerful antioxidant, which also promotes blood circulation into the smallest blood vessels. Many naturopaths consider Hawthorn to be a synergistic herb to be taken with Lipoic Acid in order to enhance its effect. Caution: Can reduce blood pressure. Should not be taken if you are using any heart medications. Must be taken with Lipoic Acid (ALA, R-LA, or R-ALA).
Quercetin + Bromelain
Quercetin is a wonderful natural antihistamine, derived from onion skins, which alleviates (among other allergic symptoms) itchy, swollen ankles, commonly associated with neuropathy. For years, long before my neuropathy, I’ve used Quercetin any time I had itchy skin that wouldn’t let me sleep. Within 20 minutes the itch would subside. Quercetin’s anti-inflammatory effects also reduce neuropathic pain. Best of all, it has neuroprotective qualities that shield nerves from further damage, and has been shown to help regrow damaged nerves. In two separate studies, neuropathic rats were completely cured of neuropathy with Quercetin treatment! Bromelain, derived from pineapples, has similar antihistamine effects. Note: To maintain effectiveness, Quercetain should be taken for 4 weeks, then pause for 2 weeks, then continue to repeat the cycle. For a detailed discussion of Quercetin, see my post, The Onion Skin Cure.
Evening Primrose Oil
Not just for women! Evening Primrose Oil has been found to improve nerve function and to relieve neuropathic pain. It’s a potent source of Gamma-Linolenic Acid. GLA coats and strengthens neural membranes, promotes peripheral nerve growth, and increases nerve conduction. One diabetes specialist claims that it also enhances the effects of Alpha Lipoic Acid (or Na-R-Lipoic Acid). Must be taken with Vitamin E. Should possibly be taken with Alpha Lipoic Acid or Na-R-Lipoic Acid.
Rhodiola Rosea, an Arctic flowering plant, has been popular for centuries in northern Europe as a natural mood stabilizer and antidepressant (as well as anti-diabetic, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties). In recent studies, extracts of Rhodiola tested positively in aiding nerve regeneration. So, two benefits in one supplement. Should not be taken in combination with antidepressant drugs.
Helpful (does not mean optional)
L-Arginine + L-Citrulline
These amino acids are two sides of one coin. Our bodies convert L-Citrulline into L-Arginine. Taking both together extends the supplement’s effect. L-Arginine activates Nitric Oxide, which helps to dilate and maintain the flexibility of small blood vessels and increase blood flow into the tiniest capillaries. The more blood in those extremities, the more nourishment is delivered to the tiny nerve endings. Although acknowledged as good for cardiovascular health, opinion is divided as to whether L-Arginine is truly beneficial for neuropathy patients. Caution: These can reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Diabetics may require an adjustment in insulin treatment. Should not be taken with blood pressure medications or Saw Palmetto.
This one is an educated guess on my part. MSM is a powerful anti-inflammatory which generally accelerates healing and flushing of toxins. What makes it special is that MSM helps to normalize collagen, which not only makes your skin look nicer, but collagen strengthens the epidermis layers where the tiniest nerve endings reside. Low levels of collagen expose and weaken those tiny nerve extremities, whereas a mild boost in collagen promotes healing of impaired nerves and increases tactile sense in the fingertips. So, putting two and two together, my guess is that MSM may benefit my neuropathy. Should be taken with Vitamin C.
Derived from a flowering shrub, Aswagandha is used as a wonder cure for many ailments in Ayurvedic medicine. Three separate scientific studies showed that Ashwagandha helps to rebuild damaged nerve synapses and heal diseased nerve cells. It’s being hailed as a possible preventative for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, though no specific study has been done on neuropathy. Seems promising, though. Must be taken with Bacopa Monnieri.
Another Ayurvedic herbal cure, otherwise known as Water Hyssop, is mainly prescribed for memory and intelligence, by boosting communication between neurons. It does so by promoting the growth of peripheral nerve endings, called dendrites. Again, no study has been done for its effects on neuropathy, but it sounds good to me! It is also considered a synergistic herb, often prescribed with Ashwagandha. It can have a mild sedative effect, which is why I schedule it for bedtime. Must be taken with Ashwagandha.
Supplements I don’t use
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Vitamin B6 is often listed beside B12 as beneficial for alleviating neuropathy symptoms. Many sources recommend pairing Benfotiamine with Vitamin B6, especially for diabetics. But beware: B6 is tricky, in that either a deficiency or an excess can actually cause peripheral neuropathy. Since B6 is available in a large variety of common foods, B6 deficiency is rare in most people. I won’t risk overdosing myself with B6 supplements. If I were diabetic, I might consider B6. Note that many multi and B-complex vitamins contain shockingly massive overdoses of B6.
Often recommended for neuropathy because of its effectiveness in increasing blood flow into the tiniest blood capillaries, which of course feed the tiniest nerves. But this function is also served by Hawthorn and L-Citrulline. The trouble with Ginkgo Biloba is that it also lowers blood pressure. There are enough blood pressure-lowering items on my list, that taking too many could be dangerous.
On days when I spend at least thirty minutes outdoors in direct sunlight, I will often skip D3 supplements.
As explained in The Onion Skin Cure, onion skins are such a good natural source of Quercetin that I only take the pills if I haven’t saved up enough skins. A small amount of 200 mg (a teaspoon or so) tossed in a smoothie or other meal is enough. They’re practically tasteless.
I don’t advocate taking Turmeric in pill form. I only use high quality organic turmeric powder.
Black Pepper (Piperine)
Best to simply sprinkle a liberal amount black pepper on a morning omelet, or toss some chilis or cayenne pepper in a dinner stew, within 30 minutes of taking turmeric and Coenzyme Q10. I only take Piperine tablets on those occasions when I don’t eat a spicy meal.
How much does all this cost???
It isn’t cheap. I calculated what I spend per month (30-day supply) for all of the above, using today’s exchange rate (14 November 2018):
US$320.33 = $10.68/day
CA$423.91 = $14.13/day
£246.29 = £8.21/day
€283.35 = €9.45/day
AU$443.41 = $14.78/day
NZ$473.21 = $15.77/day
HK$2508.94 = $83.63/day
Prices range from highly expensive Na-R-Lipoic Acid (US$96/month) to incredibly cheap MSM Sulfur powder (US$0.08/month).
That’s a lot of money, to be sure.
I faced a choice: do I want to hang on to my money or reclaim my health? My neuropathy was affecting my work as a writer and artist. I couldn’t feel a brush or a keyboard! I fell three months behind on a major project. I had more to lose financially by not spending eleven bucks a day on pills.
How much are you spending on those prescription drugs that aren’t curing you? How much were (or are) you spending on junk food, soda pop, corn chips, candy, biscuits, ice cream, and alcohol, that you gave up (or should have) due to neuropathy? If you cut out one Starbucks coffee a day, there’s nearly half the supplement budget.
As a reminder: No, a budget multivitamin won’t do you much good. Those don’t contain the right forms or the correct portions of of the nutrients you need.
Remember that the above supplement course is mine alone. Your condition, and your own research, will likely result in a different course. You may still spend a lot on pills, but at the end of six months you might end up like me, “feeling like a million bucks”. How much is that worth?
How long does it take to work?
For the first two months I felt little effect. In fact, I got worse. I fell down in the middle of a lunchtime crowd on a pedestrian bridge in the central business district because my feet hurt so much, that I almost—almost—crawled to the doctor to beg for a painkiller, knowing that becoming drug dependent would screw up my head, ending my ability to think and write clearly, the end of my career. Instead I stood up and kept walking, and increased the doses of some of my supplements.
For the next two months, my condition stabilized. Whenever I took a set of pills, my numbness would subside temporarily, then return after an hour. It was promising, but I felt no lasting effect.
Then in month four, feeling gradually returned to the little finger of each hand. It was a breakthrough. I felt like howling at the moon. A couple weeks later the numbness and chill in my ring fingers came and went in slow waves, then the numbness subsided for good. My feet felt less like they were treading on balloons; I sensed the coolness of our tile floors for the first time.
In the fifth month, things started to improve rapidly. By the time I left for an extended writing sojourn abroad, most of the feeling had returned to both hands, and the numb spots on my feet had contracted to my toes and the balls of my feet. I was elated!
It’s too soon to stop, of course. I expect to continue this treatment for at least one year, probably two years, adjusting, evaluating, feeling my body’s responses, and adjusting some more along the way.
Are they really all necessary?
Many of these supplements appear to do the same thing: dilate small blood vessels, repair nerve endings. I presume they all do so at a small pace, using different biochemical mechanisms. By stacking them, I may have sped up the process.
As for their cumulative effect on the rest of my body, I look at it this way: many of the human trials of individual substances lasted for six months, and I’m not there yet. Many anecdotal reports about neuropathy recovery mention time frames of six months just to start with, ranging to two years. So for now, it’s too early to worry. I did have a full medical examination just a few weeks ago, and my liver function was very slightly raised, but far below any warning levels. I don’t sense any physical issues. Other than residual numbness in my feet, I actually feel healthier than in many years. I will continue to monitor and adjust.
What brands are best?
I put a massive effort into comparing supplement products for their ingredients, reputations, reviews, and of course value for money. In many cases I have tried and switched products. The link just below contains the latest list of all the supplements I am actually using for myself. You can see which brands and products I use, examine the ingredients, read other users’ reviews, and compare with competing products.
Peripheral Art Neuropathy Supplement List
Please be aware that this is an affiliate link for iHerb. My purpose for this blog, and this post, is not to sell you anything; my motivation is to share with you my hard work and my joy in finding a cure for my own neuropathy, in the hope that you’ll be inspired by my experience. But yes, I do get some small pocket change if you buy anything from the list. You also get a discount by using this link. I’m perfectly happy if you only use the list as a reference.
Pills are not the whole cure
Finally, I emphasize again: supplements alone haven’t cured me. I attribute my remarkable recovery in equal parts to:
- Strenuous exercise for one hour a day;
- Dietary choices and restrictions, which I strictly adhere to, plus a lot of water;
- The supplements on this list.
In future posts I’ll describe my exercise and diet regimens. For now I’ve taken enough of your time.
I’m still learning! If you have any corrections, disagreements, experiences with these or other supplements you wish to share, or additional information about any of the above, please please please tell me in the comments below. Be aware: as a writer and sometimes editor, I reserve the right to correct any errors in spelling or punctuation in your message. Please no advertisements or insults.
I wish you a speedy recovery from the torment of peripheral neuropathy.
Diane Overfield5 November 2018 at 6:36 pm
Dear Larry, I’m so happy for your results. I know I can’t afford all those medications. I only take Gabapentin 1500 mg for my neuropathy. I have tried several meds per my dr. Nothing has been able to help me. I have neuropathy in my right hand and right foot. I have terrible lower back pain and hip pain, which I put Salon Pa’s on both sections. This helps me with both of these problems. So one night after my shower I decided to put the patches on my foot and a patch on my right hand. As I’m watching tv 2hrs later I wondered what was going on. I did not have any pain at all, I slept all night with no pain. When I woke up and no pain. I thanked our Lord for that one night’s sleep. I forgot to tell you I have been wearing a carpel tunnel brace on my right hand for 3 years because of the pins and needles, numbness and sharp jabs. Also I had carpel tunnel surgery 2 1/2 yrs, ago. I went for my checkup 1 month later and I told the dr. the surgery didn’t take. He said you’re the first person who has said that to me. So then he gave me a shot in my wrist (I want to tell you that shot was the worst pain I’ve had since child birth) the neuropathy was back after 2 weeks. My dr. said there was nothing else he could do. Now I don’t have to wear my brace. Yesterday in church everyone was asking me where’s your brace. Gone, Gone and Gone. I still wear a Salon Pa on my hand when needed. I still use 3-4 patches on my foot. I have since started taking vitamin B’s pills. Thank you for reading my letter, like I said before I’m so glad you’re doing so much better.
Thank you, Diane
Larry6 November 2018 at 3:00 am
Hi Diane, thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear how much pain you’ve gone through, but it seems like things are getting better. I strongly urge you to keep going with the Vitamin B supplements. You may not notice an effect right away, but in the long term they will benefit you greatly. Bless you!
Chris southern10 November 2018 at 9:08 pm
Fantastic advice!!! God bless you sir! I have been searching for something… anything… to help.
Chris southern15 November 2018 at 1:21 am
Hello! I see you mention a strict diet… can you explain further?
Larry15 November 2018 at 2:55 am
I’ll write a post about my neuropathy diet sometime soon. Essentially it means cutting out all foods which are inflammatory and/or contribute to neuropathy, or are just plain poison to your body. This includes: all forms of sugar or sweeteners, all wheat products, all dairy products, fruit juices, potatoes, eggplants/aubergines, all alcohol, any and all artificial ingredients such as flavorings and preservatives and artificial sweeteners, certain Asian mushrooms (for me), and a host of other things. And I am absolutely strict about it! No cheating, no exceptions.
Also, I drink at least 2 liters of plain water a day–not tea or juice, but water. I also drink lots of herbal and green teas. But I notice that on days when I forget to drink my full 2 liters of water I can feel it in my fingertips.
Makes for a very limited and kind of boring diet, and it drives my family crazy. But the reward in return for a bland diet is getting my fingers and feet back. I’ve read enough comments from people who say, “But I need my doughnuts and fries and caramel macchiatos as comfort foods to soothe my soul because of my neuropathy.” Er…no you don’t. You need to treat your illness, and your “comfort food” will only make you feel more uncomfortable. Diet is at least as important as supplements. You can’t concentrate on one without the other. Without being hyper-aware of your diet, your chance of recovery, or at least of reducing the symptoms of neuropathy, will be quite limited.
Jim14 December 2018 at 4:25 pm
Great news, Larry! I wish you all the best in your continued recovery! I always get a hearty laugh from your cartoons! Thanks so much for the fun times, and keep them coming! You bring a lot of happiness!
Vivian Wiser8 February 2019 at 10:04 pm
Larry, Thank you so much for sharing your healing path! I really want to start on some of the supplements you listed but I was unable to access the supplement list as it’s posted. I clicked on it but it didn’t do anything. Is there another way to see the list? It would be very helpful to know which brands you recommend. Thanks and wishes for your continued success in healing,
BaixaHomem9 February 2019 at 1:23 am
I’m sorry you’re unable to access the list. I have tested it in numerous browsers on computers and mobile devices, with no problem. Here is a direct link to the list: https://secure.iherb.com/tr/list?id=23631540&rcode=VAP034
I am also sending you a private e-mail. Please look for it.
Mark6 August 2019 at 3:00 am
A very inspiring post! I have very recently (three months) developed symptoms–numb and tingling feet–for which I am awaiting a diagnosis. If it comes back as what I fear, I will definitely use this page as a resource. I don’t do pharmaceutical drugs, and the possibility of succumbing to them scares me. I am very interested in your diet and exercise regimes; perhaps you can answer some questions at a later date.
I recently cured myself of a rather debilitating and lifelong condition–acid reflux–which a slew of doctors told me had no cure, and was advised to ‘just take the drugs.’ Many of the supplements I tried in my quest to solve the issue are listed on this page, supplements I continue to take today. I am convinced that diet and supplements saved me from further pain and damage, and I refuse to believe there is no cure for difficult illnesses. The cure just hasn’t been found yet.
Thanks again for all your hard work–this post is absolutely a godsend–hope doesn’t seem to be a large quantity when dealing with PN, but your success should certainly inspire hope.
Larry6 August 2019 at 8:29 am
Your story is inspiring as well, curing acid reflux without medicating yourself. But, hmmm… if you’re using many of the supplements from my list and still possibly developing neuropathy, then you need to both experiment with your own stacks of supplements, and implement a broader cure. I realize I’ve been lax about sharing my diet and exercise regimens, but that’s partly because in the past few months I’m starting to shift my thinking. I absolutely stand by my supplement cure–for myself–but it has been dawning on me that diet and exercise are primary in healing our bodies. Pills alone, whether pharmaceuticals, or herbs and amino acids in capsules, can never be the whole treatment. I’ll be posting something fairly soon about this.
Mark7 August 2019 at 3:57 am
I agree–supplements are not the whole treatment. But they are significant and healthier than that offered up by Western medicine. My “list” parallels yours, but not completely. I’m only at twenty pills a day! And the doses you have been taking are quite higher than what I am used to, but perhaps that’s why my symptoms so far have been quite mild (aside from the anxiety!) compared to what other folks have experienced. But with my self-treatment as lab rat for my reflux, diet turned out to be the key. Supplements, with some exceptions, were secondary. That’s why I am most interested in your diet and exercise regimens. I’ll look forward to your future posts, and thanks.
Tom Jordan29 August 2019 at 10:26 pm
Larry, You and I preach the same sermon. I hope we can be friends. I reversed my neuropathy symptoms through diet – not smoothies – and I know it can be done. Most of the same basics as you, no carbs, starches, sugars, no cheating. I appreciate what you discovered for yourself. I didn’t find your writing until after I had fixed my own – but you are on point.
Richard23 September 2019 at 3:34 pm
Larry, what an inspiring story. Interestingly, there are some other groups that seem to have discovered a list of supplements similar to yours. There’s even one Facebook group that has dedicated regimen of supplements they take.
I’m tremendously interested in the dietary aspect of this. I’ve done the exercise part for years before this came on, but my diet could be better.
Do you have any issues with overdoing exercise? Before this I cycled several days a week for up to 100kms per day. I haven’t tried anything much beyond 50k as I’ve read that it can cause flares.
Thank for you sharing! I look forward to your posts.
Larry24 September 2019 at 12:17 am
Yes, there is a Facebook and member-only group which shares its own list of supplements for neuropathy, which seems quite good. I became aware of them after I was already several months into my research and experimentation. So, while my approach is not based on theirs, the fact that there is some overlap is both interesting and reinforcing to everyone. I don’t claim that my approach is “better”, only that it has worked incredibly well for me.
Regarding diet and exercise, my apologies for not posting anything about those yet. I have been overwhelmed by a major writing project for the past year, and I try to slip these blog posts in between, but they do take a lot of thought and effort to write. I promise that such articles are at the top of my to-do list.
About exercise: I too am an avid cyclist, but cycling isn’t enough, since it doesn’t target the blockages in our limbs. I strongly believe that resistance training–meaning using weights such as kettlebells–as well as specific stretches are essential for defeating neuropathy. And yes, I overdid it. My gym trainer called me insane, because I took his workout program and tripled it. That is, I repeated it three times daily six days a week for months in my eagerness to overcome neuropathy and because it apparently works. And it was cool, at age 63, for the first time in my life, to actually have a physique I wasn’t ashamed of. But of course I inevitably sprained a tendon, which forced me to scale back. I’m now “only” doubling his program, three or four days a week. When I stop the workouts, such as during a recent three-week holiday, I definitely feel the not-so-positive effects.
Richard27 September 2019 at 3:09 pm
There have been a few studies now on diabetic neuropathy and exercise which showed it actually cause nerve regrowth so I’m not surprised that exercise can help hold back symptoms or improve them.
I am following the closed Facebook group’s protocol and also exploring yours. Hopefully treating this early, will help.
There is one exciting topical drug in the pipeline from a tiny startup of four people that actually seems to reverse neuropathy. They have interesting story and their research is worth reading too. It’s all crowd funded because big pharma doesn’t see the need for something like this. (I’m in no way affiliated with them). https://winsantor.com.
Thank you for sharing your story. It’s an inspiration to me and I’m sure to others.
Marco Pellegrino20 December 2019 at 5:14 pm
I simply might have missed this part, but…which type of neuropathy do you actually have, the diabetic one?
Larry21 December 2019 at 2:52 am
I suspect that my neuropathy is a result of taking statin drugs: Crestor and Lipitor (not at the same time). After three days of hospital tests, pretty much everything else was ruled out. In my research, I discovered laboratory animal studies in the 1980s which confirmed that neuropathy is a predictable (not rare) side effect of statin drugs, and that these studies were ignored by the FDA. So my suspicions have some basis.
For this reason, I have looked for general non-pharmaceutical treatments for neuropathy, not taking diabetes into account.
Marko4 January 2020 at 12:06 am
Hey Larry I can’t access the link with your supplement choice, can you mail it to me. It sends me to iherb loading but never loads 🙂
Larry4 January 2020 at 4:14 am
I sent you an e-mail. Let me know if it works.
Jon10 January 2020 at 5:28 pm
Oh my goodness! Where have you been? I totally love and appreciate all the work that you’ve done and I kept looking for what you wanted for sharing all this. And it appears to be nothing. I truly believe Everything you have said and I believe it would help. When I got peripheral neuropathy in 2004 I searched everywhere for just one person that had cured them self and couldn’t find anything. I was damaged by Cipro and Avelox and my damages is Axonal. Thank you so very much for sharing all your hard work. I agree with everything that you have written and I’m going to exercise. My diet it’s very similar to yours. And I’m good on the water. I don’t drink teas because of the contamination of chemicals. I do believe people are just starting out with neuropathy will follow exactly what you have outlined they will be healed. How kind and generous of you to share all of your hard work. I believe you have the answers. And I think it’s worth Whatever you have to do to get it back. Thank you very very very much Larry.
Jon10 January 2020 at 5:33 pm
I spent 10 years researching care and treatment for peripheral neuropathy and you just compiled all my research into a well written generously shared article. It’s so true about everybody just complaining In all the groups. gets old really quickly.
So when I got worked up at Duke I was having an EMG and the doctor said you look just like somebody I had a few months ago and their neuropathy was caused by B6 overdose. And I too have been shocked at how much extra B6 is in everything. We have been told that it’s water-soluble and you can take as much as you want and it will go right through you but I don’t agree with that and I think that you can get too much of B12 also.
Larry11 January 2020 at 1:28 am
Jon, thank you for your comments. I’m intrigued by your thought that you can get too much B12. Until now I haven’t found any studies pointing to that. But that doesn’t mean I reject the possibility. If you have any source for such information about B12 I am eager to see it.
Milan Stolarik14 January 2020 at 6:27 pm
A very very interesting and well researched article. Congratulations. I too suspect that statins are the cause of my self diagnosed neuropathy. My doctor does not think so because the symptoms come and go and all my tests are normal, including B-12 level. Am trying some of the supplements. There is one product out there, Nerve Renew, which has many of the supplements you mentioned. Are you, or were you aware of it? Cheers.
Larry15 January 2020 at 12:16 am
Of course your doctor denies that statins caused your neuropathy. So did my neurologist. They all worship statins as a “miracle” drug and want the whole world taking them. It’s hard to blame them: the studies which linked statins to neuropathy were suppressed by the US FDA. A small but growing number of medical professionals are waking up to the realities of statins.
I am aware of Nerve Renew but haven’t tried it. My impression is that it’s a high quality product using top grade ingredients at a fair price. In fact, I felt validated when I discovered that the doses they use are quite close to what I came up with in my own research. The only reason I don’t use it is that I think certain supplements, like R-Lipoic Acid, should be taken in isolation on an empty stomach, while others should not be, and that B-12 (methylcobalamin) should be done sublingually or by injection but never swallowed in a pill. I also like to be able to adjust my dosages as I go along. Of course, if you want an all-in-one capsule, then some compromises must be made. So, overall, my hesitations about Nerve Renew are small.
Linda Hahn15 January 2020 at 9:32 am
Nerve Renew got me on the right track to alleviating my 10+ pain for 8 years of PN – unknown cause. I highly recommend it.
I have pretty much done what you have done. Stopped all medication, no sodas, no sugar, no carbs, plenty of green vegetable. Plus I take almost all of the vitamins you are taking. And, I no longer need pain medication. Pain is now 0-1. I so enjoyed your article and commitment. I still have numbness in my fingers and feet. And, you have inspired me to continue my quest to totally alleviate PN.
Thank you taking the time to share your knowledge.
PS-If you need quality guidance on supplements, make an appointment with a licensed nutritionist. They review all your medical history, medications and supplements plus lab work. The licensed nutritionist I have asked advice from has been an excellent source of information and knows what companies make quality products.
Allison28 January 2020 at 9:29 pm
Starting this tomorrow
Steve8 February 2020 at 2:57 am
Did you have any burning? Or just complete numbness?
Larry8 February 2020 at 10:12 am
Sometimes I had what I would call a frostbite burn in some of my fingers, and more often in the balls of my feet. It felt the same as when I would put bare hands in the snow for too long. It wasn’t constant. It seemed to come as a reaction to certain foods. For example, the last time I ever drank a beer, half an hour later my fingers had that “freezing hot” feeling. The frostbite sensation was the first thing that went away once I started improving.
Mark18 February 2020 at 5:00 am
Thanks for writing all this up and for doing all this research. I know I speak for many that finding this page was helpful given all the info you eloquently posted. I have a few questions though: 1. What is the update now that you’re over a year old on this plan? 2. Did you wind up reducing anything, exercise/diet included? 3. How is your neuropathy now?
Larry18 February 2020 at 5:51 am
Hi Mark, many apologies for neglecting to update this site and not answering your very valid and important questions.
In the past year I have experimented with reducing many of my supplements. I noticed a negative effect when I reduced some (for example, R-Lipoic Acid). Others I have successfully reduced or eliminated. It sometimes breaks my heart to take so many pills just to feel normal, and I am currently looking into the long-term effects of some supplements. I am not going to describe which ones I quit or reduced, because it will become very confusing to others. My intention with this post is not to say: “Here’s a neuropathy protocol. You must follow it” and then later, “Here’s what to reduce.” My intention is to share my findings about each of these supplements, as a launch point for other people to do their own research and try their own protocol based on what they learn. I also strongly emphasize listening to your body’s signals with each thing you take, and to eventually experiment with reducing or even increasing dosages of some.
As for exercise, again I apologize for not writing in detail about my exercise regimen, but it boils down to this: do daily strenuous exercise. It hardly matters what it is. Some exercises are very challenging at first, but persevere and they will get easier. I maintain my exercise routine and am now physically stronger (and better looking, if I may say so) than I’ve been in 30 years. There have been times when I’ve been sick or lazy or the weather is terrible, so I’ve skipped gym for several days in a row. When I do so, I feel the little remaining numbness in my toes starting to creep back. That scares me into returning to the gym.
I also maintain a very strict diet and haven’t touched wheat or sugar in 18 months. I’ve tried a few sips of red wine, which seem to have no effect. But I’ll never drink beer again for the rest of my life. It is the worst poison of any food since I came down with neuropathy.
As of today, my neuropathy is 100% gone from my hands and fingers. My toes still have residual numbness which sometimes gets worse, sometimes better, and it’s driving me crazy trying to figure out what the triggers are. On average, though, it’s 85% better than it was at the height of my neuropathy.
I hope this helps. My sincere best wishes for your curing yourself of this miserable affliction.
Daniel26 April 2020 at 1:37 pm
Hey Larry, a fantastic article! Thank you so much for putting all this together, and for sharing.
I wonder what your opinion is on rice and soy products.
Larry26 April 2020 at 2:19 pm
The best advice is not to listen to me or any one article, but to pay careful attention to your own body. The following are my own experiences, not necessarily a recommendation for others.
Being a life-long vegetarian and living in Asia, I depend on soy in my diet–tofu is my sustenance and I love it. Until now I sense no negative reaction when consuming soy products, and I’m pretty sure it’s safe for anyone who isn’t allergic to soy.
As for rice, there is plenty of opinion that all grains, including rice, are neuropathy-unfriendly. I avoid white rice even more strictly than before, for the same reason all of humanity should avoid high-glycemic refined grains. I do eat organic brown rice, since my wife cooks it and it pleases her when I share some, but my body isn’t always happy when I have it: if I eat too much, the residual numbness in my feet flares up just a little bit, so I’ll take only a tiny portion (a few tablespoons) and not every day.
Mike9 June 2020 at 10:10 pm
Great informative article Larry. Even though I have not been professionally diagnosed with PN, I am in no doubt that it is this causing the constant frostbite feeling in my toes. A recent visit to the doctor revealed nothing, a full blood test showed everything is normal. I’m still researching on what may have started it 6 weeks ago, and what possible change in my lifestyle has got this awful complaint started? It did occur to me that about 3 months ago I went through a very stressful period, I even commented to my partner that this stress is going to bring on an illness. Maybe my stress was the cause, I don’t know for sure, but I do know that I want rid of it. Driving makes it worse for me also.
I am going to start a trial supplementing with B12, Acetyl L-carnitine (must be Acetyl not L-tartrate) and Alpha Lipoic Acid, at the same time I aim to cut out sugar from my diet, I’ll try this first before I cut out the carbs. I already weight train weekly and drink plenty of water. I have taken tips from your article to alter my plan if it desires me to do so. All the best.
Sonya23 June 2020 at 2:54 am
I would like to know what supplement brands you use.
Larry23 June 2020 at 6:17 am
If you click on the link in the article, it will bring you to iHerb, where you will see the exact brands and products I use for myself. You can find the same or similar products on Swanson and Amazon.
Sonya23 June 2020 at 3:13 pm
Thank-you so much! I’m sorry that I didn’t see this link yesterday. I have begun using your entire protocol, including the morning smoothie. I really appreciate all of the work that you have done on this. It is so kind of you to share it. I am really looking forward to your diet list. I too am a vegetarian. I really appreciate your comments about coconut oil. Best wishes, Sonya
Larry24 June 2020 at 12:12 am
I am very happy that I’ve inspired you to take action toward curing yourself. No promises that my protocol will work. I encourage you to do your own research, especially regarding interactions with any medications you may be taking. I also strongly advise you to not start every supplement at once. Introduce one or two at a time and pay attention to how your body responds. We are all different. I wish you full recovery from this soul-destroying condition.
Sonya7 July 2020 at 3:01 pm
Hi Larry! I am unsure about how much Biotin you take. Your chart says mg, but the bottle says mcg. I’m guessing that you take one 300mcg twice each day, one before breakfast and one before dinner. The mcg must mean micrograms, as opposed to mg being milligrams?
Larry8 July 2020 at 1:01 am
Thank you for correcting my error. The correct amount is indeed 300 micrograms (mcg). I have fixed that in the article.
Norman Tohet21 July 2020 at 3:24 am
Thank you for sharing all your hard work. I believe I have undiagnosed automic neuropathy from diabetes. Diabetes was recently diagnosed 5 weeks ago during a heart attack. I’m going to research on my own and hope I can reverse it like you did.. it’s inspirational!
Do you have any advice, tips or links of good materials to start with.
Larry21 July 2020 at 7:40 am
Since we all come from different causes and symptoms for our neuropathy, we all essentially have to devise our own treatments. For that reason, first we need to get into the mindset of taking responsibility for our own illnesses and cures. For this, I recommend the eye-opening book, Mind Over Medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin, an MD who is trying to re-think the whole process of receiving medical treatment.
S. Mohr23 July 2020 at 10:08 pm
Any updates to your condition? Have you had any flare ups?
Larry24 July 2020 at 1:55 am
Thanks for asking. My apologies for not updating this blog.
My condition stabilized after approximately one year. I am completely free of neuropathy symptoms, except for some minor residual numbness in the balls of both feet (the soft area behind the toes) which waxes and wanes but never entirely goes away, and in no way inhibits my movement or my life. I actually see this as a blessing, a daily reminder to remain vigilant about my diet, exercise, and attitude toward my health.
I am down from 53 pills a day to “only” 23, of which 8 are not specifically for neuropathy. Please don’t ask me to list them. As always, I continue to modify my self-treatment on a regular basis.
Peter Quennell26 July 2020 at 10:13 pm
So much research is now pouring out and your takes are commendably up to date. You might perhaps test liposomal products as they come along, my absorption of liposomal B12 is through the roof so no more sublingual for me. Maybe dont suggest copper and zinc both at once?
Larry27 July 2020 at 1:36 am
Thanks for the kind words. I have not tried liposomal B12. I am cautious about the supplements I consider, and liposomal B12 is a bit too overhyped at the moment, which sets my scepticism sensors on high alert. The studies I read don’t present a conclusive enough picture, over an extended period of time, to justify the additional cost of liposomal B12 over the already-expensive sublingual methylcobalamin. Your own experience is promising and I will look into it further.
As for copper and zinc, most reports I’ve seen suggest that they keep each other in sync as inseparable twins, at a ratio of 15 units of zinc to 1 unit of copper, and that one without the other is less effective as a treatment and may lead to an imbalance in regards to nerve and brain health.
Peter Quennell28 July 2020 at 3:07 pm
Tks for reply Larry:
Sorry I wasn’t clear on copper and zinc, I was suggesting that some research suggests they should be taken daily but some hours apart as zinc and copper not only fight in the blood as you say, they fight in the gut too with copper losing out there.
You mention a concern about the load on the liver, milk thistle is the liver’s best friend.
I’d really like to know how much relief other folks get when very big doses of folic acid are consumed. There’s a backstory here. The vitamin guru Adele Davis years ago was outraged when extreme limits were put on folic acid (because of an obscure anemia) and argued that the entire population was being made folate-deficient as a result. Some and maybe much neuropathy might result simply from that. You used these doses of other B vitamins (fine with me tho I’d add lecithin): Thiamine (Vitamin B1) (Benfotiamine) · 1 x 250 mg; Niacin (Vitamin B3) (Nicotinamide) · 1 x 500 mg; and Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) · 1 x 500 mg. Adele Davis’s rule of thumb for “balancing” the B vitamins (still respected) suggests 50-100 mg folate acid (not mcg) is about the right balance to those.
Many thanks. Great site.
Carmen Coleman11 August 2020 at 8:02 pm
I want to say thank you. This is a very informative and easy to read article and I was ecstatic when I came across it. I have been experiencing some parethesia from what my doctor says is iron deficiency anemia with “low normal” b12, which, as I’m sure you know, can still have some neurological effects. I was do a google search on B12 and how it’s best absorbed by the body. I found that the form of b12 you have listed is the best form to take. I didn’t see the point in taking iron and b12 and it not have any effect. That’s when I realized that Methylcobalamin is best. Did a search on that and found you. A lot of this stuff is fascinating to me and I’m equally fascinated with the ability to be able to heal myself with the right knowledge. Again, I wanted to say thank you for sharing such invaluable information. It’s given me hope that I can heal myself.
Peter Quennell23 August 2020 at 11:53 am
Hi again Larry
Few in the New York area (where I live) or United Nations (where I worked) are “shy” about taking nutritional substances now!! My wife and I have been on them for 30 plus years and I increased some and came looking here not only because of some neuropathy but also claudication which in short is poor oxygen supply and some of what you suggest is very good for that too. I’m back to add this as possibly useful on bioperine: (1) I take it 2-3 times a day as it is said to boost not only absorption in the gut of turmeric but almost all other supplements as well; (2) I see It has this second function also (quote from several sites):
“Piperine inhibits a process in the liver known as glucuronidation. This process normally involves a signal being sent to the liver to expel medicinal drugs and supplements as urine. Piperine, however, stops this process, which means that the body retains the drug for longer…”
Eva30 August 2020 at 8:09 pm
Im 33 yrs old, female, and having neuropathy symptoms for a year now. Started with burning feet, progressed to nerve pain and tingling in my hands. There is no official cause diagnosed. I did have severe vitamin D deficiency and started supplementing. My big concern is, almost everything that seems te be good for nerves hurt. When I take vitamin D, K2 MK7, sublingual B12 or MSM I get shooting pains. Even MSM gives me pain in my fingers.. shooting pains like raw nerves. Im so confused. I have no idea what’s going on and it scares me. You say you were in a lot of pain when you started supplementing… so do you think it’s a sign I definitely need this and continue?
Larry31 August 2020 at 1:48 am
I experienced only minor, occasional pain in my feet, so I cannot imagine the torment you are going through. The fact that you react negatively to those supplements is possibly a good sign: at least your body is communicating with you! But perhaps you need another strategy. You must remember that supplements are only one part of the cure. You also need to purify your diet: no sugar, no wheat, no alcohol, no artificial sweeteners or flavouring, and so on. This does not mean ‘reducing’ sugar intake, it means eliminating sugar entirely from your diet. You also need to evaluate any medicines you are taking. In my case, statin drugs for cholesterol were the cause of my neuropathy. I threw them in the rubbish and never took them since. In other words, I suggest examining and if necessary altering your food and drug intake. And I recommend you consult a naturopathic doctor, who might guide you to try other supplements.
My sympathy and best wishes for your recovery.
Eva31 August 2020 at 7:04 pm
Thank you. Yes my body is definitely communicating with me. Maybe I need lower doses, like you experienced with magnesium. I do have a low BMI.
I eat organic and cut out foods like caffeine, gluten, sugar (I do eat fruits), fish, etc. There are no medications.
My naturopath suggested PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) and phosfatidylcholine. Hope I’ll find my way through this journey because it quite hard emotionally.
Thank you for your site!
Rich20 September 2020 at 4:34 pm
Hi Larry. Glad to hear in previous comments you are still doing better.
Can I ask how you structured your trialling of each supplement? I am a neuropathic pain/”fibromyalgia”/”chronic fatigue”/”hypermobility” patient depending on which doctor you ask for whom Western neuropathic pain medicines have had no affect (instead nasty side effects) hence finding your blog! I have already been taking some of the supplements described (D3, B12 etc) “just in case” albeit haphazardly (not timing them well) but your blog has a fair few I have yet to try (such as R-Lipoic acid, CoQ10, K2) and I’ll try to plan them better.
Would you say 3 weeks is a good time period to establish side effects/benefits before stacking each new supplement (a couple to judge side effects, and another to see the first signs of benefit)? Obviously I want to try as many as I can as quickly as possible as I’m sure you appreciate how life-limiting pain is.
Thanks again for your blog – it does shock me how medical practitioners don’t advise ANY of this – I’d seen dozens of “specialists” without a single of the your included supplements discussed despite preliminary studies suggesting they could help (not even Vitamin D which I was left to find out myself I was deficient). And yet treatments like Gabapentin and antidepressants are pushed as first line treatment despite limited research of effectiveness!
Larry21 September 2020 at 12:25 am
I give myself two weeks to test new supplements and foods, or the removal of supplements and food items from my daily intake. Of course, if I’d done it one at a time it would have taken years, so I often stacked new items with several “safe” ones, like Vitamin C and D etc. Also, in my research I found that certain substances were often paired–for example, R-Lipoic Acid with Biotin and Hawthorn–so I would combine these from the start. Then, as you can see I spread my supplement intake throughout the day, making it easier to spot short-term reactions. That’s why I stopped using Lion’s Mane fungus, which is commonly recommended for neuropathy, because within an hour after either eating the cooked fungus (which is easy and inexpensive to buy where I am) or taking it in powdered form, I would feel nauseous, even with reduced doses. But even a negative reaction like that has to be contemplated deeply: is it a momentary but necessary transitory reaction like the flush you get from taking some kinds of niacin? Would I develop a tolerance (which is why I continued for two weeks even after such a response)? In my case, I literally meditated daily during my Lion’s Mane induced nausea to try to understand my body’s message, and in this case after two weeks the message was very clear to me that my body rejected Lion’s Mane. Obviously, many, many people testify that Lion’s Mane is excellent for their neuropathy. Again, this is why it’s important that each person tests their own responses to any form of treatment, including drugs.
Speaking of which, yes, it’s shocking how far western medical practitioners go in ignoring or rejecting non-pharmaceutical treatments and reach straight for the drugs. What disturbs me even more are the large numbers of people who blindly accept drowning themselves in pain killers with horrific side effects yet won’t even try anything as simple as a few herbal treatments. I was often ridiculed on neuropathy forums for suggesting a few of my food based remedies, with statements like, “Onion skins and pepper? Are you kidding me? I’ll stick to my doctor-approved gabrapentin!” I was expelled from two neuropathy forums for “promoting pseudo-science”, despite every item on my list being backed by peer-reviewed research in medical journals. Sadly, I believe it’s our faith in drugs which got many of us to this stage in the first place. Doctors do us all a disservice by abdicating their responsibility to treat disease in favor of quick-fix chemicals.
Charles Crace4 October 2020 at 4:25 am
Just wanted to say thinks for this article and your attention to detail. I am actually taking many of these already. Also curious if you are still going with this regimen and how your neuropathy is doing?
Charles Crace4 October 2020 at 4:30 am
Also for some reason your link for the supplements you take is not working for me either.
Larry4 October 2020 at 6:51 am
Thanks for alerting me to the malfunctioning link to iherb.com. I’ve contacted them for support.
As for me, after about a year my neuropathy faded to a slight residual numbness in the balls of my feet, which still persists, so I continue to take supplements, limit my diet, and do strenuous exercise. My hands recovered 100 percent. I’ve now reduced the supplements to around 20 pills a day from a high of 52. I won’t reveal which those are, because each person needs to come up with their own course. My list on this page is a starting reference, not a prescription, though I did indeed take everything on this list, in varying portions, for over a year before I felt ready to taper it down.
Good luck and good health to you. Remember that you can cure yourself.
Nick11 October 2020 at 11:17 pm
What about Lion’s Mane and Horny Goat Weed for neurogenesis and CBD for pain relief?
Larry12 October 2020 at 1:02 am
I’ve mentioned Lion’s Mane several times in my posts and the comments. Where I live, in Hong Kong, the whole dried fungus is cheap and easy to find, and is a common ingredient in soups and stews. It is well-known among Chinese medicine practitioners as a treatment for nervous system issues. By the way, the Chinese word for it translates as “monkey head”; lion or monkey, take your pick. Trouble is, after about six weeks of cooking up a batch every day to add to my lunch course, I couldn’t escape the fact that they made me feel nauseous and dizzy. So, as with everything else, each treatment depends on the individual.
I haven’t tried Horny Goat’s Weed. As for CBD oil, many people vouch for it for pain relief, but I never experienced much neuropathic pain. I did try it as part of my regimen but I didn’t notice any effect on my other symptoms, so I saved a lot of money by discontinuing it. If you’re experiencing pain, I urge you to try a quality CBD oil (not hemp oil, which is not the same thing), based on many other people’s testimonies.
Peter Corro16 October 2020 at 11:22 am
Seems too much to me on a daily basis. Just the coating on 50 capsules is a lot of coating. Anyway, whatever works for you is okay with me. You certainly took a lot of time to write this. Good for you. Peter
Larry16 October 2020 at 2:29 pm
Hi, Peter. I agree that 50 capsules is a lot of coating (though not all supplements were in capsule form), but as I said in my post, a desperate disease calls for desperate measures. I consider the ingestion of 40 or so mostly vegetarian capsule coatings per day to be an insignificantly tiny price to pay in exchange for the miracle of regaining full feeling in my feet and hands, which those 50 pills a day enabled me to do after every doctor had advised me this was impossible. Certainly preferable to a lifetime of Gabrapentin. I wish you good health.
Teresa17 November 2020 at 2:02 am
Hi, very interested in your blog. Well done for taking responsibility for your own health. I have neuropathy for a couple of years in my left foot. I recently came across Rhodiola and I cannot believe the difference it has made. One herb of 300 mg a day and 80% of pain gone. Fascinating. I noticed you had it on your list.
Justine25 January 2021 at 3:04 pm
Hi, Your blog is a great help and a very reassuring find, so thank you for taking the time to do it. I am doing something similar although not quite as comprehensive, yet.
I have been discharged with no diagnoses from the medical profession. 2 neurologists who have no explanation for my symptoms. So I’m on my own with it and have been now for almost 1 year. I don’t know what is causing my symptoms but I can only presume the nervous system is not working properly since I have various strange and often painful sensations all over my legs.
I think that the supplements I’m taking are helping. Sometimes I am not so sure.
But can I ask about The R Lipoic Acid? I have been cautious to take it after reading that it causes mercury chelation, and I have quite a few mercury fillings. I have also read conflicting information but I’m wary about causing more potential damage. What did you discover and what are your thoughts about it?
Larry26 January 2021 at 2:25 am
Hi Justine, I’m glad you brought this up. I really should address this issue in my discussion of Lipoic Acid. I confess that it’s something I only learned about after writing this.
Lipoic Acid does bind with mercury in the body (chelating), which can be a good thing because chelation allows mercury to be moved to the kidneys for flushing from the body. In other words, proper use of Lipoic Acid can actually help to detox. The downside is that after a few hours the Lipoic Acid breaks down and then releases the mercury right back into your organs. The downside is if you have amalgam fillings. These contain mercury. Lipoic Acid is lifting mercury out of those fillings and enabling it to be flushed out through the liver. But…if, as stated above, the Lipoic Acid is not replenished, the residual mercury extracted from your fillings by the Lipoic Acid is then set free into your bloodstream, which of course can be toxic. Which means your fillings are like mercury storage pots which might be best left alone.
The solution to this is to take Lipoic Acid more than once per day to keep it active. As you can see, my course takes it twice a day, though more and more I’m finding recommendations to break down your Lipoic Acid intake to every six or even three hours.
On the other hand, we get Lipoic Acid in mild doses through a whole food diet (spinach, broccoli, carrots, and other vegetables, as well as red meat), so chelation is going on to a lesser degree throughout your waking day. Therefore, Lipoic Acid supplementation is not a black-and-white issue.
Yes, this is a very difficult question, and underscores the fact that all supplements are medicine and can have various side effects, which is why I encourage everyone to do their own research before following anyone’s protocol, including mine. Sorry I can’t give you a definitive answer. For me, the contribution of R-Lipoic Acid toward curing my neuropathy has been an undeniable benefit, but even I have cut way down on it as my symptoms subsided (partly because the good stuff is outrageously expensive).
Dan8 March 2021 at 3:11 pm
How is your condition today?
Larry9 March 2021 at 12:34 am
I reached a point where I was 99 percent recovered. I recovered all feeling and strength everywhere, except for a small bit of residual numbness in the fleshy area of my feet just behind the toes. In a way, this is a blessing. It’s hardly noticeable, and doesn’t interfere in any way with walking or balance, but it’s a constant reminder to remain vigilant about my diet and exercise. Without that ongoing reminder, I might be tempted to go back to old harmful treats and habits.
Mark10 April 2021 at 1:22 pm
I just wanted to write you a quick note of thanks. I have been supplementing using this guide, along with diet, exercise and LDN, for a year now and I subjectively am about 75% recovered. I am confident that if I continue I will recover more. This disease just takes time and treating your body correctly to reverse. Your information was invaluable. You have my utmost gratitude.
Thank you so much.
Larry11 April 2021 at 3:24 am
Mark, thanks for much for sharing your success. I wish you 100% recovery from this terrible condition, or at least 98% like I’ve achieved.
Esteban19 April 2021 at 5:16 pm
Hey Larry ,what is your diet like? Is it paleo type?
Larry20 April 2021 at 1:06 am
Not exactly. I’ve been vegetarian for almost my entire life, so a paleo diet is out of the question. However, I started my neuropathy diet with the same principles as a paleo diet and in the spirit of experimentation that I discuss in the article above: I stripped my diet down to nothing but sweet potatoes, then one by one added in other foods, feeling my body’s response before including or ruling them out. It was tough and very frustrating, but in the end it was entirely worth it. I am now back to a balanced vegetarian diet which is 90 percent Asian foods (I live in Hong Kong, so that’s normal). Meanwhile I have strictly eliminated all wheat and similar grains, all sugar, and certain inflammatory vegetables such as eggplants. You can see my article on this site about my neuropathy smoothie to see how I start my days.
Laura20 July 2021 at 9:51 am
Hope you’re well and still progressing.
Have you tried Superior Source B12?
They claim it can also be swallowed…
I’m intrigued because my husband may have these old tooth feelings with mercury which is not ideal for sublingual use. He is suffering from SEVERE pain post shingles neuralgia, almost 3 months now. Tried various meds, taking supplements, similar to yours smoothie, looking to add more from your list.
He almost recovered from CIDP, after a year, been bedridden, got that bad. Happened months after stem cell transplant and lots of chemotherapy for lymphoma treatment. Now in remission.
Do this new neuralgia, or combination of CIDP, nobody seems to know, fed up with doctors, set him way aback. Pain is horrific and he finds it hard mentally. Pain stops him from activity, people don’t understand how bad it is, say go exercise…
Anyway, re B12 above, what’s your experience with this brand?
Amazingly, neurologists dismissed completely all the vitamins. Prescribed B12 as cobalamin drinking ampules …
Larry21 July 2021 at 1:12 am
I have no experience with this particular brand of B12. From everything I understand about B12 I am skeptical about its efficacy if swallowed. There are many brands of sublingual B12. I happen to prefer using sublingual drops. I’m very sorry to learn of your husband’s suffering. I encourage him to keep experimenting with foods and supplements, as well as whatever exercise he is capable of.
howard18 August 2021 at 2:22 am
I’m really glad I have come across your blog with regards to the neuropathy as I’m trying to help my significant other with similar issues.
The supplement link to iHerb works but doesn’t list anything. Can you please fix so everyone can see what brands you have used since you have already put a lot of effort into the research.
Larry18 August 2021 at 4:54 am
Thank you for pointing that out. iHerb keeps changing the format of their links. I have fixed it. You can find my list by clicking here.
Howard18 August 2021 at 5:12 pm
BTW, I came to your blog from researching Acetyl-L-Carnitine which info I got from the Huberman Lab podcast. I highly suggest you check it out. Dr. Huberman is a neurologist (PHD) and is also a professor at Standford University. He does deep diving into a lot of issues relating to the body. Maybe there are info there that might further help you.
Also, if you are interested in trying Lion’s Mane again, I found a great company which has medicinal mushroom extracts where they forage from the wild. My son and I have been taking them without feeling nauseous at all. The company’s name is Wild Kingdom Extracts.
Thank you Larry for fixing the iHerb listing and for sharing your experience and research.
Laura20 August 2021 at 1:54 pm
I have written to you recently regarding B12. We ended up using sublingual drops but mixed with water as suggested on a label, different brand. 1ml a day to start with. Nobody mentions folate to pair it with although we intend to add.
My husband’s pain seems to subdue a bit but he’s taking meds as well along with other supplements for now. So, hard to say what works.
However, in the last week or so he developed numbness in his fingers, new to us. Even has similar to you discoloration on hands. Has it gone on yours, by the way?
Anyway, I’m adding B5 and krill oil to the list. I definitely stay upbeat and keep trying as long as it takes. I have become his doctor which is slightly worrying as I’m not qualified apart from many research. There are no naturopaths around, our GP trusts me completely and we consult re meds but that’s it.
My question is, how long have you been using b12 and b9? Do you still use them on daily basis? How safe do you think it is long-term?
I understand you are not a doctor either but it would be reassuring to know from other people’s experiences. Many use injections due to deficiency but it’s a bit different.
I hope you and your family are safe in Hong Kong considering current situation.
Larry21 August 2021 at 2:28 am
As you said, I’m not a doctor. I am not able to offer specific advice. All I can do is point out what worked for me alone. But it’s clear that your husband’s numbness and vitiligo are autoimmune issues, possibly related. And most doctors will shrug their shoulders and recite the mantra that neurological and autoimmune issues are “incurable”. It’s also very clear that B12 alone is not a magical cure for neuropathy, and adding krill oil isn’t going far enough. If you re-read what I wrote in this blog post you’ll see that for me it was a combination of numerous supplements that worked for me. I still take B12, but in lesser doses. In the meantime, my neuropathy and my skin discoloration went away almost completely; I still have slight residual numbness in the balls of my feet and, if you know where to look, you can see a few small, slightly lighter areas where my skin blanching used to be.
What your husband needs besides B12 and other supplements, like all of us with neuropathy, is a total change in lifestyle and relationship with food and exercise. What worked for me: cutting out every last granule of sugar from my diet–no cheating! Went completely wheat-free, no fried foods, no processed foods, avoid anything that comes from a can or has preservatives, flavorings, or coloring. No alcohol whatsoever. Enrolled in a gym. I still follow this regimen, though I’ve reduced many of the supplements. Some people think such a radical adjustment is extreme and difficult. It is, no doubt about it. But as I say throughout my little blog, an extreme condition calls for extreme actions. I wish your husband well. He can fight this.
Debbie Kutner6 September 2021 at 2:57 pm
Just in case you don’t receive enough feedback for your contribution to the “society of neuropathy” sufferers, I want you to know how much I appreciate, not just the information you’ve shared with us, but more so, the approach and attitude you offer. I love that you share the research you’ve done, the efforts you taken and the results you’ve experience. But, most importantly, I love how you are so open minded regarding the individual differences and abilities for each reader to make decisions for themselves.
I recommend your site to thousands of followers on Facebook related groups, so I hope they will learn from you and benefit from your experiences as much as I have.
I’m back here, on your site, today because I’m ready to experiment with cutting back on some of the supplements. My neuropathy began about 4 years ago (EMG certified!) with only minor symptoms of numbness, but progressed to extreme tightness in my toes last year. Never any real “pain”, so I wasn’t taken as seriously as I’d like at the Doctor’s offices! Your website was the best plan of attack for treatment of this condition I could find. While I may not have delved as deeply into each concept as you have, I’ve taken the advice seriously. Six to eight months later, there is considerable improvement, with results from a third EMG verifying that. Still more numbness than I”d like, but I’d not giving up. The neurologist’s advice was: keep doing whatever it is you’re doing! But, she did add that where the damage was most severe, I many never fully heal those nerves. Like you, I don’t mind having a touch of “reminder” to keep me on track!
Larry7 September 2021 at 12:08 am
Debbie, I’m very moved by your comments. I appreciate your recommending my site. Isn’t it funny that I was banned from a couple neuropathy discussion groups for repeatedly stating, backed by evidence, that you can treat neuropathy without drugs. Draw your own conclusions about why they don’t want this message to be spread.
You are living proof that you can cure yourself of this soul-destroying condition. Bless you!
Dan6 September 2021 at 3:08 pm
Larry – It has been almost a year since I came across your peripheral art site. Thank you so much for sharing your journey as it has been my “go to” template for recovery. I am not healed, but I am slowly going in the right direction…off of medication (gabapentin) and my daily life is pretty good. I must say that with the exception of my moderate foot issues and slight finger issues, I have never been overall healthier. It is believed that my peripheral neuropathy is due to chronic spine issues.
The absolute key has been:
“Cutting out every last granule of sugar from my diet–no cheating! Went completely wheat-free, no fried foods, no processed foods, avoid anything that comes from a can or has preservatives, flavorings, or coloring. No alcohol whatsoever. Exercising to the best of my ability and developing a relationship with a trusted naturopathic expert who guides me with a variety of supplements.”
It has been a bit expensive but I have cut out meaningless costs in other areas so I am OK. Thank you again and please keep updating this site when you have time! I re-read it often and always find something new.
Larry7 September 2021 at 12:14 am
Hi Dan. Wow. I’m blown away by your progress, especially since your neuropathy appears to have a physiological cause. And to stop the nasty gabapentin…congratulations! My apologies to everyone that I have not updated the site, though at least the discussion on this page adds new tidbits. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the brain and nervous system, and I hope to be able to distill some of it to post it here in the near future.
Jeri stoney8 September 2021 at 3:57 pm
Hi Larry, I have neuropathy which seems to have been caused by shingles (Herpes Zooster) and I get the shingles almost every month on one side of my buttocks, no pain, just itching and blisters. I guess that is caused by chicken pox that I had as a kid. I have had the new shingles shots.
I have had shingles for quite a few+ years which I take valtrex for when I get it. Now I have neuropathy which I got maybe 3+ years ago. I have been taking Nuturna maximum strength support formula for about 10 months which has a lot of your vitamins in it. I have supplemented with some of the vitamins on your list or added to this supplement to try to more equal yours. It gets very confusing doing it this way. My toes seem to not be tingling any more and I have had carpal tunnel surgery in both hands and my hands don’t have problems anymore but now I seem to be getting itching and electrical shocks in other parts of my body. I did have the test by a neurologist who confirms I have pn in my feet which seem to be like yours, numb, and definitely worse at night. I wondering if the type of neuropathy I have is helped by all your vitamins. The supplement had been working to some degree but not so much now so now I’m going to add more of your vitamins and maybe quit the supplement and just try your plan totally. I wonder if anyone else has this neuropathy caused by herpes zooster?
I am so thankful for all the research you have done. It’s all so complicated,
Larry9 September 2021 at 7:31 am
There are so many different causes of neuropathy, which is why I emphasize that there is no single formula that offers a cure, so you need to experiment and come up with what works best for you. I never heard of Nuturna, so I looked it up. It seems to be an OK base vitamin formula for neuropathy–OK but not optimal. There are better types of magnesium, B12 is better absorbed as a sublingual liquid, and most importantly, they don’t explain what kind of Alpha Lipoic Acid is in there. Please see my comments above about Alpha Lipoic Acid, which many experts consider to be the most crucial supplement for neuropathy relief.
Three things you need to diligently practice, in addition to supplements: 1) Strictly adjust your diet, eliminating (not reducing, but 100% eliminating) all sugar, wheat products, fried foods, processed foods, and alcohol. 2) Exercise daily. I joined a gym for the first time in my life after getting the neuropathy, and I can personally testify that exercise is medicine. 3) Give it time. It took six months before I felt the slightest improvement. After that, I steadily improved for another year until I could call myself 98% cured. But even still, I maintain many supplements, strict diet, and exercise.
Keep up the fight. You’ve proven to yourself that progress can be made. You can cure yourself!
Lisette Palmer10 September 2021 at 9:24 pm
I have had neuropathy symptoms for about 12 yrs. I have done research but not as in depth as you have, I won’t tell you my whole story. I just heard of your website today and find it very helpful. I would be interested in an updated supplement list from you please. You can email it to me privately if you wish. Thank you
Larry11 September 2021 at 12:56 am
The first point is that every supplement I share on my site worked for me. With the emphasis on “for me”. I even mentioned a few that didn’t work for me. As I state in the article, my list is not meant to be a cure-all formula for others to follow. You need to make your own decisions. My research and information is intended to be a starting point for your own cautious experimentation and discoveries.
I think it’s not useful for me to provide a list of my current supplements. I am presently dealing with other physical issues (completely unrelated to neuropathy or the nervous system), so the question of which supplement is for what purpose is very blurry. I spent six months building up to the list on this page, and then stuck with it for over 18 months, then I began experimenting with reducing some items and eliminating others, and reintroducing some. The important thing to mention is that these supplements helped me so much that I no longer need many of them. So to tell you what I don’t need now is not very helpful to anyone but me.
The point is, that your supplement list relates to your condition at any given time. You need to choose two or three at a time to experiment with and gauge your body’s response, both when you introduce them and as you adjust dosages. I know this is not what you asked, but it’s the best answer I can offer.
Debbie Kutner12 September 2021 at 2:43 pm
Just a quick note in reference to the Nuturna product that Jeri Stoney mentioned. That company has updated their formula, once again. The latest iteration is called Nerve Relief R-ALA.
The formula now includes both forms of ALA and otherwise is the same as the “Maximum Strength Neuropathy Support Formula” that is so well reviewed on Amazon. It tempts me! But, as you’ve stated, Larry, there are still some shortcomings. I know I’d be supplementing the supplement, LOL! Also, note that the serving size on both of these products is 4 capsules daily. I plan to add up the cost of each ingredient individually and compare to the price of the combined product. Unless it is substantial, I’ll likely continue purchasing the supplements individually.
Michel van den Bosch17 September 2021 at 1:55 pm
Thanks for your article. I think I do 95% what you do with vitamins and food. I need to more exercising. One Question: the link for Iherb is not working (i buy there almost everything already). Can you send me the list or a new link?
Michel from the Netherlands
Larry18 September 2021 at 2:09 am
Hello Michael. I apologize for the problems with the iHerb list. They are constantly changing their system. I have updated the link, and hope it will work now. Please let me know if it works for you:
bassem1 October 2021 at 7:39 pm
Hi Larry, thanks for all your efforts. I’m dealing with neuropathic pain in the four extremities after i had corona. I have no diagnosis yet because the EMG is normal and there is no punch biopsy where I live. I can’t start with ALA because i have one amalgam filling; do you think that i can start without and see positive effect. The list is working in iHerb but it seems not what you mention exactly here and the prices are more expensive than 320 dollars. I guess you could do a list at Swanson; it’s less expensive and you can use Swanson’s affiliate program
Larry1 October 2021 at 9:03 pm
Hi. I have several amalgam fillings, but I used R-ALA for nearly two years with no known side effects. Of course, every individual is different, so you need to do your own research and make your own decisions.
I have not created an alternative supplement list at Swanson or Amazon, mainly because I do not expect you or anyone to buy the products I have listed. I placed that iHerb link so that people can see the actual products I use, and read other people’s reviews of each product. My intention is not to encourage you to buy these things without thinking. My intention is for you to look at each product, understand why I selected each one, and then do your own further research to find products that suit your personal health situation, and your wider situation: budget, local restrictions, availability, and so on. I believe that the information I’ve provided in this article gives you enough understanding of each product to enable you to design such a treatment for yourself.
Jefrey Vink9 November 2021 at 5:11 pm
I’m not on the same supplement list as you, just the ones that prioritize nerve support. B’s, folate, R-ALA + Q10, carnitine, vitamin D3+K2.
I’ve made my own supplement cocktail and can report neuropathy has improved within two weeks. The first two weeks it actually got worse a little bit. After two weeks it actually and improved and felt less noticable.
Though currently I’m experiencing a little set back, but it might have been that I added some supplements. I gradually built the supplements up over a month. When nerves heal it always gets worse before it gets better when they are re-activated.
I was already healing for quite some time after I started treatment and actually found the cause. It’s been now 3 years and every 3 to 6 months the symptoms change. However when I started the supplements the first two days my nervous system reacted quickly and I started to have neuropathic itch all over. Meaning it had immediate effect on the nerves and nervous system.
Thank you for another tool in the toolbox and hope to report in a couple of months some good results, since it’s still very early in the “treatment” for it to have full effect. The most beneficial supplement in my results were R-ALA. They are really a great tool to have when you’re dealing with neuropathy.
Larry9 November 2021 at 11:26 pm
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing the details. I’m very curious about which supplements you found beneficial that are not on my list.
Jefrey vink10 November 2021 at 6:02 pm
None, you got everything I currently use, but my list is much shorter and are about 8 different supplements in total.
I haven’t found any in others recommendations on Facebook groups or your page.
Elaine Cunningham16 May 2022 at 9:35 pm
Hi Larry, I’m about to start your protocol…again. I, too, have given up on mainstream medicine as they can’t offer me an explanation and only push pharmaceuticals. I made attempts at your protocol in the past, but I put my ailing parents and daughter with developmental delays before my own health. My neuropathy had been getting better and is now worse. I was recently diagnosed with atypical CF (cystic fibrosis). Long story shortened: I contacted Johns Hopkins, who had me turn to a local CF site for testing after I had suspicions (mutation identified during my 2nd pregnancy and I reviewed medical issues in my immediate and extended family and determined these could possibly be CF related and more obvious,an uncle in France died at 80 of CF). I have not needed specific medical attention for CF although my GI hasn’t been right for a while despite adhering to a pretty healthy diet. I think I am too healthy to for the CF textbook definition. However, I’ve done a lot of research (still have my pharmacy license).
Cystic fibrosis, a prevalent mutation among Caucasians and now identified in some non-Caucasian populations, is a disease of malabsorption. It is most often associated with life-threatening pulmonary issues,but was first identified as cystic fibrosis of the pancreas in 1938 based on autopsies of children that died of malnutrition. Somewhere along the way the “of the pancreas” was dropped. I have researched extensively on CF and even though there has been research originating at University of Iowa 2013 regarding peripheral neuropathy Vitamin E malabsorption due to CF. I’ve also read that the common Vitamin E supplement, alpha-tocopherol, can decrease the gamma-tocopherol level. Low gamma Vit E level is linked to PN. For some reason, the medical world is ignoring this discovery. I wonder how many with PN coincidentally carry genes for CF?
Larry, thank you for sharing your story. I am grateful to have your site and continue to use it as a resource. You’ve made this journey much easier!
Larry17 May 2022 at 1:21 am
Thanks for the interesting new information. I wasn’t aware of the issue regarding alpha-tocopherol. I wish you a full and happy recovery!
Matija27 October 2022 at 6:20 pm
I can vouch for R-ALA and benfotiamine.
There are few that also have studies and really help, like PEA endocannabinoid, sulforaphane (broccomax), NAC, and agmatine sulfate (metabolite of arginine, way better than arginine and citrulline).
PEA is big one because it’s a mast cell stabilizer and glia activation that is connected with fibromyalgia and small fiber neuropathy.
Sunflower lecithin is also one of the key supplements.
I also did few times lion’s mane with niacin flush. tingling decreased to some small degree, but the problem with lion’s mane is that’s high in histamines, so I prefer in the evenings reishi powder in curcuma longa tea.