How does Metanx treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

Metanx is a nutritional diet supplement used to treat the loss of sensation caused by diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that causes nerve damage in the extremities due to lack of blood flow into peripheral blood vessels. It leads to loss of sensation in the hands, feet, arms and legs. Metanx provides specific nutritional requirements to address the condition that causes damaged blood vessels. It works by helping blood flow into those peripheral vessels and restoring sensation.

Metanx is a prescription medical food, or dietary supplment, that contains Folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. 
Diabetic neuropathy is thought to be due in part to reduced blood flow in the small arteries which supply oxygen and nutrients to the peripheral nerves.  Some studies have shown that folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 may improve blood flow in the small arteries.  This in turn may improve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. 
It should be noted that dietary supplementation with these vitamins has not been shown to slow the progression of, or cure, diabetic neuropathy.  Aggressive long term blood sugar control is the most important factor which can slow the progression of diabetic neuropathy.

As part of the work up for neuropathy, your doctor may check your vitamin B12 level as low levels can cause a neuropathy.  If you are found to be deficient in vitamin B12, oral B12 (as in the form of Metanx and other vitamins) may not be enough and you should speak to your doctor about further testing.

Lastly, B6 supplementation in amounts greater than 100 mg daily has been shown to cause a neuropathy, so be sure to limit your intake to less than 100 mg daily.  Metanx contains 35 mg of B6, and if you get additional B6 through a multivitamin, be sure your total intake is less than 100 mg daily.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.