One of the painful symptoms of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. It’s the result of nerve damage and poor circulation. Nitric oxide may help support healthy circulation.
Boosting nitric oxide, or NO, might help improve circulation, so your extremities get the oxygen and nutrients they need to function.
Pain from neuropathy – common in people with diabetes – could be the result of damaged nerves. Poor circulation cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients that allow them to function properly. The improper nerve function may cause your body to perceive pain.
Nitric oxide helps relax and dilate blood vessels so blood flows more easily, and oxygen and nutrients are delivered.
Limited circulation can cause pain in other ways. It’s known to lead to swelling (edema) that puts pressure on nerves and swells capillaries that are required for oxygen supply.
Think of what happens when you wrap an elastic tightly around your finger. It turns blue, swells, and eventually becomes painful enough for you to remove the elastic. NO counters this natural rubber band effect caused by poor circulation, helping to relieve swelling.
Pain medications, including opioids which are highly addictive, are often prescribed to treat pain related to nerve damage. But these medications do nothing to address the cause of pain.
So, how can you increase NO? There are a few ways. You can boost the intake of leafy green vegetables, beets and beetroot juice, and meat products. Supplementing with L-arginine and citrulline malate may aid circulation too.
Movement, although difficult with neuropathy or edema, can also help. As you work to boost NO and repair nerves, you may notice it becomes easier to move around and increase activity.
Getting to the root of the problem might help you relieve the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy and restore a higher quality of life.