Neuropathy and specific types of nerve damage can be incredibly challenging to manage, especially when you aren't sure how to find treatment.
Unlike external damage to your body, you can't always rely on your ability to heal the problem naturally, but that doesn't make it any easier to track down a good, reliable way of relieving any pain you might have.
However, certain nutrients are considered an effective way to treat some of the symptoms with very little extra effort, the most notable being CoQ10.
If you are going to try a CoQ10 treatment, you will want to know all about the benefits, uses, and side effects of CoQ10 before you put any inside your body. Here is a brief summary of what you can expect, how it can help, and whether or not you should use it.
CoQ10, or Coenzyme Q10, is a naturally-produced compound that already exists inside your body.
Every human cell contains this fat-soluble and entirely safe antioxidant, although there are two different forms: ubiquinol, the absorb-ready version, and ubiquinone, the pre-converted form. It appears most often inside cell mitochondria, but can be found almost anywhere in your body.
CoQ10 is mainly related to energy production, letting you function by giving cells a constant supply of energy and ensuring that they don't suffer from permanent cell damage.
Given that neuropathy can sometimes be closely related to the health of certain cells (or problems that have damaged them), CoQ10 can be a good treatment option, although natural production of the compound will slow as you get older. The less healthy your body is, the less CoQ10 you will produce, especially if you are suffering from a disease.
Like humans, CoQ10 may be found in most kinds of meat, as well as various whole grains and other edible items. The amounts in this food are marginal, but you can get them as regular supplements if you need them to treat a health issue.
As a natural compound, CoQ10 doesn't have many seriously risky side effects, since your body already contains a fair amount of it. However, you should still be sure to check with a doctor, since overuse of CoQ10 may have numerous minor effects. Using too much at once can cause:
As with all supplements, CoQ10 shouldn't be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless you have checked with a doctor.
If you have issues with blood pressure, be careful of the side effects from long term use of CoQ10. The compound can make anticoagulants less effective, increasing the chance of blood clots or other related issues.
Neuropathy can be hard to treat, so CoQ10 treatment seems like a great solution. But is Coenzyme Q10 safe to use, or can it have serious repercussions on your body? Here are some details from studies that tested Coenzyme Q10 in multiple different scenarios and ways:
Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to treat pain from neuropathy effectively, with consistent small doses over prolonged periods helping to reduce these levels of pain very rapidly. The same tests have shown that CoQ10 has also helped prevent lipid degeneration, which can be beneficial for energy storage.
Even better, upon taking CoQ10 treatments, people with pro-inflammatory factors in the central nervous system or peripheral neuropathy were also treated effectively, implying that CoQ10 can be used to treat more than just neuropathy (such as Type 1 diabetes).
CoQ10 has been shown to help treat Type 2 diabetes well, offering an approximate 50% improvement over placebo groups who suffered from both Type 2 diabetes and neuropathy with a daily dose of 400mg. As before, this also prevented lipid degeneration, especially around nerves.
A third study has shown that using CoQ10 to treat neuropathy could deal with LHON (Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy) in young adult males, improving visual actuality within four months of controlled usage. In this case, the dosage was slowly increased from 90mg to 160mg in the second month, then again to 200mg in the third month. The full test ran for a year, and visual improvement continued for three years after the treatment had finished.
Due to the difficulty-to-treat nature of LHON, this means that CoQ10 can have incredibly good effects on the condition and may be able to restore some cases of lost vision or poor eyesight.
CoQ10 has been tested on mice with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and/or neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy has been treated effectively in these animals while also preventing neuron loss, and the CoQ10 treatments even prevented severe symptoms that would normally occur in later life. The Q10 Coenzyme dosage even prevented excess pain by ensuring that pain signaling molecules were kept healthy and controlled.
Throughout all of these studies, CoQ10 neuropathy treatments have remained effective and shown the same general effects in all cases, even when operating at a different CoQ10 recommended dosage or at specific levels of neuropathy.
Coenzyme Q10 may not be the most immediate way to fix those problems, but a stable Coenzyme Q10 dosage over a medium to long period of time can have far more benefits than drawbacks. Since it is a natural compound that comes mostly from cell mitochondria, it can also be a good way to get around mitochondrial dysfunction or similar problems coming from old age.
Keep in mind that CoQ10 can have varying results in different people and that the same exact results weren't seen in every test – it may be more effective at helping one person with their condition compared to another, but the same positive benefits are generally always these:
Diabetes and neuropathy (as well as overall diabetic neuropathy) are easily treated with CoQ10 with very few risks or negative side effects. The other benefits, such as better levels of cell health and the ability for cells to properly repair themselves, are also very useful. Specific nerves, such as dorsal root ganglia, are quite vulnerable to higher levels of damage from certain health issues, and CoQ10 can treat those problems well too.
Oxidative stress and other types of cell damage can be healed somewhat effectively through CoQ10 treatments, too. If a mitochondrial dysfunction has prevented the production of natural CoQ10, using a treatment can provide the same benefits at even higher levels than before, restoring cells and providing better pain relief in the long-term.
Other issues, such as restoring vision, are equally good uses of CoQ10. The fact that the improvements continued even after three years of ending treatment shows that CoQ10 can 'linger' in the body and repair cells over long periods of time, helping you get normal levels of sight again without needing multiple years of constant treatment.
As CoQ10 is a natural compound, the body can tolerate quite high levels, especially if you have a condition that has reduced your natural CoQ10 production.
CoQ10 supplementation levels should be adjusted based on what you need and what you are trying to treat: sensory neuropathy symptoms might require less than serious nerve damage, for example. It is also important to remember that CoQ10 is supposed to be taken regularly and that you may need to measure out doses yourself if you aren't getting it in pre-measured amounts.
Q10 supplementation can be different for every person, as it can depend on how serious your existing conditions are and what other supplements you may be taking at the time. Talking to a doctor may be the best option since the human body can be complex, and no two people are going to be identical weights, sizes, or levels of health.
CoQ10 isn't a miracle cure, but it is one of the least offensive ways of treating diabetes-related damage and neuropathy. As an all-natural compound that you produce during your lifetime anyway, you don't need to worry about your body having a terrible reaction to it, and the average CoQ10 treatment won't take very much extra effort to manage. While you might have a slightly different physical response to taking a certain volume of supplement capsules or tablets, it is very unlikely to cause more damage to your body.
Unlike painkillers or other drugs that can put your heart at risk (or even stop it completely), CoQ10 (when managed carefully) can avoid this exact problem. Certain artificial compounds actually reduce CoQ10 production, which can lead to problems with creating energy for yourself naturally. Although there is always the chance of your body becoming reliant on an outside source of CoQ10, careful management of how much you take can be enough to prevent that.
If you are experiencing neuropathy or a related problem that has its origins in your nervous system, then a CoQ10 treatment may be the right way to try and solve the problem.
It is relatively safe, acts as a natural compound, and doesn't have any of the major risks that artificial treatments can have, with the extra benefit of being able to solve problems you might not even be aware of yet. The older you are, the more likely you are to get major side benefits from using CoQ10, too.