Vitamin D plays a big role in diabetes-related nerve damage

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In a recent study, researchers found that people with diabetes who don’t get enough vitamin D might have a higher chance of developing a painful condition affecting their nerves, known as neuropathy.

This condition can lead to discomfort and muscle weakness that gets worse over time. It’s particularly noteworthy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where about half of the people with diabetes face this issue.

Diabetes is more common in the UAE than in many other parts of the world. While about 9.3% of people worldwide have this condition, in the UAE, the number is much higher at 16.3%. And it’s expected to keep rising.

Experts think that by 2030, more than 1 in 5 people in the UAE could have diabetes.

The research was spearheaded by Dr. Bashair M. Mussa and her team from the University of Sharjah’s College of Medicine. They looked into the medical records of 600 people with diabetes from the University Hospital Sharjah.

Their discovery was eye-opening: half of these patients were dealing with neuropathy, experiencing pain and muscle weakness that steadily gets worse.

What makes Dr. Mussa’s study stand out is its focus on the link between not getting enough vitamin D and developing neuropathy. This is surprising because the UAE is sunny almost all year round.

You’d think that people there would have plenty of vitamin D, which our bodies make when sunlight hits our skin. But it turns out that the very strong sunlight might be keeping people indoors, away from its benefits.

The findings are crucial because diabetic neuropathy doesn’t just cause personal health issues. It also leads to higher death rates, more illnesses, and has a significant economic impact.

The study suggests that vitamin D might play a key role in preventing or easing neuropathy in people with diabetes. This is supported by other research showing that vitamin D supplements can improve neuropathy symptoms over a short period.

Dr. Mussa emphasizes the need for more comprehensive studies in the UAE to better understand which factors contribute to diabetic neuropathy. This could help in finding ways to prevent or manage the condition.

Looking ahead, it’s clear that more research is needed to confirm how vitamin D deficiency and neuropathy are connected.

Future studies could also look into whether taking vitamin D supplements could help people with diabetes avoid neuropathy or lessen its impact.

This research is a step forward in understanding how lifestyle factors, like exposure to sunlight, can influence health conditions such as diabetes and its complications.

It’s a reminder of the complex ways in which our environments and our bodies interact, and how something as simple as a vitamin could potentially help manage a condition that affects millions of people around the world.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes, and to people with diabetes, some fruits are better than others.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies that low calorie diets may help reverse diabetes, and 5 vitamins that may prevent complication in diabetes.

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