About Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, or niacin, is a nutrient that, like all vitamins, is essential to health, life and just feeling great! Vitamin B3 helps our bodies convert food into energy, burn fat properly, and is largely responsible for helping us feel energized!

Did you know that vitamin B3 is a common ingredient in *energy drinks?

The reason for this is simple. Without vitamin B3, or niacin, our body is unable to function. For many patients, it is lacking due to poor diet. Consuming a diet high in processed foods is likely to be low in niacin. Consuming alcohol can also lower vitamin B3 levels too.

In the neuropathy clinic, mild deficiencies of niacin are probably relatively common. Frank niacin deficiency can cause the disease called pellagra. Pellagra is disease characterized by the three D’s: diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia.

In very severe niacin deficiencies, significant changes occur to the nervous system.

These changes can show up as psychiatric symptoms and, as we mentioned earlier, dementia or brain disease. More commonly, especially in modern society, are lower levels of niacin then are optimal, possibly making worse some very common conditions, including high cholesterol and metabolic syndrome.

A proper diet should include a good food sources of niacin. Many nuts are also high in niacin. Avocado and shiitake mushrooms are also high in niacin. Vitamin B3 as niacinamide is also a common ingredient in many multivitamins and other dietary supplements.

Since niacin is available in two different common forms (niacin and niacinamide), we recommend often advise patients to consume both forms in small amounts. The reason for this is they will tend to act somewhat differently, both having beneficial effects.

Measuring vitamin B3 levels requires a little more work than a simple blood test. Blood tests for niacin are often unreliable, so special urine tests need to be performed.

Like so many nutrients, it is important to remember that diet must be the number one method of obtaining proper nutrition. It is also critical to understand that each nutrient is just like a key instrument in a symphony.

And just like a symphony does not work when one instrument does not play properly, the same is true in nutrition–especially in pain & neuropathy nutrition!

* [which we never advise due to potential irregular heart rhythms which can be dangerous or even fatal]. 

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Hydration is Crucial to Feeling Our Best

Maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain and yes less neuropathy pain too!

Almost invariably when we see a new chronic pain patients in our practice, we discuss health habits and we find that more often than not, failure to drink adequate amount of water is almost universal.

So why is that?

Why would not drinking enough water tend to cause more widespread pains? There are several reasons and the answers are not complicated.

You see the vast majority of our body is made of water. Blood and all the critical fluids keep us functioning like well-oiled machines.

Our kidneys, brain, and all our other vital organs use these fluids to communicate and also perform daily purifications.

Yet most of us don’t pay nearly enough attention to this key fact.

So rather than going through our days drinking fluids, most especially water that will keep our blood and fluid volumes high, we tend to over consume caffeine, or worse yet soft drinks, and perhaps even alcohol which depletes our water reserves even further.

If we don’t drink enough water we can suffer an impaired ability of our vital organs like kidneys and liver that help rid our bodies of toxic wastes. These toxic wastes can make us stiff sore and uncomfortable.

If you already suffer from neuropathy or chronic pain, becoming even slightly dehydrated will make you feel a whole lot worse.

So how much water do you need to drink?

In the absence of kidney or heart disease, the proverbial eight glasses a day is about right.

A more accurate consumption is approximately half your body weight in ounces in a 24-hour period. This is not 100 percent accurate but it’s a darn good approximation.

There are of course other factors which may require more or less water consumption.

This of course includes how much you perspire, the outside air temperature, and yes even the humidity.

So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you’d be consuming approximately 100 ounces of water during the course of the daily 24-hour period. That may sound like a lot, but it’s under a gallon in 24 hours.

As always you need to work with your doctors on your own personal medical issues that you may have questions or concerns about.

You may want to ask for the simple blood tests which measure your electrolytes and relative hydration.

Working together maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain and yes less neuropathy pain too!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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