Autonomic neuropathy, or damage to the nerves that control involuntary bodily functions, is one symptom of diabetes. Research has indicated that CBD can help relieve some diabetes symptoms, such as neuropathic pain and inflammation. It may also help convert white fat to healthier brown fat in the body, helping diabetic patients with obesity. However, more research is needed to study the effects of CBD on blood glucose levels.
If you have diabetes, you may have heard about nerve damage or neuropathy. You may be wondering, “What Is autonomic neuropathy?” It is damage to the nerves that control involuntary bodily functions. It can affect body systems such as:
• Digestive function
• Bladder control
• Sweat glands
• The ability to sense low blood sugar
What Causes Autonomic Neuropathy?
Diabetes is the most common cause of autonomic neuropathy. High levels of fats in the blood, called triglycerides, and high blood sugar cause damage to nerves and the blood vessels that feed them.
Infections or certain medications can also cause autonomic neuropathy. Other health conditions, such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and alcohol abuse can lead to autonomic neuropathy.
Can CBD Help Patients With Autonomic Neuropathy?
If you have diabetes with autonomic neuropathy, you may be wondering about using CBD for diabetes. Currently, scientists are studying its effects on the disease. A 2006 study demonstrated the effectiveness of CBD in reducing the incidence of diabetes in non-obese mice, a model of Type 1 diabetes in humans. Another study showed CBD to be effective against inflammation, a common diabetes symptom.
Some individuals who suffer from neuropathic pain, another typical diabetes symptom, have found relief from topical CBD. If you suffer from neuropathy, you can consider asking your health care provider how to apply CBD for proximal neuropathic pain.
However, a 2016 study showed that CBD did not have much effect on HDL, or “good,” cholesterol levels, appetite or insulin sensitivity in patients with Type 2 diabetes. In addition, no significant studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBD for blood glucose in Type 2 diabetes patients.
CBD and Body Fat
Patients with Type 2 diabetes are often overweight. Body fat consists of two types:
• White fat: Stores and supplies energy to the body while cushioning organs. It is the predominant fat type. In excess, it’s associated with diseases such as diabetes.
• Brown fat: Generates heat to burn calories. Overweight people tend to have less brown fat than people of a healthy weight.
One study suggests that CBD can promote “browning” in white-fat cells, inferring that patients can consider CBD for managing fat levels of white fat.
Patients with autonomic neuropathy have much to think about when considering CBD treatment. It’s best to discuss your options with a doctor.