Alpha Lipoic Acid and Peripheral Neuropathy

I was browsing the net looking for help with peripheral neuropathy, and I found a few interesting articles, including one study that showed Alpha Lipoic Acid to help. I went to my doctor and asked about it. She said I wasn’t ready at first, and I do not know what her reasoning was, but she’s on top of things so I let it go. When I asked again, she said it was okay if I took a really small dose. Then I upped the dose a couple weeks later. I cannot honestly say this supplement has been useful in treating PN, however, I have been diagnosed with an ALA deficiency, which is noteworthy considering the relationship between PN and ALA. Are you more susceptible to PN if you are ALA deficient? Or has FQ toxicity caused my ALA deficiency? The jury is still out. Regardless, there is a lot of talk about ALA in the FQ community, so I’m publishing this page in an attempt to shed some light on the appeal of ALA for FQ sufferers.

A word of caution: If you research ALA and decide to try it, talk with a doctor who REALLY knows what they are doing and who has a comprehensive understanding of ALA and how much you can safely take. If taken improperly, it can be dangerous,especially to the delicate system of a floxy. And another thing, make sure you buy the highest quality you have access to, as in pharmaceutical grade. Do a lot of research about the doctor, the manufacturer and the regulatory standards they are using. Generally speaking, the stuff on the shelf at the market is not the best and may have a lot of garbage in it, as well as waste your money.

When you start looking into Alpha Lipoic Acid you may come across R Lipoic Acid. Are they the same? Not exactly. Alpha Lipoic Acid, is usually a 50/50 blend between R-Lipoic (natural) and S-Lipoic (synthetic) acid, and from what I understand, it is the R-lipoic acid that is most helpful. Thorne Industries makes both forms, which is what I use. You should do your own research, but these articles are a good place to start:

This first article was found on a website called Advanced Health and Life Extension, and just to be clear, I am not familiar with any of their products. Here is an excerpt:

“What is R Alpha Lipoic Acid and Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Alpha Lipoic acid is a natural substance found in certain foods and also produced in the human body. Alpha Lipoic acid is a disulfide compound found naturally in mitochondria as the coenzyme for pyruvate dehydrogenase and a-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase…

R Alpha Lipoic Acid as an Antioxidant

R Alpha Lipoic acid is regarded by many as the supreme antioxidant. R-Lipoic acid is unique in that it functions as both a fat and water-soluble antioxidant that can easily cross cell membranes. Thus, it can confer free radical protection to both interior and exterior cellular structures…

37 thoughts on “Alpha Lipoic Acid and Peripheral Neuropathy

  1. Nicki- my pn is getting worse and worse- did anything help you? Not sure if you had that or not. I have it really really bad now. Just started glutathione iv. Hoping that will help. Also, do you know where I can read the actual article that Rob wrote? I posted in the forum but no one is responding. Let me know what you have heard about the pins and needles, tingling stuff and what worked or didn’t work. Thanks

  2. Hi Dudley, I’m sorry I didn’t see your post before. I am not familiar with that brand. The brand I used was Thorne Industries. The key to choosing a brand is knowing where they get their material from and how they process it. Chances are good you’ll be buying junk if you don’t do some reaearch. There is more than one good brand, so just do a little research on the company. Best wishes, Nikki

  3. I need help I dont know what else to do!!!!!!! I was given cipro twice and now I have a long lust of symptoms and my doctors don’t believe me!!!! I feel burning sensation in my muscles all over NY body, my vision is blurry at times, my joints hurt, I feel at times like my brain is on fire, and I can hear at times when my bones crack. I didn’t have any of these symptoms until I started cipro and the side effects started from the very first day. Can u please e-mail me the information of exactly what treatments worked, because I’m losing my family due to this poison called cipro. No body seems to understand the degree of what in suffering not even my husband, because doctors say they don’t see why I would feel this way. Plzzzzz help me I need life back I’m only 31 years old with 3 children who need me, so plzzzz e-mail me information my life depends on it. Thank you very much.

  4. I need help I dont know what else to do!!!!!!! I was given cipro twice and now I have a long lust of symptoms and my doctors don’t believe me!!!! I feel burning sensation in my muscles all over NY body, my vision is blurry at times, my joints hurt, I feel at times like my brain is on fire, and I can hear at times when my bones crack. I didn’t have any of these symptoms until I started cipro and the side effects started from the very first day. Can u please e-mail me the information of exactly what treatments worked, because I’m losing my family due to this poison called cipro. No body seems to understand the degree of what in suffering not even my husband, because doctors say they don’t see why I would feel this way. Plzzzzz help me I need life back I’m only 31 years old with 3 children who need me, so plzzzz e-mail me information my life depends on it. Thank you very much. plzzzzzz

  5. Nicki thank you for your posts lifesaver! In your 3 things you didn’t say what the cipro cure was(2nd) thing. Could you say exactly what it was? I am just suffering 1 week in. What would you do if your me 1st thing out of gate? Thanks in advance for your help.
    God Bless!!


  6. I came across this discussion as I was doing research to update my information on the effects of ALA on my peripheral neurology. I was diagnosed with a serious case of PN in 2005. My neurologist said it was so bad that there was nothing he could do for me except to advise me to keep tight control of my type1 diabetes. I decided to do research and discovered the study done in Russia on the effects of ALA on PN. I told mt neurologist but he was very skeptical. I decided to persevere and I have taken 500mgs daily ever since. I was given the nerve tests every six months by my neurologist. For about two years the tests showed “no change’. However, my painful episodes were less frequent and my feet were slightly more flexible and sensitive to touch. Then I had a test done that showed my condition had slightly improved-shock and awe. I said to my neurologist that perhaps the improvement was caused by divine intervention or perhaps it was Alpha Lipoic Acid! His reply was” well it did not do any harm.”
    Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with fourth stage CKD in 2009. My neurologist then did not want anything to do with me after my nephrologist told me that I could no longer keep tight control of my diabetes. My neurologist said that could do the nerve test every two years if i wanted too.

    I had a test done in August 2012 which showed ” not much change.” My conclusion is that the ALA is keeping my condition stable. I seldom have nerve pain. And my feet continue to be warm and flexible. There is no tingling in my hands. That is my testimomy. I hope it is helpful.

    1. Alex- The peripheral neuropathy in my feet after taking Cipro was quite troubling – constant tingling, swollen feeling (without actual swelling) and numbness which made walking very difficult. I started ALA and all this improved, and practically disappeared over two months. I continued to take the ALA, but stopped after 10 months, thinking neuropathy was gone. Within two months it returned, though less severe than initially. I started ALA again, and within two weeks my feet were again almost normal. I do believe ALA is an important resource in treating neuropathy.

    2. Alex- Did you have any burning through out body its been a lil more than 2 years and im going insane w all this BURNING all OVER my body ……I was allergic from cipro and than later was given Levaquin ugh than all heck broke lose… dr diagnosed it polyneuropathy induced by the drug levaquin since i was allergic to cipro here i am typing in painn im sure you and every one else can relate to this !@#!!!

      1. Hi Marina,I know is late I just saw your post and I want to say for you or everybody else with a burning sensation,I keep in control with bicabonate soda half teaspoon in water.I believe the burning sensation is because your kidneys does not work proper.Kidneys take all the toxins out of the body and regulate the ph.The kidney produce every day about 250 mg bicarbonate soda to help the body keep the normal ph,but when your kidneys are damaged or have an infection,they does not work proper and the toxins stays in your body and go in the blood,that’s why you have a burning sensation.When take bicarbonate soda help the body to have a normal ph,you do what your kindneys cannot do anymore. Acidic blood lead to cancer finaly if you are not careful.I am in the same boat with you,been floxed on and off for 12 yrs .I did not known what was wrong with me just last august I noticed when I had my last dose of Cipro.In total in 12 years I had 7 days Norfloxacin,21 days Avelox , and 35 days Cipro.I am not in a wheelchair yet but have neuropathy , vision problems, aneurysm on my left kidney in interior 1,7 cm, digestive problems , food sensitivity ,pain all over, lost my job long time a go, lost my friends , etc…but ,one day we will be fine ,I hope …wish you all the best !

  7. Hello fellow sufferers.
    Because of a total dental reconstruction and subsequent problems I was prescribed Cipro 5 different times from 2000 – 2007. It was just yesterday I discovered, by accident, Cipro may have something to do with the multitude of health problems I suffer from now. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 2 years ago and had to leave my job and go on disability. The burning pain in my hands and feet has been life altering, chronic fatigue, nausea and severe neck and back pain, depression, anxiety and panic attacks none of which I had before the year 2000 at which time I was 48 years old.
    The good news …. with the enormous amount of research and experimenting I’ve done over the past few years I’ve been able to curb the symptoms quite well. For burning feet / hands B3 is fantastic, I take 4 tabs a day of Advanced B Complex from the company AOR, Magnesium Malate does help some what with muscle pain, I take 4 a day. I still can’t walk very far without getting pain in my feet ..I’ve accepted the fact. Acupuncture and my Homeopath have saved me emotionally …. it’s what they do best for me. Find them in your area!! They can help immensely with emotional and mental issues. Gluten, dairy and sugar trigger my burning feet and hands so I do my best to stay away from those foods. I also have colonics a few times a year (gotta have good bowel movements or you’re keeping the toxins in your body!) infra red sauna also helps relieve the pain and it’s a wonderful detox. I just read that a sun tanning bed is good for fibro pain which I will start doing. I find if I’m strong emotionally then I can make better decisions about my physical well being … my acupuncturist keeps me strong emotionally. As well surround yourself with positive people and energy, read positive affirmations daily or hourly if you have to. It takes a strong will to stay uplifted given these circumstances but every thought we have is a decision … decide to accept your situation and make the best of it. Surrender to it. I also meditate daily with my headphones … it all makes a difference for me.
    Good luck and God Bless!

  8. I take 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid daily in one dose. Initially, I took only R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, which has been shown to be more potent and chemically bio-available for use by the body than the more commonly available (and cheaper) S-Alpha lipoic acid. I’m now taking the S-Alpha Lipoic Acid, and getting good results for peripheral neuropathy. There are many reputable supplement companies that make either or both types (R and S). I’d go with a source you trust.

    1. Thank you for the information. For some reason I am very paranoid about putting anything in my body. I have been taking vitamins intermittently, but I have been avoiding ALA. Even with the vitamins, I noticed new symptoms, so I have abandoned them. If they work, why do I continue to have new symptoms evolve. Just something to think about.

  9. Cipro poisoned, what types of supplements have you tried and what have you noticed? I am very leery of putting stuff in my body too after having a horrible week of new symptoms after taking fish oil and chelated magnesium. Makes it hard to know what to do for treatment..

    1. Hi kristy, I have intermittently used magnesium, multi-vitamin, Coenzyme-Q, and protein shake in the mornings. That is about it. I don’t know if anything really helps. I am saying this because for the first 4-5 months I religiously took everything that was kindly recommended by others, and I continued to develop new symptoms, and in my mind I thought if these are supposed to help than why am I developing new symptoms. In my opinion, as long as the GI tract is working, you can absorb everything you need by eating fruits, veggies, and some antibiotic-free animal products.

      The bottom line is no one really knows what is going on, and the truth is that even the worst cases improve with time—though it may take years. I have had two major episode of burning in my ankles, the first when I was floxed, and then again six months later, both episodes resolved within two months without any ALA. I continue to have intermittent diffuse burning sensations, and they are bearable, so I will avoid ALA for the time being, but if these burnings become intolerable, I will take ALA out of desparation.

      1. Thank you for responding cp! Have you ever tried fish oil, or any of the iv treatment like gluthiame(spelling?) Or vit c? And are you religious about antibiotic free meats? I’m finding this all so challenging and overwhelming. Thank you..

      2. Dear kristy, I haven’t tried any of the IV therapies. I am too afraid to take anymore risks for hoping to get better. As far as diet is concerned, I am VERY RELIGIOUS about avoiding foods that many have even traces of antibiotics. It is a challange, but it is possible.

  10. Thank you..I haven’t been feeling comfortable trying the iv therapies either. If its not too much trouble, could you tell me how you select your foods? Like where you get them etc..I know every place is different (I’m in urbana,illinois) but any ideas would help give me a lead. Here it seems there’s only one place that sells a few organic meats( all frozen) and then a bunch of other organic stuff, but the selection at regular grocery stores is either slim or I don’t know how to identify the stuff I’m looking for. I’m not very good at this, and don’t really know anyone to ask. I appreciate your help..

    1. I purchase my food from Trader Joe’s, Whole World Foods, and my local Safeway. If you can’t obtain organic/antibiotic free foods in your local town travel to a major city close to you and stock-up.

    2. Walmart now offers organic chicken. It’s much cheaper than Whole Foods. Kroger grocery stores also have their own brand of natural chicken (marked as “no hormones or antibiotics”), as well as organic chicken. Be careful about meat sold as “natural”. This can mean different things in different stores. If meat isn’t specifically labeled as “no hormones/antibiotics”, I don’t buy it. Luckily, I live in Colorado and have access to grass-fed beef, no antibiotics or hormones. I buy 1/4 beef each fall from a small beef producer who runs her steers on National Forest land nearby. You may have options for good clean beef in your area. Egglands Best eggs specifically state that they have no hormones or antibiotics. They’re not “organic” or “free range”, but if your concern is specifically antibiotics, they’re cheaper than organic eggs.

  11. I am a month after surgery now and just connecting the dots, today my feet started burning and thats what made me connect the dots, i’m having muscle twitches all in my legs and burning on the inside of my thighs down to my knees which has been constant since surgery. I’m gonna get my records and see what antibiotics I was given in the hospital but I already know what the answer will be. What scares me the most is seeing that it will get worse before it gets better. I’m gonna start some supplements and maybe detox any advice on first steps? thanks

  12. Taking liposomalized Vitamin C, ( instead of the oral type which reaches bowel tolerance and then causes diarrhea before the mega dose level can be reached ), could be beneficial.
    Youtube has many videos on how to make your own liposomalized Vitamin C, which is 90% as effective as IV administration.

    Also for the numbness, tingling and pain in the feet, legs and even hands, obtaining a “vibration platform” with multiple speed settings will restore more normal sensation. The first few times a diabetic neuropathetic uses the platform it seems to bring on MORE pain.. (nerves making connections?) but after a few sessions, the normal sensation begins to return. Plus the vibration is outstanding exercise for the entire body including the spinal column and the brain.

  13. To those who took CIPRO and have developed neuropathy after, do some research. There are lawsuits about this. It sounds like it can be permanent but may go away on its own.

  14. Not sure if I have been floxed … Took 5 Cipros…. Taking DHLA …. Dr Bob Marshall , a clinical nutritionist from Round Rock TX sells it . Pure unadulterated lipoid acid…. He has a call- in radio program and helps us w/ a drug- free protocol 800-370-3447.

  15. It is possible Cipro is behind what happened to me too. I’ve been dealing with arthritis, tendinitis, nerve problems, and chronic sinus infections for 15 years. I took Cipro in my 20’s and 30’s at for sinus infections and UTIs — and I started feeling wrong. I had always had a lot of drive and enthusiasm for life. I felt like I become another person. I developed nightmares to the point that I saw a therapist about it. I developed arthritis symptoms, chronic tendinitis problems, nerve problems, joint pain, tingling sensations, breathing problems. It was beyond ridiculous. i come from a family with a major workaholic dad and they are fundamentally not very understanding. My grandpa, a bricklayer, lived to 103. But I have seen doctor after doctor. I finally stopped going frequently, because the good ones did not accept my insurance and were very expensive and most of the others were useless. But the pointless visits to doctors went on for over a decade. One good doctor, the top in her field, said I had the beginning of RA. Another one told me fibromyalgia, but when I asked her what it was she flatly said- – it’s list of symptoms doctors can’t otherwise figure out. Then she tried to put me on an anti-depressant for this. I did not have the symptoms of being clinically depressed — I was just sick and wanted to know why. I said no. Another kook MD took a 30 second look at my list of symptoms and said with great confidence– well, no really you have cluster headaches. That’s all. He wanted me to take some pain killer or other. His wife probably worked for the pharm co.

    I do not take any medication except an occasional half-dose of Aleve — but infrequently. Turmeric works pretty well, and I think 5 HTP has helped my sleep. The nightmares stopped some years ago. I have become extremely sensitive to drugs with this sickness. I try not to take them.

    The good news is that through diet and exercise I am somewhat better than I have been in years. I’ve gotten into vigorous exercise. But I lose muscle tone ridiculously fast if I stop. I’ve even managed to even get a little bit of a social life.

    If Cipro did this, it wrecked my potential for a career in my 30’s. It upended the prime of my life. When I first got sick I was getting offered great opportunities to work with newspapers and news magazines. I could not accept the jobs because I was crippled by these symptoms. I spent a lot of time in bed feeling totally bizarre. My hands hurt so badly I could no longer type very long on a computer. (Before this I had worked as a daily reporter, so I had no problem with typing.) I spent 3/4 of that decade trying to figure out why I was sick all the time. I was getting ignored by most of my former (healthy) friends, with a few much appreciated exceptions. I have been trying to find out what the hell happened for over 12 years — and still have no diagnosis!

  16. Hi all I’m a diabetic for 35years,had pins and needles at night I couldn’t move my fingers or my hand iy was numb with fingers and my ankles swollen badly.I had eye infection I had eye floters I can see black dots as I walk and blur vision.I went for an eye test and the resuls was shocking,it read my eyes are bleeding on the back of my head.I went on a strict diet ate lots of salad I excercised 2times a day ate lots of apples and I ate chicken and fish 3times a week lots of fresh herbs.I also take herbal remedies such as drink mint tea and I take bitter melon powder and eat bitter melon,I’m taking r Ala 200g twice a day and ifeeling so much better,can’t see the eye floters anymore the numbness in my fingers and hands are gone my blood sugar is in control I feel like a brand new person.

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