Can eating low (<20g) of carbohydrates a day be related to causing symptoms that are that of Peripheral Neuropathy?

  • Pain areas: in the back, face, foot, hands, or thigh
  • Pain types: can be burning and tingling or sharp
  • Pain circumstances: can occur at night
  • Sensory: pins and needles, uncomfortable tingling and burning, over sensitivity, or sensitivity to pain
  • Also common: numbness, slow reflexes, tingling feet, or tingling fingers

This is for someone not having diabetes, and may be possibly missing some important vitamins and minerals from the reduced intake of certain foods (mostly consuming meat).

If so, what can be done to help relieve these symptoms, as generic pain killers don't seem to be doing the trick?

1 Answer 1


The main causes of nutrition-related peripheral neuropathy are deficiencies of vitamins B1 (thiamin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin) (Emedicine). In carnivores, vitamin B1 and B9 deficiencies would be the most likely causes, since these two vitamins are found mainly in plant foods.

None of the carbohydrates are essential nutrients, so a low-carbohydrate diet by itself should not cause peripheral neuropathy. Google search for "low-carb diet" "peripheral neuropathy" yields close to zero relevant results, so vitamin deficiencies related to such diet also do not seem to be common.

Potassium deficiency--which should not be caused by a low carb diet--can also cause tingling (and weakness and cramps), but not burning pain.

Some people mention tingling associated with ketosis (shortly after going low-carb) but not pain.

The main risk factors for nutritional neuropathy in carnivore individuals are alcoholism, very poor diet, intestinal malabsorption disorders and taking drugs, such as isoniazid, hydralazine, etc. (Emedicine).

What to do? To go to a doctor, who will likely perform a neurological examination and, if necessary, order the blood tests for vitamins, etc.

  • Since this question was quite a while ago, I did end up going to see a doctor about it and he did diagnose that it was peripheral neuropathy, and that I definitely did not have diabetes after the blood tests conducted. He prescribed gabapentin and that worked wonders. I do also have potassium supplements which also seem to be helping Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 13:03
  • @BrianLeishman, you may want to add this info as an "EDIT" in your question. Also (if you want) - was it related to nutrition?
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 13:30
  • I'm not sure if it was actually, since then I've realized that if I just eat regularly that the problem still occurs, so I don't think it was at all related to my diet Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 13:33
  • Yeah sorry haha, it's been quite a while since I asked this question and I completely forgot about it since then since it didn't get any attention until just a few days ago Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 13:44
  • @Brian It's great that you've got a solution for your problem. Still, this is a rather good answer and it could help other users in the future, you might consider accepting it ;-).
    – Lucky
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 7:07

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