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Peripheral neuropathy: 6 natural treatments

Oct 24, 2019 | | Say something

Peripheral nerves send information to the brain and spinal cord. Damage to these nerves can affect your signaling, resulting in a variety of painful or unusual sensations. Doctors call this damage peripheral neuropathy.

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People with peripheral neuropathy may experience painful tingling, hot and cold sensations or stabbing pains in the affected area.

As neuropathy often affects the hands and feet, symptoms can begin in these areas. However, peripheral nerves are throughout the body, so it is possible to have symptoms in other places and have several symptoms in multiple locations.

Certain natural treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms. In some cases, natural interventions can help prevent more nerve damage.

Next, discover about six of these natural treatments, as well as more information about the condition.

A woman exercising as natural treatments for peripheral neuropathy.Share on Pinterest
Regular exercise can help reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Exercise promotes muscle tone, and this can reduce some symptoms of neuropathy.

Exercise can also help fight several health problems that cause neuropathy. For example, diabetes can lead to peripheral neuropathy. Exercise helps the body control blood sugar levels, which can reduce the risk of diabetes and its complications.

In addition, exercise reduces pressure on peripheral blood vessels, which can benefit people at risk of neuropathy.

Diabetes is one of the main causes of peripheral neuropathy. Dietary changes that reduce a person's blood sugar levels can relieve the symptoms of neuropathy or potentially prevent it.

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A diet high in fiber and low in simple carbohydrates can prevent blood sugar spikes. In addition, avoiding the following foods may help:

  • white bread products, including pasta
  • sweets
  • processed snacks

Other dietary changes may benefit people with peripheral neuropathy, whether or not they have diabetes.

Try the following:

Learn more about the health benefits of antioxidants here.

Smoking is a risk factor for peripheral neuropathy because it narrows and damages peripheral blood vessels.

It can also worsen the symptoms of this nerve damage, even when another condition or lifestyle factor is the main cause of neuropathy.

Quitting smoking can improve blood flow, which leads to healthier blood vessels.

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There are a variety of supplements available that can help treat peripheral neuropathy.

A series of vitamins and supplements can support nerve health and relieve symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

According to the Peripheral Neuropathy Foundation, these include:

  • Vitamin B complex: B-12 deficiency can damage the protective layer of nerves, while B-9 deficiency can also affect nerve health. B-1, B-6 and B-12 supplements can help relieve neuropathic pain in people with these deficiencies.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and foods rich in vitamin can reduce inflammation that leads to nerve damage. Vitamin E can also help with some symptoms of neuropathy, such as burning and tingling.
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine (LAC): Some research indicates that LAC may help with the neuropathy resulting from chemotherapy.
  • Alpha lipoic acid: Alpha lipoic acid can relieve burning pain in people with diabetes. However, doctors do not know if it is safe or effective for people with chemotherapy-related neuropathy.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats can help reduce inflammation and support a healthy nervous system, potentially avoiding neuropathy or relieving symptoms.
  • N-Acetylcysteine: This is an antioxidant that could reduce pain sensations. In a study in rats, it blocked certain enzymes that can cause neuropathic pain.
  • Magnesium and calcium: When a person takes them together, magnesium and calcium can help with muscle cramps, which exacerbate the discomforts of neuropathy. However, high doses can cause diarrhea.
  • Glutamine: This is a non-essential amino acid that can help protect the nervous system, but fully understanding its effects will require further investigation.
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Some people with peripheral neuropathy try alternative medicine, including acupuncture, chiropractic techniques and energy-based modalities, such as Reiki.

Researchers have yet to study these methods thoroughly. Currently, little convincing evidence suggests that they work.

To make the most of alternative medicine, try combining it with traditional treatments such as medications and exercise.

Many of the lifestyle changes that can relieve the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can also prevent it. These include exercise, eating a varied and healthy diet and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Some other strategies that can help include:

  • receive treatment for medical conditions, such as diabetes, that can cause neuropathy
  • Control blood glucose levels through diet, exercise and medications.
  • avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • give up smoking
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If a person has symptoms of neuropathy, they should talk to their doctor.

Many health problems can cause neuropathy, which include:

  • infections
  • physical injuries
  • diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • kidney and liver problems
  • Cancer

In addition, certain medications, including some chemotherapy medications, can cause neuropathy.

Anyone who develops tingling, pain, numbness or unusual sensations in the feet or hands should consult a doctor immediately, especially if they have diabetes.

Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate neuropathy. Obtaining the correct diagnosis and treatment can prevent the neuropathy from getting worse.

Anyone with a diagnosis of neuropathy should call a doctor if:

  • symptoms suddenly get worse
  • the pain of neuropathy becomes severe
  • pain or other symptoms that extend to another area of ​​the body
  • have sores or foot wounds
  • They have swelling, fever or other signs of infection.

Peripheral neuropathy involves damage to the peripheral nerves. It can have multiple causes, including diabetes.

Peripheral neuropathy can be frustrating, painful and difficult to treat; Prevention is key. Anyone who has a neuropathy-related condition should know ways to reduce their risk. A doctor can provide this information.

A number of natural interventions can help prevent or treat peripheral neuropathy, such as maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, exercising, and quitting smoking.

People with peripheral neuropathy may have to try several treatments, or a combination, before finding the most effective option. Ask a health care provider about different strategies.

Most people with peripheral neuropathy find that lifestyle adjustments help improve symptoms.

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