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.
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.
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.
A diet high in fiber and low in simple carbohydrates can prevent blood sugar spikes. In addition, avoiding the following foods may help:
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.
A series of vitamins and supplements can support nerve health and relieve symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
According to the Peripheral Neuropathy Foundation, these include:
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:
Many health problems can cause neuropathy, which include:
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:
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.