People with peripheral neuropathy may experience painful tingling, hot and cold sensations, or shooting pains in the affected area. Neuropathy commonly affects the hands and feet; symptoms can begin in those areas. However, peripheral nerves are found throughout the body, so symptoms can appear in other places and multiple symptoms can appear in various places. Certain natural treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms. In some cases, natural interventions can help prevent further nerve damage.
How Is Peripheral Neuropathy Diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects that you have a form of peripheral neuropathy nerve, you may be referred to a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the nerves. The neurologist (or your GP) will first take a history of your symptoms and examine you for signs of muscle weakness, numbness, and impaired reflexes. You may need blood and urine tests to check for diabetes, vitamin or metabolic deficiencies, and the presence of an underlying disease or genetic defect that can affect nerve function. Chemotherapy is a common cause. You also need to keep a close eye on your alcohol consumption and any medications you are taking.
You can also have an electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests, which are used to assess nerve and muscle function and measure the electrical properties of nerves. Doctors can often use these tests to identify abnormal nerves and determine which part of their structure is damaged.
Nerve and muscle biopsies can also be done and can provide valuable information about the type and cause. A tap on the spine, known as a spinal tap, is sometimes recommended to identify infection or inflammation that could be associated with neuropathy.
If someone in your family has been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy or had similar symptoms, your doctor may want to review your medical records or examine them for possible hereditary links to your condition.
What Are the Treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy?
Effective prognosis and treatment of neuropathy peripheral nerves largely depend on it the cause of the nerve damage. For example, peripheral neuropathy caused by vitamin deficiency can be treated or even reversed with vitamin therapy and improved nutrition. Also, nerve damage from alcohol abuse can often be stopped and improved by avoiding alcohol. Peripheral neuropathy caused by toxic substances or drugs can often be corrected in the same way.
When neuropathy is associated with diabetes, careful control of blood sugar levels can slow its progression and control symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of peripheral neuropathy are important because peripheral nerves have a limited ability to regenerate, and treatment can only stop progression and cannot reverse the damage. If you are severely disabled, you may need physical therapy to maintain your strength and prevent muscle cramps and spasms.
Medications to control symptoms include duloxetine (Cymbalta), gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica), or some antiseizure drugs. nerve compression. Mobility aids such as a walking stick, walker, or wheelchair can be helpful. If you are in pain, your doctor may prescribe pain medication.
Each nerve in your peripheral system has a specific function, so symptoms depend on the species of the affected nerves. Nerves are classified as follows:
- Sensory nerves that receive sensations such as temperature, pain, vibration, or touch from the skin
- Motor nerves that control muscle movement
- Autonomic nerves that control functions such as blood pressure, sweat, heart rate, digestion, and bladder function
Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:
- Gradual onset of numbness, itching, or tingling in the feet or hands that spreads to the legs and arms can spread
- Sharp, stabbing, or burning pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Pain from activities that shouldn’t cause pain, such as walking. Pain in feet when weight bearing or when under a blanket
- Lack of coordination and falls
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling like you’re wearing gloves or socks when you’re away
- Paralysis, when motor nerves are affected
If autonomic nerves are affected, the following signs and symptoms may occur:
- Heat intolerance
- Excessive sweating or not being able to sweat
- Intestinal, bladder, or digestive problems
- Decreased Blood pressure that causes dizziness or light-headedness
- Peripheral neuropathy can affect one nerve (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different areas (mononeuropathy multiplex), or many nerves (polyneuropathy). Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of mononeuropathy. Most people with peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy.
Changes in Diet
Diabetes is one of the main causes of peripheral neuropathy. Dietary changes that lower a person’s blood sugar levels can reduce or potentially prevent symptoms of neuropathy. Eating a high-fibre diet that is low in simple carbohydrates can help prevent spikes in blood sugar. It may also help to avoid the following foods:
- White bread products, including pasta
- Processed Snacks
- Other dietary changes may benefit people with peripheral neuropathy, whether they have diabetes or not.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as blueberries, walnuts, oily fish, and flaxseed oil, which can fight inflammation
- Eat foods that are high in fibre and foods that are absorbed slowly by the body, such as certain vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
- Eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day
- Limit saturated and trans fats
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage caused by several different disorders. Health conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy include:
- Autoimmune Diseases: These include Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and vasculitis.
- Diabetes: This is the most common cause. Among people with diabetes, more than half will develop some type of neuropathy.
- Infections: These include certain viral or bacterial infections such as Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C, leprosy, diphtheria, and HIV.
- Hereditary Diseases: Conditions like Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are inherited types of neuropathy.
- Tumours: Both cancerous (malignant) and benign (benign) growths can develop on or press on nerves. In addition, polyneuropathy can occur because of some cancers that are related to the body’s immune response. This is a form of the degenerative disease called paraneoplastic syndrome.
- Bone Marrow Disease: These include an abnormal protein in the blood (monoclonal gammopathies), a form of bone cancer (myeloma), lymphoma, and the rare disease amyloidosis.
- Other Diseases: These include kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disease, and an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Foods of Plant Origin for Nerve Pain
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, and asparagus contain vitamin B, an important nutrient for nerve regeneration and function. Spinach, broccoli, and kale also contain a micronutrient called alpha-lipoic acid, which helps prevent nerve damage and improves nerve function.
- Fruits: Eat at least one piece of fruit a day to heal damaged nerves. Strawberries, peaches, cherries, red grapes, oranges, and watermelon, among others, are packed with antioxidants that help lower inflammation and reduce nerve damage. Additionally, grapes and blueberries, are packed with a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called resveratrol.
- Zucchini: A type of summer squash, zucchini is a fruit. Like other fruits, it is rich in antioxidants and therefore good for nerve cells. It is also a good source of potassium, which promotes efficient nerve transmission, and magnesium, which calms agitated nerves.
- The Sweet Potato: This tuber offers several nerve health benefits: Rich in vitamins A and C, which provide antioxidant protection to cells. Sweet potatoes also have natural anti-inflammatory compounds. Animal studies have shown that nerve and brain tissue showed less inflammation after consuming purple sweet potato extract. The high fibre content of a sweet potato won’t spike your blood sugar since the starch burns slowly.
- Quinoa: Although commonly considered a grain, quinoa is a flowering plant that produces edible seeds. Once a staple grown in the Andes for the native peoples of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, quinoa has become a worldwide favourite, grown in more than 70 countries. Quinoa is a great source of potassium, which aids in the effective transmission of messages through the nerves. It is an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and folic acid. This superfood also contains protein, fibre, iron, copper, and vitamin B6.
- Avocado: This unique fruit is packed with healthy fats. Like quinoa, it has a good dose of potassium, which promotes efficient nerve conduction. Avocados also help increase the body’s absorption of antioxidants.
Foods That Worsen Peripheral Neuropathy
- Gluten: If you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease, eating gluten may trigger your symptoms and aggravate them. Common sources are any food that contains white, wheat, cake, or baking flour. Look for products that say “gluten-free”.
- Refined Grains: They have a high glycemic index, which means they have a dramatic impact on your blood sugar. Controlling blood sugar levels is the most important strategy for preventing neuropathy associated with diabetes. To improve the glycemic impact of your diet, replace refined grains with whole grains.
- Added Sugar Adds Flavour but Few Nutrients: Nutritional deficiencies can cause symptoms of neuropathy. Choose nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Saturated Fats: These are commonly found in fatty meats and dairy products, can increase inflammation and the risk of type 2 diabetes cause.
To improve well-being, replace fatty protein sources with lean alternatives and eat moderate amounts of healthy fat sources.
How Can Diet Play a Role in Preventing and Treating Neuropathy?
Your nerves need the right balance of nutrients to function properly function and are also susceptible to toxins. Hence, what you eat and drink, and how your body absorbs nutrients from what you eat, can contribute to or worsen neuropathy or peripheral nerve damage.
When your doctor examines you If you have neuropathy, you’ll likely have blood and urine tests for related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and celiac disease, and screen you for nutrient deficiencies, excesses, and toxicity.
Your doctor will guide you on how to adjust your diet and may refer you to a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian (RDN).
1) Control Your Blood Sugar to Avoid Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetes, a disease characterized by excessively high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), is the most common cause of Neuropathy. People with diabetic neuropathy need to eat to maintain blood sugar levels recommended by their doctors, including sweets, sugary drinks, and large servings of foods high in sugar, starches, or carbohydrates. Decide instead, to adopt a diet that leans toward controlled portions of high fibre/full grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat or non-fat dairy, and lean proteins such as boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fish, and turkey. Taking these steps may not reverse existing nerve damage, but they will help prevent further damage. If you have diabetes but don’t have neuropathic symptoms, you can control your blood sugar to prevent nerve damage from developing in the first place.
2) Get Enough Vitamin B12 And Other Nutrients to Prevent Neuropathy
Whether you want to prevent neuropathy or halt its progression, your body must get the nutrients it needs it needs. Vitamin B12 deficiency, which is prevalent in 10 to 15 percent of people over the age of 60 particularly associated with neuropathy. A deficiency causes damage to the myelin sheaths that surround and protect nerves. Without this protection, your nerves will not function properly. Food sources of vitamin B12 include fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other types of dairy products. Your doctor or dietician may also recommend oral or injectable vitamin B12 supplements.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of the nutrient for most people is Age 14 and older is 24 micrograms (mcg), although women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should aim to get 26 mcg and 28 mcg, respectively.
3) Watch Your Vitamin B6 Intake as Too Much of The Nutrient Can Cause Neuropathy
Too much of the nutrient can also cause neuropathy. Vitamin B6 is particularly problematic as too much can be toxic to the nerves. The RDA for vitamin B6 is 2 milligrams (mg) per day. Many doctors assume that various vitamin B6 supplements can contain 100 mg or more. Doses over 200 mg can cause neuropathy, as well as fatigue, movement and breathing problems, and vomiting.
These symptoms appear to be reversible once use is stopped.
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
These Habits Support Healthy Nerves:
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein to keep your nerves healthy. Protect yourself from vitamin B-12 deficiency by eating meat, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, and fortified grains. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, fortified cereals are a good source of vitamin B-12 but talk to your doctor about B-12 supplements.
- Exercise regularly. With your doctor’s approval, try to get at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise at least three times a week.
- Avoid factors that can cause nerve damage, including repetitive movements, cramped positions that put pressure on the nerves, exposure to toxic chemicals, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.