Neuropathy – Finding Relief
If you suffer from neuropathic pain, you are not alone.
Peripheral or Central Nervous System neuropathy is a condition that affects people in every walk of life. It is estimated that 20 million Americans and 60% of diabetics suffer from this disorder which symptoms include burning, tingling, weakness, numbness, paralysis, and dull to excruciating pain – especially in the extremities.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition which describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This can result in pain, loss of feeling, and inability to control muscles. As with any other condition, there is no “one size fits all” remedy for those suffering from this malady and treatment may vary depending on the cause and severity. However, many find relief using natural remedies.
About 30% of neuropathy cases are considered idiopathic, which means they are of unknown cause. Another 30% of neuropathies are due to diabetes. In fact, about 50% of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy. The remaining cases of neuropathy, called acquired neuropathies, have several possible causes, including:
•Trauma or pressure on nerves, often from a cast or crutch or repetitive motion such as typing on a keyboard
•Nutritional problems and vitamin deficiencies, often from a lack of B vitamins
•Alcoholism, often through poor dietary habits and vitamin deficiencies
•Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome
•Tumors, which often press up against nerves
•Other diseases and infections, such as kidney disease, liver disease, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
•Inherited disorders (hereditary neuropathies), such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and amyloid polyneuropathy
•Poison exposure, from toxins such as heavy metals, and certain medications and cancer treatments
Diet is crucial when addressing peripheral neuropathy, especially in diabetics. Alcohol and tobacco should be eliminated at all costs. Other harmful foods to be avoided include sugar, processed foods, fast foods, junk foods, sodas of all types, foods sprayed with pesticides, and trans-fatty acids. Sweeteners and additives contained in diet soda and processed foods such as MSG and aspartame can negatively impact the nervous system.
Light exercise is a very important part in treating neuropathy. It helps to control blood sugar, promotes circulation, and can slow the nerve damage resulting from this condition.
In addition to proper diet and exercise, there are herbs and supplements that can help to give relief by oxygenating cells, reducing inflammation, and dispelling toxic free radicals.
Our special protocol this month includes Ultra InflamX Plus by Metagenics which contains, among other things, ginger and turmeric.
The wonderfully aromatic ginger is a superstar of traditional medicine in Asia, where it has been treasured for thousands of years for its amazing flavors and impressive health benefits. Research shows that ginger contains dozens of the most potent inflammation fighting substances known, phytonutrients called gingerols.
Turmeric, the spice that gives curry its distinctive flavor and coloring, also has plenty of pain-relief benefits. New research suggests that turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory properties and has been used in traditional medicines for easing the pain of sprains, strains, bruises and joint inflammation. The healing power of turmeric comes from its active ingredient – curcumin, which lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation.
Also in our monthly protocol, EPA Ultra High Potency by Arctic which provides Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in proper balance to help lower inflammation in the body.
Other supplements to consider:
*Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant used in Europe to treat peripheral nerve degeneration caused by diabetes. It is a sulfur-containing fatty acid contained in each cell of the body which generates energy. The suggested dosage is 1,200 to 1,800 mgs in divided doses daily.
*N-Acetyl Cysteine helps detoxify the body by helping it produce glutathione.
*Magnesium soothes the nervous system. The recommended dosage is 800 mgs in two divided doses.
*A vitamin B6 deficiency can aggravate or even cause neuropathic pain. This vitamin becomes more effective when taken with B-complex vitamins. The suggested dosage is 100 mgs per day, but it is important not to exceed this amount.
*Skullcap soothes the entire nervous system. The suggested dosage is fifteen drops of tincture in a glass of water three to six times a day or as needed for pain.
*Evening primrose oil can be effective in preventing nerve damage and in keeping the condition from getting worse.
*Colloidal silver may help nerves regenerate and studies in Hungary found specific silver receptors on human nerve tissue.
*Digestive enzymes taken two or three times a day on an empty stomach help remove plaque and restore circulation to extremities.
Castor oil packs can provide symptomatic relief for some people. Massage, biofeedback, acupuncture, and relaxation therapy have also been shown to be effective.
Need more information? Call The Healthy Choice Compounding Pharmacy 914.238.1700 or stop by to speak to our supplement expert to get on the road to feeling pain-free!