Natural Treatment for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

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Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Many people think that the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is linked to teeth but they are wrong. This is an inherited neurological disorder which is named after three doctors who first identified this disease in the 1880s: Jean-Martin Charcot, Pierre Marie, and Howard Henry Tooth. It is noticed that both sexes and people of all ethnicities can be born with this disease.

The symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease can include trouble walking, trouble speaking, muscle weakness, muscle wasting in the feet and legs, and pain in the lower body. This disease is not considered a fatal disease and usually, it will not result in shorter than normal life expectancy. The Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is considered as a type of muscular dystrophy because it is a condition which causes muscle wasting. [1]

This disease is different than other types of muscular dystrophy because it affects someone’s nerves rather than their actual muscles. Both sensory and motor nerves are impacted by the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which is resulting in changes in how sensory stimuli are perceived and control over activities of the muscles and organs. You should know that the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease cannot be cured but it can be managed. [1]

The treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease will depend on factors, including whether deformities have developed, family history, the age of onset, the distribution of muscle weakness, and the severity of symptoms. Nowadays, there is genetic counseling which can help to determine if the baby will be born with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. If you suffer from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, then you should talk with your doctor before you start using some of the below-mentioned home remedies.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Contents

Here are some home remedies for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease:

Occupational therapy:

This type of therapy has a goal of restoring functionality and improving the quality of life. The occupational therapist can help someone with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease to overcome the limitations due to the weakness in the hands, arms or legs, instability, and lack of coordination. This type of therapy will provide you equipment for everyday activities that are performed at homes, such as preparing food or showering.

It can help to improve the movements of the hands, coordination, and grip strength. It can help to improve the gripping of the fingers, such as writing, cleaning, cooking, bathing, dressing, or eating. Occupational therapy can help to properly use assistive devices for everyday mobility, such as an orthopedic device which can assist climbing and walking. It can help to improve the stability and coordination which can help with fall prevention and reducing the risk of injury. [2]

Nutrient-dense diet:

There are no studies which are said that a specific diet can help to cure or treat the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. You should eat a healthy diet because it will help to keep inflammation levels low and this can help you to manage the symptoms of this condition. When you eat an inflammatory diet, then it can lead to health problems, such as diabetes that can worsen the symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and it can make complications worse.

You should eat a lot of high – fiber foods, especially seeds, nuts, veggies, and fruits. You should avoid foods that have synthetic chemicals, artificial ingredients and added sugar. You should add high – antioxidant foods into all meals, especially whole fruits and vegetables. They will give you vitamins, fiber, and essential electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. Also, you should eat quality protein because it will help to maintain muscle mass. This includes wild-caught fish, pasture-raised poultry, eggs, grass-fed beef. [3]

Also, fish has Omega – 3 fatty acids which are beneficial for the heart, lower triglycerides, and help reduce diabetes risk. Also, you can add beans and legumes which are high in fiber. You should consume healthy fats, such as avocado, seeds, nuts, olive oil, coconut milk, and coconut oil. You should drink a lot of water, tea, and perhaps coffee but cut down on sugar. You should use stevia which is natural sweetener that has no calories as a substitute for the table sugar in your cooking and baking. [4]

Also, there are some studies in which are found that certain supplements can help to reduce the symptoms of the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Turmeric has Vitamin C and curcumin which were tested in animal studies and it was shown that they can help to reduce inflammation and alleviate unfolded protein responses. You should increase the consumption of these components by adding more turmeric in your diet. Also, you should consume foods that are high in Vitamin C, such as green leafy vegetables, berries, kiwi, citrus fruits, papaya, and bell peppers.

Inspect your feet:

It is very important to check your feet daily because this can help to prevent infections, wounds, ulcers, and calluses.

Physical therapy:

Usually, physical therapy is recommended to build strength in the lower body and to help with the coordination no matter if someone with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease uses orthopedic devices or not. The outcome for the affected person with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease will be better when he or she starts earlier with the physical and occupational therapies. The physical therapy is incorporating specific exercises and stretches.

It can help to prevent muscle loss, cramps, stiffness, and muscle tightening. Most therapy programs that are geared toward managing Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease will include low – impact aerobic exercises, such as stretching, strength-building exercises, cycling, and swimming workouts. All of the mentioned exercises will be led by a physical therapist that will monitor the progress and he or she can help to prevent injuries. [1]

Take care of your nails: 

You should cut your nails regularly. You should cut your nails straight across and you should avoid cutting into the nailbed edges because in this way you will avoid ingrown toenails and infections. If you have problems with circulation, sensation, and damage to the nerves in your feet, then a podiatrist can trim your toenails. Also, your podiatrist can recommend a salon where they can safely trim your nails.

Natural pain – killers:

There are some cases when people who have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease will experience cramps, pain in their feet or legs, and other discomforts that are caused by nerve damage. There are some cases when doctors will prescribe pain medications to help control these symptoms but also there are other ways that can help you to manage your pain naturally.

You should apply essential oils, such as peppermint oil over the painful area because this will give you a relief from the pain caused by Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Also, you should take warm baths or you can sit in a sauna because this can also help you. You should do gently stretching so it will help in the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. You should try light massage therapy. It is not recommended for the deep tissue massage. You should talk with your health care provider before you start doing massages.

Exercise:

You should work with a professional trainer about your physical therapy. Also, people who suffer from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease can make exercises and stretches at home because this can help to improve mobility and muscle strength. Swimming is highly recommended. It has a very low impact and does not add pressure to the fragile or weakened muscles. Also, biking or cycling on a stationary bike or using an elliptical can help in the natural treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. [5]

There is no risk that you will fall while you are swimming which can be a big concern when people who have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease lose their stability. Also, your doctor can recommend you to walk as exercise and they should use a walking stick in order to prevent tripping and hurting themselves. Also, it is very important for patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease to stretch regularly because this can help them to maintain flexibility, loosen stiff muscles, prevent injuries, and taking care of the joints.

Also, stretching can help to reduce joint deformities which can result over time from muscles pulling on certain bones. You should talk with your doctor or physical therapist before you start doing some type of exercise for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

References:

[1] National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease fact sheet. Retrieved from www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Charcot-Marie-Tooth-Disease-Fact-Sheet

[2] Dimitrova EN, Božinovikj I, Ristovska S, et al. The role of rehabilitation in the management of patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease: Report of two cases. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences. 2016;4(3):443–8.

[3] Madorsky I, Opalach K, Waber A, et al. Intermittent fasting alleviates the neuropathic phenotype in a mouse model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Neurobiology of Disease. 2009;34(1):146–54.

[4] Zhang AC, MacIsaac RJ, Roberts L, et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for improving peripheral nerve health: protocol for a systematic review . BMJ Open. 2018;8:e020804.

[5] Sman AD, Hackett D, Singh MF, et al. Systematic review of exercise for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System. 2015;20(4):347-62.

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