Natural Treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy

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home remedies for nerve pain in feet

This is a condition which is causing weakness, numbness, and pain in extremities, typically feet, and hands. The peripheral nerves are sending messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. When these nerves are damaged, then messages are interrupted, and they affect how your body responds to the temperature, pain, and other reflexes. This is often a result of damage to the peripheral nerves.

There are a few things that could lead to this damage, such as infection, alcoholism, traumatic injury, and diabetes mellitus. The effects of this condition can develop suddenly, or they can spread slowly over time. The treatment of peripheral neuropathy depends on its cause for it. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy depend on the type of nerve damage. If the motor nerves are affected, then you can have decreased reflexes, muscle spasms or uncontrolled twitching, difficulty moving your arms or legs, muscle weakness, or atrophy.

If sensory nerves are affected, then you can have a loss of reflex and coordination; inability to feel temperature changes or pain with hot and cold; decreased sensation; sensitivity to touch; tingling, or numbness. If autonomic nerves are affected, then you can feel difficulty swallowing; irregular heart rate; inability to control bowel and bladder functions, excessive sweating; dizziness while standing or changing position from sitting to standing, vomiting and nausea. You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from peripheral neuropathy before you start using some of the below-mentioned home remedies for this condition.

11 home remedies for peripheral neuropathy

Acupuncture treats peripheral neuropathy

We know that acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment where fine needles are inserted into specific body sites, and this can help people who suffer from peripheral neuropathy. This technique promotes healing by stimulating the body’s pressure points. This natural treatment triggers the nervous system to release chemicals that can change the pain experience or threshold. It can help to provide an energy balance to your body which can affect your emotional well-being. [1]

peripheral neuropathy prognosis

Meditation help in peripheral neuropathy

This technique can help people struggling with neuropathy symptoms to live a life through their pain. This technique can help lower stress, decrease pain intensity and improve coping skills. When you are taking a mind-body approach, you are taking a noninvasive technique that can give you more control over your condition. [2]

Get a massage

You should get a relaxing massage because it will give you relief from the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. One study found that a patient who had peripheral neuropathy caused by the chemotherapy experienced almost complete relief from numbness, pain, and tingling after the massage therapy. This patient was using light massage stroke as well as deep tissue work using techniques of petrissage (kneading movements) and effleurage (gliding strokes). It was found that massage can improve the quality of life and it can lessen the symptoms in people who suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It is thought that this technique is working by improving circulation.

Essential oils help peripheral neuropathy

There are many essential oils which are possessing pain-relieving properties. One study found that the pain which was caused by peripheral neuropathy was eased in children who have HIV when they had diluted neroli, chamomile, or lavender essential oils and were applied topically. Also, they have a beneficial effect when their fragrance is inhaled. Chamomile essential oil and Roman lavender essential oil have the ability to increase circulation in the body. Also, they have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties which can boost the healing process. You should dilute a few drops of some essential oil in one ounce of carrier oil, such as olive oil. You should apply to dilute oil on the affected area because this can reduce the tingling and stinging pains from peripheral neuropathy.

Evening primrose oil

This oil is extracted from the seeds of evening primrose. This oil has Omega – 6 fatty acids, such as LA (linoleic acid) and GLA (gamma – linoleic acid), which are very beneficial for people who suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. One study was shown that people who took 360 mg GLA over a period of six months experienced an improvement in their peripheral neuropathy symptoms [3]. You can find this oil in the form of capsules, but you should take it after you have talked with your doctor. This natural cure is not recommended for people who have blood disorders or who have seizures.

Vitamin B12

You should increase your Vitamin B12 intake. This vitamin will help to keep your nerve cells healthy. If you have a deficiency in this critical nutrient, then it can lead to peripheral neuropathy. Some studies found that people with diabetic neuropathy who take Vitamin B12 can improve their symptoms, such as tingling sensation, numbness, and pain. But this natural cure is not beneficial for people who have peripheral neuropathy but who do not have Vitamin B12 deficiency. Adults should consume 2.4 mcg of Vitamin B12 on a daily basis. This vitamin is naturally found in animal foods, such as fish, poultry, milk, eggs, meat, beef liver, and clams. There are some people who have a Vitamin B12 deficiency, but they have trouble absorbing this vitamin from foods, so they may need to be treated with injections or tablets of Vitamin B12. You need to talk with your doctor if you have peripheral neuropathy so he or she can tell you if Vitamin B12 can help you in the treatment of this condition. [4]

Capsaicin help in peripheral neuropathy

Chili peppers have a component known as capsaicin which can give you relief from the pain caused by peripheral neuropathy when it is applied topically. This natural cure works by depleting a compound which is called P, and this compound is involved in sending pain signals to the brain. You can find capsaicin ointments in pharmacies, and you can use them. You should apply a pea-sized amount of this natural cure three to four times per day because this can help to ease the pain. You should remember that capsaicin can cause a burning sensation and some irritation in the beginning. You should use a small amount of it to be sure that you can tolerate it. If you have broken skin, then you should not use this natural cure on your skin. [5]

Warm bath

You can take a warm bath because this can be soothing for you, and also it will give you relief from the pain that is caused by peripheral neuropathy. We know that warm water will increase blood circulation throughout the body, which will decrease the pain symptoms from numbness. You should be careful not to make your bath water too hot if your sensory nerves are affected by peripheral neuropathy, and you are not as sensitive to temperature.

You must avoid alcohol and smoking

We know that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to peripheral neuropathy. The exact link between nerve damage and heavy drinking is not known, but it can be caused by the poisoning of nerves by alcohol or the result of poor nutrition linked to alcoholism. There was one study in which it was said that up to 50% of people who have drunk alcohol in excessive amounts had developed nerve damage over a period of time. Also, some studies found that diabetics have an increased risk for peripheral neuropathy [6] if they regularly drink alcohol in excessive amounts or they smoke on regular basis. If you continue to use alcohol, then you have a risk of worsening the nerve damage. Talk with your doctor what is the best way to stop using alcohol and find out if you have some worsening symptoms.

Exercise regularly

It is known that regular exercise can help you to combat the pain, and this can improve your overall health. You should stay active because this can reduce your blood sugar, and this, in turn, will slow down or reduce nerve damage. Also, when you are exercising, this will increase the blood flow to your arms and legs, which can help to reduce stress. All of the mentioned factors will lead to reducing pain and discomfort.

Vitamins

There are some cases of peripheral neuropathy which are linked to vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin B is very important for nerve health [4]. If you are deficient in this vitamin, then it could lead to significant nerve damage. You can get this vitamin from your meals. Vitamin D can prevent nerve pain. Our skin produces Vitamin D in response to sunlight. If you have Vitamin D deficiency, then it can cause neuropathy pain. You should take supplements to reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy but talk with your doctor about the recommended dosage.

References:

[1] Dimitrova A, Murchison C, Oken B. Acupuncture for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2017;23(3):164–79.

[2] Hussain N, Said ASA. Mindfulness-based meditation versus progressive relaxation meditation: Impact on chronic pain in older female patients with diabetic neuropathy. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. 2019;24:2515690X19876599.

[3] Jamal GA, Carmichael H. The effect of gamma-linolenic acid on human diabetic peripheral neuropathy: A double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Diabetic Medicine. 1990;7(4):319-23.

[4] Sun Y, Lai MS, Lu CJ. Effectiveness of Vitamin B12 on diabetic neuropathy: Systematic review of clinical controlled trials. Acta neurologica Taiwanica. 2005;14(2):48-54.

[5] Simpson DM, Robinson-Papp J, Van J, et al. Capsaicin 8% patch in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The Journal of Pain. 2017;18(1):42-53.

[6] Liu X, Xu Y, An M, Zeng Q. The risk factors for diabetic peripheral neuropathy: A meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2019;14(2):e0212574.

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