Peripheral neuropathy is a condition in which the nerves in the peripheral nervous system become damaged, resulting in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. Including physical trauma to the nerves, autoimmune disorders, infections, and nutritional deficiencies.
One of the most common nutrient deficiencies associated with peripheral neuropathy is vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage leading to peripheral neuropathy due to the disruptions it causes in the cell’s energy production system. Suboptimal levels of vitamin B12 can interfere with the production and maintenance of the myelin sheath, a protective coating that surrounds nerve fibers to help them efficiently transmit signals back and forth from the brain.
Further, research indicates that a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause homocysteine levels to accumulate in the bloodstream, leading to oxidative stress that damages the vascular and perineuronal systems.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of peripheral neuropathy that is directly caused by nutrient deficiencies.
Individuals who are at risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency include vegans and those with gastrointestinal diseases or disorders that can interfere with absorption and assimilation of the vitamin in the digestive tract.
For these individuals, it is important to supplement with vitamin B12, either through injection or dietary supplementation. People with peripheral neuropathy should always speak to their healthcare provider prior to beginning vitamin B12 supplementation.
Where does peripheral neuropathy usually start?
Peripheral neuropathy typically starts in the hands or feet and then progresses beyond these areas. It can begin as a mild tingling that may or may not be associated with pain, or as a burning, stabbing, or numbness.
Over time, it can cause pain that may be felt 24 hours a day, or it can be intermittent and come and go. It is possible for someone to have neuropathy in only one part of the body, such as a foot or an arm, or to have neuropathy in many parts of the body.
In a few cases, neuropathy can start in the torso or even the face. Depending on the type, the neuropathy can progress quickly or slowly and can worsen over time.
What makes neuropathy worse?
Neuropathy can worsen over time if left untreated. Certain lifestyle habits can also contribute significantly to the severity of neuropathy. Drinking excess alcohol, smoking, and eating a diet high in saturated fats, fried foods, and processed meats can increase neuropathic pain and discomfort.
Additionally, lack of exercise, change in medications, and/or injury can worsen neuropathy. Inactivity and lack of exercise can decrease circulation and flexibility, both of which are essential for neuropathy management.
Certain medications, such as certain types of diuretics, can worsen neuropathy symptoms. Physical injury, such as a severe ankle sprain, can flag off neuropathic pain in other areas. Lastly, stress and emotional distress can also worsen neuropathy.
Stress triggers the release of certain hormones, such as cortisol, that can worsen nerve pain. Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues can also increase neuropathic pain. It’s important to practice self care and to regularly check in on your mental health if you have neuropathy.
Can neuropathy be something else?
Yes, neuropathy can be something else. Neuropathy is a general term used to describe conditions that cause nerve damage, which can manifest in various ways depending on the type of nerve(s) affected.
There is a wide range of conditions that can lead to nerve damage, including metabolic disorders such as diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, infections, toxins, inherited conditions, and autoimmune diseases.
While the causes vary, damage to the nerves can lead to similar symptoms, such as numbness, tingling, and pain. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment options may vary but typically involve medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and nutritional supplements.
What is the number one medicine for neuropathy?
The exact answer to this question depends largely on the cause and severity of the neuropathy, as well as the patient’s individual health history and overall condition. Depending on the underlying cause, some of the most commonly prescribed medications for treating neuropathy are anticonvulsants and antidepressants, such as gabapentin, pregabalin, amitriptyline, and duloxetine.
Other treatments may include medications to treat nerve pain, diabetes, and inflammation. Lifestyle modifications, such as eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and managing stress, may also help to reduce symptoms.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend alternative treatments such as acupuncture, topical creams, or natural supplements. It is always important to speak to your healthcare provider about the best treatment plan for your specific condition and needs.
What does the beginning of peripheral neuropathy feel like?
The onset of peripheral neuropathy typically causes numbness and tingling in the feet and toes. This may spread to the hands and fingers or to the legs. Other symptoms may include a feeling of weakness in the legs, unusual sensations such as burning or prickling, or even a loss of coordination.
Over time, as the nerve damage progresses, people may experience pain, a feeling of “heavy” or “leaden” limbs, and increased difficulty with balance and coordination. In rare cases, there may be some weakness in the muscles of the arms and legs.
As the condition progresses, some people may experience organ damage from the nerve damage and loss of function in certain areas.
Can you get peripheral neuropathy for no reason?
Yes, peripheral neuropathy can occur for no apparent reason. This is known as idiopathic peripheral neuropathy, which is the most common form. Idiopathic peripheral neuropathy is characterized by damage to the peripheral nervous system, or the nerves connecting the brain and spinal cord to other limbs and organs.
This type of peripheral neuropathy is typically caused by a complex interaction of environmental and genetic factors, including: diabetes, alcoholism, injury, exposure to toxins, and some autoimmune diseases.
However, in some cases, the exact cause is unknown, and the nerve damage can occur for no known reason. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can vary in severity, but typically include pain and tingling, numbness or decreased sensitivity, poor coordination, fatigue, and weakness.
Treatment typically involves managing and controlling the underlying cause, if one is known, as well as managing and relieving symptoms with medications, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy.
What is the No 1 medical condition that causes neuropathy?
The most common medical condition that causes neuropathy is diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body either does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or does not properly use the insulin it produces.
Over time, the high levels of blood sugar associated with diabetes can cause damage to the nerves, which can cause neuropathy. Diabetes-related neuropathy can affect a range of body systems, including the sensory system, the autonomic nervous system, and the motor nerve fiber.
It is estimated that between 60 and 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop some form of diabetic neuropathy. Other medical conditions that can cause neuropathy include thyroid diseases, cancer, alcoholism, vitamin deficiencies, and certain exposures to toxins or medications.
What foods trigger neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a medical condition that describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, which can cause pain and other problems. Unfortunately, some foods can trigger and worsen the symptoms associated with neuropathy.
Eating high amounts of refined sugars and processed foods, such as white bread, can cause blood sugar levels to spike, triggering nerve pain and discomfort. Foods that are high in trans fats, such as fried and processed foods, can increase inflammation, which can ultimately affect the nerves in the body.
Consuming large amounts of processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, can also trigger inflammation and nerve pain, as can foods that contain gluten, such as wheat, barley, and rye. Caffeine has also been linked to an increase in nerve pain, so avoiding excessive amounts of coffee, tea, and soda may be beneficial.
Lastly, though alcohol seems to improve nerve pain in the short term, it can actually worsen it long term, so it should be consumed in moderation.
What is a good home remedy for neuropathy of the feet?
For example, regular exercise and stretching can help to improve circulation, reduce pain, and strengthen muscles. Applying heat in the form of heating pads, warm baths, or massages can also provide some relief.
Massaging your feet with medicated oils or creams can also be beneficial. Finally, nutritional supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and B-complex vitamins may provide additional relief.
If home remedies do not provide relief, you should consult with your doctor before taking any medications.
What vitamins treat nerve damage?
The specific vitamins that can be used to treat nerve damage depend on what caused the damage in the first place. Certain vitamins are known to help with nerve damage from vitamin deficiencies or from illnesses such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS.
These vitamins include vitamin B12, vitamin B1, folate, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin B12 is particularly important to help repair damaged nerves. It can be taken in supplement form or found in foods such as dairy products, salmon, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin B1, or thiamine, helps to produce energy in the body and can be found in nuts, soy beans, pork, and leafy green vegetables. Folate aids in cell function and can be found in spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
Vitamin E helps to protect against oxidative damage which can occur in nerves, and is found in many foods, including nuts, vegetable oils, avocados, and fortified cereals. Finally, omega-3 fatty acids are as important as other vitamins in helping to treat nerve damage and can be found in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, as well as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Additionally, it is important to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins in order to provide the utmost support to the nerves.