Neuropathy damage, or damage to the nervous system, can occur in just about anyone. However, it's often seen in people with diabetes, or as a side effect of chemotherapy. Neuropathy remedies can be found everywhere, and not all of them are effective.
Of course, it's important to get to the root cause of neuropathy damage. For example, it could be caused by something as simple as vitamin B12 deficiency, or something more complicated. Once you've established what is causing your nerve damage, you can begin to treat both the cause and the symptoms.
Mild, home remedies are often the least intrusive way of dealing with a health problem. Supplemental vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, are a good way of reducing and reversing nerve damage. While you can take supplements, plenty of these vitamins can be gained via your dietary choices and lifestyle.
Signs of Nerve Damage
As mentioned earlier, nerve damage is often a side effect of chemotherapy or diabetes. The most commonly recognized sign of nerve damage is uncomfortable or painful sensations in the extremities. However, these health problems can build up over time.
Here are a few signs of nerve damage:
- Tingling in the affected part of the body (often extremities, such as the hands and feet)
- Sensitivity to light touch
- Sensitivity to temperature
- Balance issues
- Low energy levels
- Unusual or unpleasant sensation
If you think your health could be suffering because of neuropathical damage, consult your doctor for medical advice.
B vitamins are the number one treatment for nerve damage. In fact, peripheral neuropathy is sometimes caused by a B vitamin deficiency. Plenty of B vitamins are essential to a healthy nervous system, especially vitamin B12.
Vitamin B1 can help to reduce inflammation levels and pain, and even reduce cellular damage. It's often found in meat, as well as peas and oranges.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage. Without proper treatment, this nerve damage can become permanent. B vitamins are very important to a healthy nervous system, and vitamin B12 is one of the most important elements of the b vitamin complex.
This can help to protect nerve endings. Raw or exposed nerve endings lead to the unpleasant sensations connected with neuropathical damage. However, it's important to take no more than 200mg of vitamin B6 a day, as an overdose can worsen the symptoms.
Vitamin B complex
Many people choose to take a combination of vitamin B, or B-complex vitamins. The most important of these is usually vitamin B12; however, it's wise to consult your doctor to find out which of your vitamin levels are particularly low. Only a few weeks of insufficient vitamin B12 can lead to a deficiency. Certain food contains higher levels of vitamin B12:
- Meat, fish, seafood, and poultry
- Low-fat dairy products
- Fortified cereals
While supplements are popular, you may be able to up your dietary vitamin B intake. This can be helpful if you only have a low vitamin B deficiency.
Vitamin C is a well-known health supplement, often found in most fruits and veggies. C vitamins may help to ease pain and inflammation in the body. According to research, they can be especially effective in treating pain caused by nerve damage.
On the other hand, a vitamin C deficiency can cause musculoskeletal pain, and increase existing nerve damage pain. Plenty of vitamin C is crucial to a healthy central nervous system.
A vitamin D deficiency is very common. This is because vitamin D needs to be absorbed via direct sunlight on our skin. However, vitamin D is very effective at dealing with peripheral neuropathy. While studies are ongoing, there's significant evidence to suggest that vitamin D can help control pain from nerve damage across the body.
Depending on your lifestyle and the area where you live, a vitamin D supplement might be the best support for you. Supplements are often available from pharmacies.
Dealing with chemotherapy-related nerve damage can be tricky. Chemotherapy comes with a plethora of side effects. Nerve damage can cause pain, balance issues, and poor sleep quality. This in turn leads to depression and anxiety.
Magnesium, especially coupled with calcium supplements, may help to reduce chemotherapy nerve damage symptoms. Some examples of magnesium-rich food are nuts, legumes, and avocados. Dark chocolate is also a great magnesium source - but make sure to eat it in moderation!
Long associated with strong bones and healthy teeth, calcium may also help to reduce pain in the body caused by nerve damage. Calcium works well with magnesium, and can be found in dairy food, like milk and cheese.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid known to significantly relieve chemotherapy treatment-related nerve damage, as well as other cancer side-effects. This is naturally produced in our kidneys and liver, but is also available as a supplement.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine boosts energy levels, reduces pain, and helps to create new nerve cells that function healthily in the body. It can be found in foods like meat, fish, poultry, and dairy.
Alpha-Lipoic acid is an antioxidant, which helps prevent dangerous substances, such as cholesterol particles, oxidizing and hardening in the arteries. This means that circulation is improved, and it may even lower blood sugar levels.
This can help relieve some of the physical effects of nerve damage and regulate nervous system function. A common complaint is the sensations caused by damaged nerves, such as prickling, burning, numbness, and stabbing pains. While alpha-lipoic acid is often taken as a supplement, certain foods contain small amounts of this antioxidant:
- Red meat
- Brussels sprouts
These foods also contain plenty of other important vitamins, such as vitamin b12, B vitamin complex, and vitamin C.
Curcumin, often found in turmeric, had both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that curcumin can help neutralize free radicals, reduce pain, inflammation, and physical effects of nerve damage, such as loss of function. It also boosts the nervous system.
You can take curcumin as a supplement, or take one teaspoon of turmeric powder with a quarter teaspoon of ground pepper.
The beauty of this supplement is that it can be easily added to meals and recipes. This means that getting your daily dose of curcumin can be as simple as adding an extra spice to your evening meal.
Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as working to repair damaged nerves and regulate the function of the nervous system. It also helps to relieve the physical effects of damage to the nerves, such as muscle pain and soreness.
Upping your intake of fish oil is as simple as eating more fish. The crucial part of the oil is its omega 3 fatty acids. If you don't like fish, not to worry! Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in many foods:
- Chia seeds
- Canola oil
- Flax seeds
However, the absolute best source of fish oil are in certain types of fish and seafood:
Fish oil supplements are widely available. However, the best way to improve your intake of these crucial vitamins is via diet. It's recommended to eat oily fish several times a week.
Glutamine is an amino acid. It may work to improve side effects of chemotherapy, not least of all nerve damage. It can help to reduce muscle pain, soreness, and inflammation.
Glutamine is the body's most highly produced amino acid. While it is available in supplement form, there are plenty of foods that contain glutamine:
- Egg whites
Vitamin Deficiencies that Cause Nerve Damage
While nerve damage is often a side effect of diabetes or chemotherapy, certain vitamin deficiencies can also cause nerve damage. The most commonly known deficiency is vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 can cause anemia, as well as nerve damage. People who don't eat animal products are at greater risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency. This is one of the more common vitamin B deficiencies.
An antioxidant, vitamin E deficiencies can lead to free radical nerve damage. While some personal health issues can cause low levels of vitamin E, a poor diet can also cause problems.
Too little copper in the blood means that you may have too much zinc in the blood, as well as affecting nervous system function.
A vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a lack of nerve support, and eventually peripheral neuropathy. A poor diet can lead to this deficiency. B vitamins are often taken as a complex, but it is possible that a person could have a deficiency in one area (in vitamin B12, for example) but have plenty of another vitamin. Taking a complex could result in one of the B vitamins getting a boost that it doesn't need.
Dangers of Vitamin Overdoses
Unfortunately, you can have too much of a good thing. Even healthy food like fruits and veggies can have side effects if you eat too many. Vitamins and minerals are no exception.
Vitamin overdoses can lead to unpleasant side effects, ranging from problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, to actually having a worsened effect on nerve function.
Of course, taking a vitamin or mineral supplement is not a miracle cure. Treating the root cause of nerve damage is vital. You should also make lifestyle changes if possible, as well as improving your food choices.
Smoking narrows the arteries, and can also increase the chances of nerve damage. It's especially dangerous in people with diabetes.
Maintain a good diet
Certain foods work to maintain a healthy nervous system and reduce inflammation. Fruits, vegetables, oily fish, and flaxseeds are all good additions to eat on a daily basis.
Keep your blood sugar levels balanced
Healthy blood sugar helps to reduce the effects of nerve damage. Eating healthy, balanced foods will help with this. It's especially essential in people with diabetes.
Exercise helps to manage blood sugar levels, boosts circulation, and helps to keep weight levels down. Exercise is an essential part of a balanced lifestyle, and can go a long way to help reduce the effects of nerve damage, or even prevent you from developing neuropathy damage in the first place.
Should I Try Natural Nerve Damage Remedies?
Not all natural nerve damage remedies will work. First of all, consult your doctor. A medical professional will be able to determine what is causing your nerve damage, such as an underlying personal health condition and give you subsequent advice, especially if you're older in age. The problem could be caused by something as simple as a vitamin B12 deficiency! B vitamins can go a long way to alleviating nerve damage symptoms.
If your neuropathy damage is caused by something else, taking in plenty of vitamins and minerals on a personalized plan can greatly improve your symptoms. Coupled with a healthy, balanced lifestyle and diet, these supplements can give you a better quality of life, no matter what your age.
Nerve damage tends to affect every area of our lives, including sleep quality and enjoyment of life. Over time, they can cause anxiety and depression. There are things you can do to reduce these symptoms, whether it means taking a supplement by pill or injection form, or simply altering your food choices.
The point is, you deserve to live the best life you can. Speak to a medical professional about natural home remedies for nerves.