Neuropathy is a condition that often leads to pain or numbness in different areas of your body. Many different medical problems can lead to this condition, making treatment sometimes difficult. But what if simply adding supplements to your daily regimen could make a difference with your neuropathy?
At Southern Pain Specialists, our main goal is to help you get rid of chronic pain, no matter what the cause. Dr. Kenneth Varley is our in-house pain management specialist who offers a variety of treatment options when neuropathy seems to be ruling your life.
Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves throughout your body. It happens because of dysfunctional nerves or damage to the nerves, which can happen for a variety of reasons. Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common types, but neuropathy can affect any of the nerves within your body.
When you have neuropathy, the neurons, which are nerve cells, become damaged. This affects their ability to relay signals or communicate not only with each other, but also with your central nervous system, which includes your brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral neuropathy affects your peripheral nervous system, which encompasses all of the nerves that aren’t included in your brain and spinal cord. Your peripheral nervous system relays signals to your central nervous system.
Neuropathy can affect any of the types of nerves present in your peripheral nervous system. These nerves include sensory nerves, motor nerves, and autonomic nerves.
What are the symptoms?
Neuropathy symptoms vary, depending on the types of nerves that are damaged and where they’re located. However, especially with peripheral neuropathy, there are some common symptoms that you may experience:
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
- Burning or stabbing pain
- Sensitivity to touch
- Loss of coordination and falls
- Sensation changes, especially in your hands and feet
- Loss of muscle control and tone
- Muscle spasms or twitching
You may also experience problems with walking or with moving the area of your body that’s affected. Neuropathy can affect other areas of your body as well. For instance, you might experience sexual dysfunction related to the disease.
You may also have digestive symptoms if the nerves in that area are damaged. This includes issues like nausea or vomiting and feeling bloated often. Urination is another function neuropathy can affect.
Dietary supplements that can help
When you’re looking to control your neuropathy, natural remedies such as dietary supplements can help. The nutrients are easily attainable, either in foods or other forms of supplementation, like pills. A few specific supplements are particularly helpful for neuropathy.
Fish oil helps with inflammation that neuropathy can sometimes cause. The important omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil supplements also help with nerve damage and can be found both in foods and pill form. Salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds are good examples of foods that contain omega-3.
These vitamins are essential for the health of your nervous system, including damaged nerves. Vitamin B-12 is especially important, because a deficiency is one of the causes of peripheral neuropathy. Vitamins B-1 and B-6 are also important. Foods that contain a good amount of B-vitamins include seafood, eggs, and vegetables.
If your neuropathy is caused by either cancer treatment or diabetes, alpha-lipoic acid may be extremely helpful to you. It contains antioxidant properties, which can help relieve your symptoms and lower your blood sugar levels. It’s also been shown to improve the overall function of your nerves.
This dietary supplement is also an antioxidant and an amino acid. Its main contribution to helping neuropathy is relieving pain and increasing your energy levels. Acetyl-L-carnitine also has the ability to help produce more healthy nerve cells, which can greatly help with your symptoms.