Understanding and Treating Peripheral Neuropathy, Part II
Traditional medicine will usually treat this condition with anti-depressants or anti-convulsants as well as pain relievers which are sometimes addictive and dangerous. These will help with the symptoms (and may add to the toxic burden put on the liver), but they do not address the underlying cause of PN.
Often at the root of PN is a lack of blood sugar control and a nutritional deficiency. When the underlying cause of the PN is known, the first step a wholistic practitioner will take toward resolution of the symptoms is to address that underlying issue.
For diabetics it is very important to keep blood sugar under control. Most people today are deficient in magnesium. The body uses this essential mineral to form fatty acids, for protein, blood clotting, forming new cells, and supporting the function of muscles and nerves. Diabetics are especially prone to have exacerbations of PN when their magnesium levels are low. Some good sources of magnesium include seafood, dark green, leafy vegetables, whole grain, nuts, and legumes.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fresh fish will be ideal for anyone suffering from PN. Fatty acids are helpful in treating peripheral neuropathy due to the fact that as much as 75% of the myelin (the protective covering over the nerves) is composed of fat. DHA, for example, is a thin oil, which helps in rapid message relay in the nervous system. However, deep fat fried foods are heavy fats which will slow down the relay of messages.
The quality of our food will affect PN. Alcohol and tobacco need to be eliminated completely. Any types of junk foods and processed foods are more likely to cause issues—soda, fast food, caffeinated foods and beverages, food sprayed with pesticides, etc. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, or additives such as MSG, can have a negative impact on the nervous system as well.
Besides a diet change, some other treatments that have proven helpful for some PN sufferers are massage, biofeedback, relaxation therapy, acupuncture, and castor oil packs. Light exercise is another component to improving symptoms of PN. Exercise keeps blood circulating, helps to control blood sugar, and can slow down the nerve damage that is a result of peripheral neuropathy. The key is light exercise. Activities such as running or walking could cause foot injury. An activity such as stationary cycling or swimming would be a better choice. After exercise, it is best to check for any sores which may have arisen from the exercise, and treat them immediately to avoid infection.
A few “home remedies” can be of assistance. Deep breathing will help to massage the inner organs. Take 100 deep belly-moving breaths each day spread throughout the day. Drink plenty of water. (Drink as many ounces as half your body weight. For example, a 100-lb. woman would drink 50 oz. each day.) Make sure to move every day. Take a swim or a stroll. Move every joint through its full range of motion each day.
If you are having to deal with the pain of Peripheral Neuropathy, we have seen some great results in our office using Microcurrent Electrical Stimulation. Even though there is no cure available, this treatment has helped to eliminate or reduce the symptoms associated with Peripheral Neuropathy. The microcurrent works by unblocking and balancing the energy pathways of the body and restoring its normal electrical functions. Because this treatment is very gentle, it is an excellent option for children and the elderly, as well as anyone else.
Even if you have seen doctor after doctor, had test after test, and tried every new drug available, PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP because there is a new alternative treatment that is now available for many patients, even diabetics. Call us at 864-963-9304 for more information.