jimmi24 has been a member since March 8th 2011, and has created 57 posts from scratch.
This Author's Website is
jimmi24's Recent Articles
For anyone experiencing the pain, numbness or tingling of neuropathy – finding ways to optimize nerve health is critical to slowing the damage and potentially reducing the severity of the symptoms. What many don’t realize is that there are simple, every day habits that could be helping or hurting your nerve pain. You may be doing some of them (good or bad) without even realizing it! Being aware of what these good and bad habits are can have a significant impact on your nerves.
Lets take a look at seven habits that can help boost the health of your nerves:
Among the many factors that contribute to healthy nerves is proper circulation. Good circulation allows your nerves to receive the necessary nutrients and oxygen to survive and thrive. For many dealing with neuropathy, poor circulation cuts off the supply of these essential nutrients to the nerves, leaving them more vulnerable to further damage.
Regular stretching can help boost circulation, especially if you sit for long periods of time throughout the day. Stretching promotes healthy nerves and can also work your muscles. For some, nerve pain causes them to severely restrict movement or use of certain areas – which can lead to muscle atrophy, or the degeneration of muscle mass. Stretching can help work these muscle groups and prevent muscle loss.
Did you know the average American sits for at least 13 hours a day?! That’s a lot of sitting. Unfortunately, all of this sitting can have an adverse effect on both your nerves and your overall health. Some of the problems associated with sitting for too long include pinched nerves, poor circulation, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, muscle degeneration and more.
Poor posture exacerbates many of these negative effects of sitting. If you can’t avoid sitting for long period of the time throughout the day because of your job situation (or other circumstances), maintaining good posture is absolutely essential to minimizing the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on your nerves.
Daily Vitamins & Supplements
Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, is credited with coining the phrase “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Today more than ever, we understand the profound impact that diet and nutrition can have on our health. This impact extends to the health of your nerves, too. Like every other system in the body, the peripheral nervous system depends on vitamins and nutrients to stay in top shape. In many cases, we can get these vitamins and nutrients through diet, but for some it may be necessary to supplement their diet with vitamins and nutritional supplements.
For anyone suffering from neuropathy, making a daily habit out of taking some of these essential vitamins and supplements can have a measurable impact on their nerves. A few key vitamins, minerals and herbs to consider taking for nerve pain include:
- B-Complex vitamin (especially B12)
- Vitamin D
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Skullcap extract
The relationship between diet and health has never been as clear as it is today – and the same can be said for the relationship between diet and nerve health. Diet and nutrition can have a significant impact on the health of your nerves and the severity of your symptoms. Certain foods or ingredients can harm your nerves and aggravate your pain. As such, these foods should be avoided. Things to avoid include artificial sweeteners, gluten, excessive amounts of sugar, refined grains and casein-based products.
To get on a path to healthier nerves, fill your diet with foods that are rich in nerve boosting vitamins and nutrients. This should include foods that are rich in B-complex vitamins (especially B12), vitamin D, vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. For those with diabetic neuropathy, a 2015 study showed that plant-based diets reduces nerve pain and may even help stop/reverse nerve damage.
We normally think of coloring books as a children’s activity – but new research shows that adults can benefit from the activity in a myriad of ways. A recent article on the Huffington Post shows that researchers have found that coloring can help combat stress and calm the nervous system. Reducing stress and calming the nervous system can help improve your body’s response to pain – essentially turning down the volume on your levels of pain.
Writing, like coloring, can be beneficial to your nerves. While we normally associate neuropathy with symptoms like pain, numbness and tingling – it can also affect us in other ways. For many with neuropathy, it affects their motor functions. Motor functions involve the brain and spinal cord transmitting signals to muscles in the body – telling them what to do. Activities like writing and coloring help work the motor nerves and improve neuropathy symptoms like muscle weakness, cramps and spasms.
Whether you suffer from nerve pain or not, taking care of the health of your nerves should be a priority. From diet and nutrition to good posture and stretching, small and simple habits can make a significant impact on the health of your nerves and help reduce the severity of any nerve-related pain or discomfort. What habits have made an impact on your nerve pain? Share your experiences with us on our Facebook Page.
Finding the most reliable and up to date news and information about neuropathy can be an important tool in the arsenal of anyone dealing with the painful symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. In today’s world, we’re lucky to have a wealth of information at our fingertips via the Internet.
Unfortunately, as many neuropathy sufferers have discovered, navigating the sea of information about peripheral neuropathy on the Internet can be a monumental task. The time consuming process of sorting through the thousands of websites, blogs and articles (and weeding out the bad ones) is both tedious and cumbersome.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top organizations and websites for finding reliable news and expert information about neuropathy to empower you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your treatment.
The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy is a charitable organization dedicated to educating both the public and medical professionals about peripheral neuropathy. Their mission statement states that they aim to “be the catalyst for advancing innovative therapeutic developments and accelerating a cure for painful neuropathies by funding collaborative efforts of leading scientists and physicians. We will strive to raise awareness of peripheral neuropathy through outreach programs to patients, their families and healthcare professionals.”
The foundation’s website is full of relevant information and articles ranging from the basics of neuropathy to more in depth articles for how to cope with the painful condition. While most of the content on the website is free, they also offer a premium membership (for $2.50/month) which gives members exclusive access to educational videos, news, tips and more.
Neuropathy Support Network
The Neuropathy Support Network is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the implementation of the missions of all organizations reaching out to raise awareness and hope to all neuropathy patients. In addition to relevant articles and information for those suffering from neuropathy, they also have useful directories for finding doctors and neuropathy support groups in your area.
American Chronic Pain Association
The mission of the American Chronic Pain Association is two-fold. First, they try to facilitate peer support and education for individuals with chronic pain and their families so that these individuals may live more fully in spite of their pain. Second, they hope to raise awareness among the health care community, policy makers, and the public at large about issues of living with chronic pain.
While not focused solely on neuropathy, the American Chronic Pain Association has a wealth of useful information and resources for neuropathy patients. We especially like the downloadable and interactive tools they offer in the neuropathic pain section of their site. One of our favorite tools is a downloadable form that you can fill out and bring to your first visit to help you make the most of your first visit with your doctor about your nerve pain.
Neuropathy Action Foundation
The Neuropathy Action Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring neuropathy patients obtain the necessary resources, information and tools to access individualized treatment to improve their quality of life. The Neuropathy 101 section of the NAF website offers a thorough overview of symptoms, potential causes and available treatments for neuropathy. For those newly diagnosed with neuropathy, this can give a useful overview of what you are facing and what to expect.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. Their research covers a wide range of neurological disorders, including peripheral neuropathy and diabetic neuropathy.
An estimated 70% of diabetes patients will develop neuropathy. For those suffering from diabetes-induced neuropathy, websites like DiabetesDaily.com can be a valuable resource for learning how to cope not only with the symptoms of neuropathy, but also for managing diabetes. Among the many articles and assets on their website, we’ve found their eBooks and Recipes sections to be extremely useful. In addition to that, they also have forums where you can connect with fellow diabetics and neuropathy patients and discuss a variety of topics.
Diabetes Support (Facebook)
Facebook Pg: https://www.facebook.com/Diabetes-Support-119703998103102/timeline/
The Diabetes Support Group on Facebook is a community of over 900k users who are, in one way or another, affected by diabetes. For neuropathy patients who also suffer from diabetes, the page offers an easy way to get daily tips, articles and information related to diabetes. You can also connect with others and learn valuable information and tips to help you in your own journey with diabetes.
American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association should be a go-to source of information for anyone suffering from neuropathic pain as a result of complications from diabetes. Their mission is to stop diabetes and the complications that can arise from it. You’ll find a vast array of resources on their website for those suffering from diabetic neuropathy, including tips to prevent or delay nerve damage.
Power of Pain Foundation
The Power of Pain Foundation’s mission is to educate and support chronic pain patients, specifically those with neuropathy pain conditions. You’ll find useful information about neuropathy as well as blog posts covering a variety of pain related topics. They also offer free downloadable symptom bookmarks, which are bookmarked sized facts sheets you can carry around for easy reference of the common symptoms associated with various chronic pain conditions like neuropathy.
Patients Like Me
Patients Like Me is a free website where users with similar conditions can compare their symptoms and treatments as well as gain access to valuable data and trends relevant to their condition. We like this website because you can see what others with peripheral neuropathy are experiencing and how effective different drugs are for treating their symptoms. Users can rate the perceived effectiveness of the medications they’ve tried as well as report on the types of side effects experienced and their severity. PatientsLikeMe.com then takes this information and compiles it into easy to read graphs to help you understand what others are experiencing.
Finding the best information available online can help point you in the right direction as you try to understand the symptoms, causes and treatments for your neuropathy. The quicker you can find this information, the quicker you can be on the path to more manageable pain levels and more effective treatment. What have been the most valuable resources for you, as you’ve had to learn about neuropathy? Share your experiences with us on our Facebook Page!
One of the most common questions we hear from people dealing with nerve pain is whether or not there are any effective non-prescription approaches to treating the symptoms of neuropathy. Some are looking for a natural approach because of negative experiences or adverse side effects from their prescription medications. Others are looking for a more lasting approach that helps address the underlying causes of their pain rather than merely provide temporary relief.
Of course, there are a number of non-prescription approaches to managing neuropathic pain. As with any form of treatment, each person will respond differently to different kinds of treatment. The important thing is to pay attention to how your body responds and remain persistent until you find the approach that works best for you.
We’ve researched some of the most commonly used non-prescription approaches to managing nerve pain. If you’re looking for new options to help you manage the symptoms of your neuropathy, try starting with one of these popular and effective approaches:
Topical pain relieving creams are a popular approach to managing pain, tingling or burning from nerve damage. Most neuropathy creams contain the ingredient capsaicin, which is harvested from hot peppers and can effectively numb neuropathy pain. One of the greatest benefits of topical creams for nerve pain is that you can apply it directly to the trouble spots – bringing targeted relief to the areas afflicted with pain.
Vitamin & Herbal Supplements
Vitamin and herbal supplements can be powerful allies in the fight against neuropathy. Vitamins like B12 are essential for nerve health and not getting enough of it could lead to neuropathy. Other effective vitamins and supplements for treating the symptoms of neuropathy include alpha lipoic acid, magnesium, CoQ10, acetyl-l-carnitine, passionflower and more. These supplements help both relieve the pain as well as correct underlying problems that could be contributing to nerve pain.
Over the Counter Painkillers
While not as powerful as prescription medications, over the counter medicines can help some sufferers take the edge off the pain without exposing them to some of the adverse side effects of prescription painkillers. This approach is more effective for those experiencing only mild pain or discomfort from their neuropathy. The most common over the counter pain relievers for mild nerve pain include aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
According to WebMD, biofeedback can be an effective form of alternative therapy for individuals with chronic pain – including neuropathy – and migraines. During a biofeedback therapy session, electrodes are attached to the body to track various involuntary functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle movement and more. These functions are then displayed on a monitor for you to see. The biofeedback therapist will then guide you through various relaxation techniques to help you gain control over some of these involuntary functions. The monitor displays any changes in activity, helping you to see how the techniques can help you control these functions.
The various relaxation techniques associated with biofeedback have helped many to train their bodies to more effectively cope with stress and pain.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce the symptoms in patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Acupuncture is an alternative option for treating certain ailments and condition by way of needle. Needles are strategically inserted into the body and then manipulated in order to help with the lack of blood flow to damaged areas. Like most treatments, it may take multiple sessions before patients begin to feel a difference.
Regular massages can provide much needed relief from nerve pain. Massages help in a couple of ways. First, they improve blood flow. Poor circulation can hurt the nerves by depriving them of the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Poor circulation can also intensify the symptoms of nerve pain. Second, massage helps by promoting the release of pain-blocking endorphins in the body. This can provide temporary relief from excruciating nerve pain.
TENS Therapy (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
TENS is a drug free alternative to relieving pain associated with neuropathy. You connect a few electrodes to the skin. The electrodes are then connected to a small battery pack, which sends electrical impulses through electrodes. These impulses travel along the nerve fibers to inhibit pain signals from arriving at the brain. Additionally, the electrical impulses may also release natural endorphins and that can help naturally suppress the pain. The procedure is non-invasive and pain free in nature. The TENS therapy does not provide relief for all patients or all pain types; however it may very well provide ease from acute forms of nerve pain.
For many suffering from neuropathy (or any other form of chronic pain), the pain causes them to limit physical activity. While it is important to know your limits, a lack of exercise can have a negative effect on your health. Muscle weakness and muscle atrophy – when the muscles waste away – can become a very real risk for those with neuropathy.
While the pain may make most exercise difficult (if not impossible), even doing small, gentle exercises can help prevent muscle weakness and muscle loss. Some of the most effective forms of gentle exercise for neuropathy include yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, stationary bike and walking. Many patients report a decrease in both frequency and severity of nerve pain when exercise becomes part of their daily routine. As always, consult your doctor or physical therapist about what exercises are best for you.
What you eat can have a significant effect on your nerves. For many Americans, poor dietary choices lead to a lack of important vitamins and nutrients that promote healthy nerves. This includes a lack of vitamin B12, which can cause neuropathy. Eating a diet rich in vitamins B12, D, magnesium, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids can help your body as it fights pain and irritation from nerve damage.
For those suffering from diabetic neuropathy, diet is the most important aspect of their battle with nerve pain. Managing blood sugar is the single most effective tool in stopping and even reversing the effects of diabetic neuropathy. Approximately 70% of diabetes patients will develop neuropathy, so maintaining a proper diet and managing blood sugar is important for anyone with diabetes.
There may be habits or lifestyle factors that are contributing to your nerve pain. Some of the most common lifestyle changes we recommend for anyone suffering from neuropathy are to limit alcohol consumption (which can block the body’s absorption of nerve boosting nutrients), quit smoking, limit sugar consumption, avoid high salt foods and eat a well-balanced diet.
Life with peripheral neuropathy can be filled with unknowns – especially for those of us whose symptoms or diagnoses are relatively new. Navigating this new life with a painful condition can be (and most often is) overwhelming and frustrating. From bothersome symptoms like lack of muscle control to debilitating ones such as sharp, stabbing pains in the hands or feet, peripheral neuropathy can wreak havoc on your quality of life. Finding out as much information as possible about the condition, its causes and its treatments can go a long way in getting you onto the path to a better – and more pain free – life.
Despite affecting nearly 20 million people in the United States, there is still a lot of information that is widely unknown among those suffering from peripheral neuropathy. At its most basic level, peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous system – the system that connects your central nervous system to your organs and limbs. Peripheral nerves are the longest nerves in the body, extending all the way to the hands and feet. When damaged, the most common symptoms are pain, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. As we’ll see, however, these aren’t the only symptoms. Lets take a look at 10 things you need to know about neuropathy:
Complications from diabetes can lead to neuropathy
Diabetes is the number one cause of neuropathy worldwide. In fact, an estimated 70% of diabetes patients develop the symptoms of neuropathy. If you suffer from diabetes induced neuropathy – or suffer from diabetes but haven’t yet developed neuropathy – managing your blood sugar levels is the most effective form of treatment for preventing, stopping and even reversing the effects of diabetic neuropathy.
Other Potential Causes of Neuropathy
While diabetes is the leading cause of neuropathy, it isn’t the only one. Other potential causes may include medications, chemotherapy, surgery, traumatic injury, repeated pressure on the nerves, tumors, alcoholism, vitamin B12 deficiency, exposure to toxins, infections and more. In some cases, doctors may not be able to determine a cause. When the cause is unknown, it is called idiopathic neuropathy.
Certain Medications May Damage Your Nerves
As mentioned above, certain medications can cause neuropathy. For those suffering from diabetes, the drug metformin can be detrimental to your nerves. It has been linked to an increased risk in vitamin B12 deficiency, which can result in neuropathy. Here are some other common medications that may damage your nerves:
If you notice any of the symptoms of neuropathy while taking any of the medications of above – notify your doctor immediately. Catching it early may help prevent permanent damage.
Pain, Tingling & Numbness Aren’t the Only Symptoms
When the peripheral nerves are damaged – the most common symptoms include pain, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. While these are perhaps the most recognizable symptoms associated with neuropathy – they are far from the only symptoms. Other symptoms will vary – depending upon the type of nerve or nerves that have been damaged.
There are three types of peripheral nerves – sensory, motor and autonomic. Each type has a different function – and damage to each type will result in different symptoms.
Sensory Nerves: Damage to the sensory nerves often results in the pain, tingling or numbness most often associated with neuropathy.
Motor Nerves: Damage to the motor nerves will affect muscle function and control – potentially resulting in difficulty walking, picking things up or moving the arms.
Autonomic Nerves: Damage to the autonomic nerves may affect more of your involuntary functions such as heart rate, breathing, sweating, blood pressure and more.
This graph shows some of the symptoms often linked to damage to the autonomic nerves:
Numbness can lead to more serious problems
If numbness is one of the symptoms you’ve experienced as a result of your neuropathy – you’ll want to take extra caution to prevent more serious damage. When neuropathy leaves feet feeling numb, it can be particularly dangerous as problems with a foot may go unnoticed. For example, a small pebble stuck in a shoe for a few hours could cause serious damage to the skin and foot. If the damage goes unnoticed for a prolonged period of time – there is also an increased risk of infection.
If neuropathy has left your foot (or feet) numb – inspect your feet daily for sores, blisters or cuts that could lead to infection. Also be sure to wear comfortable socks and loose-fitting (but not too loose) shoes to help prevent damage.
Prevention is key
While in some cases the cause of your neuropathy may have been something out of your control (i.e. nerve damage from a traumatic injury or surgery) – in other cases the nerve damage can be prevented. Or, if you already have neuropathy, you may be able to prevent the damage from spreading.
The most common cause of neuropathy – diabetes – is also one of the most preventable. Managing your blood sugar levels can help prevent, stop and even reverse diabetic neuropathy. In addition to diabetes, there are other potential causes that are preventable. These include vitamin B12 deficiency, alcoholism and repeated pressure on the nerves (i.e. from sitting, using crutches, etc). Eating healthy, exercising and taking the right nutritional supplements can help boost the health of your nerves and prevent further damage.
Prescription Medications Can Help Ease Pain – But They Aren’t a Cure
Prescription medications can be beneficial in helping to take the edge off of the pain of peripheral neuropathy – but the relief is only temporary. Rather than address the underlying cause(s) of your neuropathy – prescription medications typically just mask the pain for a short amount of time. Once the medication wears off, more is needed to continue being effective. Be aware of the risks associated with taking certain medications and consult your doctor about the best options for your situation.
Supplements Can Benefit Neuropathy Patients
Many individuals suffering from nerve pain have turned to vitamin or nutritional supplements to help boost nerve health and ease nerve related pain, numbness or tingling. Supplements are generally a safer alternative to prescription medications and rather than mask the symptoms – they help fix some of the underlying problems that cause nerve pain, providing more long-term relief.
The most popular and effective supplements for neuropathy include vitamin B12, alpha lipoic acid, magnesium, acetyl-l-carnitine and more.
Alternative Approaches Can Help You Manage Pain
Sometimes the words “alternative medicine” can invoke strange images in our minds and scare us away. However, alternative approaches to managing nerve pain have proven effective for many patients. These approaches can help sufferers learn to more effectively manage their pain and also provide lasting relief from their symptoms. Popular alternative approaches for neuropathy include acupuncture, massage, yoga, tai chi, low-impact exercise, biofeedback, TENs therapy and more.
Your Diet Can Either Help or Hurt Your Symptoms
The food you eat has the potential to either help or hurt your nerves – so knowing what to avoid and what to eat more of is very important. Among the types of foods you should avoid are those containing artificial sweeteners, processed sugars, gluten, casein (a protein commonly found in dairy) and refined grains. Each of these poses various threats to the health of your nerves and can exacerbate your nerve pain.
When it comes to foods that can help with neuropathy – plant-based diets have been shown to be highly effective in stopping and evening reversing diabetic neuropathy. A recent study found that “a low-fat, whole-food vegan diet, coupled with daily walking exercise, leads to rapid remission of neuropathic pain in the majority of type 2 diabetics expressing this complication.”
Additionally, you should make sure your diet is rich in the following nerve-boosting vitamins and nutrients: vitamin B12, B6 (in limited amounts), B2, B1, D, magnesium and zinc.
Whether you’re newly diagnosed or you’ve suffered from neuropathy for years – knowing as much as possible about the condition can help you make informed decisions about the best treatment options for you. Knowing what foods to eat and what to avoid – as well as what alternative approaches to use as complimentary treatments to the more traditional treatments – can help you reduce the pain and other symptoms.
What were some of your most pressing questions about neuropathy when you were first diagnosed? How did you find the answers? Share your experiences with us on our Facebook Page!
The fight against nerve pain caused by peripheral neuropathy can take many forms. For many, prescription medications are one way to reduce the pain. While prescription medications do provide much needed relief from nerve pain, their effectiveness is only temporary. Rather than seek to remedy the underlying cause of the pain, they merely mask the pain and other symptoms.
Another approach that has been used by millions of nerve pain sufferers is natural herbs and supplements that can help ease pain and address underlying problems that may be contributing to their neuropathy. For many neuropathy sufferers, this approach has a broad appeal as it can provide effective relief without many of the adverse side effects of prescription medications and painkillers. It also provides more lasting relief for many.
With that in mind, we scoured through hundreds of herbs and supplements that claim to be effective for the treatment of neuropathy. We’ve narrowed the list down to the top 10 herbs and supplements for effectively treating neuropathy pain and other symptoms related to nerve damage.
#1 – Vitamin B12
According to the Journal of Neurological Science, vitamin B12 may increase protein synthesis and help in the regeneration of nerves. In ultra-high doses, it is shown to produce nerve regeneration. In addition to helping in the regeneration of damaged nerves, vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining healthy nerves and protecting them from damage. B12 helps build and support the myelin sheath, a layer of protective tissue around the nerves. This protective coating helps protect sensitive nerve tissue from foreign threats. If the myelin sheath is damaged or weakened, you may begin to experience neuropathic pain as the nerves have difficulty properly sending and receiving electric signals.
- Promotes nerve health
- Helps repair, rebuild and maintain the myelin sheath – a protective coating around the nerves
- Promotes regeneration of damaged nerves (when taken in high doses)
#2 – Feverfew Extract
Feverfew has made a name for itself as a natural treatment for migraines – but its healing powers extend into the realm of nerve pain as well. Feverfew contains a compound known as parthenolide, which is the secret to the herb’s pain relieving properties. For many suffering from nerve pain, chronic inflammation is common. The parthenolide in feverfew helps reduce inflammation by blocking the release of inflammatory substances in the body.
- Prevent or reduce migraines
- Relieve nerve pain
- Reduce inflammation
#3 – Passionflower
Many with neuropathy experience an overactive nervous system. The nerves transmit electrical signals at the slightest movement or touch, triggering intense pain in the hands or feet. An overactive nervous system and the pain associated with it can often lead to feelings of anxiety. Passionflower helps to relieve this anxiety and calm your overactive nerves.
Passionflower achieves its calming effect on the nerves is by increasing the levels of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) in the brain. GABA can help slow activity levels of brain cells, resulting in a calming effect on the body and mind.
- Calms overactive nervous system
- Relieves pain from over stimulated nerves
- Reduces anxiety
- Promotes sleep
#4 – Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant with the ability to regenerate itself. It can also regenerate other antioxidants and even B vitamins – which are essential for nerve health. As an antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid neutralizes the threat of free radicals in the body. These harmful substances damage and destroy cells in the body – which can eventually lead to chronic illnesses.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Several studies suggest alpha-lipoic acid helps lower blood sugar levels. Its ability to kill free radicals may help people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, who have pain, burning, itching, tingling, and numbness in arms and legs from nerve damage. Researchers believe Alpha-lipoic acid helps improve insulin sensitivity.”
Alpha lipoic acid may also help those suffering from autonomic neuropathy, a form of neuropathy that affects internal organs such as the bladder, heart, digestive system and more.
- Helps ease nerve-related pain, burning, itching, tingling and numbness
- Kills free radicals
- Lowers blood sugar levels
#5 – Magnesium
Magnesium is an important mineral for nerve health. For starters, it is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body and helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function – among other things. Research suggests that the majority of Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium through their diet. This lack of magnesium can lead to increased levels of inflammation, which can in turn lead to other health problems like diabetes.
For those suffering from nerve pain, magnesium helps calm both the nervous system and your muscles – helping to ease nerve related pain. It can also ease anxiety and promote better sleep – which can be hugely beneficial to those whose nerve pain makes sleep difficult.
- Helps regulate and reduce inflammation
- Calms overactive nervous system
- Calms muscles
- Eases nerve pain
- Promotes better sleep
#6 – CoQ10 (CoEnzyme Q10)
Your body produces the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 naturally – though production levels decline with age. CoQ10 is important for nerve health because it helps address mitochondrial dysfunction, a condition that hurts the nerves and can lead to nerve damage and nerve pain. Like alpha lipoic acid, this antioxidant helps neutralize the threat of harmful free radicals in the body. It also plays an important role in helping the body convert food into energy to help fuel the body.
- Corrects mitochondrial dysfunction (which can cause nerve pain)
- Kills free radicals
- Boosts energy
#7 – Skullcap Extract
Anyone suffering from nerve pain knows first hand the stress and anxiety it can cause. When the nervous system becomes overactive and the nerves become overly sensitive to touch, it can leave you feeling on edge. By increasing blood flow to the brain, skullcap helps ease anxiety and calms an overactive nervous system. It also reduces pain associated with inflammation, which is a common problem associated with nerve damage.
- Reduces anxiety
- Calms nervous system
- Reduces pain associated with inflammation
#8 – Oat Straw Extract
Oat straw extract – which comes from green oats – has been used for centuries as an herbal treatment for improving the health of the mind and overall well-being of individuals. As it relates to neuropathy, it has a lot to offer. For those suffering from irritated skin as a result of nerve damage, oat straw extract can help relieve itchy or irritated skin. For those dealing with inflammation and swelling, it helps reduce inflammatory markers and relieve pain associated with inflammation. Finally, it helps calm the nervous system and ease anxiety.
- Relieves itchy or irritated skin
- Reduces inflammation
- Calms nervous system and reduces anxiety
#9 – Acetyl-l-carnitine
Acetyl-l-carnitine is an amino acid whose primary function is to assist the body in producing energy. It also shows promise in helping to reduce the symptoms of neuropathy. According to the Washington University Pain Center, “L-acetylcarnitine is a promising compound for the treatment of painful neuropathies for its dual mechanisms, which include a significant analgesic effect after chronic administration and the ability to promote peripheral nerve regeneration and to improve vibration perception.”
- Treats painful neuropathy
- Promotes regeneration of peripheral nerves
- Boosts energy
#10 – Inositol
Inositol is a carbohydrate found in foods like fruit, beans, grains and nuts – but can also be produced in a laboratory. According to WebMD, inositol helps balance chemicals in the body and is likely effective for treating diabetic nerve pain (among other things).
- Helps ease diabetic nerve pain
Whether you’ve suffered for years or your diagnosis is new – herbs and supplements may provide much needed relief for your symptoms without many of the adverse side effects of prescription medications. They can also help address underlying causes of your nerve pain – providing more long-term reprieve from the painful symptoms of neuropathy. What herbs or supplements have been most effective for you in your battle with nerve pain? Share your success stories on our Facebook Page!