What Is Neuropathy & How Is It Treated?

Neuropathy occurs when nerves are damaged. Many causes of neuropathy are unknown, however for the majority of patients with nerve pain there are known causes. Some of these causes include but are not limited to; alcohol abuse, chemotherapy, physical trauma or injury, tumors, autoimmune diseases, exposure to toxins, and of course Diabetes. When nerve damage takes place in Diabetic patients it is generally referred to as peripheral neuropathy, and will result in painful symptoms where the arms, hands, legs, and feet (peripheral body parts) are mostly affected.

Types Of Neuropathy

  • Mononeuropathy – This involves a single nerve. An example would be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, ulnar nerve palsy, radial nerve palsy, or peroneal nerve palsy.
  • Multiple Mononeuropathy – This involves two or more nerves individually affected.
  • Polyneuropathy – This is involvement of peripheral nerves. An example would be diabetic neuropathy or Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Neuropathy Treatment

Neuropathy treatment can vary and may use many different medical techniques including supplemental and alternative approaches. It is important that each patient receive a proper diagnosis of their nerve pain in order to rule out other problems and to discuss the best possible neuropathy treatment available. For example, patients who are dealing with diabetic neuropathy will most likely experience differing levels of pain, some patients may find the use of over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol to be helpful, while others may need the use of numbing cream patches or topical ointments, yet others find the pain so unbearable that the use of prescription drugs must be taken in order to deal with the painful symptoms. As stated neuropathy treatment will vary among individuals and their physicians, however some of the most common treatments are as follows:

Prescriptions for Neuropathy Treatment

  • Antiseizure Medications (Such as Gabapentin, Carbamazepine, example would be other medications) can help with the burning sensations patients associate with nerve pain.
  • Antidepressant Medications (TCA’s or Tricyclic Antidepressants, example would be certain medications)
  • Topical Ointments (both over the counter and prescription). One ointment for nerve pain treatments is the use of capsaicin cream or ointment

 

Alternatives in Neuropathy Treatment

  • Massage Therapy. This helps particularly in bringing oxygen to the tissues and improving peripheral circulation.
  • Acupuncture. This therapy has been shown to reduce the symptoms in patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy.  While it may take multiple treatments before a person feels relief, any type of relief from the pain is generally welcomed by those seeking a neuropathy treatment.
  • Biofeedback. Is the use of an electrical machine that helps patients learn ways to better control or reduce the physical reactions that can increase feelings of both stress and pain.

 

Supplements for Neuropathy Treatment

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid.  The use of Alpha Lipoic Acid has been shown to greatly reduce the feelings of burning, itching, numbness, and tingling in the case of diabetics who might be searching for a neuropathy treatment
  • Benfotiamine. This is a supplement that has been used in Germany for years. Studies have shown that the use of Benfotiamine has benefits in regards diabetic neuropathy.
  • Methylcobalamine – is a water soluble vitamin. This supplement is affordable, effective, easily attainable, well tolerated, free of side effects, as well as a natural therapy. Methylcobalamine is known for having a key role in the functioning of the nervous system, which is great for those searching for a neuropathy treatment. Another benefit seems to be that the symptom relief associated with Methylcobalamine seems to last much longer than other forms of traditional medication or therapies.

Lifestyle Remedies

For those suffering from neuropathy and seeking a neuropathy cure there are many lifestyle changes that can be made to help ease the painful symptoms they face. Changes in diet can be beneficial as well as keeping fit on a daily basis. Exercise can help with peripheral circulation, oxygen flow, and can aid in keeping glucose levels under control (which is beneficial to those suffering from diabetic neuropathy). Another important factor for those with Diabetes who are seeking a neuropathy cure would be the practice of daily foot care. Daily evaluation should include checking for wounds, cuts, blisters, or sores. Keeping the feet clean and dry as well as the avoidance of tight shoes or socks can help relieve symptoms.

As stated above every individual is different and every person will be affected by nerve pain in a diverse manner. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment is never recommended, however knowledge is the key when it comes to finding a proper neuropathy treatment. Once patients are aware of all the neuropathy treatment options available they are able to more knowledgably discuss them with their doctors.

 

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