Which Vitamins Should I Take for Neuropathic Pain?

Neuropathic pain is the term for pain caused by nerve irritation, damage or destruction. It is one of the six classes of chronic pain.  It is often described as sharp, stinging or burning, neuropathic pain is common in diseases such as diabetes that attack sensory nerves. Nerve pain is also present in conditions such as amputation or spinal cord injury, in which nerves are damaged or severed. Nerve pain can be treated with medications that change the way the brain interprets pain, such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants. If swelling is an issue, NSAIDs may also be effective. However, Vitamins E, B12 and D are some of the most important vitamins that promote healthy nerve function as.


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps maintain the body’s nerves and keep red blood cells healthy. B12 prevents nerve damage and promotes healthy growth and development by conserving the fatty sheaths that cover nerve endings. Deficiency of this vitamin causes a variety of neurological problems including nerve damage, headaches, numbness, weakness, stiffness, abnormal gait and even spinal cord degeneration. A recent study tested the role of vitamin B12 in peripheral neuropathy. The researchers concluded that ultra-high doses of methylcobalamin, which is a form of vitamin B12, promoted nerve regeneration and may be of clinical use in individuals suffering from peripheral neuropathy.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a hormone vitamin and plays a key role in the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. It is also important in supporting a healthy immune system and nervous system. Vitamin D also helps protect older adults from developing osteoporosis. A recent study revealed the benefits of vitamin D in ameliorating neuropathic pain. The study found that supplementation with vitamin D may be an effective painkiller in alleviating neuropathic pain, because the subjects who received vitamin D had a significant decrease in the evaluated pain scores.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient with antioxidant properties, is an immune system booster. It also prevents blood clotting, is necessary for tissue repair and relaxes muscle cramps. Vitamin E deficiency may result in damage to the nerves and red blood cells. A recent study that vitamin E acetate protected nerve cells from being damaged and painful and also improved nerve velocity. Subjects were suffering from mononeuropathy, which is damage or dysfunction of a single nerve trunk, causing neuropathic pain.


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