Longevity Blog

5-ways-to-alleviate-neuropathy-symptoms

 

Neuropathy is a form of nerve damage that affects nerve signals to different parts of the body, particularly in the legs, feet, arms, fingers and toes. Symptoms include pain, weakness, tingling, and burning. A common type is diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but nerve pain may also be derived from mechanical injury, chemotherapy or other medical conditions.

Neuropathy can affect motor nerves (movement and balance), sensory nerves (pain, sensations, numbness) and autonomic nerves (for example, digestive organs, cardiovascular systems). Depending on the nature of neuropathy, some people do not find enough relief from traditional treatments such as medication alone.

The following approaches are known to bring additional symptom relief to neuropathy:

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant and it is found naturally in our bodies. It has been used successfully in neuropathy caused by diabetes or cancer treatment. It is a recommended supplement as it promotes microcirculation to the nerves. Some foods (for example, spinach, broccoli, beets, carrots, yams, tomatoes and potatoes) contain ALA in small amounts.

  • Cayenne

Cayenne contains capsaicin, which is a natural pain reliever that promotes circulation. Capsaicin is a chemical found in many painkiller creams, oils and gels. Cayenne can also be taken as a supplement, added to foods or mixed with water and lemon. The hotness in capsaicin releases endorphins, which block pain signals.

  • Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency can affect peripheral neuropathy. Magnesium is important for a number of functions in the body, including supporting muscle and nerve function. However, as it may interfere with other medications, please check with your health care provider before adding magnesium to self-care. Magnesium can also be found in nuts, dark green vegetables, whole grains, and seafood.

  • Massage

Massage releases tight muscles and promotes relaxation and blood circulation. Finding a therapist with specialization in neuropathy is important to optimize treatment. According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, “some studies have found neuropathy massage treatment may also be helpful for [other conditions].”

  • Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins which act as a natural painkiller. Daily walking promotes blood flow to the legs and feet, and it may result in a long term blood vessel expansion and healthy nerves. Exercise also reduces cholesterol and stress levels, which may further benefit nerve protection and fight inflammation.

 

 

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