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Neuropathy (nerve damage) the cause and its relief
What creates the nerve pain, tingling, numbness, burning, etc. known as neuropathy? What you can do to get relief from your neuropathy no matter what the cause?
1) What is Neuropathy?
2) Types of Nerves that can be damaged
3) What causes nerve damage
4) Other terms for neuropathy
5) Neuropathy Symptoms
6) Treatment for Neuropathic Pain
7) Natural Neuropathy Pain Treatment
How does it happen?
The word neuropathy is derived from two parts: "neuro" referring to the nerve and "pathy" indicating disease.
Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition occurring when injury or disease damages your peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nerves are the nerves that orginiate from your brain and spinal cord, and extend to your skin, muscle and tissues.The peripheral nervous system relays information between your body and the brain in the form of electrical impulses. Each nerve is made up of many connected cells called neurons that transmit these impulses.
Nerves are the communication lines of the body. Electrical signals from the brain travel through the nerves and give instructions to the various body parts. The body receives information from the environment through the senses and sends this information to the brain via the nerves.
However, damage to the nerves disrupts this which results in the condition called peripheral neuropathy and its various symptoms.
The types of nerves
There are three types of peripheral nerves – the first is motor nerves which regulate the movements of your body’s muscles, the second is sensory nerves which transmit sensations such as heat, vibration, touch and pain to the brain. The third is the autonomic nerves which regulate the activities of the internal organs and glands.
The majority of the peripheral nerves are responsible for sensations you feel such as touch, pain and temperature. There are literally millions of these nerve endings in your fingers, hands, toes and feet which are designed to keep you out of danger and away from the things that are hot, cold, sharp, etc.
The nerves to the muscles of the hands and feet, legs and arms (called motor nerves) help to control the numerous muscles and movements in these regions of the body. It would also be difficult to walk without knowing what your feet are standing on or to pick things up if you had no idea how hard you were gripping something. It would be difficult to move if the impules weren't transmitted to the muscles.
The nerves to the autonomic system are not under conscious control, but respond to the environment so the body can function optimally. It controls such task as controlling the bladder, slowing down or speeding up heart rate, constricting or dilating the pupils of the eye. It regulates blood pressure, sexual response and many other responses.
Peripheral nerve cells have three main parts: cell body, axons, and dendrites (or terminal).. (See diagram below)
Damage to the nerves
Nerve damage or neuropathy normally occurs when the outer sheathing or the myelin (protective covering) of nerve cells degenerate. Without this protection the electrical signals are not transferred properly just like if you stripped the covering off of the electrical wires in your house.
As the nerve damage gets worse, the nerves either lose their ability to transmit information (numbness), or they start sending false signals (pain and tingling).
When the insulation begins to crumble, the unprotected
"wire" will start
When the signal cannot be sent through the nerve, the area not receiving the messages will result in numbness.
Neuropathy is the condition where the nerves have sustained enough damage that there is noticeable numbness, pain or tingling.
How can you tell its neuropathy and not muscle or joint pain?
Difference between nerve pain and muscle pain:
Muscle pain is preceeded by trauma or injury, while nerve pain doesn't. (It can come from known trauma but not always)
Muscle pain is ache or pain in the muscle or joint, it feel achey and there can be stiffness, nerve pain is burning, stabbing and tingling.
Muscle pain stops after healing of the injury takes place, nerve pain continues.
Muscle and joint pain can be relieved with aspirin or other pain killers, the same medication does not help nerve pain.
Cranial: Nerves go from your brain to your eyes, mouth, ears and other parts of your head.
Peripheral: Nerves go from your spinal cord to your arms, hands, legs and feet. This is the most common form of damage.
Central Nerves are in your brain and spinal cord.
Autonomic: Nerves go from your spinal cord to your lungs, heart, stomach, intestines, bladder and sex organs. Damage to these nerves can create improper functioning of these organs.
Types of Neuropathy
There are three types: Mono Neuropathy, Poly Neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy or nerve damage.
Damage to a single nerve called mono neuropathy. This usually results from injury or repeated stress. An example is carpal tunnel syndrome. The repeated impact to the nerve in your wrist may cause tingling, pain and weakness in your hand arm and shoulder.
Involvement of multiple nerves called polyneuropathy is common. Damage typically begins in the nerves farthest from the central nerous system. Polyneuropathy can be caused by diabetes and other systemic diseases, infections or exposure to toxic substances.
One or all of the three nerve types may be effected. Polyneuropathy can be due to damage to sensory nerves, and can also cause damage to your motor nerves which can result in muscle weakness, lack of coordination, twitching and pain.
Common signs of autonomic neuropathy is nerve damage to the internal organs and glands and can include intolerance to heat, loss of bladder control gastrointestinal disterbunces, impairment of breathing and impairment of heart rate.
What causes this nerve damage?
Most commonly, it is diabetics that suffer from this type of nerve pain and it is a major complication of the disease. It is the higher than normal sugar levels that creates the damage.
However, there are many other reasons some of which are listed below (alphabetically). It is an acquired disease.
- Amyloidosis (metabolic disorder)
- Autoimmune disorders
- Bell's Palsy
- Cancer treatments
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Charco Marie-Tooth disease
- Chemotherapy Treatment (See Chemo-Induced Side effects for other side effects)) See Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
- Chronic kidney failure
- Compression neuropathy - pressure on an area
- Connective tissue disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sarcoidosis)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Foods that are toxic
- Herniated disc
- Infectious disease (e.g., Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, leprosy)
- Liver failure
- Many Medications (such as Lyrica, Cymbalta, Duloxetine hydrochloride, Pregabalin, and more. See Neuropathy as a Side Effect)
- Radiation Treatment
- Surgeries that damage a nerve
- Vitamin deficiencies (e.g., pernicious anemia, etc.)
- Zinc induced copper deficiency (denture adhesive creams)
- and more See Factors that can Cause Neuropathy or Nerve Damage
The sad fact is that after a while this misfiring of the nerves can get so bad that people are unable to walk or pick things up and can get to a point where they would rather have a limb amputated then continue with this nerve pain.
For articles about specific causes of Neuropathy Click here
How does this happen?
Chronic Neuropathy can sometimes start when your nerves are deprived of oxygen (anoxia). But, there are many reasons why this might happen and it is sometimes a combination of reasons. One reason might not be enough to notice, but add a second and it can be very pronounced.
- Too much sugar or insulin in your blood (diabetes)
- The use of many medications (a list can be found here Medications with Neuropathy as a side effect)
- Nutritional deficiencies,
- Exposure to toxic substances (ingested in food, drugs, chemicals, water or pollution)
- Radiation therapy for cancer,
- Chemo therapy for cancer
- Laying in one position too long (nerve compression, entrapment or laceration)
- Physical injuries (trauma) to the nerve
- Injury from a surgery.
- Prolonged compression as in the wearing of inappropriate footwear, etc.
- Infections that can block oxygen getting to your nerve cells.
Too many free radicals in your bloodstream can also attach themselves to the oxygen and make it unavailable to the cells. Sometimes inflammation in the lower back or sciatic nerve area of the buttocks can restrict blood flow, depriving oxygen to the nerves.
Common drugs like statins (to reduce cholesterol) can eat away the myelin sheath - which is composed mostly of cholesterol. Statins are designed to lower the cholesterol which is what the body needs to maintain the myelin sheath around the nerve.
High blood pressure medication can cause neuropathy by decreasing blood flow at the extremities, like the feet or hands.
There are many reasons.
Paresthesia or paraesthesia
HSAN1 - Hereditory sensory and autonomic neuropathy
HSN1 - Hereditory sensory neuropathy
"Numbness & tingling" or "pins and needles"
"Poor balance of nerve damage" - Ataxia
Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
More than 100 types of neuropathy symptoms have been identified, each with its own development, and impaired function. You can get nerve damage in any part of your body, it depends on what nerve is damaged. It can be your hands, feet, arms, legs, head, face, stomach, bladder, etc. etc.
The symptoms of nerve damage or neuropathy are often slight at first. In fact, some mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time.
These symptoms depend on the type of nerves -- motor, sensory, or autonomic -- that are damaged.
Peripheral Sensory Neuropathy:
Some people may experience numbness, tingling, and pricking sensations, sensitivity to touch and even left arm pain and tingling. Small fiber neuropathy affects the nerve endings in the fingers or toes as well as the legs. If the nerve damage increases it can cause numbness. This can lead to numbness in feet and other areas.
Others may suffer more extreme symptoms, including burning pain (especially at night), and shooting pain.
Numbness, pain, or tingling in the feet and ankles or legs may, after several years, lead to weakness in the muscles of the feet as well. The loss of sensation in the feet may increase the possibility for foot injuries to go unnoticed and develop into ulcers or lesions that become infected, not to mention having trouble with coordination.
Motor Nerve Damage:
Damage to motor nerves can result not only in lack of coordination and muscle control, but in muscle wasting and even paralysis.
Nerves to the body's organs:
Nerve damage to the nerves that serve the body's organ's can cause organ or gland dysfunction. This type of damage can create organs functioning inadequately. It can effect the heart rate, it can create erectile dysfunction,digestion, breathing, etc. etc.
Diabetic neuropathy can flare up suddenly and affect specific nerves. This can develop double vision or drooping eyelids, or weakness and atrophy of the thigh muscles. Nerve damage caused by diabetes generally occurs over a period of years and may lead to problems with the digestive tract and sexual organs, which can cause indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, bladder infections, and erectile dysfunction.
Chemotherapy caused Neuropathy:
Neuropathy as a side effect of chemotherapy can cause these same symptoms, can create a lack of
coordination due to the motor nerves being effected and may even cause chemo-brain
as there is evidence that this could be due to
nerve damage. See Chemotherapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States alone and per some reports is increasing.
Medications: There are several drug treatments for neuropathy. There are medications such as Lyrica and Cymbalta that attempt to cover up or block the pain. Lyrica, is an anti-seizure medication. It is used for neuropathy as it stops the nerves from talking to each other so you don't feel the pain. But long term it can cause more damage due to side effects and the diffiencies it can create. Cymbalta is a anti-depressant which is used because it lowers a person's awareness and thus their awareness of the pain. One drug occasionally used is Prednisone, this, however, depletes the body of vital nutrients and there is a problem withdrawing from it. (see Prednisone)
As with all medications, they have side effects that don't enhance your
health. Additionally, Cymbalta as an anti-depressant can very often
be difficult to get off
with out side effects. For info on Cymbalta & Neuropathy
Rebuilder: Combines a footbath with an electrical current. Claims to open up nerve channels and stimulate circulation to the affected area.
Acupuncture: The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture
has been known to help with the symptoms of neuropathy. There is
apparently an ability to improve circulation with this method that would give
similar relief as does alpha lipoic acid.
Alpha lipoic acid: This is an anti-oxidant which will help to protect the nerves that no further damage is done to the body. It can help with the symptoms, but will not repair the nerves. In some cases, it can bring some relief (mostly for diabetic neuropathy where the person has a problem with circulation), but needs to be taken in large amounts 800-1200 mg a day. There is also some evidence that it needs acetyl-L-cartinine to work well in helping the body use nutrients to repair the nerves.
Herbs: There are problem with herbs. They can interact with any other medications that you are taking. They can have side effects. Herbs are similar to drugs in so far as (in therapeutic dosages as found in the herbs that you can buy) they make the body do what it wouldn't normally do. While you can use herbs in your salad and in tea without problems, when you take herbs in a supplment they are extracts which are far stronger dosages. Herbs should be taken separately as if there is a problem, you can isolate what herb is causing the problem. The combination of herbs found in some supplements prohibit you from doing it.
Remember, herbs are not vitamins. They are natural substances. But they aren't the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids & amino acids that the body needs to function and to repair itself.
Herbs can make your neuropathy feel better, but aren't used by the body to repair the nerves. Thus, you need to keep taking them to continue the relief. There are some drugs which shouldn't be taken more than a few months like feverfew or Ashwagandha.
Check with a pharmacist. Pharmacies have databases where they can check for interactions.
Glutamine & B6 - although no scientific evidence, some people with chemo induced neuropathy have said they had some relief. There is, however, some concern that it may stimulate tumor growth.
Anodyne Therapy: Infrared light to increase circulation and stimulate production of nitric acid. It is supposed to relax the arteries and eliminate free radicals. Pads are put over the injured areas. Pain is supposed to be relieved with increased circulation and more nitric oxide in the blood. Can treat common injuries.
Homeopathic Formula: Homeopathy can give temporary neuropathic pain relief without side effects. What is homeopathy.
Topical creams: There are many different creams available that will bring temporary relief from neuropathy pain. They can be applied as needed. Capsaicin is a common ingredient. it is used to relieve pain for arthritis, muscle pain, joint pain, as well as nerve pain.
Cold Laser Treatment or Low Level Laser Therapy: It will give relief from pain. It is non-thermal and won't burn the surrounding area. It is trying to increase cellular activity. The laser delivers electric pulses to the target area which delivers a jolt that matches the pulse at which the body perceives pain. It claims to create a reduction in pain by causing the production of natural pain killer endorphins.
None of the above treatments, however, have the nutrients the body needs to repair the damaged nerves They do not address the actual cause of neuropathy - the nerve damage.
B Vitamin Depletion and Neuropathy: Certain artificial stimulants, namely cigarettes and alcohol, are known to aggravate the condition. Both of these work to slow blood flow throughout the body. In the process, less nutrients and oxygen are being delivered. This is the last thing that you want if you have neuropathy. Anything that uses up B vitamins in the body will make the condition worse.
Most often neuropathy treatments
are attempting to cover up the symptoms
of the nerve damage and
not going to the cause of the problem. Whether it is diabetic nerve
damage, damage from chemo, or any other cause, the cause
has to be
The many medications given for this problem only attempts to cover up the pain. Sometimes the medications actually makes the problem worse due to side effects of the drug given. This can cause more problems instead of correcting the problem.
Other electronic devices (infrared) that merely heat the feet have been tried unsuccessfully.
The only way to correctly manage neuropathy is to address the real causes, not the symptoms. The body will heal the nerve if it is given the correct tools to do so. The correct tools are specific nutrition needed. What are they? Read on.
It has been known for some time that B1(thiamine)is very effective in reducing and reversing neuropathy. It is needed by the body to repair the nerve damage.
Unfortunately, the oral intake of vitamin B1 does not
greatly increase the levels of B1 in the blood stream.
The reason for this is that Thiamine, like all of the B vitamins, is water-soluble. Thiamine cannot be stored in the body and flushes out within 4 to 5 hours.
Additionally, neuropathy has been
found to be made worse by insufficient amounts of B12 in
the body. Vitamin
B12 supports the sheathing that protects nerve cells and
has shown in studies to promote the regeneration and
growth of nerve cells.
B12 supports the sheathing that protects nerve cells and
has shown in studies to promote the regeneration and
growth of nerve cells.
the past, it has been difficult to remedy the B12
reason for this is that while vitamin B12 is readily
stored by the body, it is not readily absorbed by
the body. For this reason much larger amounts have been
used in supplementation, but even large oral dosages
have not been an adequate solution.
Keep reading. There is a solution.
might have heard of the new type of vitamin B1 being
produced, called Benfotiamine. It is a fat-soluble
version of vitamin B1. What does this mean? It
means this new form of vitamin B1 can be taken orally in
large dosages and it will not flush out of the body the
way ordinary Thiamine (vitamin B1) does.
This is due to the fact that this type of B1 will
be delivered into the blood stream where it can travel
to the cells and be used.
available is Methylcobalamine (called Methyl B12). This
is the form of vitamin B12 that can be directly utilized
by the body. When
regular B12 is taken, the body has to convert it into
the Methyl B12 in the gut. Methyl B12 already comes in
this useable form.
Where can I find these supplements?
RECOMMENDED: (This is where we have researched products and found one that we found will work for you.)
It contains both the Benfotiamine and Methyl B12. The result is that the blood stream levels of vitamin B1 and vitamin B12 can be greatly increased, providing the nutritional support needed by the body to rapidly and far more effectively to decrease or eliminate the symptoms of neuropathy by repairing the nerve damage that was done.
Both Benfotiamine and Methyl B12 have been shown to be non-toxic and without any side effects even in very high dosages.
Additionally, the formula has three other B vitamins, and vitamin D3 in the exact proportion that work together to produce the best results. This has been found to be exactly what the body needs to repair the nerves.
And the company has Product Consultants, trained in the use of the product, that will guide you so you get the best results possible. They don't just sell you a vitamin and hope it works. They take the time to make sure our customers understand how they can improve their health by educating them about nutrition, exercise and other health matters. You can call them or email at any time.
These vitamins have a 90 Day money back guarantee and the company who makes it also has a live support line. Their money back guarantee means that you can buy 1, 2 or 3 bottles (up to three months worth) and return them if this doesn't work for you.
Sounds too good to be true. They have a very high success rate with lots of testimonials.
"My neuropathy has been considerably better. I started with two of your Nerve capsules, and then added one more. Since then, I would say it's 75% better. "Thank you." Dan in Massachusetts
They have lots of great success stories. that you can read here
It is even DOCTOR RECOMMENDED - See Video Doctor Recommended WSN Nerve Support Formula
WSN® Nerve Support Formula can support the body’s ability to repair nerve damage, by addressing the root of the problem at a cellular level where there is nerve damage.
The cost of this product is $44.20 a bottle. The cost also includes any help you might need from their Product Consultants. You can call or email anything. Their job is to get you the best possible results.
The Nerve Support Formula will not interfere with any other medications you might be taking.
You can get more
about the WSN Nerve Support Formula
The Nerve Support Formula is made at an "FDA Inspected Facility" and cGMP labs (Good Manufacturing Practice Facility). This means it adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices for supplement manufacturers. This process guarantees the potency, purity and quality of this product. You can read more about the Quality of Manufacturing here . Made in the USA. Gluten free.
They have lots of great success stories that you can read here
Have questions, go to Frequently Asked Questions
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