How to Treat Neuropathy? Natural Remedial You Should Consider

Updated on March 5th, 2020
How to Treat Neuropathy

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy (also referred to as Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) is a dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves. These are the nerves that send messages across our bodies and help us control it. Mostly, neuropathy is acquired, but sometimes, it can also be hereditary or genetic. want to know how to treat neuropathy?

Typical symptoms of More than 20 million people in the United States have been estimated to suffer from one or more forms of peripheral neuropathy, but this figure may be significantly higher—not all people with symptoms of neuropathy are tested for the disease and tests currently don’t look for all forms of neuropathy. Neuropathy is often misdiagnosed due to its complex array of symptoms.

What Causes Neuropathy?

There are many causes: One of the major culprits is diabetes, followed by chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. Inflammatory infections, substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), repetitive stress, medication for other diseases, physical injury, prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals, auto-immune diseases, etc. , can also lead to neuropathy.

Based on the causes, or triggers, PN is classified as Diabetic Neuropathy, Idiopathic Neuropathy, Chemo-induced Neuropathy, and HIV/AIDS induced neuropathy.

Types of Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) and Its Instances

Diabetic 60%
Idiopathic 23%
Chemo-induced 10%
HIC/AIDS 2%
Others 5%

How to Treat Neuropathy?

While there is no medical treatment that can cure genetic or inherited peripheral neuropathy, there are therapies to heal, control, and minimize its severity. Healing is slow progress, though. Over time, the symptoms may lessen, and in some cases, completely go away.

Naturopathic Remedies for Neuropathy

CURE 1: Supplements for Neuropathy

Sometimes, peripheral neuropathy is caused by certain nutrient and vitamin deficiencies in the body, specifically B-12.

Supplementing the body with these in the form of tablets, as well as via natural sources, through the food we eat will go a long way in healing the affected nerves and alleviating the symptoms. It’s also good to keep your body supported with a wholesome diet for a healthy nervous system.

1. B-Vitamins

B-Vitamin
Image:ShutterStock

How to use:

By taking Vitamin B-1 (thiamine and benfotiamine), B-6, and B-12 tablets separately, or by taking them all together at once as B complex. Alternately, you can shun medication totally and go for a diet rich in meat, fish, eggs, poultry, low-fat dairy foods, and fortified cereals. Vegetables (broccoli, spinach) and fruits (citrus fruits, banana), too.

Why does it work:

Studies have found that Benfotiamine/thiamine reduce pain and inflammation levels, as well as prevent cellular damage. B-6 has been found to help maintain the covering on nerve endings.

How much to use:

Experts say not more than 200 milligrams (mg) of B-6 per day – intake of higher amounts can lead to nerve damage and aggravate symptoms.

[Also Read: Popular Supplements for Neuropathy]

2. Alpha-lipoic acid

This is an antioxidant and is good for treating and controlling the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and chemo-induced neuropathy. It is said to improve nerve function and relieve symptoms like itching, burning, numbness, and pain.

How to use:

Alpha-lipoic acid can be taken intravenously or as supplements in the form of medicine. Traces of Alpha-lipolic acid can also be found in red meat, spinach, liver, and Brussels Sprouts.

Why does it work:

Since both the above-mentioned types of neuropathy are caused by oxidative stress on the nerves, this medication works on superoxide production

How much to use:

600 to 1,200 mg per day in capsule form.

[Read: Home Remedies for Treating Neuropathy]

3. Acetyl-L-carnitine

This is a constructive molecule in fatty-acid metabolism (an amino acid) and used in neuropathic pain management and nerve regeneration. Neuropathic pain often leads to psychotic disorders and depression, often accelerating the disease.

How to use:

Take it as a tablet supplement, or naturally by a balanced intake of fish, meat, poultry, and low-fat dairy products.

Why does it work: 

Medically controlled(1) Acetyl-L-carnitine intake has shown a lessening of pain via modulation of nerve growth and generation of healthy nerve cells, though this contention is still being medically debated.

How much to use:

Unless prescribed otherwise, a dosage of 500 mg twice a day is good for controlling pain and also keeping neuropathy oriented depression at bay.

4. N-acetyl cysteine

A medical term for a neuro-protectant, N-acetyl cysteine is also an antioxidant amino acid. It is (2) said to be especially helpful in treating chemo-induced neuropathy.

How to use:

Take it as a tablet supplement – this amino acid isn’t found in natural foods.

Why does it work:

N-acetyl cysteine reduces oxidative stress-related nerve damage, improves motor nerve coordination, and helps control neuropathic pain and inflammation.

How much to use:

1,200 mg once or twice per day as prescribed.

[Read: Vitamins Help To Cure Neuropathy]

5. Curcumin

Curcumin
Image:ShutterStock

Known commonly as turmeric – a naturally occurring herb/spice used daily in most Indian households and in traditional Chinese medicine – it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Regular intake of curcumin is said to improve overall immunity and health.

How to use:

Turmeric, raw or powdered, can be added to all cooked foods, salads, and smoothies. A teaspoon mixed with a glass of warm milk is said to provide analgesic effects. To alleviate numbness, pain, and a tingling sensation, add a tablespoon of turmeric powder to half a bucket of warm water and soak feet/hands for twenty minutes every day.

Why does it work:

It has been proven(3) that curcumin plays an active role in the treatment of various neurological disorders, especially neuropathic pain because of its anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and neuro-protective attributes.

How much to use:

There is no prescribed usage as such. However, try to consume it naturally as a part of your diet (one teaspoon of turmeric powder three times a day is enough).

 

6. Fish oil

Obviously found in fish, fish oil has anti-inflammatory effects and is known for its ability to repair damaged nerves. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve muscle pain. Regular intake of fish oil has been found to slow down and reverse the effects of neuropathy.

How to use:

Take it as a supplement or through foods rich in fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids such as chia and flax seeds, salmon, walnuts, oysters, soya beans, etc.

Why does it work:

A new study(4) shows that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can restore damaged nerves and help reduce pain.

How much to use:

Take 2,400 to 5,400 mg per day, if taken as tablet supplements.

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CURE 2: Essential oils

Essential oils can help alleviate neuropathic pain resulting from inflammation and nerve damage. The topical application of essential oils, followed by a light massage, increases blood flow to the affected areas, combating the disease and most of its symptoms. Let’s look at some essential oils and their benefits.

1. Ginger oil

Ginger-oil
Image:ShutterStock

This essential oil contains a compound called zingibain, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Application(5) of this oil is said to help reduce neuropathic pain, reduce inflammation, and the tingling sensation.

How to use:

Applying undiluted essential oil may cause skin irritation. So, always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or gingelly oil and apply it topically over the affected area. Leave it for 15 minutes and then proceed to do a light massage of the area for five minutes. After that, rinse it with warm water

Why does it work:

Topical application allows the oil and its properties to be absorbed quickly into the body and the affected area, thereby having a rather quick effect.

How much to use:

Pour 12-15 drops of essential oil in 50mg of any of the above-mentioned oils, mix well, and keep for 10-15 days.

[Read: Treat Neuropathy Using Herbs]

2. Lavender oil

Lavender is said to calm and soothe the mind and the body. For neuropathic patients, lavender oil brings relaxation and pain relief.

How to use:

The fragrance of lavender essential oil and its application help calm the anxiety levels of the patient, as well as the symptoms of pain and numbness.

Why does it work:

Diffusion of the oil, as well as its topical application, help patients of neuropathy combat sleeplessness and symptoms of pain and anxiety and brings about a feeling of mental satisfaction.

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bone spurs.

How much to use:

Add 12 drops of it to your bath water, followed by soaking it for half an hour, or add 12-15 drops of it to a carrier oil for topical application. However, the US Food and Drug Administration does not regulate essential oils.

[Also Read: CBD Oil to Treat Peripheral Neuropathy]

3. Chamomile oil

According to this 2015 study, Chamomile, like lavender, may help reduce pain and inflammation. Topical application also soothes the skin that’s sometimes also sensitive to touch.

How to use:

Via diffusion, topical application, and in bath salts for a soak. Chamomile tea is very good for calming the patient to sleep, and also alleviating symptoms of a genetic neuropathic disease, Charcot-Marie Tooth disease.

Why does it work:

Borneol, a compound present in chamomile has anti-inflammatory and pain-alleviating properties.

How much to use:

Pour a drop of it on your fingertip, spread it equally to fingers on either hand and massage the temples on either side of the head for immediate relief. Alternately, add 10 drops of the essential oil in 30mg of carrier oil for topical application and massage.

4. St. John’s wort essential oil

St. John's wort essential oil
Image:ShutterStock

A perennial herb found in West Asia, Europe, and Africa, St. John’s wort is a part of ancient medicinal history as a remedy to treat cuts and wounds, headaches, nerve disorders, and melancholia.

How to use:

Can be taken as supplements in the form of capsules extracts and teas. Topical skin lotions help soothe sensitive skin and help localized pain.

Why does it work:

Two active constituents of this oil, hyperforin, and hypericin, have psychoactive properties, and work as an antidepressant and also anti-allergen.

5. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint oil has many benefits – it aids in calming the nerves, regulating one’s immune system and also helps in controlling muscular spasms. This oil can reduce the symptoms and even reverse nerve damage caused by neuropathy.

How to use:

You can surround yourself with the essence of this oil for a holistic healing approach. Spray it on pillows and bedsheets, use it in a diffuser, and mix it in a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil and massage in a circular motion over the areas where you feel numbness or tingling.

Why does it work:

This herb extract has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties and it is also a known antioxidant.

How much to use:

Mix 10 drops with 10 ml of distilled water for spraying/ add 12 drops in 30 ml of carrier oil for massage. Can dab on directly on pillows, bedsheets, etc.

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CURE 3: Lifestyle Tips (Dos and Don’ts)

  • Exercise regularly. Do light and easy exercises, squats, lunges, and simple movement exercise at least twice daily to keep the adrenaline high and the blood circulation up to mark.
  • Follow a healthy diet regimen (include legumes, leafy veggies, fruits, cereals, and supplements) in your daily diet. Try to avoid fast food with MSG and high salt content as much as possible as it might trigger mood shifts.
  • Diabetic patients must regularly monitor their blood sugar levels (many 24×7 gadgets are available in the market).
  • Avoid repetitive stress patterns (like scrolling the mouse, typing/keyboard usage).
  • Keep mental stress at bay by meditating, taking frequent breaks, and through self-acceptance.

A Positive Attitude Is the Best Antidote

Yes, life can be a bummer at times. It hurts, pains, and you feel lonely and upset. But remember, all this will pass. Approach neuropathy with self-belief and confidence. Resolve to live a full life. Neuropathy affects more people than you think, and in most cases, it’s curable, or at least, manageable.

Go for complementary therapies, join support groups, and acknowledge what you are suffering from. Read up and research on the medical breakthroughs in this field, and most of all, be regular with medications. Always know that a doctor is just a call away if you need anything else.

[Read: Home Remedies for Diabetic Neuropathy]


FAQs

1. What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy, also called Peripheral Neuropathy, is a disruption of the nerves that send sensory and motor messages to our body from the brain and spinal cord.

2. What causes neuropathy?

Medical treatments like chemotherapy, medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse like alcoholism, physical trauma or injury all may lead to neuropathy.

3. What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

Typically, a feeling of numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, radiating towards the rest of the body. Muscular spasm and pain, depression and mental fatigue.

4. Is neuropathy curable?

Yes, and no. In certain cases, where neuropathy is the secondary symptom of primary diseases, such as in diabetes, its symptoms can be mostly contained with medication and somewhat reversed. However, in many other types of neuropathy, nerve damages can be repaired and the ailment cured completely with patient care and medication.

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