Neuropathy impacts more than 20 million people in the United States, and nearly 8% of seniors will suffer from the condition. If you believe that you’re one of these individuals, we’re going to answer some questions most people have about the pain they’re experiencing, especially "can you have neuropathy without diabetes?" So let's dive in!
What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy, also called peripheral neuropathy, is a condition where you may experience one or a combination of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the hands or feet
- Weakness in the hands or feet
- Numbness in the hands or feet
The term “peripheral” means that the damage occurs outside of your brain or spinal cord – the two key areas for nerve transmission. A person with neuropathy is dealing with dysfunction or damage to one or more nerves in an extremity.
While the hands and feet are the most common areas where people experience symptoms, they can occur in any body part.
Can You Have Neuropathy Without Diabetes?
Diabetes is the leading cause of neuropathy, but it’s not the only cause of the condition. Anything that causes the following can lead to neuropathy:
- Damage to the nerve
- Impairment to the nerve
For many people, if you don’t have neuropathy because of diabetes, the culprit will be one of the following:
- Infection: Multiple types of infections can impact the nerves, including hepatitis, leprosy, Lyme disease, and multiple others. Treating these conditions may help reduce your neuropathy, but you will need to discuss this with a physician.
- Medications: Chemotherapy and other medications can damage the nerves. Unfortunately, you’ll need to weigh your risks between neuropathy and severe illnesses. A doctor may be able to prescribe another medication, too.
- Trauma: Physical trauma can cause nerve compression and damage. Additionally, tumors may also press against the nerve causing dysfunction.
- Inherited conditions: For some people, neuropathy runs in their families. Autoimmune disease can also cause you to develop neuropathy.
Multiple other causes of neuropathy also exist, such as severe vitamin deficiencies, poison, alcoholism, and various other disorders, such as kidney disease and liver disease.
Natural Remedies for Neuropathy
If you have neuropathy, it’s crucial to know that you can manage the symptoms you’re experiencing. Living with the pain doesn’t have to be a reality for you. Instead, consider one of the natural remedies outlined below to help provide relief:
Using the right mix of essential oils can help relieve both inflammation and pain. Chances are, you have some of these oils in your home already.
A few of the essential oils for neuropathy include:
- Peppermint. Known as a natural pain reliever, peppermint can help relax the muscles and ease the pain.
- Bergamot. A 2015 study on essential oils found that when bergamot was applied to the area experiencing neuropathic pain, participants noted a significant reduction in pain.
- St. John’s Wort. A great option for fear and anxiety, this oil was also the center of a report on nerve pain, with participants stating that they found relief after application.
Note: Be sure to dilute the oil in a carrier oil before applying it to the skin to prevent potential irritation.
Magnesium supplements are crucial to the body’s overall function because so many people are deficient in magnesium. Since the body uses magnesium for over 300 enzyme reactions, it only makes sense to add it to your list of natural remedies.
Interestingly, studies on people with neuropathy found many participants who had neuropathy were deficient in magnesium.
Additional studies suggest that not only can magnesium help with pain, but it may even protect against developing neuropathy for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Crystals May Help
Crystals should never be used as a replacement for your traditional medical treatment, but they can be used alongside treatment to find relief. Multiple types of crystals are known to help with nerve regeneration and healing.
If you have any of the following crystals, you can place them on the area of the body where you’re experiencing pain:
- Quartz (Rose, Smokey, Faden)
Many other crystals can also be used for pain, such as citrine, lapis lazuli, and black tourmaline.
Pro Tip: Throw your chosen crystal in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before use for extra cooling relief.
Neuropathy is a condition that is best treated by determining and then addressing the underlying cause. Using natural remedies is a good way to supplement your treatment to keep the condition under control and help manage symptoms. But don't forget to consult with your doctor too.
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