What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

If you've ever been through chemotherapy, a similarly intense cancer treatment, or cancer itself, you may experience something called peripheral neuropathy. Other issues that could cause peripheral neuropathy include diabetes, certain infections and injuries, alcoholism, not getting enough vitamin B, and even poor circulation.

Definition of Peripheral Neuropathy

Let’s break down the name to learn more about it.

‘Peripheral’ means it involves something outside of the brain and spinal cord.

‘Neuro’ means that it is something that relates to nerves.

‘Pathy’ means it is a disease.

Essentially, this is a condition that occurs when nerves carrying messages back and forth from the brain, spinal cord, and elsewhere become damaged in some way.

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

Massaging hand with diagram of nerve pathways showing

There are many ways that peripheral neuropathy can arise. Some of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy are the following:

  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and vasculitis
  • Infections including Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B, and HIV
  • Tumors, both cancerous and benign
  • Bone marrow disorders
  • Inherited disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Other diseases, such as those affecting the kidneys, liver, connective tissue, and the thyroid.

Other, less common, causes of peripheral neuropathy include the following:

  • Alcoholism
  • Heavy metal exposure
  • Toxic chemical exposure
  • Cancer treatments
  • Trauma to nerves resulting from injuries
  • Vitamin B and vitamin E deficiencies

Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

Physical therapist massaging man's leg to stimulate blood flow

Depending on what kind of nerves have been affected, different symptoms will manifest. The three types of nerves that will be affected are the sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves. When these succumb to peripheral neuropathy, the following symptoms may be experienced:

  • Numbness, prickling, or tingling in the extremities of limbs, which can climb towards the body through arms and legs.
  • Pain that throbs and is sharp
  • Touch becomes overly sensitive
  • Loss of coordination, leading to falling
  • Weak muscles
  • Paralysis, but only when motor nerves are affected

It is also possible for peripheral neuropathy to affect more than one nerve. When just one is affected, it’s called mononeuropathy. When two or more get affected in different areas of the body, it’s called multiple mononeuropathy. When several nerves are affected, it’s called polyneuropathy. For instance, carpal tunnel syndrome is considered mononeuropathy. However, the majority of people who have peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy.

Natural Remedies for Neuropathy

There are several effective natural remedies for neuropathy that you can take advantage of. Each one of these can help reduce the symptoms you experience when you have peripheral neuropathy.

Natural ingredients and tinctures on a black background with leaves and cinnamon sticks

Here are some of the most effective natural remedies for neuropathy:

CBD for Neuropathy

When conventional treatment methods do not work, or are not an option, CBD is an excellent go-to natural remedy. Recent studies have discovered that CBD can reduce the unwanted symptoms of neuropathy, while helping people manage symptoms safely and effectively.

DMSO for Neuropathy

Research into the feasibility of using DMSO to reduce peripheral neuropathy symptoms found it provides promising results. It can potentially help in relieving the pain that is associated with this condition.

Vitamin B12 for Neuropathy

A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to peripheral neuropathy, which is why it can be helpful to take it as a supplement. After doing so, pain can be eliminated due to the restoration of nerve sheaths. Nerve cells can even regenerate after increasing intake of vitamin B12, or eating foods containing it.

Magnesium for Neuropathy

Foods with magnesium next to a chalkboard with "Mg" written on it on a white background

Magnesium plays a vital role in over 300 different enzyme reactions within your body. According to research, magnesium deficiency appears to be an underlying factor that could cause peripheral neuropathy.

One study found that people who had higher levels of magnesium intake during and after chemotherapy treatments had a lower chance of developing peripheral neuropathy. It also showed that patients who took more magnesium reduced the severity of symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, which in turn relieved the discomfort experienced with this condition.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know more about peripheral neuropathy, including the causes, symptoms, and natural remedies, you can ease the adverse effects of this condition and improve your quality of life. In some situations, you may even make a full recovery.

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