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The Best Years in Life

Natural Relief for Peripheral Neuropathy 

by Luella May

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where damage to the peripheral nervous system results in the nerves having difficulty carrying messages from the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body. This can result in pain, loss of feeling, and inability to control muscles.  As with any other condition, there is no “one size fits all” remedy for those suffering from this malady and treatment may vary depending on the cause and severity.  However, many individuals find relief using natural remedies.


Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects people in every walk of life.  It is estimated that 20 million Americans and 60% of diabetics suffer from this disorder.  There are hundreds of different kinds of neuropathy, the symptoms of which include burning, tingling, weakness, numbness, paralysis, and dull to excruciating pain – especially in the extremities.
Although many neuropathies have no known causes, neuropathy is often associated with another condition.  Examples are:  Diabetes, HIV, shingles, toxins, autoimmune disorders, neurological conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, and malnutrition. Statin drugs and chemotherapy can also cause neuropathy.
Diet is crucial when addressing peripheral neuropathy, especially in diabetics.  Alcohol and tobacco should be eliminated at all costs.  Other harmful foods to be avoided include sugar, processed foods, fast foods, junk foods, sodas of all types, foods sprayed with pesticides, and trans-fatty acids.  Sweeteners and additives contained in diet soda and processed foods such as MSG and aspartame can negatively impact the nervous system.  Individuals suffering from peripheral neuropathy should have a balanced intake of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
Light exercise is a very important part in treating neuropathy.  It helps to control blood sugar, promotes circulation, and can slow the nerve damage resulting from this condition.   Keep in mind, however, that exercises such as running or walking may actually be detrimental as they may cause foot injury.  Swimming or riding a stationary bike may be preferable.  After exercising, always check your feet for any irritation, blisters or sores.  If any of these are apparent, treat them immediately, as neglecting to do so could result in infection. 
In addition to proper diet and exercise, the herbs and supplements listed below help to give relief by oxygenating cells, reducing inflammation, and dispelling toxic free radicals from the body:
*Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant which is being used in Europe to treat peripheral nerve degeneration caused by diabetes. It is a sulfur-containing fatty acid contained in each cell of the body which generates energy.  The suggested dosage is 1,200 to 1,800 mgs in divided doses daily.
*N-Acetyl Cysteine helps to detoxify the body by helping it produce glutathione.
*Magnesium soothes the nervous system.  The recommended dosage is 800 mgs taken in two doses daily.
*A vitamin B6 deficiency can aggravate or even cause neuropathic pain.  This vitamin becomes more effective when taken with B complex vitamins.  The dosage is 100 mgs per day, but it is important not to exceed this amount.
*Cayenne massaged into the skin has been known to relieve neuropathic pain.
*Skullcap also soothes the entire nervous system.  The suggested dosage is fifteen drops of skullcap tincture in a glass of water three to six times a day or as needed for pain.
*Evening primrose oil can be effective in preventing nerve damage and keep the condition from getting worse.
*Colloidal silver may help nerves regenerate and studies in Hungary found specific silver receptors on human nerve tissue.
*Digestive enzymes taken two or three times a day on an empty stomach can help remove plaque and restore circulation to extremities.
Castor oil packs can provide symptomatic relief for some people.  Massage, biofeedback, acupuncture, and relaxation therapy have also been shown to be effective.


Your hosts Tony Isaacs and Luella May

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