by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN
Numbness, tingling, and sharp burning pain in your feet or hands could be signs of a serious condition. Nerves control your senses, muscle movement, as well as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and bladder function. Neuropathy is a condition that affects one or more nerves in the body. If left untreated, this condition could lead to a lack of coordination and falling, muscle weakness, or paralysis if the motor nerves are affected.
Untreated cases of diabetes may lead to neuropathy, but there are many other possible causes of the condition such as:
- Alcoholism, in which a person can develop thiamine deficiency
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Infections such as hepatitis C or HIV
- Trauma or pressure on the nerves such as by injury or tumors
- Conditions such as hypothyroidism, kidney disease, or liver disease
- Vitamins deficiencies such as thiamin, B6, B12, or vitamin E
The goal of neuropathy treatment is to manage and relieve symptoms. Many approved treatments are out there, but not all are as effective in providing relief. Pain relievers such as NSAIDS, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can treat mild pain for a short time. Narcotics, anti-seizure medications such as gabapentin, or topical treatments such as lidocaine may be used to treat more moderate to severe cases.
Prescribed medicines may be prescribed alongside treatments such as physical therapy, acupuncture, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Surgery is used as a last resort for those cases in which there is pressure on the nerves such as with tumors.
Several research studies have shown natural supplements to be effective in reducing symptoms of neuropathy.
- A 2016 study in the journal Diabetic Medicine showed significant improvements in diabetic peripheral neuropathy symptoms through use of alpha-lipoic acid treatment.
- In the Journal of Diabetes Research, a 2016 study revealed that a combination of gabapentin, B1, and B12 was just as effective as the drug pregabalin in reducing severity of neuropathy symptoms. The addition of vitamins also helped reduce the presence of side effects such as vertigo or dizziness.
- A recent study in the Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology journal showed potential for vitamin E treatment to be used to prevent chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
- A 2016 study in Minerva Endocrinologica showed an increased antioxidant capacity when using alpha-lipoic acid as a treatment for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
These findings reveal that more natural treatments, alone or with other treatments, may provide relief to neuropathy pain with a lower risk of side effects than with other prescription medications.
For a strong and effective treatment, with the gentle touch and benefits of natural ingredients, try Nervex Neuropathy Pain Relief Cream. The active ingredients of this topical cream include:
- Vitamins B12, B6, thiamine, and riboflavin, which improve nerve function
- Capsaicin, a hot pepper extract that relieves pain
- Alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that reduces damage to nerves by removing free radicals from your organs and tissues
Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication or treatment.
A big thank you to the wonderful work of the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy for raising awareness of the condition and funding efforts to find a cure. Visit their website at https://www.foundationforpn.org/ to follow their efforts.
Alvarado, A.M. & S.A. Navarro (2016) “Clinical Trial Assessing the Efficacy of Gabapentin Plus B Complex (B1/B12) versus Pregabalin for Treating Painful Diabetic Neuropathy.”
Brami, C. et al. (2016 Feb). “Natural products and complementary therapies for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: A systematic review.” Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, 98:325-34.
Cakici, N. et al. (2016 Nov) “Systematic review of treatments for peripheral neuropathy” Diabetic Medicine, 33(11):1466-1476.
Han, Y., et al. (2016 Nov 30) “Differential efficacy of methylcobalamin and alpha-lipoic acid treatment on negative and positive symptoms of (type 2) diabetic peripheral neuropathy.” Minerva Endocrinologica