Friday, 16 December 2016

How To Identify And Manage Nerve Damage Symptoms

Today's post from littlethings.com (see link below) is yet another list of things to do to identify and help with neuropathy. (Why do we all love lists so much...one of the features of the 21st century!?) Despite the many self-help lists on the internet, this is a very useful one, especially for people new to neuropathy, who have difficulty understanding all the medical science their doctor has thrown at them. It explains simply what neuropathy is and how it can affect you and goes on to provide several ideas for learning to manage the disease. Many experienced neuropathy sufferers will be aware of most of what's said here but equally, many will benefit from the clear description and practical ideas. It's at least a starting point for further research.

Neuropathy: 12 Ways To Identify And Manage This Painful Disease
Laura Caseley 2016

Aches and pains are part of life. Everyone experiences a twinge here and a pang there, but what happens when it becomes all too frequent and severe, to the point where it’s getting in the way of your life?

However, if your aches, pains, and stiffness cause extreme changes in your body — like excess sweating, loss of bladder control, and high blood pressure — you might be suffering from neuropathy, a little-known but complex disease of the nervous system.

Neuropathy comes in many forms and can affect either just one nerve — in which case it’s called mononeuropathy — or several —and then it’s called polyneuropathy.

It can come on slowly over many years, or start all of a sudden. It can also come as a result of treatment for another condition, in which case it’s called peripheral neuropathy.

Anything that affects your nerves is serious business, because your nerves control, well, everything.

Not only to they allow us to experience the world via the sense of touch, but they also control organs and prompt the body to respond involuntarily to temperature and other factors. When a nerve is upset, it can cause pain in everything from your legs to your teeth.

If you’re concerned that something might be amiss with your nerves, check out the symptoms of neuropathy below. And if you think you might have it, see the ways you can soothe it at home.

Typically, people with neuropathy will have to take medical steps with the help of a doctor or specialist, but these at-home tips can be used alongside medical therapies — with a doctor’s permission, of course.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a disease of the nerves that impairs motion, gland or organ function, and sensation. In total, it affects some 24 million Americans.

Common causes include heavy alcohol consumption, immune system diseases, traumatic injury, celiac disease, hypothyroidism, radiation and chemotherapy, and viral infections.

About 30% of cases are also associated with diabetes. Certain classes of antibiotics can also be causes, and sometimes, neuropathy can also be congenital.

Neuropathy can take several forms, but there are some common symptoms.

The best way to determine exactly which nerves are effected is to to talk to a doctor or neurologist.


How Can I Tell If I Have Neuropathy?


Symptom #1: Numbness Of Limbs

Neuropathy, particularly peripheral neuropathy, is often characterized by a feeling of numbness or heaviness in the limbs, making them hard to move.

Numbness may also appear in other parts of the body, but it’s most commonly felt in the arms and legs.


Symptom #2: Muscle Weakness

Lifting things and even moving around becomes increasingly difficult with neuropathy, which makes the muscles feel weak and tired.

Some people also experience tremors.

Symptom #3: Difficulty With Coordination

As the muscles become increasingly numb and weak, it can start to effect motor skills.

Depending on which nerves the neuropathy is affecting, this can make fine motor functions like writing difficult, and can even affect walking and balance.


Symptom #4: Stabbing Or Burning Pain

Tingling, stabbing, burning, or pins-and-needles pain is also very common with neuropathy, as nerves misfire in your body.

Some people also develop allodynia, in which even light touches to the skin result in sharp pains.


Symptom #5: Bowel And Bladder Problems

If the autonomic nervous system is affected, it can also lead to issues with the bowels and bladder, typically constipation and difficulty urinating.

If you suspect you might have neuropathy, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she can create a management plan to help your symptoms.

How Can I Manage Neuropathy?


Remedy #1: Avoid Gluten, Refined Sugars, And Trans Fats

After speaking to your doctor and getting their professional opinion, you can try managing your symptoms with a few simple life changes.

There’s a correlation between celiac and neuropathy, and many people with neuropathy seem to have some level of gluten sensitivity, so try cutting it out of your diet.

Gluten, along with refined sugars, can cause inflammation in the digestive system and increase blood sugar, which can cause damage to nerves.

This is also especially true for cases in which diabetes is involved.

Alcohol should also be avoided.


Remedy #2: Spice Up Your Meals

Cayenne pepper is a great additive anyway, but even better if you have neuropathy.

It has a high content of capsaicin, the compound that makes things spicy. Capsaicin is also a natural pain reliever and improves circulation throughout the body.

You can add a sprinkle to your meals, and if you don’t like spicy food, you can also take capsaicin as a supplement.


Remedy #3: Take A Hot Shower

Just like the heat from capsaicin helps from the inside, heat from a hot shower will help with pain from the outside.

It feels great, and it also helps improve circulation and to relax muscles. A hot bath works, too.


Remedy #4: Take Care Of Your Feet

Numbness or diminished feeling in the feet can be especially dangerous, because you can injure them without even realizing it.

Neuropathy is very common in the feet, and so if you’re dealing with it, your feet will need extra attention.

Wear comfy socks and shoes and make sure your tootsies are clean and free of any cuts, and keep your toenails short and cut straight across.


Remedy #5: Try Acupuncture Or Chiropractic Care

In addition to a your regular doctor, visiting a chiropractor or acupuncturist can also help soothe the aches and pains.

These treatments can help improve circulation, which gets oxygen and nutrients to the affected nerves, helping them function better.


Remedy #6: Take Your Vitamins

Getting the right vitamins, especially your B vitamins, is very important when it comes to neuropathy.

You can take these as supplements (just don’t take more than 50 mgs of B-6 per day), or stock up on B-rich foods like beans, lean meats, nuts, and fruits and vegetables.

Remember, be sure to speak to your doctor before beginning any new supplement or dietary plan.

Have you ever suffered from nerve issues? What was the remedy that helped you the most?

Let us know in the comments, and SHARE this important information with everyone you know!

http://www.littlethings.com/guide-to-neuropathy/

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