What Does The Term Neuropathy Means?
Neuropathy is an uncomfortable situation mostly found in people with diabetes.
It is also known as “nerve damage”.
Patients suffering from neuropathy experience weakness, numbness, and pain in their hands and feet.
Neuropathy can have a real impact on daily life, from sleeping to driving and beyond.
Neuropathy is also referred to as Peripheral neuropathy because it is not a single health condition but rather a term used to describe a range of health problems involving damage to the peripheral nerves, as well as the symptoms of those issues.
Signs and Symptoms of Neuropathy
- Tingling, prickling, or burning sensation
- Increased sensitivity
- Muscle weakness
- Dysfunction in organs or glands
- Difficulty in urination & sexual function
What causes neuropathic pain?
1. Disease :
Neuropathic pain can be a combination of several diseases and conditions that arise due to complication or symptoms. Majority of these include multiple sclerosis, multiple myeloma, and other types of cancer. Around 30% of the neuropathic pain is due to diabetes. Diabetes patients suffering from neuropathic pain experience loss of feeling and numbness, followed by pain, burning, and stinging, in their limbs and digits. Cancer treatment can cause neuropathic pain due to chemotherapy and radiation which directly impact patients' nervous system and cause unusual pain signals.
2. Injuries :
Injuries which are caused to tissue, muscles, or joints are some cause of neuropathic pain. Same wise back, leg and hip problems or injuries can cause lasting damage to nerves. With time the injury may heal but the damage which has been caused to the nervous system may not so the patient might experience persistent pain for many years after the accident. Accidents and injuries that affect the spine can also lead to neuropathic pain. Herniated discs and spinal cord compression can also damage the sensory fibers around your spine.
3. Infection :
Infection leading to neuropathic pain is very rare. Patients suffering from chickenpox virus may feel several weeks of neuropathic pain along a nerve due to its treatment. People suffering from HIV may also feel this unexplained pain.
4. Limb Loss :
Neuropathic pairitin commonly called phantom limb syndrome can occur when an arm or leg has been amputated. Due to this the brain still thinks it’s receiving pain signals from the removed body part in spite of the loss of the limb. What’s happening, here, is that the nerves near the amputation are misfiring and sending wrong signals to your brain. Due to this phantom pain may be also felt in the fingers, toes, penis, ears, and other body parts.
5. Other Causes :
A. Deficiency of Vitamin-B B. Problems in facial nerve C. Thyroid Problems D. Arthritis in Spine
What is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Types of Diabetic Neuropathy :-
1. Peripheral Neuropathy :-
Peripheral neuropathy has many names. It is also called distal polyneuropathy and peripheral diabetic nerve pain Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy caused by diabetes. It affects nerves leading to your extremities—to your feet, legs, hands, and arms. The nerves leading to your feet are so long, it’s most often these nerves that are often damaged leading to nerve damage. Due to this diabetes patients are often diagnosed with foot problems like foot deformities, infections, ulcers, and amputations.
2. Proximal Neuropathy :-
This is a form of neuropathy that can cause muscle weakness. It specifically affects the muscles in the upper part of your legs and hips. Proximal Neuropathy involves nerve pain which starts from low back and goes right up to down the leg. Proximal neuropathy is the second most common type of diabetic neuropathy. It usually affects aged person suffering from diabetes
3. Autonomic Neuropathy
There are many functions happening in your body without you even thinking about it. Like the stomach is digesting your food, the heart pumps blood to the body and so on. All these actions are managed by an autonomic nervous system. If the autonomic nerves are damaged by the effects of diabetes i.e autonomic diabetic neuropathy then your body may have trouble maintaining homeostasis. Autonomic Neuropathy may affect many of your body’s systems, right from your digestive tract to how well you can see through your eyes.
4. Focal Neuropathy :-
Focal Neuropathy mostly affects nerves in the head, mostly the one which goes right upto the eyes. It may also affect the trunk and legs in some cases.
how is Neuropathy diagnosed?
The doctor may check :-
A. Muscle strength B. Reflexes in Tendons C. Sensitivity in touch and vibration
Natural Treatment for Neuropathy
Following are the few ways for natural treatment of neuropathy
A. Balanced Diet :-
Diabetes patients are mostly recommended to consume less food in a whole day but in reality not having a proper meal at proper time leads to fluctuation in their blood sugar levels. To keep the body sugar level in control the patient needs to have a proper diet which includes protein, fiber and carbohydrates so that even the body gets its essential nutrients.
Vitamin-D helps in lowering the risk of peripheral neuropathy. A regular exposure to early morning sunlight will help in getting this vitamin. The patient can also take vitamin -D oral supplements for it.
Vitamin-B can be found in chicken, fish, eggs, soy products, and dairy products in our diet. It is used to help proper functioning of nerves and keep them healthy.
C. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is mostly used in ointments which are applied on the surface of the skin to reduce neuropathy pain.
D. Quit Addictions
Smoking and alcohol can also affect blood sugar levels and hence, increases the risk of diabetic neuropathy.
To maintain blood sugar level physical activity and exercise is very much essential
Effectiveness of ayurveda treatment for neuropathy?
Lipoic acid: Taking this ayurvedic medicine lipoic acid daily would reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
CoQ10: To control the symptom of Peripheral neuropathy CoQ10 is another effective ayurvedic medicine. It is very good for the treatment of the heart and brain.
Omega-3 fatty acid: Omega-3 fatty acid is another good alternative in treating the damaged nerve problem. Salmon fish and flax seeds acids are the natural sources of fatty acids that help in reducing and managing the inflammation in the body.
Oat Seed: With the regular use of oats seed the numbness and weakness in the limb can be cured. It is a safe natural medicine and is free from any side effects.
Passion Flower: It is effective in curing agitation, spasms, muscle twitching, and restlessness.