Neuropathy describes a problem related to the human nerves, often the “peripheral nerves” as opposed to the “central nervous system”. The term neuropathy mentions to a wide area and a large number of nerves, but the problem caused will depend on the kind of nerves which are impacted, including motor nerves, sensory nerves, and autonomic nerves. This disease may be also divided into three types based on the number and distribution of nerves affected (mononeuropathy, mononeuritis multiplex, or polyneuropathy). Your peripheral nervous system connects the nerves from your spinal cord and brain to the rest of the body, including your arms, hands, legs, feet, internal organs, face and mouth. Peripheral neuropathy is an ailment happening when the nerves are destroyed or damaged resulting in their malfunction. These nerves may send signals of pain when there is something harming you or even nothing causing pain because of systemic illness, an injury, an inherited disorder, and an infection. Peripheral neuropathy is uncomfortable. Some basic information about neuropathy you should acknowledge before discovering home remedies for this condition in hands, legs and feet. Do not skip them if you want to get rid of neuropathy symptoms once and for all!
What Are Symptoms Of A Neuropathy?
No matter what the cause of neuropathy is, this problem is associated with some characteristic symptoms. Although some people with neuropathy might not have symptoms, some specific symptoms are still common. Each nerve in your peripheral system has a particular function, so the symptoms will depend on the kind of nerves impacted. Nerves are divided into:
- Sensory nerves receiving sensation, like pain, temperature, vibration or touch from the skin.
- Autonomic nerves controlling functions like heart rate, blood pressure, bladder and digestion.
- Motor nerves controlling your muscles.
The symptoms of neuropathy include:
- a feeling like wearing a tight sock or glove
- tingling in the feet or hands
- stabbing, sharp pains
- a heavy, weak feeling in the hands, arms and legs
- a shocking or buzzing sensation
- regularly dropping many things from hands
- sexual dysfunction, particularly in men
- excessive sweating
- digestive difficulty
The symptoms of neuropathy could signal other conditions. Make sure that you tell your doctor about your symptoms.
What Are Causes Of Neuropathy?
It is estimated that about 30% of neuropathy sufferers are “idiopathic” or get involved with an unknown cause. In fact, neuropathy is not a single disease, but nerve damage caused by some conditions, which are:
- Diabetes: this is considered the most common cause of chronic peripheral neuropathy. The high blood sugar levels in those with poorly controlled diabetes may damage the nerves.
- Folate or B12 vitamin deficiency may lead to nerve damage as well as peripheral neuropathy.
- Exposure to poisons (toxins): solvents and insecticides could result in peripheral nerve damage.
- Drugs like chemotherapy medication as well as medicines for HIV could lead to damage to the peripheral nerves .
- Cancers: peripheral neuropathy may happen in those with cancer like multiple myeloma and lymphoma.
- Chronic kidney disease: if the human kidneys function abnormally, an imbalance of chemicals and salts may result in peripheral neuropathy.
- Alcohol excess: high levels of alcohol could cause nerve damage.
- Injuries: tight plaster casts and broken bones could put pressure on the nerves
- Infections: some infections like HIV infection, shingles, and Lyme disease could cause peripheral nerves.
- Connective tissue diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis.
- Some inflammatory conditions: conditions like sarcoidosis and celiac disease may lead to peripheral neuropathy.
- Idiopathic (no known cause): in some people, there is no specific cause of peripheral neuropathy.
What Are Risk Factors Of Neuropathy?
Neuropathy risk factors often include:
- Alcohol abuse
- Diabetes mellitus, particularly if your sugar levels are not controlled
- Vitamin deficiencies like B vitamins
- Infections like shingles, Lyme disease, HIV, etc
Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, in which the immune system attacks your tissues
- Liver, kidney or thyroid disorders
- Exposure to toxins
- Repetitive motions like people performed for some specific jobs
- Family having a history of neuropathy
Top 16 Natural Home Remedies For Neuropathy Pain In Hands, Legs And Feet
Living with nerve pain associated with neuropathy could be a long-term proposition. It is said that some neuropathic pain could get better on its own, but that may take months or even years. Other nerve pain gets worse slowly or stays the same for many years. Some could not be reversed. Although your doctor could help you treat neuropathic pain with the most modern available therapies, there are many simple things you could do at home to take care of your pain. This article will reveal to you top 16 natural remedies which are easy to do at home for neuropathy pain in hands, legs and feet that you could practice without costs. Take a look!
1. Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels
People with high blood sugar level are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, eye problems, kidney damage, or any other complication, such as nerve damage.
The high blood sugar level is really toxic to your own nerves. When the nerve is damaged, you may feel pins and needles, tingling, sharp, stabbing pain or burning. Maintaining blood sugar stable in a healthy range is among the most crucial things to prevent damage to your blood vessels, nerves, skin, eyes, and other body parts before the complications develop.
2. Have A Healthy Diet Plan
The diet plan you are following has a direct influence on your blood glucose levels. Hence, to manage your neuropathy pain, you need to modify your diet in the way which is healthy to your blood glucose levels. Some tips you should apply to have a healthy diet plan is:
- Choosing unprocessed, whole foods
- Reducing or limiting the consumption of refined carbs, sugary drinks, and added sugars
- Drinking more water or herbal tea instead of soda juice as well as other sweetened beverages
- Consuming plenty of healthy fats and lean proteins over the refined carbs
- Using less packaged foods and checking labels for added sugars and ingredients when buying
- Managing your weight by cooking at home
- When cooking, using the techniques like steaming, baking, roasting, and broiling or frying
In terms of choosing unprocessed, whole foods, you had better eat high-fiber foods which are jam-packed with nutrients but low in artificial/sugar ingredients, such as:
- Veggies and whole fruits: all types because they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and essential electrolytes such as potassium and minerals.
- Wild-caught fish: this is important because wild-caught fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which can lower triglycerides as well as apoproteins which raise the risk of neuropathy.
- Healthy fats: found in coconut milk/oil, nuts, olive oil, avocado and seeds
- Lean protein foods
- Use no-calorie sweetener over table sugar.
3. Alpha Lipoic Acid
This is a good fatty acid produced by the body cells. It could be found in organ parts such as kidney, liver and heart. The primary function of alpha lipoic acid is converting glucose into energy which the body cells use as the main fuel. Also, it is an important antioxidant that helps fight off harmful free radicals.
You can find alpha lipoic acid in foods like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, rice bran, and potatoes.
4. Essential Oils
For thousands of years up to now, essential oils are known for their powerful healing properties. They can soothe the body and mind, and treat a number of conditions. Due to this, they are seen as natural alternatives to medication as well as effective remedies for neuropathy that you can do at home. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, could lead to pain and numbness in the impacted area. Essential oils are claimed to help relieve these symptoms. There are some of the best essential oils for neuropathy, which are:
a. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is a wildflower growing throughout the US. This oil is high in essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), omega-6s and omega-3s which are used as building blocks for some molecules in the body. The human body needs a balance of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids for good natural health. You can use evening primrose oil to treat neuropathy by taking it internally. According to the book The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs, it is advised to take 360 mg of evening primrose oil daily to lower neuropathy numbness, burning, and tingling.
- Although evening primrose oil is safe when used in recommended dosages, there are some reported side effects which are mild and rare, such as stomach pain, nausea, and headache.
- Do not use omega-6 supplements, including evening primrose if you have epilepsy and other seizure disorders, blood disorder or bleeding problems.
- Pregnant along with breastfeeding women should ask doctors before using evening primrose oil.
b. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a recommended home treatment for neuropathy pain, according to Karta Purkh Singh, the author of “The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: The Most Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Health With Traditional Ayurvedic Herbalism” book
c. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
This is great for neuropathy due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, this oil is effective in reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.
d. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is famous for its ability to relieve pain. It has a relaxing and soothing scent along with anti-inflammatory properties. Also, it is good for decreasing depression and stress.
e. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
This little-known oil may strengthen and nourish the nervous system. Also, it is a sedative, thereby helping to reduce and release stress
g. Rosewood Essential Oil
This oil is not a nerve tonic with the analgesic properties but it may reduce stress and give relaxation effects
h. Brahmi Oil
Brahmi oil is a herb infusion of the brahmi herb in any type of base oil. Brahmi oil has long been used in ancient times to increase hair growth. Also, it is a nerve tonic for the human brain as well as the nervous system when you massage it onto the scalp. Brahmi oil has therapeutic, anti-inflammatory and healing properties that make this oil a powerful solution for many problems such as eliminating bacteria and viruses, promoting the expulsion of gas in the body, alleviating pain, tightening skin, etc. You can apply brahmi oil to your body to lessen pain and inflammation. Massage the affected area with numbness and pain every day, twice per day. In no time, you will see positive results.
Some methods to administer essential oils to treat neuropathy:
- Creams and lotions: you could use creams and lotions included essential oils. You can make your own or buy ready-made lotions and creams. Add a few drops of your chosen oil to your affected areas and massage.
- Aromatherapy bath: this is a great relaxing treatment for neuropathy. Add several drops of oils to your bath water by mixing 4-6 drops of your chosen essential oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (or any carrier oil). Add the mixture to some sea salt to let the oils blend with the bath water instead of floating on top. Run a nice warm bath and soak yourself in it. Pour the salt in the bath and swirl the water to mi the salt in
You can use that bath water to massage your skin for relief. If your muscles are aching, add the oil to Epsom salt instead of table salt, prior to adding to the bath.
- Compress: using a hot/cold compress is a good way to use essential oils for neuropathy . Using a hot compress to relax and increase blood circulation while a cold compress can reduce inflammation concurrently.
5. Eat More Nuts
Nuts are high in various nutrients, such as vitamin H. Also known as biotin, vitamin H may improve the symptoms of neuropathy pain in those with diabetes. This food provides essential nutrition as well as fibre to keep the blood glucose levels under control and prevent the damaged to our nerves. It is recommended to eat from 4 to 5 nuts such as pecans, walnuts, and almonds each morning to take advantage of them for neuropathy.
6. Manage Stress
Peripheral neuropathy gets involved the nerve transporting information from the periphery to our central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The nerves could be impacted by different causes including viruses, diabetes, metabolic problems and autoimmune diseases.
Regardless of the cause of peripheral neuropathy on any sufferer, stress and anxiety have a significant negative effect on all sufferers. Therefore, it is important to control stress to manage neuropathy symptoms. To combat stress and anxiety, you should breathe better by following this technique: taking as long as 5 seconds to breathe in, holding for 2 seconds and breathing out for 7 seconds. This technique is very useful in controlling anxiety.
Also, you should learn to distract your mind from concentrating too heavily on your own body, as just by doing so, your body’s movements will feel more natural again.
Practising healing prayer, spending more of your time doing hobbies, and staying around family and friends are good stress relievers. Furthermore, acupuncture is another treatment for stress and pain caused by neuropathy.
Using Cinnamon is one of the most effective home remedies for neuropathy because it may lower the glucose level which triggers neuropathy symptoms. It is helpful to take 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon in your daily meals or try using cinnamon oil for neuropathy relief. Or, you can use cassia cinnamon supplements as an alternative.
8. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an essential dietary nutrient. A lack of this vitamin may lead to a number of conditions including neuropathy. There are some causes of B12 deficiency. A strict vegetarian diet might increase a B12 deficiency as animal-based foods like dairy products, red meat, fish, eggs and poultry are the only confirmed source of B12.
To increase vitamin B12 intake, you can eat more meat, dairy and seafood; take one B12 supplement every day providing at least 10 micrograms; eating fortified foods 2-3 times per day to get at least 3 micrograms of B12 per day. Also, take safety measures in order to compensate for the loss of sensation.
9. Protect Your Feet And Skin
You need to carefully look for any signs of nerve damage to your feet, legs, hands and skin. Check for new signs of injuries, like sores, blisters, and ulcers. Skincare and foot care are crucial parts of the treating and preventing process for neuropathy.
You had better wash your skin, feet, toenails daily, particularly in skin folds where the moisture and bacteria could build up and lead to infections.
It is advisable to wear clean clothing and socks, keep delicate skin away from the hot temperatures. Besides, you should cut your file corns, toenails, and see doctor if you have swelling, redness and infection forming.
10. Avoid Drinking And Smoking
Smoking and drinking alcohol could result in severe damage to the nerves and may worsen up the neuropathy. They also make your body deficient of some nutrients and hence should be completely avoided.
11. Exercise Regularly
Research has shown that exercising can improve muscle strength in people with neuropathy. Furthermore, it may help with peripheral neuropathy, if done regularly, might decrease the neuropathic pain and help in controlling blood glucose levels. You can include physical activities to your daily life through aerobic exercise, flexibility exercise, strength training exercise, and balance exercise. Consult a physical or occupational therapist or a healthcare provider about the exercise program which is suitable for you.
12. Kava Kava
In South Seas, kava is consumed as a beverage, like tea in England and coffee in America. Kava has effects on the nervous system and the brain in a way that is identical to narcotics. This plant has been used to treat anxiety related disorders as well. Having antispasmodic and analgesic properties, kava kava could be used to ease muscle tension, pain and cramping. If you chew on the kava root, it will numb your tongue. It is because kava has a potent topical analgesic, and two pain-relieving chemicals, which are dihydromethysticin and dihydrokavain. These chemicals are as efficient as aspirin. This plant could be applied to wounds or simply chewed to ease the pain associated with neuropathy.
13. Vitamin B9
Also known as folic acid, vitamin B9 could increase the production of red blood cells, support the cell regeneration, aid in DNA synthesis, and decrease the sciatic nerve pain in the limbs and back. It is used to improve muscle coordination, thereby protecting your sciatic nerve.
Thus, it is important to consume foods high in vitamin B9 such as beans, peas, asparagus, lima beans, mushrooms, corn, broccoli, liver, orange juice, green turnip, and avocado.
14. Vitamin C
Vitamin C could be used to strengthen the immune system and protect the sciatic nerve. You can use vitamin C to reduce your sciatic nerve pain and repair the nerve damage while improving the function of the nervous system and reducing nerve inflammation.
Therefore, do not forget to consume foods rich in vitamin C which are grapefruits, oranges, tomato, spinach, pineapple, mustard greens, cherries, strawberries, and cabbage.
15. Hot Pepper
Hot pepper is rich in capsaicin, which has both analgesic and irritant properties that may alleviate neuropathy symptoms. Hot peppers, also called cayenne peppers or chili peppers, have been used in traditional Chinese medicine, folk medicine, and Ayurveda medicine to relieve muscle pain, sinus congestion and headache. The antioxidants like vitamin A and C are also available in hot peppers. Capsaicin has pain-relieving and antioxidant properties, so it is effective on chronic pain like that of peripheral neuropathy, rather than acute and short-term pain.
- Do not let capsaicin contact wounds, cuts, eyes and mucous membranes.
- Some allergic reactions of capsaicin could be an allergy to mugwort, fennel, celery, birch pollen, and anise.
Massage is a good option which can be done at home to treat neuropathy . It can be helpful for alleviating low-back pain and improving the range of motion, lessening anxiety and depression, enhancing immunity, increasing joint flexibility, reducing cramping and spasms, and relieving migraine pain.
However, make sure that you choose the qualified massage therapist and ask doctor before using any type of massage for neuropathy.
- Most people can benefit from massage for neuropathy. Nonetheless, some forms of massage could leave you feeling sore the next day. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage or allergy to massage oil or sensitivity.
- Massage should not be done in the area with blood clots, healing or open wounds, fractures, skin infections, and weakened bones.
- Pregnant women should consult their doctors before using any form of massage therapy.
The natural remedies for neuropathy mentioned above are effective and safe for most people. Because to do these remedies, you just need natural ingredients which are easy-to-find and simple-to-use.
However, all content provided is for informational & educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you and to avoid the side effects when applying these methods. In addition, asking for healthcare professional’s advice can help you know that you have to take medicine or not.
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