Peripheral Neuropathy Natural Treatments

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that causes weakness, pain, and numbness in your extremities (typically the hands and feet).

Your peripheral nerves send messages from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. When those nerves are damaged, these messages are interrupted and affect how your body responds to pain, temperature, and other reflexes.

It’s often a result of damage to the peripheral nerves. A few things can cause this damage:

  • diabetes mellitus
  • traumatic injury
  • alcoholism
  • infection

The effects of peripheral neuropathy can develop suddenly or can spread slowly over time.

Treatment methods vary depending on the cause of the condition. Many natural and traditional methods focus on alleviating pain symptoms.

Symptoms from peripheral neuropathy depend on the type of nerves damaged. The three types are motor nerves, sensory nerves, and autonomic nerves.

Motor nerves

Your motor nerves send messages from the brain to the muscles so you can control your movements.

If your motor nerves are affected, you may experience symptoms including:

  • muscle weakness or atrophy
  • difficulty moving your arms or legs
  • muscle spasms or uncontrolled twitching
  • decreased reflexes

Sensory nerves

Sensory nerves send messages from other body parts to the brain and trigger your senses. When you experience a cold sensation or touch something sharp, you are using your sensory nerves.

If your peripheral neuropathy affects your sensory nerves, you may experience:

  • tingling or numbness
  • sensitivity to touch
  • decreased sensation
  • inability to feel temperature changes or pain with hot and cold
  • loss of reflexes and coordination

Autonomic nerves

These nerves control involuntary and semi-voluntary functions including blood pressure, heart rate, bladder functions, and sweating.

If your autonomic nerves are affected from peripheral neuropathy, you may experience symptoms including:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness while standing or changing position from sitting to standing
  • excessive sweating
  • inability to control bowel and bladder functions
  • irregular heart rate
  • difficulty swallowing

Treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on the cause. Some common treatments involve physical therapy, surgery, and injections for increased nerve pressure. Other treatments focus on reducing pain and discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

There are also a number of natural treatments to help reduce symptoms and peripheral neuropathy.

1. Vitamins

Some cases of peripheral neuropathy are related to vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin B is essential for your nerve health. A deficiency can lead to significant nerve damage.

While you can get vitamin B from your meals, your doctor may also recommend taking a supplement. Stick to the recommended dose to prevent toxicity and worsening symptoms.

Vitamin D can also help prevent nerve pain. Your skin typically produces vitamin D in response to sunlight. A deficiency can cause neuropathy pain. Taking a supplement can help reduce the symptoms of neuropathy.

2. Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, an ingredient in hot peppers that makes them spicy. Capsaicin has been used in topical creams for its pain relief properties. It decreases the intensity of pain signals sent through the body.

Incorporating cayenne pepper in your diet or taking a capsaicin supplement can help to reduce neuropathy pain.

Topical capsaicin ointments can also be used on the body. Although it may initially burn, continued use will gradually reduce neuropathy sensations.

Be sure to discuss this treatment method with your doctor before using it to prevent adverse symptoms.