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Neuropathy - Neuritis

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy is caused by abnormalities in sensory or motor nerves leading to tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, and leading to progressive muscular weakness.

What is neuritis?

Neuritis is the deterioration or inflammation of one or more nerves and can be part of a general degenerative disease such as leukemia. It too, can result in muscle weakness, loss of sensation, and even loss of reflexes. Muscles can be tender to pressure and the skin over the affected area can look glossy and cease to perspire. When optic nerve is affected, blurring and loss of vision can occur, along with pain.

What causes nerve damage?

Nerve damage can be cause by nutritional deficiencies (especially b-vitamins), bone fracture, direct blow to the area, infection, diabetes, gout, leukemia, alcohol ingestion, and toxic levels of lead or mercury.

What self-care measures may help?

Ingest the following...

* a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains

* at least 8-10 glasses of water or fresh fruit juice a day

Stay away from the following stimulants...

* Coffee, carbonated beverages, caffeine and cigarettes and cigarette smoke

Get some type of mild exercise daily---an easy stroll will work---to oxygenate tissues and bring nutrients to trauma area to assist healing

The following nutrients available at health food stores may be of use...

* Essential fatty acids (EFAs) repair nerve damage and rebuild nerves

Take flaxseed oil, following the directions on the label. You can also buy flaxseeds, grind them in a coffee grinder, and put them in salads, soups, drinks or whatever.

Eat more fish, especially herring and sardines that aren't polluted with contaminants. Take fish oil instead if you prefer.

* Lecithin granules or capsules protect nerves and repair damage

* Vitamin B complex high-stress formula to make up for deficiencies

* Multivitamin and a multimineral to make up for nutritional deficiencies

* Vitamin C with bioflavonoids in divided doses up to 6,000 mg daily to aid in nerve impulse transmission and protect against viruses

* Amino acids, e.g., Braggs Aminos; use in salad dressings, soups, and other dishes

* Chelate form of calcium (2,000 mg) and magnesium (1,000 mg) a day to aid in nerve impulse conduction and relax muscles

* fresh pineapple contains bromelain, important in digestion and to reduce swelling

The following herbs may help...

*chamomile (if not allergic to flowers) and marshmallow root have anti-inflammatory properties

*rosemary or blue vervain can relax muscles

*feverfew, white willow bark or skullcap are nervines that calm and tone nerves

When pain subsides...

Get a massage, osteopathic treatment, see a physical therapist or learn better posture

Sources and Resources

Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch and Phyllis A. Balch

The Complete Book of Natural and Medicinal Cures by the editors of Prevention Magazine

This article is for information purposes only. For treatment, consult your health care practitioner

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Content copyright © 2013 by Carolyn Chambers Clark, RN, EdD. All rights reserved.
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