What is Neuropathy?
If you have recurring stabbing pain in your feet, you know the extreme pain that pain involves. You can hardly walk some days or sleep some nights because your feet are in so much pain. In some cases, neuropathy feels more like numbness in a part of the body, which keeps you from protecting your skin from hot and cold. What is neuropathy? What causes it? And even more importantly, how can you ease your symptoms naturally and get your life back?
Neuropathy has several names, including nerve pain and Peripheral Neuropathy (PN). Neuropathy occurs when there is a problem with the functioning of the nerves in the periphery of the body, like the hands or feet. The nerves in these areas transmit sensation from the nervous system to the rest of the body. PN symptoms are numerous and may be connected with certain diseases or injuries. Or sometimes PN itself is the disorder.
An individual may suffer from mononeuropathy or more frequently from polyneuropathy. Mononeuropathy is when one set of nerves affects one part of the body. Polyneuropathy means that more than one set of nerves is involved in the disorder. Most individuals have polyneuropathy.
Nerve Pain Causes
In some cases, there is no understood cause for the neuropathy symptoms an individual may be experiencing. However, some of the causes of neuropathy are clearer in other cases such as:
- Alcoholism. People with alcoholism sometimes make poor choices in diet. These unfortunate choices lead to the vitamin deficiencies that can cause nerve damage.
- Diabetes is the primary cause of neuropathy. Almost half of the people with diabetes also have neuropathy.
- Autoimmune diseases. Some of the autoimmune issues that contribute to PN are Sjogren’s syndrome, Guillain-Barre syndrome, CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) and necrotizing vasculitis.
- Medications. While prescriptions can help with nerve pain, some medications, such as cancer drugs, can cause neuropathy.
- Poisons and toxins including chemicals and heavy metals.
- Viral and bacterial infections such as Lyme disease, HIV, leprosy, hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr virus, and shingles can bring on peripheral neuropathy.
- Heredity and Inherited disorders. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a hereditary cause of PN.
- Damage to the nerve. If you’ve had a vehicle accident, sports injury or a fall, damage to the spine can injure or sever the peripheral nerves, causing numbness or discomfort.
- Repetitive motion. If you type or do many types of repetitive motions at work or home, you may irritate nerves and cause PN.
- Growths such as tumors. Tumors and growths can irritate nerves and cause nerve pain or numbness whether or not the growth is cancerous. If cancer is involved in the tumor, cancer may result in neuropathy as an immune system reaction to the cancer cells.
- Vitamin deficiencies, such as a lack of B1, B6, B12, E and niacin can cause problems with the way the peripheral nerves work.
- Other diseases such as bone marrow problems, kidney disease, liver issues, and under-active thyroid and disorders of the connective tissues can cause PN.
Nerve Pain Symptoms
There are a few symptoms that are often the key to identifying a Neuropathy diagnosis. Some of these key symptoms are:
- Numbness or tingling in the legs, hands, arms or feet. These symptoms may start gradually and then start moving up the arms and legs as the neuropathy continues to develop.
- Weakness or feeling paralyzed in one part of your body if your motor nerves have PN. This symptom needs to be evaluated immediately. If you have extreme weakness or unable to move a previously mobile part of your body, seek medical aid as soon as possible to make sure you aren’t having a stroke.
- Constant pain that starts in the lower back and radiates down the back of your leg. This condition is sometimes called sciatica and means that your sciatic nerve is blocked due to a disc problem in your back.
- Extreme touch sensitivity.
- Sharp pain like jabbing, freezing, burning or throbbing pains.
- Co-ordination problems like falling.
- Changes in sweating or inability to handle the heat.
- Changes in digestion, bladder or bowel functioning.
- Fluctuation in blood pressure that causes faintness.
If you have any of these symptoms, and if the symptoms are recurring, contact your doctor. People with PN respond to treatment well when the symptoms are caught early.
PN can cause health problems and injuries and should be treated to prevent discomfort, burns, skin injury, infections, and falls.
Essential Oils for Peripheral Neuropathy
A few basic lifestyle changes can help your neuropathy symptoms. Stop smoking. Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. Improve your circulation by getting more exercise. And change your diet to healthier foods. Also, a few natural essential oils aid in providing relief from pain and numbness.
These are the Best Essential Oils for Neuropathy:
Bergamot oil is created from the bergamot orange tree. The oil has a lovely, warm orange scent. If you drink Earl Grey tea, you’ve smelled the compelling aroma of the bergamot orange and black tea combined. Bergamot can be applied directly to the affected area or mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and massaged into the sore body part.Some research says that bergamot oil inhibits the sharp, stabbing pain related to neuropathy. Merely place a few drops of the citrusy smelling oil on the sore area and massage it in. Use this essential oil alone, or combine the citrusy aroma with the healing power or ylang-ylang oil for even more positive results.
Eucalyptus essential oil is created from the leaves of the eucalyptus radiata tree. It is the preferred food of the koala bear and is also an excellent choice for treating diabetic nerve pain or other types of neuropathy. The strong aroma soothes breathing and increases relaxation, which is one way it aids a person with PN. Eucalyptus essential oil is also antispasmodic, so it will help muscles relaxed when they are stressed or in pain. It is also known since ancient times as a pain relieving topical analgesic. If nerves and skin are irritated by inflammation because of neuropathy, eucalyptus oil will help calm the inflamed area of skin and nerves beneath the skin.Add eucalyptus to your favorite unscented lotion to use as a calming rub for your feet, toes, and hands.
Dentists and other medical practitioners have used cloves and clove oil for generations to relieve pain. Whether you are using clove oil for tooth pain or nerve pain, it works similarly to benzocaine to remove the sensation of pain in the body. It blocks nerve signals from the body to the brain, giving the user a break from pain without prescription pain medications.Place a few drops in teaspoon grapeseed oil or another type of oil. Mix and apply to the area that hurts. Clove essential oil is strong, so only use a drop or two of clove oil at a time to treat neuropathy. Mix clove with bergamot or floral scents for a sweet, warm lotion that soothes and relaxes your body.Try one or a combination of these healthful oils today to ease the pain of peripheral neuropathy.
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