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Berean Health & Temperance
Natural Treatment For Nerve Pain
The term "neuropathic pain," or nerve pain, refers to a wide range of problems that cause diseases of, or injury to, the nervous system. It is a category of pain syndromes and not a single problem. Neuropathic pain can come from malfunction of nerves or the brain associated with illness (e.g., diabetes, low thyroid, etc.), infections (e.g., shingles), pinched nerves, nutritional deficiencies (e.g., vitamin B6 and B12), injury (e.g., stroke, tumors, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis), and medication/treatment side effects (e.g., radiation and chemotherapy, AIDS drugs, Flagyl®).
It is estimated that 50-80% of diabetics will develop some nerve injury with 30-40% of these having painful diabetic neuropathy unless preventive measures are taken such as nutritional support. Neuropathic pain affects approximately 0.6-1.5% of the U.S. population and 25-40% of cancer patients. This represents over two million Americans.
Neuropathies are characterized by pain that is burning, shooting (often to distant areas), or stabbing. It also has an "electric" quality about it. Tingling or numbness (paresthesias) and increased sensitivity with normal touch being painful (allodynia) are also commonly seen. Ongoing pain is often continually present regardless of what the patient does or does not do. In some cases, pain comes in sudden attacks without any apparent trigger. Diagnosis is made predominantly by history and physical examination, as testing often offers little benefit clinically unless the testing is looking for a treatable cause.
Research has shown that many people who are labeled as having diabetic neuropathy actually experience neuropathic pain caused by vitamin B6 or B12 deficiency. In addition, the nutrients inositol has been shown to improve nerve function. The nutrients lipoic acid 300 mg 2x day, Acetyl-L-Carnitine 2,000 mg a day, Inositol (500-1,000 mg a day), and vitamins B6 (50-100 mg a day) and B12 (500-5,000 mcg a day have also been shown to be very helpful for diabetic and other nerve pains, but it can take 3-12 months to begin nerve healing. So give them time to work. Nutritional Deficiencies.
Neuropathic pain can also be caused by deficiencies of vitamins B12, B1, B6, D, E and zinc. A number of studies have shown that different kinds of nerve pain can improve by supplementation with high dose B vitamins. Excess vitamin B6 (over 500 mg a day for years), however, can also cause neuropathy. Vitamin D 2,000 units a day was also shown to decrease diabetic neuropathy pain by 47% after 3 months.