Diagnosing neuropathy should of course be conducted by a medical professional. However, patients can get a better idea whether they might have it or not by looking over the most common symptoms of neuropathy – to see if those symptoms line up with what they are experiencing. They can also benefit from considering causes of neuropathic pain that might put them in a high-risk group. Finally, it is specifically worth looking at the differences between peripheral neuropathic pain and multiple sclerosis since the two conditions are so similar and, hence, often misdiagnosed.
20 million people in the United States experience neuropathy related pain or discomfort. As with many diseases, your food choices can have a big impact on your pain levels and the disease in general.
When you are experiencing chronic pain, it is critical to determine whether neuropathic pain is present. Typically, pain arises when damage or an injury occurs within the body, leading to the nerves transmitting a signal. In the case of neuropathy, though, the nerves themselves have experienced damage.
Neuropathy, or neuritis, is experienced by approximately 20 million people in the United States, including 8 percent of those aged 56 and above. As with many diseases, what you eat can have a huge impact on the pain of neuropathy and the extent to which it develops. The best approach to nutrition is from two angles: foods you should avoid and foods you should include.
At the Atlantic Medical Clinic, we treat many people for Atlanta neuropathy treatment. Since we are an integrative practice, we use both medical and natural modalities to help our patients recover. However, additional lifestyle recommendations and remedies implemented at home can be helpful too. This way, you can achieve maximum comfort and quality of life without the overuse of prescription medications.
To ease your pain and reduce your peripheral neuropathic symptoms, we suggest incorporating some of the following methods into your daily routine:
1. Check & Manage Your Feet
If foot pain is one of your neuropathic symptoms, make sure that both your shoes and socks are loose-fitting to ease the pressure and allow for optimal blood flow (1). Additionally, ensure that your feet do not have any calluses or blisters.
2. Improve Your Diet
Changes to your diet can often help alleviate neuropathy-related discomfort (2). Here are several dietary modifications that can help:
- Reduction in alcoholic beverages
- Reduction in fatty foods such as cheese and fried meat
- Increase in fresh produce
- Increase in whole grains.
3. Quit Smoking
Per the National Institute of Health, one of the primary ways an individual can treat neuropathy is to stop smoking (3). Smoking causes vascular constriction, which in turn prevents vitamins and minerals from making their way to your extremities.
4. Get Regular Exercise
The following types of exercise can be of help to reduce the pain of neuropathy:
- Aerobic exercise
- Strength-training exercise
- Flexibility exercise
- Balance exercise.
Aerobic exercise – such as walking, swimming, or cycling – should be performed for a half-hour at least every other day, though you can work up to that amount if you are out of shape. The other categories of exercise are more specific. Our physicians can be of help in this regard, but the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy outlines a few suggestions (4).
5. Massage Your Hands & Feet
The Mayo Clinic notes that enhanced blood flow and neural stimulation can be effective at treating peripheral neuropathy (5). Massage can meet these aims. Since working with a professional can be cost-prohibitive and inconvenient, self-massage (or massage by a friend or loved one) may be a viable alternative or addition to a licensed therapist.
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) affects thousands of people throughout the United States, so you are not alone. We can also help, with a comprehensive evaluation and customized treatment plan, so you can reduce pain and receive treatment with the highest quality professional care. Having both conventional and chiropractic methods at our disposal, the Atlanta Medical Clinic can guide you back to a full and active lifestyle.