Neuropathy has many symptoms. It may start with a tingling feeling and end up with numbness. It can be a pricking, or burning sensation, loss of reflexes and muscle shrinkage, abnormal sensations, or sensitivity to touch. Its worse symptom is pain, sometimes so excruciating that a person would amputate rather then continue the pain.
It is called many names such as paresthesia, neuritis, neuralgia, dysesthensia, hypoesthesia, hypesthesia, hypalgesia, hypealgesia and hyperesthesia due to its many different kinds of symptoms.
But, what underlies all these symptoms?
They are created by a specific type of nerve damage. This nerve damage can come from too much sugar in the blood (the reason it is a side effect of diabetes). It can be caused by exposure to chemicals such as cancer treatments, poisons, alcoholism, or a side effect of some medications. It can be the result of kidney or liver failure, infectious disease or nutritional deficiencies especially B vitamins. The reasons are many; the damage they produce is the same.
What creates the problem is damage done to the outer lining of the nerve cell. Cells have coverings much like an electrical wire has an insulation of plastic. Have you ever seen a wire whose insulation is damaged – the electrical current doesn’t flow correctly. It can send electricity out from the area where it is damaged, it can stop the flow of electricity or it can damage what its supposed to be supplying electricity to.
A damaged nerve covering does the same thing. It can send out “sparks” that cause tingling, it can stop the flow resulting in numbness. It can create feelings of hot or cold or a sensitivity due to crossed signals. It can definitely cause pain especially as the damage gets worse.
The idea is to fix this outer covering. This is called the myelin sheath. What is needed is specific B vitamins. The only question is how to get these B vitamins in sufficient amounts so that the body can actually repair the damage. Isolated B vitamins that are sold at the health food stores or local drug stores get washed out of the system too quickly to fix the damage. It would be hard to take enough of this type of nutrients to make a difference. You can’t get it from vitamins made in a laboratory.
What is needed is a whole food supplement with methylcobalamine and benfotiamine and other B vitamins that the body can use to repair the cells. That is one of the functions of the body, to repair cells. But it does need specific nutrients to do its job.
Nutrients are what a body runs on. A car runs on gas. If you drive the car down the road, it uses up a steady amount of that gas. If you take that same car and speed down the freeway, you will use up a lot of gas. When you take a body “out on the freeway”, or put it under physical stress, it uses up a lot more nutrients. Thus, getting the right supplements in the right amount is important.
Just as a car won’t drive without giving it gas. A body can’t repair itself (or function correctly) without the proper nutrients it needs to “drive”. In the case of neuropathy, it needs these B vitamins.