Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of the hands and especially the feet where nerves degrade and produce burning, pain and numbness. This occurrence increases with age, vitamin B deficiency, chronic disease, mineral deficiencies, environmental toxins and certain drugs.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2000 reported on a study of 2,873 men and women, ranging in age from 40 upward. The results of the study found 14.8% overall had peripheral neuropathy. Diabetics led the group with this condition. Amazingly 62% of those with diabetes also had peripheral neuropathy.
The incidence of peripheral neuropathy increases with age. Those in the age group from 40 to 49 years only had 8.1%; whereas those over 80 had 34.7%.
A vitamin B deficiency of B-12 increases with age because your body is less efficient at assimilating and moving this large molecular vitamin through the digestive track into the blood stream where it must go. An easy test and solution to this problem is I.V. injections directly into the blood. Blood tests and a qualified medical doctor are important to this remedy.
Hormones can be disruptive to neurologic function and this is especially true of insulin and thyroid hormones. As mentioned already 62% of diabetics were found to have peripheral neuropathy due to disrupted insulin metabolism. The thyroid hormone is likewise a problem because it is necessary for proper metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The B vitamins are especially important here and are affected by disrupted thyroid hormones.
Any chemicals that poison hormones or essential nutrients are problematic and likely causes for the resultant neuropathy. This includes environmental chemicals, excessive intake of non-food substances like artificial foods and even prescription drugs. These thwart proper assimilation of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and hormones. The statin drugs that lower cholesterol are known culprits in this regard. Methotrexate, a cancer and arthritis drug is also a believed culprit.
Frank Shallenberger, M.D. reports in his February 2011 Real Cures newsletter on successful treatment for neuropathy. The most beneficial and effective remedies that he cites are:
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). This essential omega fatty acid is important to nerve, brain and heart health. It is important to glucose and insulin metabolism and thereby helps level the otherwise damaging insulin excess. (It was shown in one study to improve insulin sensitivity and thereby improve cellular uptake and reduce excess glucose and triglycerides.) Dr. Shallenberger recommends 600 mg of r-alpha lipoic acid twice a day.
- Intravenous injections of the B vitamins that contain B-12 (methylcobalamin) & folic acid (You need a doctor to test and provide proper injections)
- Hormone balance of the thyroid and insulin hormones
- Fish oil (they contain the essential omega 3 fatty acids)
- Amino acids, L-arginine, L-glutamine, taurine, N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
- Minerals: zinc, magnesium, chromium
- Nitric oxide…this dilates blood vessels and improves flow to the peripheral tissues and reduces the neurologic deficiencies. L-arginine amino acid is a supplement that helps trigger the production of nitric oxide.