Neuropathy, usually known as Peripheral Neuropathy, is a degenerative nerve disease or damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous system (usually the arms and legs). Degenerative means it gradually gets worse instead of better. Neuropathy is marked by shooting pains or burning sensations. There is often numbness, tingling, and weakness associated with it. It can be caused by physical injuries such as car accidents, falling, or repeated impacts during sports. Infections, toxins, drugs, and vitamin deficiency can also cause or contribute to Neuropathy. In a small percentage of cases, it was caused by chemotherapy to defeat cancer. In other words, the cure for one disease caused another.
Once you have Peripheral Neuropathy in your arms, legs, feet, hands, etc., it can’t be reversed, but it can be stopped where it is and prevented from going any further. First and foremost, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle including plenty of exercise, balanced diet, and vitamins and supplements.
Prescriptions vs Supplements
Depending how advanced the symptoms are, you may have to consider whether to treat them with prescription medicines or just with supplements. You might consider a combination of the two. We’re not doctors, but let’s take a quick look at the known risks and benefits of each then we’ll wrap it all up at the end.
There are numerous prescription medications used to treat Peripheral Neuropathy. Since they are prescriptions, you’ll have to be diagnosed by doctor who will then prescribe them for you. They will only be available for purchase at a pharmacy. If anyone offers you a medication that doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription or is available over the counter, it isn’t an actual prescription and you should be extremely cautious about the person offering it to you and their motives.
Some of the more well known prescription medications for treating Peripheral Neuropathy are Carbamazepine, Duloxetine, Gabapentin, Levocarnitine, and Pregabalin. There are many others besides these. Don’t bother trying to pronounce them, you’ll just sound like you’re gargling with rocks.
Patient reviews of these medications are mostly positive but some side effects are quite severe. Some, but not all of them, are blurred vision, cognitive dysfunction (confusion), constipation, dizziness (vertigo), drowsiness, fatigue, fever, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, seizures, and weight gain. The specific side effects will vary depending on which medication your doctor prescribes for you.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about supplements in detail but for now, a quick overview should suffice. There are dozens and dozens of herbs, vitamins, extracts, and natural oils you can take that are all natural and will strengthen your body’s immune system, cardiovascular system, central nervous system, and overall health.
Some are the ordinary vitamins you’re already familiar with; B2, B6, D, E, K, and so on. There is also zinc, magnesium, fish oil, and St John’s Wort among other well known supplements and additives to your diet. All of these, taken properly, will contribute to your body’s health and ability to fight Peripheral Neuropathy.
Some of the oils may be ones you’re not familiar with, or may cause you to raise an eyebrow when you hear about them. A prime example is CBD oil, which comes from the cannabis sativa plant. Yes, that’s right, marijuana or hemp plants. CBD (cannabidiol) can be extracted from hemp plants, which makes it legal in all 50 states. It doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) so it won’t get you high. What it will do is help relieve neuropathic pain.
Incidentally, not all of the supplements have come in the form of pills or oils. Many of them can be obtained just by eating the right things. For instance, magnesium can be found in brown rice, peanuts, Mackerel, and spinach. Now you know why Popeye always ate his!
Which Is Best?
So, which is best, prescription medications or supplements. Neither. It’s a trick question.
There are many instances when modern medicine is the only way to alleviate the intense pain and suffering of Peripheral Neuropathy. There’s a reason our ancestors lived lives that were so much shorter than ours – they didn’t have access to modern medicines. The only thing they had was supplements.
That being said, they didn’t have access to the scientific knowledge about how supplements work and which ones are best for which condition. Today, we do have that knowledge. That means we have more of both than they did, and we should use more of both. The results will be a healthier, happier life.