Peripheral Neuropathy Treatments
Currently, there are few options for neuropathy sufferers. Unfortunately, the most common remedies are short sighted and usually involve the use of prescription medication, injection therapy, and physical therapy. Surgery may be needed to treat some causes of neuropathy (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome).
In many cases, prompt diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause can reduce the risk for permanent nerve damage. For example, controlling diabetes may reduce diabetic neuropathy and in extreme cases renal dialysis often improves neuropathy that develops as a result of chronic renal failure. Removing toxicity inside the body and minimizing toxin intake are important for for long term wellness.
Prescription drugs can only relieve the pain temporarily, and do little or nothing to mitigate or cure the underlying condition. They may provide some level of temporary relief, but as the disease progresses, the effective dosage of the drug needed to continue suppressing the pain increases concurrently. The side effects of these types of drugs can be difficult to deal with and even add to the patient’s discomfort. When the increased drug dosage reaches a threshold level, the patient can become confused, ataxic, constipated, confined to a wheelchair or may become bedridden. Symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s can follow.
Because analgesics (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen) are usually ineffective against pain caused by neuropathy, treatment often involves medications that target nerve cells.
Duloxetine hydrochloride (Cymbalta®) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Common side effects include constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, and nausea. In some cases, Cymbalta® causes dizziness and hot flashes.
Although anticonvulsants such as gabapentin (Neurontin®) and topiramate (Topamax®) and antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil®) are not approved by the FDA to treat neuropathy, they are often prescribed to treat this condition. Side effects of these drugs include drowsiness, dizziness, low blood pressure, and fatigue.
Other medications include anticonvulsants (e.g., carbamazepine [Tegretol®], lamotrigine [Lamictal®]), local anesthetics (e.g., lidocaine [Xylocaine®]), and antiarrhythmics (e.g., mexiletine [Mexitil®]). Anticonvulsants may cause low white blood cell counts, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Side effects of lidocaine and mexiletine include nervousness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and double vision.
Topical treatment with capsaicin cream (Zostrix®) may be prescribed for patients with focal neuropathy. Capsaicin causes stinging upon application and is often combined with a local anesthetic to reduce this side effect. Axsain® (.25% capsaicin in Lidocare® vehicle) contains a higher dose of capsaicin in a cream that reduces stinging and burning. Lidoderm® (lidocaine patch 5%) has been shown to be helpful for localized areas of tingling or burning.
Pregabalin (Lyrica®) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat post-herpetic neuralgia (shingles pain). Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, weight gain, and swelling (edema).
Injection therapy involves injecting a nerve block (e.g., lidocaine) into the area surrounding affected nerves, preventing the nerve from carrying impulses to the brain and temporarily reducing symptoms. Injection therapy is often used with other treatments (e.g., medication, physical therapy).
Discontinuing medication and exposure to the substance may eliminate neuropathy caused by medication and toxins. Pay close close attention to see if pain, numbness, tingling subside.
Physical therapy (e.g., exercise, massage, heat) and acupuncture (i.e., insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body) may be used to treat symptoms.
"Alternative" Peripheral Neuropathy Treatments
If you talk to your doctor, you will probably be told that there is no cure for neuropathy, period. While in some cases this may true, in many other cases, a cure may in fact be possible. Not just a short term masking of pain like drugs, but true long term results can be achieved. The following approaches can be very powerful, especially when protocols are combined. As we discuss on the "causes" page, several variables can be working against you at the same time. The simple holistic, or "alternative" approach is to address the CAUSAL factors and also employ the use of aggressive neuro-stimulus.
Aggressive Neuro-stimulus: The Rebuilder
The Rebuilder cures neuropathy for the vast majority. The ReBuilder’s patented electrical stimulation dedvice has been proven 95% effective in recent clinical studies in reducing and even REVERSING the symptoms of neuropathy. Unlike common TENS devices that merely block pain signals, the ReBuilder does the opposite... the ReBuilder opens up the nerve paths and re-educates them so that normal signals can finally get through. The increase in blood flow from the ReBuilder causes muscle contractions and actual healing can be accomplished, not just masking your pain.
We know that anoxia (lack of oxygen) is a major contributing factor to peripheral neuropathy. (and many other diseases) It should also be remembered that oxygen is also one of the most important internal cleansing agents. Oxygen brings life and healing power into our bodies, but it also helps remove toxic loads on our body, which is one of the causal factors of peripheral neuropathy. (and many other diseases) Any long term healing effort should include an oxygenation protocol.
Clinical setting treatments may include Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments (HBOT); intravenous (blood transfusion); breathing masks; nasal cannula (tube through sinus), and more.
Home use therapies can include simple breathing exercises or a prescription breathing mask device. HBOT chambers for the home are now available. However, most products use water as the carrier to deliver the much needed O2. Below are some of our favorite oxygen products for home use.
Several key nutrients must be available for optimal nerve health. Deficiencies in these vitamins be direct cause, or can exacerbate, a neurological disorder like peripheral or optic neuropathy.
Vitamins to make sure you're getting include the following:
Vitamin B12 supports the myelin sheathing that protects nerve cells and axial fiber, and has been shown in studies that it promotes the regeneration and growth of nerve cells. Neuropathy has been found to be caused and made worse by deficiencies of vitamin B12 in the body. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of the vitamin in your diet.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is essential in energy-yielding metabolism, especially carbohydrates, and for nerve conduction. It has been known for some time that increased levels of Thiamine (B1) in the blood stream are very effective in reducing and even reversing neuropathy symptoms. It is needed by the body to heal the nerve damage. It doesn't last long in the body, so several daily doses may be needed. Deficiency results in the disease beriberi—degeneration of the sensory nerves in the hands and feet, spreading through the limbs, with fluid retention and heart failure. Relatively acute deficiency, associated with alcohol abuse, results in central nervous system damage. (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome)
Folic acid or folate. Folic Acid is a B vitamin. It is crucial for the health of the heart; enhances healthy blood and DNA formation; and increases stamina, endurance and tolerance to stress. Folic Acid is water-soluble, which means it cannot be stored in the body. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of the vitamin in your diet. An important ingredient needed by our bodies for proper B12 metabolization.
Co-Q10 (Coenzyme Q 10) is the enzyme required to make cell energy (ATP) from blood sugar/glucose and oxygen. As one of the electron carriers in the electron transport system, it helps cells utilize oxygen very efficiently. Since an adequate supply of oxygen is necessary for tissue repair and immune function, numerous therapeutic effects of coenzyme Q10 have been reported; most notably in areas where oxygen deficiency is a known causal factor.
Eliminate Contributing Factors
Toxic load on our bodies is becoming down right scary. Immune diseases of ALL kinds are skyrocketing. Cancers, MS, asthma, A.D.D., heart disease, and neuropathy are just a few. In order to truly rehabilitate ourselves from any health condition, including neuropathy, we must always address the issue of toxic load on our bodies.
Ozone is not just another disinfectant. Ozone is a true sterilant. It has the ability to completely destroy not only bacteria, but also viruses, spores, fungus, mold, mildew, cysts, and many other contaminants (solvents, dyes, PCBs, metals, etc.) while at the same time breaking down dissolved organic materials by oxidation. Excellent body detoxifier.
Statements about neuropathy, oxygen, vitamins, and others topics are for information only and should not in any way be used as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other licensed health care practitioner. Statements about neuropathy and the ReBuilder have not been reviewed by the FDA. Suggestions and ideas presented here should not be interpreted as medical advice, meant for diagnosing illness, or for prescriptive purposes.