Jenna is only 28 years old but she has had nerve pain for as long as she could remember. More alarmingly, she was misdiagnosed for years before her doctors finally figured out that she had a specific type of neuropathy.
It was when she was 10 that she experienced her first episode of neuropathic pain. It started in her leg and she recalled that the pain wasn't the common throb or ache. She felt a deep burning and pulsating sensation that made her believe something was wrong with her bones.
Then at the age of 12, Jenna felt excruciating headaches that are unlike anything she's ever felt before. The pain was severe and it seemed to be moving from one part of her head to another. And it's the sort of pain that blurred her vision and made her wince.
As she grew older, her symptoms became worse and she even experienced difficulty urinating and recurring diarrhea.
Her doctors ran a bunch of tests, only to come to the conclusion that she was a perfectly healthy individual. But the pain and bladder problems persisted, reaching a point where her life was seriously affected.
After a debilitating pain attack in her early twenties, Jenna's doctors ordered a series of scans. Only then did they realize she had fibromyalgia.
It's unfortunate that she had to go through all that pain and discomfort before getting that diagnosis. Had the doctors discovered what was wrong from the start, she could have used natural remedies to relieve the symptoms and prevent them from getting worse. These treatments could include regular exercise, use of primrose oil, blood sugar management, and lots more.
Let's explore more about the natural treatment of neuropathy
Exercise is a very common recommendation for a host of conditions. But in order to understand how exercising can help nerve pain, you have to first know about the mechanisms of pain.
Recent research identified an enzyme in the body that affects spinal cells and boosts the production of proteins that cause inflammation. In essence, it is this enzyme that sends the wrong messages to the body and brain of those with neuropathy, and the brain would then register those signals as pain.
This condition can worsen if left untreated.
But in 2010, the American College of Sports Medicine found a number of exercises that can affect the pain mechanism mentioned above. They further put together an exercise routine aimed at improving one's vascular system and muscle tone.
Neuropathy patients can expect less numbness, stinging sensation, and fatigue after exercising, especially when done regularly. It's because regular exercise also amplifies your body's natural production of antioxidants for the reduction of inflammation.
In effect, guided physical activity balances out the body's neurological, metabolic, and hormonal activity. As a result, any neuropathic symptoms would become less pronounced, perhaps so much so that you, as a neuropathy sufferer, can return to a normal life.
However, this is not to say that regular exercise is a cure for nerve pain. It just has the ability to reduce or quiet some of the most debilitating symptoms.
Did you know that about 30% of American adults are diabetic?
The stats are especially alarming when you consider that diabetic neuropathy is among the common complications.
But what can you do to keep your blood sugar levels in check?
It always starts with keeping in mind what you put into your body.
First, do your best to eat as much unprocessed food as possible. Reduce or at least limit the number of refined carbohydrates and sugars consumed.
Wild-caught fish should become a staple in your diet for its rich omega-3 content. Consuming this reduces the levels of apoprotein and triglyceride in your body, which are the main triggers of diabetes-related complications.
In addition, it's important to keep your sodium intake at a healthy level, which is 2,300mg a day.
According to a 2015 study, the body always works hard to regulate sodium levels, even if only off by a fraction. But neuralgia may affect that natural regulatory mechanism and lead to complications and more pain.
Last but not least, you're going to want to stay hydrated. The recommendation is to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water daily. That's easy to exceed if you include more water-rich fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Antioxidants are among the most potent chemicals in the body for their anti-inflammatory properties. By extension, they can significantly reduce nerve pain.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic even discovered that certain antioxidants can change the mechanism of blood supply to the nerves, in effect quelling or rectifying the faulty messaging and relieving pain.
So, what kinds of food are rich in antioxidants?
Some may be thrilled to learn that dark chocolate is included in the list, as it's loaded with antioxidants. But this does't mean that you should just binge on chocolate, particularly if you're diabetic.
Artichokes, strawberries, and goji berries are also great sources of antioxidants, as well as kale and some other leafy greens. But since you can't exactly go overboard on leafy greens or berries, you can just incorporate them into your meals daily. Just remember to eat them raw or as unprocessed as possible.
For example, steaming is a great way to cook leafy greens as it retains all the nutrients. It also preserves much of the texture and you might find some greens to taste better when steamed.
When combined with antioxidants and vitamin E, primrose oil is among the most effective remedies for nerve pain. In fact, a 2014 study involving diabetes-induced neuropathy patients at the Diabetic Centre, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, can confirm this.
Impressively, the study found that close to 90% of participants experienced relief after taking primrose oil with antioxidants and vitamin E.
But how does Primrose affect pain?
For one, it has the power to normalize glucose levels
It's rich in omega-6 and linoleic and gamma-linoleic acids. These acids are critical in the protection of myelin, the sheath around the neurons that allows the electrical impulses to travel efficiently and quickly. Moreover, linoleic and gamma-linoleic acids also protect the neural membrane.
Why is this important?
It's because diabetes is known to damage myelin and causes a slowdown of neural activity. If the electrical impulses can't reach the right areas of the brain, those affected may start experiencing nerve pain.
Your nerves and neural membranes do not self-repair, which is why it's vital for neuropathy sufferers, including those without diabetes, to use the right supplements such as primrose oil to achieve this effect.
Not that long ago, a group of scientists conducted a trial study to determine the effects of acupuncture on neuropathic pain. Although further clinical trials are necessary, the preliminary results were really promising.
The scientists observed neural conductivity, or the ability to relay impulses/information, and patients' own assessment of the symptoms. They then recorded the progress of the 192 participants for a year, with 21 of them receiving acupuncture treatment in accordance with the Heidelberg Model related to the principles of traditional Chinese Medicine.
Close to 80% of the patients who underwent acupuncture treatment reported better neural conductivity with improved subjective sensations of pain. Of the 14% who didn't experience any improvement, their symptoms didn't worsen either. It was only the remaining two patients who reported otherwise.
This is, all in all, a highly encouraging development and may be reason enough for you to want to give acupuncture a try.
Ideally, you will want to combine all the above natural treatments for an all-encompassing remedy for neuropathy. Yes, that might require some lifestyle changes and discipline. But if it means going back to leading a pain-free life, the tradeoff is worth it.
The simplest thing you could do right now is changing your diet. After all, removing processed foods, sugars, and other unhealthy foods from your diet is not that difficult.
But why stop at that? You can further combine your diet with exercise and also see if acupuncture can be of help.
Now, you might not feel the effects for some time, even if you're to adopt most of the above. There is, however, another remedy that can help alleviate the pain faster and it works great with other natural treatments.
Nervexol contains all-natural ingredients, including the most critical vitamins and antioxidants. What's more, Nervexol doesn't have any known side effects, which can't be said of most prescription medications.
Click here to find out more about Nervexol and its pain-relief properties.