If you're experiencing constant burning, numbness or tingling sensations in your hands and feet, then you're probably wondering, "can neuropathy be reversed?"
In reality, the answer is not so simple. But don't worry, there is hope! Let's explore the different types of neuropathy and whether reversing the symptoms of each type is possible, and if so, how to reverse it.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy, which mostly refers to peripheral neuropathy, is the bane of many people’s lives. What’s worse, is that there is no data to estimate the prevalence of this crippling ailment.
The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that transmits signals the brain, spinal cord, and the whole body. The peripheral nerves are actively involved in sending messages like temperature changes, touch, or any other external stimuli for interpretation by the brain.
The signals control virtually all bodily functions like circulation, reproduction, digestion, respiration, and excretion. These nerves serve as wires that send information in like in a computer system.
Malfunction of the“computer system” leads to an abrupt end of all functions. This is the case of the peripheral nerves. Peripheral neuropathy is simply defined as the long list of health challenges that involve dysfunction of the peripheral nervous system.
Any form of damage that happens to the nerves of the peripheral system can lead to the following:
The symptoms of nerve damage can either range from mild to severe and, in some extreme cases, can be really fatal. These systems are highly dependent on quite a number of factors such as:
The symptoms of neuropathy can develop quickly or they might progress over a prolonged period of time. The symptoms are usually manifested in three forms: sensory nerve damage, motor nerve damage, and autonomic nerve damage.
Sensory Nerve Damage
Damage to the sensory nerve causes some challenges in the body like the inability to feel touch or vibrations in the upper and lower limbs. Sometimes, this damage might elicit a feeling of wearing socks or gloves, when it is very obvious that you are not. Sensory nerve damage also worsens the loss of reflexes and heightens the risk of loss of position sense.
Motor Nerve Damage
Muscle weakness, muscle cramps, muscle shrinkage, and muscle twitching are all symptoms of damage to the motor nerve.
Autonomic Nerve Damage
When neuropathy affects the axons of nerve fiber, it is referred to as autonomic nerve damage. Autonomic nerve damage might result in problems such as uncontrollable sweating, difficulty in the expansion, and constriction of blood vessels, gastrointestinal disorders, and the inability to tolerate heat. Sometimes, autonomic nerve damage can cause difficulty in swallowing.
Types of Neuropathy
Currently, there are over 100 known types of neuropathy, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy and each is classified according to their prognosis and symptoms. The symptoms are mainly understood through the types of nerves they affect.
Neuropathy can either affect the limbs or other organs of the body. These are the most common types of nerve damage. There exist different forms of neuropathy. Nerve damage can affect either a single nerve, two nerves, or many nerves.
As its name implies, this form of neuropathy affects just a single nerve.This type of neuropathy affects just one body part. The main types of mononeuropathy include meralgia parasthetica and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Meralgia parasthetica affects the thighs by causing pain and numbness while carpal tunnel syndrome affects the hands. Other types of mononeuropathy include ulnar nerve palsy, which affects the ulnar nerve, radial nerve palsy, and peroneal nerve palsy, which causes the infamous “foot drop” condition.
When neuropathy affects two or more nerve cells in separate regions of the body, it is multiple neuropathies.
Neuropathy which affects a large number of nerve fibers is referred to as polyneuropathy. A vast majority of conditions that cause nerve damage are polyneuropathic in nature. These include diabetic neuropathy. The most common type of neuropathy is the type caused by diabetes.
Guillain-Barre Neuropathy is a polyneuropathy that arises from autoimmune complications. The immune system launches an attack on the nerves in the same body. Alcoholic neuropathy which is due to alcohol overuse. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy is a prolonged form of Guillain-Barre neuropathy which can last for a very long time.
A major type of lingering neuropathy is complex regional pain syndrome which affects small fibers.
Can Neuropathy Be Reversed?
The good news regarding peripheral neuropathy is that peripheral nerve cells grow throughout a person’s lifetime so there is always room for renewal of damage or dead cells.
Through clinical trials as well as ongoing treatment, many patients have reportedly felt good as new after early detection of neuropathy and time intervention were carried out. How reversible a particular neuropathic condition will also depend on if the neuropathy is acquired—whether it is hereditary or idiopathic.
Neuropathy which is caused by environmental factors like illness, infection, or injury is called acquired neuropathy and they are the most easily reversed because their root causes can be traced.
Some of the causes of this type of neuropathy include diabetes, alcoholism, nutrient deficiency, cancer, or kidney problems. The condition occurs as a result of these diseases are very easy to address and the affected body parts usually resume their normal functions after timely intervention.
One of the rarest forms of neuropathy is the type which can be passed from parents to their offspring. The only known form of hereditary neuropathy is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Type 1, a disease characterized by weakness in the extremities. This neuropathy cannot be reversed—the symptoms can only be managed.
Neuropathies that have roots which cannot be traced are tagged “idiopathic neuropathies.” About a third of neuropathies fall within this group and how well they can be reversed depends on their severity and the length of time they have been in existence. In most cases, when reversal is almost impossible, the doctor will try different treatment to manage the symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, stated: “let food be thy medicine, and medicine their food.” Many people do not know the weight this statement carries. Virtually all forms of neuropathy progress from mild to severe forms when the nutrient stores of the body, especially the vitamin stores, are depleted.
This is why it is important to keep your micro-nutrient levels healthy. The best way to ensure that all vitamins required for the maintenance of healthy nerves are supplied to your body from exogenous sources other than your diet.
Try Nutritional Supplements
The go-to means is by supplementation. It has been proven that with the right supplement, nerve damage can be abated, if not reversed completely.
One of the best brands of nutritional supplements out there is the Nerve Renew supplement. Nerve Renew is a high-quality product that contains ingredients that play a pivotal role in keeping the nerves in good health.
Some of these ingredients include the bio available forms of vitamins B1 and B12, and a strong anti-oxidant called R-Alpha lipoic acid, or Alpha-lipoic acid.
Nerve Renew not only has the potential to reverse nerve damage, but it can also relieve the symptoms associated with the dysfunction.