According to the University of Chicago, malnutrition is a cause of peripheral neuropathy. This can be a result of a poor diet lacking in nutrients or drinking too much alcohol. Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage associated with numbness, tingling or pain. It’s similar to the pins and needles feeling when your foot falls asleep, but much more serious, long-lasting and severe.
This is one of the many reasons why it is a good idea to eat a balanced diet and supplement to make sure you are getting proper nutrients. B12 deficiency is also linked to peripheral neuropathy. B12 deficiency is a common condition in the US. Many medications, as well as a strictly vegetarian diet, can lead to B12 deficiency. This deficiency can lead to serious problems like anemia, nerve damage and degeneration of the spinal cord.
Signs of B12 deficiency include lack of coordination, numbness and tingles in the hands and feet, weakness, and sensory loss. There are also blood tests available that help to diagnose B12 and folate deficiencies. A neurological exam can also help with the diagnosis. There are many ways to increase B12 consumption. Supplements and eating red meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs increase B12 levels. There are also B12 injections.
Other B Vitamins
Vitamin B6 is also important to prevent neuropathy symptoms. Usually, people who are deficient in the other B complex vitamins are deficient in B6. It is common for people with organ, digestive or autoimmune issues to be deficient in B6. This nutrient is important for aiding enzyme reactions in the body and processing protein, carbs, and fat. This nutrient is also linked to functions of your nervous and immune systems.
B1 or fat-soluble benfotiamine is also crucial for nervous system function. This is used as a natural remedy for many nerve and autoimmune conditions. According to NeuropathyHelp.co B1 can enhance nerve signals, but it is quickly excreted from the body because of its water-solubility. This is why the fat-soluble benfotiamine is a better choice when it comes to B1 supplementation.
Eating a Healthy Diet
This can be a tricky subject. We all know getting proper nutrition and eliminating deficiencies can prevent or lessen many health problems. But what is a healthy diet? The general rule is the more natural and balanced the better. Unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting diet advice out there. It’s also true that the best diet for one person isn’t the best diet for another.
It’s really up to each of us to find a diet that we like and is healthy for us. Some generally accepted guidelines are to eat natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Although, many anti-inflammatory diets recommend against most grains because of gluten sensitivities. One diet will say that legumes are full of protein and fiber, while another diet will say that they should be avoided because of lectins.
Keep in mind that the first line of defense in preventative medicine is good nutrition. It is up to you to discover what good nutrition is for you is. Sticking to real foods and going heavy on the green vegetables is recommended in almost all diets. Then you get to decide which way to go with meat, dairy, grains, legumes, and fats. Part of the journey is discovering what makes you feel best.