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Peripheral neuropathy



Peripheral neuropathy is defined as weakness, numbness, and pain from nerve damage, usually in the hands and feet. This description describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. Most people suffer from peripheral neuropathy as a related symptom to conditions that include anything from diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism to poisoning from heavy metals, chemotherapy, and nutritional deficiencies. Injuries and exposure to certain pathogens like cold can also cause peripheral neuropathy to a person that is weaker than normal. Through the lens of TICM, peripheral neuropathy can absolutely be a by product of the above conditions. In addition, pathogens that we refer to as the six evils play a starring role especially the pathogen known as dampness. Dampness is a pathological factor that can either invade us from the outside or arise from an internal imbalance creating a moist internal environment that is swamp like. Causes arise from food, lifestyle, environment, and internal disharmony. The most common cause is generated when the Spleen is imbalanced and not able to digest properly, causing excess fluid that becomes sticky and heavy and can turn into phlegm. Food and nutrition are the number one action to improve this. Symptoms of PN: Paralysis. Twitching. Muscle loss. Muscle weakness. Motor nerve damage. Tingling or prickling sensation. Loss of balance and coordination. Stabbing, sharp or burning pain/cramps. Extreme sensitivity to touch, even a gentle touch. Numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature especially in the arms and legs.

Treatment:

East more foods that are warm and cooked.

Do not skip breakfast.

Reduce snacking, focus on complete and satisfying meals.

East good quality proteins with a variety of vegetables and a bit of white rice, rice noodles or sweet potatoes.

Make your foods as easily digestible as possible like congee (rice porridge) with bone broth on the side.

Avoid overeating, diary, greasy foods, fried foods, cold beverages and too much starch.

Acupuncture: using acupuncture needles at certain points has been demonstrated to improve PN and neuropathic pain because of the opening of the Blood and energy flow to the area.

Herbal medicine to tonify, remove pathogens and create a stronger body.

Ginger powder tea improves circulation by increasing the warm energy (Yang) within the channels, thus reducing inflammation in metabolic conditions like diabetes which is one of the main causes of PN.

Magnesium rich foods help the Blood vessels relax and for energy production and bone development.

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