Published on May 2nd, 2015 | by Dr. Doug Pucci0
Gauging the Severity of Peripheral Neuropathy Pain
Nerve pain is a serious warning sign of disease, and tingling or burning in the arms and legs may be an early sign of damage to a single nerve or a group of nerves, and can affect the whole body. Diabetes is the most common cause of this type of nerve problem. It’s an indicator of high blood sugar and poor insulin response, which leads to nerve cell death and other, equally serious complications.
People with nerve problems often have difficulty digesting food. They feel full and experience heartburn after eating only a little. All too often, they are taking one or more over-the-counter medications for acid reflux and bloating, not realizing that the unchecked nerve damage is related. For some, it deeply affects the digestive system, resulting in involuntary vomiting of food that has not been digested well, creates problems with swallowing or problems of waste elimination and the ability to clear the bowels.
These two problems of digestive problems and nerve pain are related because nerve damage causes problems with bodily organs and their ability to function. Another example of this is feeling lightheaded or fainting upon standing. There are several possible root causes of this, including unstable blood sugar, poor blood pressure or weak adrenal gland response. But another primary cause is that the nerves to the heart are weak. Angina is the term that used to describe the chest pain warning sign prior to a heart attack. Nerve damage can hide this warning sign. Sudden fatigue, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting (all sympathetic responses) are warning signs, as well.
Over-the-counter treatments for nerve pain include topical creams and ointment painkillers, pharmaceutical painkillers and nutritional supplements. Topical painkillers include ingredients that work as a local anesthetic, numbing the pain in the area where we apply them. An obvious disadvantage of topical treatments is that we apply them externally, never at the source.
Some people with neuropathic pain turn to familiar over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen. With mild, sporadic and very occasional pain, they decrease inflammation enough to reduce pain. With chronic pain, they’re useless. There’s also a risk that we might begin to rely on these medicines too much. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, prescription painkillers are considered a major contributor to the total number of drug deaths. In 2007, for example, nearly 28,000 Americans died from unintentional drug poisoning and of these, nearly 12,000 involved prescription pain relievers.
To really get at the cause of nerve pain, we have to look at several factors. Is there an oxygen deficit that is causing the brain to panic? Healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen and keep nerve cells healthy are in short supply. The most common cause of pernicious anemia is the loss of stomach cells that make intrinsic factor, which itself helps the body absorb vitamin B12 into the intestine. Is there a chronic liver infection or kidney disease? The main function of these organs is to remove wastes and excess water and filter the bloodstream. Is there an underlying autoimmune condition such as lupus or Hashimoto’s? Poisoning due to heavy metals, such as lead? Or an unwanted side effect of high blood pressure meds?
Dr. Doug Pucci, DC, DPSc, FAAIM, regularly offers in-office seminars presenting the latest science and clinical data on neurotoxic illness, hormone imbalances and chronic disease. He provides nutrition, toxicology, comprehensive testing for health biomarkers, brain and body care. For more information, call 201-261-5430 or visit GetWell-Now.com.