Please help me with pins and needles and burning. My feet feel like they are on fire.
I have diabetes and it feels awful now. I take metformin and glyburide.
What can I do?
–S.L. Boulder, Colorado
Millions of people experience nerve sensations–called neuropathies–that can range from have annoying to out-rightly painful.
Typically nerve pain is felt in the feet and descriptions run the gamut, and include: burning, shooting pain, tingling, numbness, vibration/buzzing sensations, or feeling like you got stabbed by an ice pick.
There are a number of causes for nerve pain including…
- heavy metal toxicity,
- nutrient deficiencies,
- autoimmune disorders
- and neurological conditions.
Other neuropathy-related symptoms include cystitis, urinary urgency, erectile dysfunction, loss of bladder control, poor coordination, muscle pain, weakness, trigeminal neuralgia, and dizziness when standing up.
There are medications that can help for some people. But if you do decide to take a drug just make sure to take the lowest effective dose to minimize side effects.
Statins (cholesterol lowering drug) are also known to cause neuropathic sensations.
Right now, I’d like to offer you a few inexpensive over-the-counter solutions to ease the pain.
The supplements that I recommend help shuttle more oxygen to your cells, reduce inflammation, protect the myelin wrapper around your delicate nerves, quench toxic free radicals and reduce protein kinase C (PKC). These could all be taken together.
5 drug free ways to douse your nerve pain
1. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA):
This antioxidant squashes free radicals that attack your myelin sheath and ‘fray’ your nerve wiring. You may notice effect in a few days, though most people require several weeks.
Try 200 – 250 two to four times daily or half that dose if you take R lipoic acid.
To boost this antioxidant’s effect, take it with fish oil, krill oil or DHA extract about 500 mg with food.
Found in the spice turmeric and it reduces blood sugar. Curcumin chases away a pain-causing chemical TNF as well as nitric oxide. It helps to cool the burn you feel in your nerves.
Cook with turmeric spice, but also take a supplement, 500 mg twice daily. Effects take about a month.
3. Methylcobalamin (B12):
When your body starves for B12, you lose the myelin sheath and your nerves short circuit. This can cause neuropathy and depression.
There are dozens of drug muggers of B12, including the diabetic medications that you take as well as processed foods, sugar, antibiotics, estrogen hormones and acid blockers.
A glass of wine every night can steal this nerve-protective nutrient. Candida overgrowth can snatch it too. Run low on thiamine and you will absolutely suffer with bizarre neuropathic sensations. I’d suggest about 50 to 100 mg daily for a few months, along with a low dose B-complex so you have all the other Bs on board.
Neuragen is a topical ointment sold at pharmacies and online. A study showed that it might be helpful for shingles neuralgia, diabetic or HIV neuropathy or trigeminal neuralgia.
In addition to writing a syndicated column on health which reaches 20 million people each week, Suzy is the author of a number of books on natural health.
You may have seen Suzy on The Dr. OZ Show (6 different appearances), The View, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health and hundreds of morning shows. Quotes from Suzy, as well as her articles, have also appeared in major publications including Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, OK Magazine!, First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health and Better Homes & Garden and dozens more.
Read more from Suzy at suzyCohen.com
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