Mailbag! Burning and Numbness in Hands and Feet? Try THIS

I suffer from peripheral neuropathy, and I know there aren’t any cures out there, but I was wondering if you had any tips or tricks for dealing with it?

–Richard from Dallas, TX

Richard,

You’re in good company. Around 20 million Americans suffer from peripheral neuropathy (PN).

PN can cause anything from an annoying tingling or throbbing to a painful stabbing or burning sensation in your hands and feet. And it’s often accompanied by an uncomfortable numbness.

Most folks who develop PN are diabetic. Out-of-control blood sugar damages the nerves interfering with their ability to send signals.

Over time, high blood sugar weakens the walls of the small blood vessels that supply the nerves with essential oxygen and nutrients.

To begin with, it’s critical to reign in out-of-control blood sugar. This will stop further damage to the nerves.

One of the best ways to do that is to switch to a low-carb diet. And add in some regular exercise for better blood sugar control and improved circulation.

For folks that need it, the herbal extract berberine and the mineral chromium can offer extra support to bring blood sugar into line.

Then certain dietary supplements can reduce PN symptoms and protect against further nerve damage.

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). This powerful antioxidant protects healthy nerves against tissue-damaging oxidative stress. Plus, it can help lower glucose levels. In several small studies, volunteers taking an ALA supplement had less pain and improved function on nerve performance tests. I typically recommend taking 300–1,200 milligrams daily to my patients.

CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10). Another potent antioxidant, CoQ10 is found throughout our bodies. It’s used for energy production and to protect against oxidative damage. CoQ10 lowers inflammation and can help with blood sugar control. In a small double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study supplementing with CoQ10 for 12 weeks cut PN tingling and pain in half (or more) in many cases. I typically suggest taking 400 milligrams daily.

Fish oil. The omega-3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in fish oil have anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-3s maintain nerve cell structure and support nerve regeneration. And research shows that higher dosages if omega-3s can reduce neuropathic pain. I recommend between 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams a day.

B vitamins. Everything your nerves do requires B vitamins. They’re vital for optimum nerve function and repair. And deficiencies in these essential nutrients can reduce nerve function and lead to nerve damage. B supplements can help relieve PN nerve pain. I typically suggest taking a B-complex to cover all the bases.

Be sure to check with your own doctor before starting on any new supplement.

P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here to submit your questions and get featured in the weekly mailbag!

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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