5 Tips for Living with Neuropathy
It is estimated that 25 to 30 percent of Americans will be affected by neuropathy in their lifetime. If you’re a part of this group, you know firsthand how distressing this condition can be. You may feel like your lifestyle is becoming more and more limited due to your symptoms—but does it have to be this way? No! While there is currently no cure for neuropathy, there are a number of neuropathy treatment options you can try and things you can do to manage the condition, improve your neuropathy symptoms, and reduce its effect on your life.
Before we dive in to the tips for living with neuropathy, let us first learn a thing or two about it.
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy is damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves that typically results in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and pain in the affected areas. Neuropathies frequently start in your hands and feet, but other parts of your body can be affected too.
Neuropathy, also referred to as peripheral neuropathy, is the result of damage to nerve cells that send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.
What causes neuropathy?
While diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy in the U.S., other common conditions and events that may cause neuropathy include injuries, certain autoimmune disorders, some infections, and alcoholism.
What are the types of neuropathy?
The following are the four types of neuropathy:
- Autonomic neuropathy- Occurs in the nerves that control involuntary functions of the body, such as digestion, urination, or heart rate.
- Peripheral neuropathy- Affects the feet and hands. It is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy.
- Proximal neuropathy- Damages nerves along a specific distribution in the body, such as the chest wall or legs.
- Focal neuropathy- Focal neuropathy and cranial neuropathy can both lead to visual disturbances, such as double vision.
Why is neuropathy worse at night?
First is distraction. Our attention level can influence how we perceive pain. So during the day when we’re at work or taking care of the kids – we’re distracted and busy. Although there hasn’t been much research around it, the idea is that we aren’t focusing on the pain during the day because we’re busy, we pay less attention to it and perceive less pain.
Second is temperature and sleep. Another thought behind nightly neuropathy has to do with temperature. At night our body temperature fluctuates and goes down a bit. Most people tend to sleep in a cooler room as well. The thought is that damaged nerves might interpret the temperature change as pain or tingling, which can heighten the sense of neuropathy.
Also consider poor sleep quality. If you’re not sleeping very well to begin with, either due to poor sleep habits or sleep related disorders, this could lead to increased pain perception.
Now that we know the definition of neuropathy, there is only one question to ask. Can a person with neuropathy live normally? The answer is yes.
Here are five tips for maintaining an active, full lifestyle while living with neuropathy.
Work on acceptance of neuropathy
While neuropathy can be very painful and uncomfortable, a lot of the distress people experience comes from how they think about the condition. If you’re constantly thinking about how horrible the condition is, how it’s negatively affecting your life, and how you wish you could go back to how things used to be, you’re likely going to feel depressed and anxious. Instead of dwelling on the negative, work on accepting the condition and finding ways to reduce its impact on your life. This does not mean you have to like the condition. Rather, acceptance means to stop fighting against the condition, and moving forward to find what works best for you.
Stay active despite neuropathic pain
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise, such as walking three times a week, can reduce neuropathy pain and improve muscle strength. Physical activity can also help improve blood circulation, boost your mood, and manage your stress. Find a type of exercise that works for you. If walking is too painful, try swimming, biking, yoga, or rebounding on a mini trampoline.
Eat a healthy diet to reduce diabetic neuropathy pain
Adopting a diet that supports your nerves is one of the best things you can do to manage neuropathy. Certain vitamins, including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, thiamin, and vitamin E, are necessary for proper nerve function. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough of these nutrients is to eat a varied, anti-inflammatory diet. Center your diet around whole, plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, gluten-free grains, nuts, and seeds.
Use natural pain relievers for Neuropathy pain relief
Using natural pain relief products is a great way to safely and gently reduce your symptoms. Aromalief offers 3-in-1 vegan hemp lotions that relieve pain, moisturize the skin, and offer the calming benefits of aromatherapy. Aromalief’s soothing lotions contain several pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory ingredients, including hemp seed oil, menthol, glucosamine, chondroitin, L-arginine, MSM, and aloe vera. Simply rub the cream onto your painful areas as needed to instantly soothe your nerves and relax your mind. You could even ask your partner to give you a relaxing massage to further stimulate circulation to the affected areas.
Why natural pain relief creams are best for neuropathy?
Aside from various natural ways of managing neuropathy such as:
- Quitting smoking;
- Warm bath;
- Eating healthy meals,
natural pain relief creams, like Aromalief Vegan Pain Relief Creams, work wonders for diabetic nerve pain, diabetic amyotrophy, mononeuropathy, neuropathy from chemo and more. It provides temporary pain relief with the use of natural ingredients that would not irritate your skin and would not cause any other side effects.
Seek and accept support for Neuropathy
Living with neuropathy can be really challenging and isolating at times. That’s why it’s important to seek support and ask for and accept help when you need it. In addition to seeking support from family and friends, you might consider joining a chronic pain support group. These groups are great for meeting others going through similar things, learning new coping techniques, and having a place to express your feelings. You could even make some new friends in your group and start a daily walking club, or even just meet up for lunch every week.
Living with Neuropathy Making Changes
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, seeking support, and adjusting your mindset can do wonders for helping you live an active, happy life with neuropathy. You don’t have to make these changes all at once. Make changes little by little as you feel comfortable and ready. It may take a few weeks for these tips to have an effect, so stick with it—taking care of your body and mind are well worth the effort!
Please consult with your doctor before starting any pain relieving regimen. The tips provided are not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional.
NEUROPATHY BLOG POSTS
If you liked this blog post, here are the other most read posts on our site that you may be interested in.
- Why is Neuropathy Worse at Night?
- What Foods Trigger Neuropathy Pain
- 6 Effective Essential Oils for Neuropathy
- Neuropathy Pain Relief Products & Creams By Aromalief
- Alcohol and Neuropathy: 4 Drinks to Enjoy the Holidays Without Pain
AROMALIEF FREE RESOURCES
This pain tracking sheet is a simple to use form that you can print several copies and put them in a binder. You can fill it out throughout the day or every night with a warm cup of tea. Writing things down can also help to get them out of our mind.
This guide contains what we believe are essential tips to to live your best life with the help of nature. This includes: Foods, aromatherapy, meditation, routines, sleep, exercise, self care, and more. We made this guide with the hope that it will give you a starting place and push you towards living a more balanced and overall healthier life!