Neuropathy & Diet: Does it Matter?

Neuropathy & Diet: Does it Matter?

Neuropathy & Diet

Patients and caregivers must be conscientious of diets that may help to alleviate peripheral neuropathy symptoms, as well as the foods that may increase these symptoms. Knowing how the body responds to certain foods may be key to reducing peripheral pain.

Your nerves need the right balance of nutrients to function properly, and they are also vulnerable to toxins. So what you eat and drink, as well as how your body absorbs the nutrients from what you consume, can contribute to or exacerbate neuropathy, or peripheral nerve damage.

If your doctor assesses you for neuropathy, you may receive blood and urine tests for related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and celiac disease, and be screened for nutrient deficiencies, excesses, and toxicities.

After we see the results of these tests, we’ll talk with you about them, but the question is can your diet really help your pain?

Yes! 


How a balanced diet fights neuropathy pain 

When you’re taking care of someone who is suffering from neuropathy, it can be difficult as a caregiver to monitor their intake of salty foods, soft drinks, and carbohydrates. These foods are quickly digested, increasing blood sugar levels and contributing to increased inflammation in the body. Extra sodium in the bloodstream can lead to elevated blood pressure, which can slow blood flow and lead to peripheral nerve damage.

Caregivers should focus on incorporating foods with anti-inflammatory properties into a balanced diet. These foods include whole grains, lean meats, vegetables, nuts, and fish. Lean meats such as poultry and fish are high in vitamin B12, which helps to keep blood cells and nerves healthy.

Foods to Avoid

Starchy foods such as white bread, pasta, and pizza are high in gluten. Even boxed mashed potatoes may contain gluten. Recent research suggests an association between gluten sensitivity and nerve pain. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include pins and needles, itchy skin, digestion issues, and headaches. Neuropathy patients might also experience worsening of preexisting skin conditions. 

As high levels of blood sugar can contribute to nerve damage in peripheral neuropathy, patients should avoid foods such as candy, ice cream, soft drinks, fruit juices, and pastries. 

Salty foods such as potato chips, processed meals, cold cuts, and fast food can also be problematic for neuropathy patients, as high levels of salt may restrict blood flow, which can contribute to numbness, as mentioned above.

Patients should focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet rich in vitamin B12 and antioxidants to control their peripheral neuropathy symptoms and manage their overall well-being. By avoiding sugary and salty foods, they can help to improve their quality of life and make their caregiver’s job much easier.

Ultimately, the fact of the matter is, yes there’s a lot that diet can do to help your neuropathy. And there’s a lot we can do at Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas to help you as well.

If you’re experiencing neuropathy or have any symptoms of neuropathy, contact Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas at (817) 242-5599 and let us help you treat your Neuropathy.

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