What does neuropathy means? “Neuro” stands for nerves and “pathy” stands for “disease of.” Therefore in simple terms neuropathy is defined as any disease condition related to nerves. It may exhibit like tingling, burning, weakness, numbness or painful sensations in various parts of your body.
Nerves compose the interconnected network in human body which exchanges sensory and motor impulses. Therefore neuropathy is often classified according to the site of damage or the disease causing it. There are many types of neuropathies such as peripheral, proximal, cranial, autonomic and focal. For the better understand of the condition as a whole it is useful to identify these terms in general.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord are damaged or affected. Therefore the symptoms may appear in upper extremities like arms, hands, fingers, or lower extremities like legs, feet or toes. Proximal neuropathy mainly affects areas of shoulder, hip, thighs or buttocks. In this article we focus mainly on the peripheral neuropathy and proven homeopathic remedies.
What are the causes of peripheral neuropathy?
Many conditions can cause neuropathy.
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- Diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis
- Trauma to nerves
- Vitamin deficiencies such as B12 or folate
- Infections such as leprosy, HIV/AIDS
- Genetic disorders
- Certain medications such as cancer therapy drugs
- Toxins such as organophosphate pesticides
- Idiopathic (when cause is unknown)
Peripheral neuropathy can cause many complications, by disease itself or due to its complications. Numbness may increase the risk of burns and wounds by making you less sensitive to heat and pain. Lack of sensation in sole of feet and fingers may increase risk of trauma to them. This is very important in conditions like diabetes where patients can develop foot ulcers and gangrene. Therefore selecting the correct remedy for neuropathy has an imperative value. For more information, also check out The Neuropathy Solution.
What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a Greek term which means “similar suffering”. It is a practice that is based on using minute and undetectable doses of substances to treat ill that can create similar symptoms in healthy individuals as those who are ill. Every patient is treated as a unique individual considering physical, mental, social and behavioral symptoms. Improvement of all these levels is observed. However the basis of homeopathy states that a drug become more powerful by diluting, which completely inconsistent with accepted laws of chemistry.
Homeopathy is based on three main principles or “principles of similar.”
- Like cures like – Similar conditions are given similar drugs. If your cold has symptoms like poisoning of magnesium, cold is treated with magnesium.
- Single remedy – Whatever the symptoms, always a single remedy is used
- Minimal dose – Minute minimal doses are used for the best results
List of homeopathic remedies
Today around 3000 different remedies are used in homeopathy. They are primarily popular in European and Asian regions. Choosing the correct remedy can be challengeable. It is a time consuming consultation process. First a complete history including cause, predisposing factors is taken. Then a suitable remedy is recommended according to homeopathic principles.
Frequently used drugs to treat neuropathy are given below.
- Aconite (Aconitum) – For burning, tingling sensations in hands and feet
- Belladonna – For sudden pain in hip, thighs and back
- Cantharis – Tingling or burning sensations in soles of feet
- Magnesium phosphate – for spasms and muscle cramps
- Iron phosphate – Burning sensation in shoulders
- Hypericum perforatum – Pain in fingers and toes
Other commonly used remedies for neuropathy:
- Allium cepa
- Antimonium crudum
- Cactus grandifolia
- Cicuta virosa
- Kalmia latifolia
- Mercurius solubilis
- Rhus toxicodendron
- Natrum muriaticum
Natural essentials oils such as lavender, geranium and tea tree oil are sometimes used to enhance the activity of homeopathic treatments today.
Homeopathic remedies have gained a promising popularity since last decade. As homeopaths believe it may be due to several factors.
- Safety – It is completely safe without any adverse effects. Extreme minute doses have provided additional safety in this aspect. Usually one part of the substance to around 1012 (1,000,000,000,000) parts of water is used.
- Natural – All substances are based on natural ingredients
- Non-addictive – Once the symptoms are relieved, patient can completely stop the intake
- Holistic approach – Unlike western medicine, it treats the cause not symptoms
- Effectiveness – When correct substance is used the treatment is rapid and permanent
However there are some disadvantages as well. Homeopathic remedies are not standardized. Moreover there are no standard remedies for each disease. Each condition is treated as unique by its own. As a result consultation and prescribing may take a long time. Read also our review of The Neuropathy Solution.
Lifestyle modifications too should be considered when treating neuropathy. Diet is crucial in this aspect. Tobacco and alcohol should be completely eliminated. Fast food, junk food, processed food, sugar and other sweeteners should be limited. Light exercise is important as it can slow down the nerve damage.