Nerve pain can be caused by multiple health issues, from a spine condition to nerve damage related to chronic diseases. The pain sensation can be very different from person to person, as well. For some people, it can feel like burning or pinching, while for others it can feel like a sudden shock of electricity.
Nerve pain can be extremely uncomfortable and very disrupting to everyday activities. It is often a generalized feeling with no clear source of pain, which makes it more difficult for people to cope with. If it is caused by another illness, like HIV, cancer, or diabetes, the burden is difficult to deal with.
While nerve pain cannot always be cured, it can often be treated or significantly alleviated.
One of the ways to relieve nerve pain is through nutritional supplements. Like most other illnesses, there is a direct connection between the components that enter our body via food, and the alleviation or aggravation of symptoms.
In this article, we will review some of the best supplements available to help alleviate nerve pain. Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to understand why we feel nerve pain in the first place.
Why Do We Feel Nerve Pain?
Believe it or not, pain actually does have an important reason for existing. When we feel pain, it tells our brain to direct movement to make the pain stop. For example, if we touch a hot pan, the nerves that sense pain will send a message to our brain to make you move your hand immediately. In other words, pain alerts your brain of danger so that it can direct your muscles to get out of danger ASAP.
Of course, that is not the case for chronic pain. In people who experience chronic pain, the messaging system doesn’t work properly. Your brain receives the pain signal, but there is no clear cause and no clear reaction to avoid further pain or damage.
What damages the nerves so that the messaging system isn’t working properly? It is usually bodily injury or a disease. Some of the common diseases that cause nerve pain are cancer, HIV, shingles, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lyme disease, and fibromyalgia. Nerve pain can also be caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies or hormone imbalances.
Luckily, there are supplements that can help reduce pain sensations wherever the cause of the painful feeling may lie. Here are 4 supplements that help to alleviate nerve pain.
1. Alpha-lipoic Acid
There are many studies that show how alpha-lipoid acid supplements can help manage nerve pain related to type 2 diabetes and cancer. Evidence shows that alpha-lipoic acid helps to reduce prickling and tingling pain in the feet and legs. Initial evidence shows that alpha-lipoic acid might also help with symptoms of dementia, and even skin damage related to aging.
2. B Vitamins
B vitamins have an important role in promoting a healthy nervous system. On a cellular level, B vitamins play an important role in producing myelin, which is the substance that coats nerves and keeps them healthy. B vitamins also help to regenerate damaged nerve endings, which is where they play an important role in alleviating pain. You can take a B-complex supplement, which will provide you with all or most of the B vitamins in the correct proportions.
3. Gamma-Linolenic Acid
Gamma-Linolenic Acid, or GLA for short, is an omega-6 fatty acid that has a role in promoting healthy nervous system function, among many other things. For decades, many doctors have prescribed GLA to people suffering from neuropathy, especially that which is caused by diabetes. It is naturally found in hemp seed oil and spirulina. GLA helps to fight inflammation, but also form part of nerve and membrane structure, and thus, nerve conduction. GLA has been tested time and time again to demonstrate its effectiveness in repairing nerve damage and alleviating associated pain.
Vitamins D and E
Vitamin D supplements at 2,000 units a day has been shown to help reduce diabetic nerve pain by up to half in three months, particularly if you are unknowingly deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin E also helps to relieve nerve pain, but usually the pain related to shingles.
Keep in mind that while supplements may help, they cannot replace medical treatment. If you are thinking of taking a supplement to complement current treatment, make sure to talk to your doctor first to avoid potential secondary reactions and counter indications.