The Analyst™

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Healthy

  Neuritis/Neuropathy  
 
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Signs, symptoms and indicators | Contributing risk factors | Other conditions that may be present | Recommendations

 

Neuritis is the inflammation of a peripheral nerve or nerves often accompanied by degenerative changes in nervous tissue. A neuropathy involves either a cranial nerve or spinal nerve. At times, several different groups of nerves in various parts of the body may be involved. This condition is known as polyneuritis or polyneuropathy. Some form of neuropathy affects 1 person in 400. The causes of nerve pathology include:

  • Mechanical from injury, pressure, overworking a part of the body
  • Vascular (blockage of a vessel or hemorrhage into nerve tissue)
  • Infectious as in shingles, diptheria, polio, tetanus, or leprosy
  • Toxic from heavy metals like arsenic, mercury and lead; chemical poisoning from organo-phosphates, drugs or alcohol; vaccination as in Guillain barre syndrome
  • Metabolic from acidosis, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes
Symptoms of neuritis that arise from the involvement of sensory nerves include tingling, burning, pins-and-needles sensations, stabbing or even loss of sensation. If motor nerves are involved, symptoms may range from a slight loss of muscle tone to paralysis with muscle wasting. Since neuritis is regarded as a condition that results from a number of disorders, rather than a disease in itself, treatment is directed first at the underlying cause.
 

 
 

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Neuritis/Neuropathy:
 
 
Symptoms - Nervous  Numb/tingling/burning extremities
 
 

Risk factors for Neuritis/Neuropathy:
 
 
Autoimmune  Sarcoidosis
 A "pins and needles" sensation or numbness has been caused by sarcoidosis.

Environment / Toxicity

  Heavy Metal Toxicity
 Arsenic and lead poisoning can cause neuritis.

  Mercury Toxicity / Amalgam Illness
  Gulf War Illness
  Manganese toxicity

Infections

  Lyme Disease
  Tuberculosis

Metabolic

  Acidosis
 A contributing cause of neuritis is chronic acidosis, that is, excessive acid condition of the blood and other body fluids. All the body fluids should be alkaline in their reaction, but when the acidic wastes are continuously formed in the tissues over a long period due to a faulty diet, it can result in an overly acid state. Stress and over work lower the tone of nervous system and contribute towards acidic neuritis.

  Hyperkalemia (Elevated Serum Potassium)

Nutrients

  Vitamin B Complex Requirement
 Deficiencies of several B-vitamins (B1, B2, pantothenic acid, B6 and B12) can cause or contribute to neuritis.

  Vitamin D Requirement
 Research published in the American Medical Association "Journal of Internal Medicine" suggests that vitamin D therapy can facilitate nerve growth and regulate nerve functioning which can benefit patients suffering from neuropathy symptoms.

Organ Health

  Diabetes Type II

Symptoms - General

  History of neuritis
 
 

Neuritis/Neuropathy suggests the following may be present:
 
 
Autoimmune  Sarcoidosis
 A "pins and needles" sensation or numbness has been caused by sarcoidosis.

Cell Salts

  Cell Salt, Calc Phos Need
 Calc Phos is indicated where regenerative function decreases in the nervous tissue, especially with aging.

  Cell Salt, Kali Phos Need
  Cell Salt, Kali Sulf Need

Inflammation

  Chronic Inflammation

Nutrients

  Vitamin D Requirement
 Research published in the American Medical Association "Journal of Internal Medicine" suggests that vitamin D therapy can facilitate nerve growth and regulate nerve functioning which can benefit patients suffering from neuropathy symptoms.
 
 

Recommendations for Neuritis/Neuropathy:
 
 
Amino Acid / Protein  L-Carnitine
 L-Acetyl Carnitine (LAC) was effective and well tolerated in improving neurophysiological parameters and in reducing pain over a 1-year period. LAC is, therefore, a promising treatment option in patients with diabetic neuropathy. [Drugs R D. 2002;3(4):223-33]

Another study conducted in a British Hospital found that LAC can greatly reduce the damage caused to nerves by certain HIV drugs, even promoting nerve regeneration. [AIDS 2004;18: 1549-1560, 2004] The dose in this study was 3 grams per day (1500mg bid).

Botanical

  Evening Primrose Oil / GLA
 See Neuropathy and Alpha Lipoic Acid.

  Mistletoe (Viscum album)
 Mistletoe has a history of use in the treatment of neuritis, an inflammatory condition of the nerves or nerve sheath resulting in shooting or other pains throughout the body. It has been used for those with vertigo attacks and "pins and needles" sensations in the limbs.

Diet

  Alkalizing Agents/Diet
 An alkaline diet can reverse the effects of an overly acidic diet which may be contributing to nerve irritation and inflammation.

  Therapeutic Fasting
 In severe cases, a short juice fast for four or five days with carrot, beet, citrus fruits, apple and pineapple may be used to hasten the recovery process prior to an alkalinizing diet.

Drug

Not recommended:
  Conventional Drugs / Information
 Atenolol, a beta-blocker, is one of any number of drugs that can have side effects. Fatigue is a common side-effect and paraesthesia, peripheral neuropathy and myopathies have been reported.

Nutrient

  Alpha Lipoic Acid
 There was a marked synergy between GLA and alpha lipoic acid which produced compounds that had at least an order of magnitude increase in efficacy over either one alone in correcting motor nerve conduction velocity and endoneural blood flow defects. A 1.3:1 GLA:alpha lipoic acid ratio appears to be optimal against experimental diabetic neuropathy. [Diabetologia (1998), 41: pp.390-399 (rat study)]

Experimental work confirms that GLA-aLA (equimolar) conjugate is so effective that it completely reverses the effects of the broken neurotrophic mechanisms that correlate with diabetic neuropathy. [Diabetologia 1998 Jul; 41(7): pp.839-843]

Vitamins

  Vitamin B Complex
 All vitamins of the B group have proven beneficial in the prevention and treatment of neuritis. The disorder has been helped when vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, and pantothenic acid have been given together.

  Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
 In a study of the efficacy of vitamin B1, it was given to 133 people who had headaches, joint pain, nerve pain, or neuritis. 1-2 grams of B1 once or twice daily caused 78% of headaches to improve, 71% of spine or joint pains to improve, and 62% of patients with neuralgia reported relief. Start with lower amounts and work your way up, making sure to take all of the B vitamins during this trial. [Bibl Nutr Dieta (38):pp.110-1]

  Vitamin D
  Increasingly, it appears that vitamin D plays a role in nerve growth and maintenance and may have important pharmaceutical applications for treatment of neurodegenerative conditions.

The therapeutic potential of ergocalciferol - the plant-derived form of vitamin D, named vitamin D2 - was assesed in a rat model of peripheral nerve injury and repair. The left peroneal nerve was cut out on a length of 10 mm and immediately autografted in an inverted position. After surgery, animals were treated with ergocalciferol (100 IU/kg/day) and compared to untreated animals. Functional recovery of hindlimb was measured weekly, during 10 weeks post-surgery, using a walking track apparatus and a numerical camcorder. At the end of this period, motor and sensitive responses of the regenerated axons were calculated and histological analysis was performed. We observed that vitamin D2 significantly (i) increased axogenesis and axon diameter; (ii) improved the responses of sensory neurons to metabolites such as KCl and lactic acid; and (iii) induced a fast-to-slow fiber type transition of the Tibialis anterior muscle. In addition, functional recovery was not impaired by vitamin D supplementation. Altogether, these data indicate that vitamin D potentiates axon regeneration. Pharmacological studies with various concentrations of the two forms of vitamin D (ergocalciferol vs. cholecalciferol) are now required before recommending this molecule as a potential supplemental therapeutic approach following nerve injury. [J Neurotrauma. 2008 Oct;25(10):1247-1256]

Previous research has found that vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with Type 2 diabetes, but its effect on neuropathic pain has not previously been tested, say study authors Drs Paul Lee and Roger Chen from Concord Repatriation General Hospital.

Their study, published in today’s Archives of Internal Medicine (168:771-772) involved 51 patients with Type 2 diabetes and typical neuropathic pain. All patients were vitamin D deficient with a mean serum 25D concentration of 18 ng/mL.

After three months, vitamin D repletion with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) tablets resulted in a significant reduction in pain scores using two separate assessments, one suggesting the pain severity was reduced by 40% the other suggesting pain severity had been halved.

How vitamin D reduces the severity of diabetic neuropathic pain is uncertain, but the researchers suggest that vitamin D insufficiency may potentiate diabetic nerve damage and impair nociceptor function. The results could not be explained by a decrease in parathyroid hormone as testing did not show any statistically significant difference in hormone level following the vitamin D repletion, they say.

  Vitamin B12 (Cobalamine)
  Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
 The medical literature contains reports of neuritis or nerve damage caused by using large amounts of vitamin B6 (1000-6000mg per day) for long periods. Lower doses have been helpful in treating neuritis. Some susceptible people may develop neuritis from as little as 300-400mg a day when the other B vitamins are not taken along with the B6. Examine your vitamin and supplement combinations to ensure that you are not taking excessive doses, but getting enough to learn if you are helped by it.

However, there has been an association with B6 supplementation at lower doses and neuropathic damage and so caution is advised.

Characteristics of pyridoxine overdose neuropathy syndrome.

A neurotoxic syndrome due to pyridoxine (B6) overdose is described. It is the largest series of B6 intoxication hitherto reported. A raised serum B6 level was present in 172 women of whom 60% had neurological symptoms, which disappeared when B6 was withdrawn and reappeared in 4 cases when B6 was restarted. The mean dose of B6 in the 103 women with neurological symptoms was 117 +/- 92 mgs, compared with 116.2 +/- 66 mgs in the control group. There was a significant difference (P less than 0.01) in the average duration of ingestion of B6 in the neurotoxic group of 2.9 +/- 1.9 years compared with 1.6 +/- 2.1 years in controls. The symptoms were paraesthesia, hyperaesthesia, bone pains, muscle weakness, numbness and fasciculation, most marked on the extremities and predominantly bilateral unless there was a history of previous trauma to the limb. These women were taking a lower dose of B6 than previously described (1,2), which may account for the complete recovery within 6 months of stopping B6. [Acta Neurol Scand. 1987 Jul;76(1): pp.8-11]
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
May do some good
Likely to help
May have adverse consequences







GLOSSARY

Alkaline:  A solution having a pH greater than seven.

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Cobalamin:  Vitamin B-12. Essential for normal growth and functioning of all body cells, especially those of bone marrow (red blood cell formation), gastrointestinal tract and nervous system, it prevents pernicious anemia and plays a crucial part in the reproduction of every cell of the body i.e. synthesis of genetic material (DNA).

Diabetes Mellitus:  A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.

Hemorrhage:  Profuse blood flow.

Metabolism:  The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.

Nervous System:  A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.

Neuritis:  Nerve inflammation, commonly accompanying other conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis or arthritis. Neuritis is usually accompanied by neuralgia (nerve pain).

Neuropathy:  A group of symptoms caused by abnormalities in motor or sensory nerves. Symptoms include tingling or numbness in hands or feet followed by gradual, progressive muscular weakness.

Pantothenic Acid:  A B-complex vitamin necessary for the normal functioning of the adrenal gland, which directly affects growth. It is also essential for the formation of fatty acids. As a coenzyme, it participates in the utilization of riboflavin and in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Riboflavin:  (Vitamin B-2): A B-complex vitamin that acts as a coenzyme that activates the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It is essential for cellular oxidation and necessary for healthy skin and eyes.

Shingles:  A severe infection caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV), affecting mainly adults. It causes painful skin blisters that follow the underlying route of brain or spinal nerves infected by the virus. Also know as herpes zoster.

Thiamine:  (Vitamin B-1): A B-complex vitamin that acts as a coenzyme necessary for the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is burned in the body for energy. It is essential for the functioning of the nervous system.

Vitamin B6:  Influences many body functions including regulating blood glucose levels, manufacturing hemoglobin and aiding the utilization of protein, carbohydrates and fats. It also aids in the function of the nervous system.

Vitamin D:  A fat-soluble vitamin essential to one's health. Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood by improving their absorption and utilization. Necessary for normal growth and formation of bones and teeth. For Vitamin D only, 1mcg translates to 40 IU.