Dietary Risk Factors Likely to Cause Neuropathy

Your nervous system consists of two parts, the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system, responsible for transmitting messages between your central nervous system to other parts of your body (peripherals). Unfortunately, sometimes your nervous system might malfunction, affecting your nerve cells. The damage disrupts the communication between the neurons and brain, resulting in numbness or tingling sensations. Mason neuropathy mainly starts from your hands and feet before affecting other parts of your body.

Who is likely to get neuropathy?

Neuropathy is not a preserve for a particular age. As such, it affects individuals of all ages. However, you are at a higher risk of developing the condition if you are older. Besides age, other common nerve damage causes include heavy alcohol use, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure. Additionally, you will likely develop mononeuropathies resulting from nerve compression and trauma if your profession requires repetitive motions. You may also have nerve problems when receiving chemotherapy treatment or have human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV).

Other causes of neuropathy include:

  • Abnormal vitamin levels
  • Inherited disorders like Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease
  • Medications
  • Vascular disorders
  • Health conditions like hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune infections and diseases like rheumatoid arthritis

What are the dietary risk factors likely to cause neuropathy?

  • Excessive nutrient consumption

While nutrients are vital for your well-being, too much of a particular nutrient can be problematic. For instance, excess consumption of B6 might be toxic on your nerves. Your healthcare provider might advise you to minimize your B6 intake to approximately 2mg per day. Therefore, you should contact your doctor for an evaluation to check if your blood levels are on point, especially if you take B6 supplements.

  • Presence of toxins in foods

Toxins are likely to be in the foods you eat and believe are safe, including drinking water. For instance, drinking water exposed to industrial waste is expected to contain traces of heavy metals. As a result, consuming high amounts of toxic substances in foods might cause nerve damage.

  • Copper deficiency

Though rare, copper deficiency might also cause neuropathy. The lack might result from your system’s malabsorption or metabolism and not from an unbalanced diet. The best part is that your healthcare provider might recommend injectable and oral supplements to address the concern.   

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

The vitamin deficiency damages the myelin sheath surrounding and protecting your nerves. Without the protection, your nerves do not function effectively. Your healthcare provider might suggest increasing vitamin B12-rich foods like dairy products, meat, eggs, fish, and poultry to curb the health issue.  

How does the condition develop?

While some peripheral neuropathies develop gradually, taking months or even years to affect your life quality dramatically, others develop and worsen rapidly. The rate at which you might start manifesting symptoms and the progression of your condition depends on the nerves neuropathy affects and the underlying cause.   

Neuropathy gives you the sensations of weakness, numbness, and tingling in the specific parts of your body the condition affects. Do not let the throbbing and stabbing pain prevent you from enjoying life when you can contact your doctor for professional help.  

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