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Facial Paralysis

There are many types of condition that can be called facial paralysis. The most famous one is known as Bell's palsy which is very quick in appearing, it affects all the muscles on one side of the face resulting in the dramatic features characteristics of the disease. The face of patients afflicted with Bell 's palsy is characterized by the drooping features in the facial region; during Bell 's palsy, the eyelid, the cheek and the corner of the mouth on one side droop or sag downwards because of loss of muscular tone. Dryness and consequent irritation can result in some cases of the condition as for example, when the eyelids cannot be closed properly. While there may be some painful sensations felt in the ears during the onset of the condition, the paralysis which results by itself is quite painless-the only symptoms being the ones that are apparent externally. The skin may tingle tremendously and there is a persistent numbness and heaviness felt along the affected side of the face. The sensitivity apparent in the facial skin is not totally lost, in spite of the acute paralysis, which results in total loss of muscular control. It normally takes about two weeks for Bell's palsy to resolve itself in with or without treatment. Though for a minority of patients, a time frame of several months may be necessary for the resolution of severe cases.

Bell's palsy is caused by a problem in the facial nerves that coordinate muscles; however, the actual mechanisms behind this problem remain a mystery and the sudden loss of muscle tone is still unexplained. The paralysis is thought to be a result of a swelling in the nerves because of an infection caused by a virus or because of some immune system problem. The presence of any type of injury, many types of tumors and persistent ear infections are also known to cause Bell's palsy.

Facial paralysis can be helped by the type of diet that the patient consumes on a daily basis. Thus diets should include plenty of green and leafy vegetables, all sorts of dairy products made using non-pasteurized and non-homogenized milk and lots of eggs. Besides being extremely nutritious, all these foods contain abundant amounts of B vitamins, in particular the vitamin B12 and the vitamin B3 (niacin), required for a well functioning nervous system. Another great contributor of the B vitamins is the use of nutritional yeast, which can be used as bread spread, this can also be added to all kinds of soups and sauces or it can be sprinkled directly on salads. All these food items must be included in the diet to provide the maximum amount of the B complex vitamins.

Also important in the diet of a patient is the role of the essential fatty acids, sources for these compounds include the use of unrefined, and cold-pressed flax seed oil, the oil of walnut and pumpkin seed oil-these essential fatty acids are important in the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. The inflammation in the body can be brought down by these essential fatty acids sourced from the oils, the oils are converted in the body synthetically into the class of compounds called prostaglandins-which are the main agents that reduce inflammation within the human body.

Salt acts as a water conserver within the body and retains water, this excess water increase the swelling and pain arising as symptoms within the body of the patient-all diets must be fine tuned to avoid excess salt intake. Salt is found in high concentration in red meats, thus the consumption of these foods will promote inflammation. It is therefore advisable to reduce the intake of all kinds of red meat in the diet. The elimination of excess accumulated fluid in the body can be achieved by the consumption of most vegetables, and vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini and carrots, are also good sources of the mineral potassium while being low in sodium content-such foods help reduce the swelling and help eliminate excess water. Diets must also include a moderate amount of chili peppers, these reduce pain as they contain an anti-inflammatory substance that numbs nerve endings and reduces the level of pain felt by the patient. Include some chili peppers in the diet of the patient.

Supplements and herbs

A vital supplement during periods of intense physical or emotional stress experienced is the use of B complex vitamins. The role of the vitamin B1 is to support nerves and nervous system function in general besides its role in alleviating depression. A vital component of the B complex group of vitamins is vitamin B12. The majority of biochemical processes in the nerves utilize this vitamin and its inclusion in any supplement is important. It has been documented that regular supplementation brings relief form the symptoms in the patient within a couple of weeks in a majority of cases. The supplements are also known to increase the rate of recovery in chronic cases which have affected the person over a long period of time. The specific action of the B12 vitamin is most apparent if the vitamin is taken in the form of injections. The use of a sublingual tablet of the B12 vitamin, which can be dissolved under the tongue, is the second choice method of supplementing this vitamin. The supplement of the vitamin B12 is absorbed by the mucous membranes lining the mouth and it then proceeds directly into the bloodstream for eventual use by the body in metabolic processes.

The role of the essential fatty acids within the body is another important link that can be utilized during the supplemental period. These fatty acids are abundant in the oil of the evening primrose-this oil is particularly rich in the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), this fatty acid helps the body combat inflammation and supports the normal functioning of the nervous system. Regular use of the vitamin C must also be maintained as it is an effective agent against all forms of inflammation that affects patients.

Symptoms such as spasmodic contractions in the muscles and attendant cramps can be relieved through the use of supplements containing the minerals magnesium and calcium - these two minerals are also important in all processes that occur within the nervous tissue.

Stimulate the circulation of blood within the body by helping the blood vessels to relax, achieve this goal by the regular use of about 50 mg of ginkgo standardized extract mixed in water every day till such times as the symptoms disappear. The use of herbal remedies made from herbs like the valerian, the St. John's wort and the avena sativa, including the extract of wild oats is also recommended to bring about a reduction in the symptoms.

Additional things you may do

The use of alternative treatment methodologies such as the use of pulsed electromagnetic therapy is effective and can bring a lot of benefits to the patient. This treatment can be tried about three to six times every day for sessions lasting thirty minutes each. Improve the circulation of blood in the facial region and the circulatory system in general through the regular application of a hot face pack. Prevention is better than cure and this saying is relevant during this condition as well-make sure to avoid an over exposure of the face to any prolonged cold condition or to cold drafts in the outdoors. Some forms of the condition will not respond to the conservative treatment methodologies mentioned above, therefore the following intramuscular injections can be used in such cases. Injections of the vitamin B12 at a dose of about 1,000 mcg IM every day for two weeks at a time and another dose of magnesium sulphate of about 1,000 mg or more IM every day for the same length of time.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, 2 x 500 mg capsules thrice a day.
  • Vitamin B complex, 50 mg 2 -3 times a day.
  • Vitamin B1, 100 mg.
  • Vitamin B12, sublingual tablet, 1,000 mcg.
  • Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg.
  • Calcium, 500 mg thrice a day.
  • Magnesium, 250 mg thrice a day.

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