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Polyneuropathy

Many diseases can bring about pain and weakness when they affect the nervous tissues in the body and all such conditions are known as polyneuropathy. The typical symptoms include neuritis and its inflammation or the coming of painful sensations as in neuralgia and both these type of nerve conditions may be present, however more than a single group of nerves may become affected during polyneuropathy as it is more of a systemic disorder.

The areas of the body that are commonly affected during the condition are the legs and the arms, similar nerves on both sides of the body usually being affected symmetrically at the same time. The onset of the symptoms of polyneuropathy is gradual and advances in a chronic form, gradually and persistently affecting important parts of the body. An increased sensitivity to touch and other tactile sensations with tingling, numbness typically starting in the legs is how it starts and this slowly progresses upwards as the disorder develops. At night severe and burning pains are commonly experienced. The health of the skin is affected and the surface of the skin becomes unhealthy and shiny, the formation of ulcers on the skin often comes about as the disorder progresses into the advanced stages.

A very special kind of polyneuropathy is the syndrome known as the Guillain-Barre syndrome. A weakening in the legs signals the sudden arrival of the disorder, and this onset of the disease is very abrupt and the condition progresses to the arms and spreads to the musculature of the body, affecting all muscle groups in the body over time. The disorder can become lethal if some of the muscular tissues affected happen to control important and vital functions such as respiration. Recovery and convalescence time for the disease can run into months, however the worst and severe attacks are usually over in a matter of weeks. While certain children and even adults may be left in a persistent and weakened state, the recovery from the worst aspects of the disease is usually common and complete in most people.

The underlying cause can be another disorder in the body, which might affect the nervous system bringing on the conditions necessary for polyneuropathy, the disorder is considered a systemic problem often related to deficiencies in essential nutritional compounds in the body, additionally it could also be brought on by the accumulation of toxins in the body. The depletion of the B vitamins, can cause and bring about polyneuropathy in a person, the deficiencies in particular of the B1, the B12 and folic acid vitamins can strongly undermine the body's defenses and lead to the onset of the disorder. Digestive abnormalities that block the absorption of optimum amounts of nutrients or a deficiency of these nutrients in the diet are possible avenues for depleted reserves in the body. Nutritional balance is also disturbed by the prolonged utilization of certain classes of drugs and other prescription medications. The levels of the B vitamins in the body can also be reduced substantially because of alcoholism.

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Polyneuropathy as a disorder can be caused by nervous disturbances from external sources, because certain compounds like alcohol, many types of potent industrial chemicals and toxic heavy metals, poisonous substances and several classes of drugs can seriously affect the nerves, as such nervous tissue reacts very strongly and has a great sensitivity to these substances. The presence of kidney disease and various renal disorders, metabolic disorders like diabetes, severe conditions like Lyme disease and several forms of autoimmune conditions can all bring about polyneuropathy in a person. This disorder can also be caused by many infectious pathogens, the viruses in particular. A common autoimmune condition that causes polyneuropathy is the Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can come as an aftermath of a surgical procedure, through processes like vaccinations, and by the fairly predictable avenue of infections from pathogenic organisms.

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Supplements and herbs

All disorders of the nerves need an abundance of the B vitamins in the body, as these nutrients play an important role in nervous function. The sublingual supplementation of the vitamin B12 is the easiest way to supplement the essential vitamin, as absorption and assimilation of the vitamin when taken in other forms can be rather poor in many people, this vitamin is effective against nerve problems of all kinds. Another class of compounds important to the proper functioning of the nerves are the essential fatty acids, the evening primrose oil, can be used as an important supplement in this regard as it is very rich in all the fatty acids and most particularly in the important gamma-linolenic acids or GLA. The Guillain-Barre syndrome and its symptoms have been successfully treated using these supplements just mentioned above. To get the maximum benefit and for optimal recovery, a prolong use, usually several months of supplementation is advised in patients.

To boost recovery time and for a soothing effect on the affected nerves, make optimal use of the herbs and the herbal remedies given below.

The detoxification processes in the kidneys can be bolstered using a combination formula of these herbs with a tbsp. each of the horsetail herb, the leaves of the stinging nettle, added to a tbsp. of the knotgrass and St. John's wort herbs. For ten minutes steep these combined herbs in a quarter cup of water by adding a tsp. of this herbal mixture in water, the resulting liquid can be strained. Boil for an additional ten minutes after having added another cup of hot water to the strained liquid, the resulting concoction can be utilized as an herbal brew for a maximum period of three weeks. Dosages of the herbal mixture can be a quarter cup early in the morning, the same amount just before taking lunch and half a cup of the herbal brew at bedtime. Meat is not advised in the diet during this three-week period of supplementation. At a stretch the treatment can only go on for three weeks and must be punctuated by intervals or breaks if repeated or continued. The juice or tea made form the St. John's wort or its blossoms can be used in dosages of a cup of the blossoms tea thrice a day for a week or the juice of the herb in the same period of time to calm and soothe nerves. Bathing with water that has herbal infusions made from the rosemary, the lavender or the chamomile can greatly act as an external topical treatment to calm and soothe nerves in the body.

Additional things you may do

Taking a sponge bath or washing oneself using water infused with vinegar is effective against general pain in the nerves. To prepare the bath water, a cup of apple cider vinegar can be combined with a quart of the bath water. Use a soft cotton cloth to soak up the resulting mixture and to avoid it becoming too soggy, wring the cloth to rid it of excess liquid. Wipe the legs first, beginning at the right foot and moving gradually in the upward direction to the chest region and the upper torso. The cloth can be dipped into the water as many times as needed or when it dries out, repeat this treatment often for optimal effect.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, two 500 mg capsules thrice a day or a combination oil, one tea spoon a day
  • Vitamin B12 (sublingual tablets) 100 mcg
  • Vitamin B complex, 100 mg thrice a day

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