Rem­edy for pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Style & Grooming - (MYS-NEU-1808-0151)

What is pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy? Pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy is a mostly chronic con­di­tion char­ac­terised by in­creas­ing nerve dam­age. The dis­ease can have var­i­ous causes and can af­fect dif­fer­ent types of nerves in sev­eral parts of the hu­man body – and there­fore it can also im­pair var­i­ous func­tions.

How does pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy de­velop and man­i­fest?

The symp­toms of pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy can be di­verse. Peo­ple might no­tice un­pleas­ant symp­toms like tin­gling, burn­ing, ex­treme touch sen­si­tiv­ity or even pain that feels like an elec­tric shock. An­other fre­quent symp­tom is numb­ness, which is not no­ticed in the be­gin­ning but may lead to walk­ing dif­fi­cul­ties when the feet are af­fected, or un­con­scious in­juries. Some symp­toms like dizzi­ness, tachy­car­dia or mus­cle weak­ness may also be mis­in­ter­preted as signs of other dis­eases.

Even if early symp­toms, like strange sen­sa­tions in the ex­trem­i­ties or slight move­ment prob­lems, may not ap­pear se­ri­ous enough to con­sult a physi­cian, it is very im­por­tant to get pro­fes­sional ad­vice as soon as pos­si­ble to pro­tect the nerves from fur­ther dam­age.

Who can be af­fected?

Many causes can lead to nerve dam­age and then to pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy, the most com­mon be­ing di­a­betes. Among oth­ers are al­co­hol abuse, chemo­ther­apy, in­fec­tions, in­flam­ma­tory pro­cesses or de­fi­cien­cies in es­sen­tial B vi­ta­mins. In some pa­tients, nerve dam­age has even more than one cause. On the other hand, in more than a fifth of cases the cause of pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy is un­known.

How is pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy treated?

Gen­er­ally, af­ter di­ag­nos­ing pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy, the physi­cian will ide­ally find out the cause. A mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary ap­proach based on the un­der­ly­ing con­di­tion is rec­om­mend­able. Many treat­ment op­tions are avail­able: treat­ments ac­cord­ing to guide­lines, which fo­cus on treat­ing painful symp­toms of pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy, but also oth­ers, which can be used in all stages of the dis­ease.4 One es­tab­lished treat­ment op­tion is a com­bi­na­tion of neu­rotropic B vi­ta­mins B1, B6 and B12. A re­cent study has shown that such a com­bi­na­tion can re­duce symp­toms like tin­gling or numb­ness in pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy of dif­fer­ent ori­gin.

How do neu­rotropic B vi­ta­mins help in pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy?

Vi­ta­mins B1, B6 and B12 play an im­por­tant role in the func­tion­ing of nerves and can help to re­cu­per­ate nerve func­tion or even re­gen­er­ate dam­aged nerve fi­bres, if the dam­age has not yet pro­gressed too far.

Vi­ta­min B1 – Fa­cil­i­tates prop­a­ga­tion of the nerve im­pulse. Vi­ta­min B6 – Pro­motes neu­ro­trans­mis­sion. Vi­ta­min B12 – Re­gen­er­ates dam­aged nerve fi­bres.

These 3 B vi­ta­mins have im­por­tant func­tions in nerve health and work to­gether in bio­chem­i­cal syn­ergy. All three neu­rotropic B vi­ta­mins are es­sen­tial to a healthy ner­vous sys­tem act­ing via dif­fer­ent modes of ac­tion and com­ple­ment­ing each other.

How im­por­tant is early treat­ment in pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy?

Nerve fi­bres can be re­paired when they get dam­aged, but this is only pos­si­ble to some ex­tent. The process of nerve re­gen­er­a­tion can be hin­dered by dis­eases and other causes men­tioned pre­vi­ously, lead­ing to the de­vel­op­ment of pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy. Nerve dam­age should be de­tected and treated in an early stage, when nerve re­gen­er­a­tion is still pos­si­ble. This means that early di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment is very im­por­tant to hold pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy at bay, re­duce symp­toms ef­fec­tively and main­tain qual­ity of life long term.

As part as our con­tin­u­ous ini­tia­tives to raise aware­ness on the im­por­tance of healthy nerves, Merck is pro­vid­ing nerve test at se­lected phar­ma­cies na­tion­wide. We hope to en­cour­age con­sumers to take the first step in iden­ti­fy­ing pos­si­ble nerve dam­age and seek fur­ther med­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion or treat­ment if needed. For more in­for­ma­tion on the event, please email to ch.my@mer­ck­group.com.

The in­for­ma­tion con­tained in this ar­ti­cle is for in­for­ma­tional pur­pose only. For any med­i­cal ad­vice, di­ag­no­sis or treat­ment rec­om­men­da­tion please con­sult your health­care pro­fes­sional.

This ar­ti­cle was brought to you by Merck Sdn Bhd. Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s old­est phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and chem­i­cal com­pany. Merck is a lead­ing sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy com­pany in the health­care, life sci­ence and per­for­mance ma­te­ri­als sec­tors.

Around 50,000 em­ploy­ees work to fur­ther de­velop tech­nolo­gies that im­prove and en­hance life—from bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ther­a­pies to treat cancer or mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, cut­ting-edge sys­tems for sci­en­tific re­search and pro­duc­tion, to liq­uid crys­tals for smart­phone and LCD tele­vi­sions.

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