Are you at risk of nerve dam­age?

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Body, Mind & Soul -

NERVES are es­sen­tial to the func­tion­ing of the body as they are the com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work that senses, pro­cesses and per­ceives stim­uli, which then sig­nals other tis­sues to re­spond.

Our nerves con­trol all our move­ments and ac­tions, even the in­vol­un­tary ones such as heart­beat and breath­ing.

If our nerves were to be­come dam­aged in some way, our en­joy­ment of life would be im­paired as our abil­ity to sense things, free­dom of move­ment, dex­ter­ity and ba­sic body func­tions may be­come af­fected.

Nerve dam­age of­ten also causes un­pleas­ant sen­sa­tions, which range from im­paired sen­si­tiv­ity and numb­ness to out­right pain that sim­ply re­fuses to go away.

That is why we need to look after our nerves and be aware of the risk fac­tors that can lead to nerve dam­age, med­i­cally called pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy.

All of us are ac­tu­ally at some risk of get­ting nerve dam­age sim­ply be­cause of our day-to-day lifestyles.

Pro­longed sit­ting, wear­ing high heels and repet­i­tive ac­tiv­ity that most of us do daily such as typ­ing and cook­ing could po­ten­tially put pres­sure on nerves and lead to nerve dam­age over time

So too can be­ing over­weight and poor pos­ture.

How­ever, one of the big­gest risk fac­tors for nerve dam­age is di­a­betes, ac­count­ing for more than 30% of all cases of nerve dam­age due to the higher-than-nor­mal amount of sugar in the blood

An un­healthy diet is yet an­other cul­prit. In par­tic­u­lar, nerve dam­age can oc­cur where there is a de­fi­ciency of B vi­ta­mins, which are es­sen­tial for main­tain­ing healthy nerves

There is cur­rently no known cure for pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy but there are ways to con­trol it bet­ter.

Neu­rotropic B vi­ta­mins con­trib­ute to nerve care via dif­fer­ent bio­chem­i­cal mech­a­nisms.

Thi­amine (B1), pyri­dox­ine (B6) and cobal­amin (B12) have been found to have unique es­sen­tial roles, which con­trib­ute to nerve func­tion

Vi­ta­min B1 is in­volved in en­ergy me­tab­o­lism.

It helps main­tain the myelin sheath that cov­ers the axon of nerves and in the syn­the­sis of key sig­nalling mol­e­cules in the ner­vous sys­tem known as neu­ro­trans­mit­ters

Like­wise, vi­ta­min B6 is also in­volved in the syn­the­sis of neu­ro­trans­mit­ters

Vi­ta­min B12 is in­volved in nerve cell mat­u­ra­tion and regeneration, nerve cell me­tab­o­lism and for­ma­tion of nerve myelin sheaths

In pop­u­la­tions at risk of neu­ropa­thy, early de­tec­tion and treat­ment of neu­ropa­thy is cru­cial to avoid ir­re­versible dam­age to nerves

As part of its con­tin­u­ous ini­tia­tives to raise aware­ness on the im­por­tance of healthy nerves, Merck en­cour­ages con­sumers to take the first step in iden­ti­fy­ing pos­si­ble nerve dam­age and seek fur­ther med­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion or treat­ment if needed.

This ar­ti­cle is brought to you by Merck Sdn Bhd.

Sources

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If our nerves were to be­come dam­aged in some way, our en­joy­ment of life would be im­paired as our abil­ity to sense things, free­dom of move­ment, dex­ter­ity and ba­sic body func­tions may be­come af­fected.

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