Your nerve system is involved in everything your body does from regulating your breathing to controlling your muscles and sensing heat and cold. Because your nerve system is so critical for your health, when things go wrong with it, you may experience excruciating pain and/or some very strange symptoms…
There are three types of nerves in the body:
1. Autonomic nerves. These nerves control the involuntary or partially voluntary activities of your body including heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and temperature regulation.
2. Motor nerves. These nerves control your movements and actions by passing information from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles.
3. Sensory nerves. These nerves relay information from your skin and muscles back to your spinal cord and brain. The information is then processed to let you feel pain and other sensations. Because nerves are essential to all you do, nerve pain and damage can seriously affect your quality of life.
What Are the Symptoms of Nerve Pain and Nerve Damage?
With nerve damage there can be a wide array of symptoms. Which ones you may have depends on the location and type of nerves that are affected. Damage can occur to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. It can also occur in peripheral nerves which are located throughout the rest of your body.
Autonomic nerve damage may produce the following symptoms: too much sweating or too little sweating, lightheadedness, dry eyes and mouth , diahrrea, constipation, bladder dysfunction, asthma and also certain types of allergies
Damage to motor nerves may produce the following symptoms: weakness, muscle atrophy, muscle cramping (charlie horses) and muscle twitches also known as fasciculation paralysis
Sensory nerve damage may produce the following symptoms: pain, sensitivity, numbness, tingling or prickling, burning, problems with positional awareness such as loss of balance or coordination
In some instances, people with nerve damage will have symptoms that indicate damage to two or even three different types of nerves. For instance, you might experience weakness and burning of your legs at the same time. To further complicate matters, we don’t all develop the same way and different unexpected nerves can cause similar problems. This has made it very difficult to diagnose disorders caused by nerve damage based on which nerve “should” cause what.
There are three types of foods anybody suffering with nerve pain should incorporate into their diet on a daily basis:
1. Vitamin C
These foods strengthen your immune system, ease and repair damaged nerves, reduce incidence of autoimmune disorders, increase the metabolism and slow down the aging process. These foods include things such as bell peppers, sweet peppers, hot peppers, guavas, papayas, thyme, parsley, kale, mustard greens, spinach and garden cress, brocolli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, cherries, black currents, melon, kiwi and tomatoes.
2. Vitamin B12
B12 deficiency is fairly common especially as we age and can cause major nerve pain. Your nervous system requires vitamin B12 for proper function and maintenance. Foods high in vitamin B12 include farm raised beef, poultry, free-range organic eggs, fish, shellfish and beets.
3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Foods high in Omega 3’s improve immune system function, decrease inflammation in your body, prevent nerve damage and lessen nerve pain. This is a tough one to get enough of without supplementation. Although there are some foods that have good amounts of Omega 3 fats. These include wild caught salmon, halibut, tuna, organic grass-fed beef, flax seeds, chia seeds, brussel sprouts, green beans and kale.
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This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Matthew Phinney.