Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Peripheral Neuropathy
UNDERSTANDING PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY
Most of us may have experienced a transient numbness or tingling in our hands or feet at some point of time. But imagine - what if it were not transient, what if those strange sensations stayed with us all the time? Peripheral neuropathy is a broad term for such a distressing condition where the patients experience abnormal physical sensations like burning or a pins and needles feeling always, making their daily lives hard. In addition, loss of physical coordination and balance take away their confidence and restrict their mobility, sometimes even causing falls and accidents. Many patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy become stressed and dejected when they see that western medicine is unable to solve their problems even with multiple tablets and vitamins. The good news is that ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for peripheral neuropathy offers good outcomes and in many cases even a complete relief of symptoms and reversal of the condition, if treatment is taken early.
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a disease of the nerves that carry signals to and from the brain to different parts of the body. When the nerves are healthy, all signals to and from the brain and spinal cord are carried correctly but when the nerves are damaged due to some disease or injury, the nerves fail to transmit messages correctly and this leads to problems like abnormal physical sensations or loss of sensation. This condition is called peripheral neuritis or peripheral neuropathy.
What are the symptoms seen in peripheral neuropathy?
There are different kinds of nerves doing different jobs in our bodies - sensory nerves are responsible for sensations like touch and pain, motor nerves carry signals to muscles and autonomous nerves control the functions of internal organs like the intestine, the bladder, the heart etc. Peripheral neuropathy may affect any of these nerves and the symptoms you experience vary depending on the type of nerve that is damaged. That is, if your sensory nerves are affected, you may feel abnormal senses like pain, tingling, burning or numbness. If motor nerves are damaged, you may have loss of balance and weakness and if your autonomous nerves are damaged, it can affect the functioning of internal organs and result in symptoms like incontinence, constipation or dizziness. In most cases of peripheral neuropathy, more than one nerve is affected ( like in diabetic neuropathy ) but in some cases like carpal tunnel syndrome, only one nerve is affected. One of the first steps in the ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy in Kerala is a detailed assessment of the symptoms to determine the type and extent of nerve damage.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is the result of some kind of damage to peripheral nerves. It can happen due to various reasons like diseases, injuries, exposure to toxins, vitamin deficiencies etc. Poorly managed diabetes is found to be the most common reason for progressive peripheral neuropathy that starts as numbness, tingling or pain and progresses to a state where the patient cannot feel a wound or even one’s own footwear. Sudden injuries (like in motor vehicle accidents) or chronic injuries (as seen in spondylosis) are some other common causes of neuropathy. While autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy, nutritional deficiencies (usually vit B12), certain drugs, poisons and chemicals etc. may also cause peripheral neuropathy, sometimes it may be hereditary and in rare cases, without any identifiable cause. Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for peripheral neuropathy starts with a thorough assessment to identify the underlying reason for nerve damage.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY
What is the approach adopted in the ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy?
Ayurveda explains that peripheral neuropathy is caused by an imbalance in vata dosha (vata, pitta and kapha are the tridoshas in our body. If the proportions between these doshas are disturbed, it results in disease). Vata dosha must be in a state of balance for the proper functioning of the nerves and signal conduction. But when vata gets aggravated due to various causes like diabetes, injury, chronic alcoholism, improper diet, chemotherapy, etc., it affects the structure and function of nerves resulting in neurological deficits and its problems. Ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy in Kerala therefore concentrates on the underlying factor that causes the vata vitiation and tries to correct it and bring the vata dosha under control.
What are the benefits of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for peripheral neuropathy?
The main goal of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for peripheral neuropathy is addressing the underlying reason for nerve damage and tackling the imbalance in vata dosha. Ayurvedic treatment attempts to:
Identify and treat the underlying cause: Peripheral neuropathy, in most cases, happens as a symptom or complication of some underlying problem like diabetes, nerve injury, SLE, arthritis etc. Internal medicines and specific therapies that target such root causes will be employed first since ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy will only be effective with the proper management of such underlying conditions.
Relieve neurological symptoms like burning and weakness: Most symptoms seen in peripheral neuropathy are a result of of an imbalance in vata dosha and can be relieved by bringing vata back to its normal state. Ayurvedic medicines and panchakarma therapies like vasti, especially nourishing types of vastis like yapana vasti, are used to pacify vata and strengthen the nerve functions.
Strengthen and restore the functions of nerves: To restore proper neurological functions, external therapies and internal cleansing are needed. Therapies like pizhichil, abhyanga, njavarakizhi, nasya etc. help in strengthening the nerve fibres and also help in regenerating the nerve cells if they are not irreversibly damaged. This facilitates proper conduction of nerve impulses and relief from symptoms.
How successful is the ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for peripheral neuropathy?
Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for peripheral neuropathy usually takes 4 to 6 weeks depending on the cause and severity of symptoms. Treatment outcome mainly depends on the underlying reason for nerve damage. The chances of complete cure are more if you are young, the symptoms are in its beginning phase, of recent onset and also if the root cause is completely curable ( like carpal tunnel syndrome). But even in senior patients and in cases associated with chronic diseases like diabetes and spondylosis or induced by chemotherapy, peripheral neuropathy treatment in Kerala can reduce the severity of symptoms and make it manageable without painkillers as well as prevent further nerve damage.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE
What is the diet advised in the ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is often the result of an underlying disease condition, so it is important to have a personal discussion with your physician at the ayurveda hospital in Kerala before you plan your diet. Here are some general guidelines:
Since peripheral neuropathy is caused by an imbalance in vata dosha, a diet that keeps vata dosha in balance is recommended as part of ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy. Additionally, if there is underlying diabetes or any nutritional deficiency, you will need to consider such factors as well. You may notice an aggravation of symptoms when you have certain food items like black gram, dried chickpea, frozen and canned food items, raw vegetables etc. It is because such foods aggravate vata dosha and are meant to be avoided. Include fresh yogurt, buttermilk and other dairy products daily in your diet as they do not aggravate vata and are rich sources of vitamin B12. Remember, Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining the healthy functioning of nerves. Although sweet tasting food is good to pacify vata dosha, do not go for sweets if you are suffering from diabetic neuropathy. Stick to warm, easy to digest, mildly spiced, homemade food with properly cooked vegetables and fresh lentils (avoid dry pulses and lentils as much as possible). Choose lean meat and skinless poultry and avoid deep frying them. Use almond oil, ghee or sesame oil for preparing food rather than saturated and trans fats like butter, palm oil, coconut oil etc.
What is the role of lifestyle in the ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy?
One of the most common concerns with respect to peripheral neuropathy is around exercise. You may exercise, but in moderation. Vigorous exercise tends to increase vata dosha but moderate exercises like walking is considered good. This helps in keeping your blood glucose levels normal and strengthens the muscles which may be weakened due to neuropathy. Quit smoking and drinking habits as both will cause nutritional deficiencies and worsen symptoms. Avoid day sleep and being awake at night. Take your meals on time and avoid skipping your meals. Prevent exposure to cold water, cold weather etc. and keep yourself comfortably warm as coldness tends to increase vata dosha. Practise yoga and meditation as it help create a positive attitude in you and is a good form of exercise too.Before discharge from your ayurvedic centre in Kerala, make sure you discuss your diet and lifestyle with your physician and obtain relevant recommendations.
Peripheral neuropathy is a common neurological problem that usually occurs as a complication of some disease like diabetes, spondylosis or as a result of trauma or repeated injury. Since the causes are disparate and the symptoms vary among people, treatment is determined after a thorough assessment of the underlying cause. Ayurveda treatment for peripheral neuropathy has a comprehensive approach that places emphasis on regenerating the nerve fibres and restoring the lost nerve functions. A course of inpatient treatment at an ayurvedic hospital in Kerala for 4 to 6 weeks relieves symptoms in most cases and prevents future complications.
What are some relevant points when I am planning my peripheral neuropathy treatment in Kerala?
It is extremely important for you to discuss your current complaints in detail - share detailed information on all your symptoms like presence of any pain, numbness, tingling sensation, weakness, if sensation in a particular part of the body is exaggerated or diminished, changes in gait, spread of the symptoms, how long your symptoms have been present, whether it is present on one side or both sides of the body, what had triggered the onset of the symptoms etc. Detailed history helps the physician understand the underlying cause and plan treatment protocol appropriately. Another important aspect to discuss is the presence of other illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease etc and your detailed medical and surgical history. If you have a nerve conduction study report, do share it with your physician.
Can ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy restore normal sensations?
In many cases, yes. Treatment outcomes vary depending on patient profile and severity of symptoms. Peripheral neuropathy caused by reversible causes can be cured completely with ayurvedic treatment. For the best outcome, it is important to take treatment early, have medicines as prescribed and judiciously follow the medical advice.
Can ayurvedic treatment for peripheral neuropathy help avoid surgery?
Surgery is not so commonly advised in peripheral neuropathy except in certain cases where there is a pressure on the nerves caused by something like a tumor. In such cases, it is advisable to surgically remove it first and then look for ayurvedic treatment in Kerala if the symptoms still persist.