There are a number of home remedies for neuropathy from chemo that can help to ease and alleviate the symptoms of neuropathy. These home remedies can help to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a type of nerve damage that can be caused by chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
Neuropathy is an ailment that causes numbness, tingling, and other sensations in the feet and hands. Chemotherapy is known to have a high rate of neuropathy as a side effect. It’s thought that chemotherapy kills healthy cells, including nerves, and causes damage to them.
Chemotherapy has been shown to harm nerves that control sensation and movement in the hands and feet. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is a term used by doctors to describe this problem (CIPN). Symptoms can be severe, and they might have an impact on a person’s quality of life.
While there are no guaranteed home remedies for treating neuropathy from chemo, some commonly recommended approaches include exercising regularly to maintain good circulation and flexibility, reducing stress levels through meditation or other techniques, eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals to promote nerve health, and incorporating certain supplements into your daily routines such as omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin B12.
Types Of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
There are two types of CIPN, which are distinguished by when the symptoms develop.
Chronic neuropathy develops gradually over time and can persist even after treatment has ended. The symptoms might improve, worsen, or stay the same over time.
Acute neuropathy develops quickly, typically during or soon after the first few cycles of chemotherapy. The symptoms tend to peak within a few days or weeks and then improve over time. However, some people might experience long-term effects from acute neuropathy. home remedies for neuropathy from chemo
Symptoms Of CIPN
The symptoms of CIPN depend on which nerves are affected. The most common symptom is numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, also called paresthesia. This can feel like pins and needles, burning, or freezing sensations.
Other symptoms might include:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of coordination
- Changes in blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Sexual dysfunction
Causes Of CIPN
It’s not fully understood why chemotherapy damages peripheral nerves. It’s thought that the chemicals in chemotherapy drugs kill healthy cells, including nerves, as well as cancer cells. The damage to the nerves causes a loss of function and results in symptoms.
Peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by the disease itself, as seen in some cases of cancer-related peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy may result from a variety of other cancer therapies, including surgery and radiation therapy. Even if you’re undergoing chemotherapy, the neuropathy can be induced or worsened by various factors, such as:
- alcohol use disorder
- autoimmune disorders
- diabetes mellitus
- infections that lead to nerve damage
- poor peripheral blood circulation
- spinal cord injury
- vitamin B deficiency
Risk Factors For CIPN
There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of developing CIPN, including:
- the type of chemotherapy drugs you’re taking
- the dose and duration of your treatment
- your overall health
- your age
- preexisting nerve damage
- a family history of neuropathy
How To Prevent Neuropathy From Chemo?
There are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of developing CIPN.
- Talk to your doctor about your risk factors. Certain factors, such as age, type of chemotherapy drugs used, and length of treatment, can increase your risk of developing CIPN.
- Ask about pre-emptive treatments. Some treatments, such as certain types of steroids, can be given before chemotherapy to help prevent neuropathy.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, tight control of your blood sugar levels might help reduce your risk of neuropathy.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress can help you stay healthy during treatment and might reduce your risk of neuropathy.
Home Remedies For Neuropathy From Chemo
What helps with neuropathy from chemo? Natural treatments may help to relieve CIPN symptoms, although there is no certain method of doing so. Even over-the-counter supplements that claim to be safe and natural, it is critical to consult with a doctor before attempting any natural cure, even if they are over-the-counter treatments, to verify that they do not interfere with therapy.
Natural Neuropathy Home Remedies
There are a few home remedies that might help alleviate neuropathy symptoms, although there is no scientific evidence to support their use.
Vitamin B6 is essential for nerve health. It can be found in food sources such as poultry, fish, potatoes, and bananas. Vitamin B6 supplements might also help to relieve neuropathy symptoms.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that has been shown to help protect nerves from damage. It can be taken as a supplement or applied topically.
Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the skin at specific locations on the body. Acupuncture has been found to help with neuropathy pain relief.
Massage therapy might help to relieve neuropathy symptoms by improving blood circulation and relieving muscle tension.
Regular exercise can help to improve blood circulation and reduce neuropathy symptoms. Exercise might also help to prevent neuropathy from worsening.
Yoga can help to improve flexibility, balance, and strength. It might also help to reduce neuropathy foot pain after chemo by promoting relaxation.
Applying lotion to the affected area might help to relieve neuropathy pain. The lotion should be free of fragrances, dyes, and other irritants.
Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to improve overall health and reduce neuropathy symptoms.
Eating a healthy diet is important for maintaining good circulation and reducing inflammation. Foods that are high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins are especially beneficial.
Avoiding Or Quitting Smoking
Smoking can worsen neuropathy symptoms by reducing blood flow to the nerves. Quitting smoking might help to improve neuropathy symptoms.
Limit Or Avoid Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can worsen neuropathy symptoms. Limiting or avoiding alcohol might help to improve neuropathy symptoms.
There are a few other alternative treatments that might help to relieve neuropathy symptoms.
- transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- low-level laser therapy
- magnetic field therapy
These alternative treatments are generally considered safe, but it is important to consult with a doctor before attempting any of them.
The Bottom Line
There is no cure for CIPN, but there are treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms. Natural home remedies might also help to alleviate neuropathy symptoms. However, it is important to consult with a doctor before attempting any home remedy, as some home remedies might interact with chemotherapy drugs.