You might be surprised to learn that the food you eat can make neuropathy harder to deal with. Here are five common foods that can make your neuropathy symptoms even more troublesome.
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Neuropathy is when your nerves get damaged, causing sensations like tingling, burning, numbness, or pins and needles in your arms and legs. It happens when your nerves are squeezed, damaged, or broken down, and they start sending signals to your brain that something is wrong.
The Role of Food in Neuropathy:
The connection between the food you eat and neuropathy has to do with something called inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s way of responding to things it thinks are threats, like germs or injuries. It’s like your body’s alarm system, trying to protect you. But the problem is that many foods we eat regularly can make this alarm system go off too much and for too long. This constant inflammation can confuse your body, making it attack healthy parts of itself. For people with chronic neuropathy, this inflammation can lead to more nerve damage, making the symptoms worse and life even more challenging.
Here are five common foods that can make neuropathy symptoms worse:
The average American consumes about 34 teaspoons of sugar every day, adding up to over 100 pounds of sugar each year. Sugar is added to processed foods to make them last longer, taste better, or replace other ingredients like fat. It’s strongly linked to nerve damage, especially in people with diabetes or insulin resistance.
2. Refined Grains
Whole grains have more nutrients and fiber because they include the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined grains, on the other hand, only contain the endosperm, which means they lose a lot of the good stuff. Refined grains break down in your body like sugar and can cause inflammation.
3. Dairy Products
Some people might have trouble with dairy products because of a protein called casein found in milk. It can trigger inflammation that targets the protective layer around your nerves called myelin. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it can affect people with nerve damage conditions like multiple sclerosis or peripheral neuropathy.
Alcohol has processed grains and sugar, which your body quickly turns into sugar. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a specific type of nerve damage called alcohol neuropathy.
5. Chemicals in Processed Foods
Many processed foods have chemicals added to them to make them taste better or last longer. But what’s suitable for the manufacturer isn’t always good for you. Some of these chemicals can cause health problems like developmental issues, cancer, weakened immune systems, neurological harm, and damage to your DNA. Even though these chemicals are in small amounts in each food item, if you eat them regularly, your immune system has to work hard all the time.
These foods are common in many processed diets because they’re convenient. But if you want to ease your neuropathy symptoms in the long run, it might be worth it to spend more time and money on cooking with whole foods that don’t have additives. Changing your diet can be a big decision, so it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional for guidance. They can help you find ways to manage your neuropathy symptoms through your diet.