When we conducted our Symptom Survey early in 2014, the one chronic symptom that everyone reported was “Pain”. Some identified it as being an ache with dull, continuous pain, while others described it as burning, numbness, tingling, or prickling sensations (paresthesia), or as deep bone pain, or electric-like feelings. The location of the pain was primarily in the extremities, followed by the hips, joints, and ribs.
From my own experience, I can tell you that I always have some level of pain even with taking prescription medication. While stronger medications might make me feel pain free, I prefer to live with a tolerable level of pain rather than feel over-medicated.
From what I have read, it seems that most of our pain is the result of damage to our nervous system. Our nervous system is made up of two parts: the Central Nervous System (CNS), which is our brain and spinal cord, and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), which is the communications network of nerves that transmits information to and from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body.
Because every peripheral nerve has a highly specialized function in a specific part of the body, a wide array of symptoms can occur when nerves are damaged. According to the NIH Fact Sheet on Peripheral Neuropathy, some people may experience temporary numbness, tingling, and pricking sensations (paresthesia), sensitivity to touch, or muscle weakness. Others may suffer more extreme symptoms, including burning pain (especially at night), muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction. People may become unable to digest food easily, maintain safe levels of blood pressure, or sweat normally. In the most extreme cases, breathing may become difficult or organ failure may occur.
Peripheral Neuropathy is a neurological disorder that has many causes, and toxins such as heavy metals and metal-containing medicine are two of them. That makes sense since Gadolinium has been found to be neurotoxic.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Peripheral Neuropathy. If the nerves have only been damaged, they can repair themselves but cannot be replaced. If the nerve has been killed, it cannot be replaced. According to information from the University of Virginia, while chelation therapy has been used to treat metal poisoning, it does not help Peripheral Neuropathy side effects. In some cases, the neuropathy gets better, but they say that usually patients will experience symptoms years after their last exposure to the cause.
It seems that not much can be done for those who have developed Peripheral Neuropathy except managing the symptoms. Interestingly, just like in our Symptom Survey, the symptom that affects patients the most is the pain.
Pain can wear you down, both mentally and physically. Don’t let it get the best of you. You should talk to your doctor to see what pain control options might be best for you.
Here are two sources for info about Peripheral Neuropathy:
Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet from the NIH
Peripheral Neuropathy and Metals from the University of Virginia