Living with neuropathy is often described as “burning pain that keeps me up at night,” “numbness that make my feet and legs feel dead”, or “pain that is so severe I just want to crawl out of my skin.” People with neuropathy are often told there is very little they can do to stop or reverse the demyelination process. At best, pharmaceutical medications only mask the symptoms to provide temporary relief.
Common Symptoms Nerve Demyelination and neuropathy include:
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Clumsiness and loss of balance
- Loss of sensation in any part of the body
- Tremors and loss of fine motor skills
- Pain, burning and numbness in the extremities
Another type of neuropathy with serious consequences occurs when the tenth cranial nerve, the vagus nerve, demyelinates. This nerve flows from the brain all the way to the bladder with branches affecting all the major organs, including the heart, digestive system, intestines and bladder. Symptoms of vagus nerve demyelination usually begin with the bladder and work their way up the nerve pathway.
Common Symptoms of Vagus Nerve Demyelination include:
- Incontinence and frequent urination
- Nocturnal enuresis with disrupted sleep
- Chronic nausea
- Indigestion and leaky gut syndrome
- Irregular heart rate
- Gagging and problems swallowing
- Loss of hearing and taste
Causes of Nerve Demyelination
A fatty cover called the myelin sheath surrounds healthy nerve fibers and allows messages to and from the brain to reach every area of the body. Multiple sclerosis is a common autoimmune condition that attacks the myelin sheath. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, over 2.5 million people worldwide and 400,000 people in the United States have some form of multiple sclerosis. Additional causes of nerve demyelination include:
- Improper digestion of fats and nutrients
- Surgery and prolonged stress
- Low progesterone and testosterone levels
- Diabetes and inflammation from sugar
- Chronic inflammation and inflammatory diseases
- Chronic and viral infections
- Alcoholism and heavy drinking
- Exposure to heavy metals and neurotoxins
Steps to Repair Nerve Demyelination Naturally
The success of natural treatments for re-myelination of the nerves depends on how long the nerves have been damaged and the ability to reduce triggers that caused the demyelination. Improving digestion and absorption of nutrients along with optimizing natural progesterone and testosterone levels are essential for nerve health.
Acupuncture and nutritional supplements can also be of value. Acupuncture encourages the body to generate adult stem cells and can help the nerves repair quickly. Key nutritional supplements can be recommended to support a healthy nervous system and balanced hormones.
Reducing common issues associated with aging and nerve degeneration requires long-term commitments to wellness. Working with qualified acupuncturists and holistic healthcare providers for regular treatments is best. Many people can reduce their symptoms significantly if not entirely with holistic methods. Having a team of health care providers that specialize in neuropathy is the key to success.
 Schumacher, M. et al. “Progesterone: Therapeutic opportunities for neuroprotection and myelin repair.” Pharmacol Ther. [Internet] 2007 Oct [cited 2013, Aug 6]; 116(1):77-106. Epub 2007 Jun 18. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17659348
 Hussain, R. et al. “The neural androgen receptor: A therapeutic target for myelin repair in chronic demyelination.” Brain.[Internet] 2013 Jan [cited 2013, Aug 6]; 136(Pt 1):132-46. doi: 10.1093/brain/aws284. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23365095