Foods that Can Aggravate Your Neuropathy
The foods you consume can play an important role in managing your neuropathy. Here is a list of foods that you may consider avoiding.
By Shiraz Abbas
Neuropathy is a disease that is characterized by damage to the nerves. Its symptoms include burning sensation, tingling, numbness and/or in the hands and feet, difficulties in walking among other symptoms. There can be various causes to neuropathy, including diabetes, alcoholism, tumors, autoimmune response (in case of CIDP type neuropathy) and more.
There are also known foods that can aggravate neuropathy. The following is a short list of foods you should watch out for in case you suffer from the disease.
Sugar, especially refined sugar, may interfere with your blood sugar control. It is well known that diabetes can bring about neuropathy and it is self-evident that it can also aggravate neuropathy pain by causing further damage to your nerves. Diets that also have a lot of added sugar in them are also low in nutrition and can often have processed and artificial ingredients that can worsen your health and thus aggravate your neuropathy symptoms. See our article on the connection between high sugar consumption and neuropathy.
Allergy to gluten is known as celiac disease which often triggers painful symptoms. Celiac disease is often associated with bloating and digestive pain, but many people do not experience these symptoms. Instead, they can experience the allergic reaction in their nerves through weakness and pain. Unfortunately, most people with celiac disease do not even know they have it.
Gluten is found in wheat, pasta, flour, cakes and much more. Try gluten-free alternatives and see if your symptoms subside. See our article on gluten and neuropathy.
Processed foods can have food additives that can trigger an autoimmune response. Autoimmune diseases are disorders where the body’s immunity attacks healthy tissue in the body, including the nerves. When the body attacks its peripheral nerves, this is called CIDP which is an autoimmune type of neuropathy. To learn more about the relationship between processed foods and CIDP neuropathy, see our article CIDP and Processed Foods.
Dairy and Meat (Saturated Fats)
Saturated fats as found in many fatty meats and dairy can bring about inflammation in your body. Inflammation, especially in CIDP type neuropathy, is a direct reason for neuropathy pain. Saturated fats can also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes which in turn can also lead to developing diabetic neuropathy. The top culprits of saturated fat include beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fried foods and dairy products. By replacing your source of protein with plant-based sources, you can possibly reduce your neuropathy symptoms. To learn more about the health benefits of a plant-based diet on your neuropathy, see our article Vegan Diet (Plant-Based) May Reduce Neuropathy Pain.
Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.