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Zinc May Improve Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

A recent study is shedding light on the role zinc deficiency plays in peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is the umbrella term used to describe the many disorders of the peripheral nervous system. Despite their vast array of causes, almost all peripheral neuropathies present themselves in the same way.

"They generally cause numbness and tingling to the arms, legs, hands and feet," says Dr. Nathan Weller, a Scottsdale, Arizona, doctor who specializes in the treatment of all types of peripheral neuropathy. "It can even cause debilitating pain and the inability to walk or use your hands."

The study, which was authored by Favio C. Bumanlag, BA, earned the author the prestigious 2018 Technologist Member Recognition Award from the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM). The study highlighted the connection between zinc and the body's nerves – mainly that when there isn't enough zinc in the body, the nerves are at a higher risk of damage.

"We already knew that zinc was an important trace element in the body," Weller says. "But to see just how much damage something as seemingly harmless as a zinc deficiency can cause is eye opening."

According to the study, zinc-deficiency-induced peripheral neuropathy can often be a challenge to properly diagnose, further exposing patients to the painful side effects of peripheral neuropathy.

The study concluded with a call to action for more education for doctors to help them recognize and diagnose zinc-deficiency-related peripheral neuropathy sooner and more accurately.

"The sooner patients can get a diagnosis, the sooner they can begin treatment and get some relief," Weller says.

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

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