There are many different treatments and methods a person can use when it comes to searching for a solution to nerve pain. Some will choose to start taking alternative medicines. Other people will continue pressing on with what the doctor prescribes and accept the side effects that come with doing so.
However, there are some solutions that won’t cause a person to have to choose between the two. There are some solutions where a person will be increasing something that is already in his or her body rather than introducing something new.
After all, nerve pain has been connected to a number of reduced levels of nutrients in the body. Thankfully, there are simple ways to counter these nutrients imbalances. All a person has to do is have more inositol in his or her diet or, if that’s not possible, consider a supplement.
The Role of Inositol
Inositol, otherwise known as vitamin B8, is not generally thought of on a regular basis.
Despite this, it has been connected to a number of issues ranging from anxiety and panic disorders to helping with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Because of its nature, many people connect it with nerve pain as well.
Inositol itself is a major component of cell membranes, making it perfectly viable that it could have an influence on nerve pain.
However, before a person chooses to start taking supplements, it is important to have a good understanding of what exactly it is and how it works.
What Is Inositol?
Inositol is actually in a bit of a grey space. Some people consider it to be a part of a group of “pseudovitamins”. Many more people consider it to still be in the vitamin B complex family, despite not actually being a vitamin.
This confusion comes from the fact that inositol was once considered to be a vitamin in the B complex family but it is actually synthesized in the human body, unlike vitamins.
With that in mind, it has many functions in the human body, as anything that is or was a part of the vitamin B complex has to do with cell metabolism since it's is a type of sugar. Even more specifically, myo-inositol is a lipotropic agent that accelerates the breaking down of fat, prevents excess accumulation of fat, and essentially helps to metabolize fats.
How It Works
Through metabolizing fats, B6 also assists with keeping the integrity of the cell membrane up to what it should be, which keeps the cells as healthy as possible.
In addition to this, it can also help with the conduction of nerve signals. If a person is looking for something that can possibly help with nerve pain, these last two points are particularly important to consider.
When it comes to working with nerve pain, many of the issues arise from the nerves themselves dying. If there is a drug or supplement that can not only improve the health of the cell membrane but also assist with conducting nerve signals, then inositol would be the best choice.
Given what it can do for the body, it would be safe to assume that B6 supplements, or at least an increase in daily consumption, can help with managing nerve pain. Before a person begins taking any supplement, even if it’s something that the body naturally produces, it is always a good idea to talk with a physician first. Another thing that is important to do is to check whether or not it is a safe supplement to take.
Where Can a Person Get Inositol?
While B6 is available in some forms as a supplement, a person can get a decent amount through his or her dietary intake. In fact, there was even a study done to search for which foods had the highest concentration of myo-inositol in them. According to this study, there were several different types of food that had a high level, such as fruits, beans, nuts, and grains.
Apparently, fresh fruits and vegetables had more myo-inositol in them than their frozen, canned, and salt-free counterparts did. Depending on how a person structures his or her diet around myo-inositol intake, a person could get around “225 to 1500 mg/day per 1,800 kcal”, which is a pretty good amount compared to the amount in supplements.
Is It Safe?
Inositol is considered to be an incredibly safe supplement to take. There are typically no side effects at all except in the high doses. Even then, the side effects are usually mild distress in the gastrointestinal region or possibly some tiredness, dizziness, or a headache. Aside from that, there are almost no risks to taking it as a supplement.
If a person is looking for ways to combat nerve pain, an option that has little to no risk is always a good place to start. After all, if it doesn’t seem to work as the person wants, there will have been absolutely no harm in taking or stopping the supplement. Trying inositol is a solution that has very little risk with a high chance of positive benefits.
Inositol also doesn’t have many interactions with other drugs. There are a few things to be wary of, though. For instance, it can create an inappropriate stimulation of serotonin that is not good for people who suffer from bipolar disorder as this sudden increase in serotonin can spark a manic episode.
Long Term Use
Prolonged use or overuse can be somewhat problematic in people who have diabetes as it can lead to low blood sugar. Extremely high doses can also affect the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients such as zinc, iron, calcium, and some other minerals. That is something to look out for if a person chooses to take a high dose; aside from that, it doesn’t have many interactions.
Have There Been Studies Done?
There have been quite a few studies done looking at the connections between vitamin b6 and nerve pain symptoms.
Benefits on Nerves
Even in 1979, scientists were considering the idea that myo-inositol and nerve pain were connected. In this study, they focused on how the dietary intake of myo-inositol affects nerve pain that is related to diabetes.
The researchers found that a diet that has a high amount of myo-inositol ended up having a beneficial effect on the nerve function in patients who had neuropathy induced from diabetes.
In addition to this, there were also no significant side effects in the group that ate the high-myo-inositol diet. This means that there is proof that having a diet rich in myo-inositol can improve the symptoms of nerve pain brought on by diabetes.
More studies were eventually done to see if myo-inositol was connected to other forms of neuropathy as well. In one particular study, scientists focused on the connection between with amino acids in a rat that was afflicted with galactosemic neuropathy.
This study showed that there was a depletion of myo-inositol in the rat. This indicated that inositol plays a role in neuropathy of a few different kinds and potentially all of them. This could also prove that taking in more of it could improve or even prevent neuropathy and the subsequent nerve pain that follows it.
Eventually, some scientists became curious if inositol could actually prevent neuropathy from developing. During this study, scientists found a way to induce diabetic neuropathy in rats. By feeding some of the rats a dietary supplement, the scientists found that the rats who took the dietary supplement ended up preventing a good bit of the diabetic neuropathy that the scientists attempted to induce.
What Does This Mean?
This can show two different things. First, it continues to prove that myo-inositol -- does have a direct correlation to the development of neuropathy. In addition to this, the study shows that by taking in more myo-inositol, there’s a chance that neuropathy can be prevented or, at the least, delayed and lessened.
While each of these studies were different in one way or another, they all showed a common theme: that myo-inositol correlates with neuropathy. From having patients eat a richer diet to focusing on how a rat afflicted with neuropathy had less myo-inositol than it otherwise should, there are several factors that go into this.
Ultimately, what this means that that there is even more reason to try taking it for nerve pain as not only is there a low risk to doing so but there is the chance that a person might find the pain relief that he or she is looking for.
What Does This Mean for Nerve Pain?
Depending on what the root cause of the nerve pain is, there is a chance that this nutrient could help a person out. Whether a person is looking for a supplement that can potentially prevent neuropathy from developing or a person is looking for a supplement that can possibly reduce the symptoms of nerve pain, vitamin b6 is one of the best choices to choose from.
Unlike other supplements, it has very few side effects and the few that are there are mild. This makes it a choice that has a low risk to it and a possibly high reward if a person ends up finding relief from his or her nerve pain.