A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Trigeminal Neuralgia
I had a question the other day about trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition affecting the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain.
If you have trigeminal neuralgia, even mild stimulation of your face, like brushing your teeth or putting on makeup, may trigger a jolt of excruciating pain.
You may initially experience short, mild attacks, but trigeminal neuralgia can progress, causing longer, more frequent bouts of searing pain.
Trigeminal neuralgia affects women more often than men, and it’s more likely to occur in people who are older than 50.
Because of the variety of treatment options available, having trigeminal neuralgia doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to a life of pain.
In trigeminal neuralgia, the trigeminal nerve’s function is disrupted.
Usually, the problem is contact between a normal blood vessel and the trigeminal nerve, at the base of your brain.
This contact puts pressure on the nerve and causes it to malfunction.
Trigeminal neuralgia can occur as a result of aging, or it can be related to multiple sclerosis or a similar disorder damaging the myelin sheath protecting certain nerves.
Less commonly, trigeminal neuralgia can be caused by a tumor compressing the trigeminal nerve.
Sometimes a cause can’t be found.
To deal with neuralgia it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!).
*Cordyceps is a Chinese herb that may help.
*Ginkgo biloba extract enhances cerebral circulation. (Don’t take if you have a bleeding disorder, or are scheduled for surgery or a dental procedure.)
*Other helpful herbs include cayenne, fumitory, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, valerian, and willow bark.
*Adopt a diet low in simple carbohydrates and high in protein.
*Include almonds, almond milk, watercress, parsley, fennel, garlic, cherries, and fresh pineapple in your diet.
*Omit from your diet aged meats, avocados, bananas, beer, cabbage, canned fish, dairy products, eggplant, hard cheeses, potatoes, raspberries, red plums, tomatoes, wine, and yeast. Also avoid alcoholic beverages, aspirin, chocolate, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and nitrites (preservatives found in hot dogs and luncheon meats). Through a process of elimination, try to see if you have a particular allergy to some, or all, of these foods.
*Get regular moderate exercise.
*Avoid salt and acid-forming foods like meat, cereal, bread, and grains. Also avoid fried foods and fatty and greasy foods.
*Eat small meals, and eat small, nutritious snacks between meals if needed, to help stabilize wide swings in blood sugar that may precipitate symptoms. Especially avoid missing meals.
*Take only hypoallergenic supplements.
*Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
*Consider hair analysis to determine heavy metal toxicity.
*Increase oxygen; deep breathing exercises, yoga, etc.
*Consider energy medicine, mind/body/spirit techniques.
*Decrease any and all toxic exposures as they can harm brain cells and function.
*Decrease toxic cleaning, laundry and personal care products.
*Decrease indoor and outdoor environmental pollutants/sensitivities.
*Decrease toxins/heavy metals exposure (workplace, hobbies, etc.); avoid aluminum-containing items.
*Decrease chemical additives, preservatives, pesticides in foods.
*Consider effects of metal dental amalgams and other dental work; consult a holistic dentist.
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