Numbness in your feet and toes can be very dangerous- you may injure yourself and never know it if you don’t check your feet daily. Numbness in feet and toes typically indicates that there is a problem with those nerves that communicate information from them to the brain.
There are several things that can cause you to experience numbness in your feet and toes. These include medications, chronic illnesses, nutritional deficiencies and more. In order to effectively treat- and cure- the problem of numbness in feet and toes, you must be able to determine what is causing the numbness in the first place.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Something you may not know is that diabetes can result in nerve damage, especially if you don’t properly take care of yourself. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes says that the nerves in the lower legs, feet, and toes are most commonly affected in this case. Numbness and tingling are two of the most common symptoms, with pain and burning in some cases.
Over time, neuropathy caused by diabetes can cause a total loss of sensation in the affected areas. This impaired perception significantly increases the possibility of accidental in jury of your feet or toes. Risk factors for diabetic peripheral neuropathy include: not keeping your blood sugar under control, obesity, high blood pressure, and being older than 40 years old.
Drug Induced Numbness
There are some medications that can affect the nerves in the feet, which can cause some numbness. Many of the medications that are used to treat HIV/AIDS can cause some peripheral neuropathy and numbness. Additionally, there are certain cancer medications that can cause peripheral neuropathy, including numbness in feet and toes. Once chemotherapy is complete, you could experience partial or complete restoration of sensation.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Your nerves are protected by a coating called a myelin sheath. This covering also facilitates the flow of signals to the brain and spinal cord. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 can actually cause the myelin sheath to become damaged and cause abnormalities of nerve functioning, including numbness. Additionally, individuals who have a Vitamin B12 deficiency are often anemic. Treating this condition quickly could prevent permanent damage to nerves.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
This condition could cause numbness in the feet and toes because of compression on the posterior tibial nerve. This nerve enters the foot through a narrow passageway behind the ankle. This passageway can become crowded due to swelling, bone spurs, inflammation, varicose veins, or tendonitis. As the compression begins to get worse, the feet and toes will often become numb. Treating this condition starts with rest and if not improved, your physician will most likely move on to anti-inflammatory medications and then finally to surgery.
Curing Numbness in Feet and Toes
As briefly mentioned in each of the above sections, you can treat- and cure- numbness in your feet and toes.
These vitamins are necessary for the proper functioning of your central nervous and cardiovascular systems. Due to this reason, both individual B-vitamins and B-vitamin complexes are used to restore circulation and reduce numbness and tingling sensations. Due to the fact that these vitamins are water soluble, your body will flush out whatever it doesn’t use it- therefore, there are very few risks associated with them.
Vitamin B-3, or niacin, is especially effective to restore healthy circulation to the hands and feet by dilating blood vessels. Vitamin B-12, cyanobalamin, and Vitamin B-9, or folic acid, are also essential for healthy circulation. Make sure that you select the Vitamin B complexes that have higher dosages of these three particular nutrients.
Herbalists typically recommend using hawthorn berry as a natural treatment for numbness in feet and toes, and poor circulation. This herb is often used to treat hypertension as well as other cardiovascular diseases, and seems to enhance proper functioning of the circulatory system and lower blood pressure well. Though it hasn’t been fully determined, hawthorn berries could actually strengthen and dilate arteries.
Another popular herbal supplement that has been lauded for its memory enhancing abilities is Ginkgo Biloba. This supplement improves circulation to the brain, and therefore could also improve the functioning of the blood vessels in the spine and neck, as well as those that supply oxygen and blood to the feet and toes.
Foods and Spices
Individuals who consume lots of strong, spicy foods could have fewer occurrences of numbness in their feet and toes. Garlic is one that is thought to be a superfood because it seems to combat hypertension, lower cholesterol, and even enhance proper functioning of the heart. Also, garlic could enhance the circulatory system and therefore fight off numbness in feet and toes.
Cayenne, and possibly other types of, pepper have proven that they are effective at dilating blood vessels and improving circulation of the extremities. Ginger has also been used to enhance heart health and improve circulation. If you don’t care for the taste of strong flavors, these three do come in capsules and extracts.
You can easily and effectively treat your numb feet and toes by using heating pads or hot water soaks. When your body is exposed to heat, blood vessels normally dilate, so being exposed to warmth can enhance or restore blood flow to any part of the body. To get the best results, you should soak your feet in very hot water for at least 20 minutes every day. The water should be as hot as you can stand it, but not hot enough to burn you. You can also add essential oils, Dead Sea salts, or Epsom salts to enhance this method.
Of course, you should know that no DIY treatment plan is complete without having an exercise component. Nearly all conditions are treatable using light to moderate exercise. Living a sedentary lifestyle will contribute/cause minor conditions such as problems with circulation to more serious conditions such as heart disease. Better circulation should be a good reason to exercise often.
During exercise, circulation increases to all parts of your body- including feet and toes. Without being regularly stimulated, your circulatory system is likely to stop pumping enough blood to your feet, which will cause persistent tingling or numbness. Even just a fifteen minute walk every day can help alleviate numbness.