What To Eat And Avoid When You Have Autonomic Neuropathy?

Autonomic neuropathy is a name given to the condition of the autonomic nervous system, in which there is a damage caused to the nerves that regulate involuntary functions in the body. These functions include functions like blood pressure function, temperature regulation, bladder function, digestion function, sexual function, etc. there are many reasons for autonomic neuropathy to develop. Diabetes is one of the most common of them.(1)

What To Eat And Avoid When You Have Autonomic Neuropathy?

When suffering from neuropathy or any other nerve disorder, a specific diet that is enriched in certain nutrients may help. The food can help in improving the functioning of your nervous system. The foods that are nourishing to the nerves can help in strengthening your immune system and can stop or reduce further nerve damage. The nerve-healthy diet may comprise of the following-

  • Consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in all your meals.
  • 5 to 10 servings of fresh, colorful fruits or vegetables or both per day can help your nerves meet their daily nutrient requirements (1 serving is a half-cup). This can be met by consuming one medium fruit or vegetable, ¼ cup of dried fruit and ¾ cup of fruit juice
  • Increase the number of whole grains, legumes, foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids and lean proteins.
  • Reduce salt intake.
  • Limit it to less than 2300 mg per day.
  • Limit the intake of saturated fats and trans fats.
  • This can be accomplished by preferring lean meat and poultry over red meat.
  • Also, low- fat and non-fat dairy products can help you achieve this.
  • Consume monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
  • These can be obtained from fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, etc.
  • Avoid drinks and beverages with added sugars or sweeteners.
  • Limit alcohol as it exerts a toxic effect on the nerve tissues.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Smoking is known to impact healing, by either reducing it or totally preventing.(2)

Causes Of Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy can be caused due to many health conditions. It can also be caused as a side effect to many medications and treatments, like chemotherapy for cancer. Some of the most common causes of autonomic neuropathy may be-(1)

Amyloidosis-

in this condition, there is an abnormal build-up of protein in organs, which may affect many organs as well as the nervous system

Autoimmune Disorders-

  • In these conditions, your own immune system attacks the healthy cells in your body and leads to damages to various organs in the body.
  • Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus etc. are examples of autoimmune disorders.
  • These autoimmune disorders can affect the nerves, leading to autonomic neuropathy
  • Cancers may cause paraneoplastic syndrome, which is caused due to the response of the immune system. These syndromes can also cause autonomic neuropathy

Diabetes-

the most leading cause of autonomic neuropathy, diabetes can cause extensive damage to the nerves all over the body if it is not controlled efficiently

Medications-

treatment methods like chemotherapy, used in treating cancer, can cause extensive nerve damage and can lead to autonomic neuropathy

Infectious Diseases –

Viral and bacterial diseases, especially the ones like HIV, Lyme disease, botulism, etc. can cause nerve damage and lead to autonomic neuropathy.

Hereditary Disorders-

Some hereditary disorders may lead to autonomic neuropathy.(1)

Conclusion

Autonomic neuropathy is a condition related to the autonomic nervous system. This system controls the involuntary body functions like bladder function, digestion function, blood pressure control, temperature regulation, sexual function, etc. Due to the extensive damage to the nerves that control these involuntary functions, the body cannot perform these functions properly. Certain foods and diet can help in reenergizing the nerves and provide them with the type of nutrients that may help them in getting strengthened. A diet generally recommended for any nerve disorder can be recommended in autonomic neuropathy too.

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