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Healing The Nerve Pain - Foods To Eat, Foods To Avoid?

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It has been a year now since I went gluten-free. The neuropathy in my hands and feet is pretty much gone.  However I now have a different type of odd sensation - pain under my left arm and in the chest/breast area, which sometimes almost feels like an internal itch, hard to describe.  Around the time this first struck I also got a burning sensation that ran from my spine along my back, leading to this area, it felt like I had a rash, like my skin was almost on fire, but there was nothing there.  Unfortunately the doctors that have seen me all have different ideas about what might be causing it, none suppose it is anything serious, just bothersome, but one has held all along it is post herpetic neuralgia, resulting from shingles without the rash, and a neurologist has now told me it should just fade and go away in time, but yes, it is nerve pain as it follows one of the nerve lines - T4 or something.I have had some spinal and brain MRIs for other reasons, as well as blood tests, but it appears nothing is amiss.

 

I just wondered if anyone out there can recommend what I should be eating/drinking to try to hasten the healing process.  Or is there anything I should be avoiding?   This all started in January and although I have had had maybe a handful of days with no pain, some days it can be pretty horrid.  

 

I have resumed taking B12 again.  Are there any other useful supplements?

 

Thanks.

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The painful burning nerve pain I had took some time to die down. Sorry. :(

My entire body was in flames.

 

I wish I could give you a definite answer for what can turn that off because I know it hurts, but my GI doc and I consulted several neurologists and spine specialists and they said the same thing. If it is going to resolve, it will be because of time and a reduction of inflammation in the body.

One said he thought the chances were slim, but I can tell you I am almost completely without nerve pain now and I was in burning hell

and parasthesia for 3 years before DX.

 

Ice the area, get massages if you can tolerate someone working your muscles and you can try chiropractic adjustments.

Sometimes, that helps take the pressure off the nerves.

I can honestly say "i feel your pain" because I lived it for a long time.

 

And if I am accidentally glutened, the burning start right up again. 

 

Did they suggest lidocaine patches for some temporary relief?

 

Hang in there. 

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IrishHeart... thank you so much. It is so good to know I'm not the only one, even more to know that it is behind you now.  That gives me hope. Lidocaine patches - oddly enough, a friend of mine was prescribed them and she suggested I tried a box.  Would you say best to put it on the spine where the neural path emerges or on the actual painful part itself?  I am wondering too about being super strict again about gluten-free because although I am at home I have been eating out at several places where perhaps there may be some cross-contamination.  That's not going to help!

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I know that my friend with postherpetic neuralgia used them. (I had no luck with them because I would have had to cover my entire body)  ^_^

and she put them right on the spot that felt burny.

 

You could maybe try being super strict for a while--2 weeks--and see if it helps?

 

I do not think you are "doing anything wrong", honestly, i just think it may be a time factor, since your doctors have ruled out any impingement.

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I've seen advertisements for Lyrica as a treatment for diabetic nerve pain.  I don't know anything about it beyond that though.  It might be worth checking into.  Large boxes of wine might be cheaper? :D

 

http://www.lyrica.com/

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I've seen advertisements for Lyrica as a treatment for diabetic nerve pain.  I don't know anything about it beyond that though.  It might be worth checking into.  Large boxes of wine might be cheaper? :D

 

http://www.lyrica.com/

GFinDC.  Thank you so much for that recommendation, I see in that link they also say it helps with post shingles pain (Lyrica, not wine!).    I google too much for my own good on websites looking for answers and I noticed someone said they took just one Lyrica tablet and the neuralgia went away!   Now that's effective! Although it looks like one might have to take it for a few weeks normally to see some results  If anyone has tried Lyrica for nerve pain and is reading this could you let us know how you got on?  One doctor did mention it to me but was reluctant to prescribe it because it caused fatigue.

 

Thanks again GFinDC and IrishHeart for your input.

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Anyone I know who took Lyrica gained a large amount of weight, had facial, feet and hand swelling and did not report any significant change

in their symptoms.

 

Maybe generic gabapentin may help--in small doses--but you must know that any medication is not without side effects. :(

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Anyone I know who took Lyrica gained a large amount of weight, had facial, feet and hand swelling and did not report any significant change

in their symptoms.

 

Maybe generic gabapentin may help--in small doses--but you must know that any medication is not without side effects. :(

 

 

Thanks for the warning.   Maybe GFinDC is right about the wine instead!  I think just at the moment I can more or less handle the pain, but I guess it is something to bear in mind if it gets worse, I hope it won't.  

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Hi Irish Heart – hope you see this.  Just wanted to ask you a couple more questions, hope that is OK.

 

Did you actually find anything other than food made your nerve pain worse?   I am feeling a bit discouraged because I am noticing that when I do exercise the pain seems worse and then lingers for the rest of the day.  And stress really makes things worse too.    

 

The other question is did you find that close fitting clothes made things worse, such as bra straps, belt around my jeans - I seem to be getting the pain on my left hip too!  

 

I'm seeing another consultant to rule out impingement this week, I shall ask him if he thinks this is celiac or related to shingles without the rash.  

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At the beginning of the healing after diagnosis, yes, honestly,I was not able to exercise or have massage or physical therapy without creating more pain.

It was not pleasant. In time, this has changed and I do not have the intense pain after like I used to have. And yes, stress can cause a flare in any autoimmune response because it creates inflammation in the body. 

 

Anything I put on felt  very abrasive. Just toweling off after a shower hurt for a long time,.Even laying down in bed hurt. It was crazy weird.

 

That's mostly all gone now. I do hope you get relief soon. I feel for you because I know how ouchy & miserable it is. 

 

Let us know how you make out. 

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My Mom took Lyrica for a month for fibromyalgia. Her doc always refused to prescribe it. She got some at an Urgent Care when traveling. She was desperate. She gained 30 pounds in one month! She was always hungry. She even traveled on a plane with a stash of goodies and she showed me saying, "Have you ever seen me do this before?" My response was, "No!"

Since she reacted with the hunger and fast weight gain, she was worried about being suicidal, which is a risk factor. She stopped using it.

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Thank you both.  You don't know how much this is helping me because I am really struggling.

 

IrishHeart, your experiences of pain being exacerbated by exercise and also contact with fabric reassures me that the doctors are on the right track with this.  It is honestly the weirdest pain I have ever encountered, it is in a generalized area, nothing too specific, and yet sometimes it feels more focused... and some times I think.... oh this reminds me a muscle strain, now it feels like fire, now it feels like there is a rash, now it feels like....  and then it goes!  

 

cyclinglady, thanks so much for the warning about Lyrica.   One of my doctors was very loath to prescribe it to me, another keener.  My own feeling was that I wanted to be absolutely sure of a diagnosis because I didn't want to cover up a pain that might be trying to tell me something important.    I think I can put up with the pain just about.  Weight gain and other issues are a real consideration.  I panic sometimes because this pain is just so weird that I think it must be something really sinister, although I have been told that it sounds typically neurological.  

 

I did notice on my recent trip to Edinburgh that it felt a lot better, I left my jeans at home so no itchy belt, and I think just generally being on holiday was good medicine!  I saw your other post with regards to your visit to the UK, cyclinglady I hope you find Scotland equally beneficial!  Personally, I think a trip to Edinburgh should be on prescription!

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Alas, with a 12 day cruise, we will not be able to get to Scotland this trip! I have read all the Hamish Macbeth mystery series by M.C. Beaton and would love to see northern Scotland!

I hope that you can find other pain alternatives. My mom said that Lyrica was the only drug that frightened her due to it's side effects.

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Hi Im pretty new here I am self diagnosed for now I went gluten free a year ago. I acctually wasnt aware this was a symptom. I did a abunch of baking I think two or three weeks ago. I went through the stomach pain and feeling awful for a week after I did not eat anything just baked for the family. anyway now and everysince I have had burning pain in one area or another usually associated with a joint hips, knees fingers wrist even in shouder or back . I go to bed every night hurting so bad. this has happend before and I did not connect it. Also does cold make it worse because the air has been on for same amount of time and my husband likes it very cool. I feel the pain is more tollerable if I wrap in a blanket and get warm. How long does it last??

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Hi Kay - sounds like you and I went gluten free around the same time. I had such high hopes for an amazing transformation in my own health but it seems as soon as I have resolved one issue, another turns up!   In my own case I do find heat and stress absolutely the worst thing but I got a lot of pain one day when I was preparing something cold from the freezer or fridge, and remember although I was holding the food in my left hand it really brought the pain on in my chest and breast (left side) in the most exaggerated way.  The problem I have at the moment is not knowing exactly why this has come on (it first started just after Christmas).  Is it just nerves healing from years not getting the right nutrients/vitamins, is gluten creeping in, is it shingles without the rash, or is it nerve impingement, or something else?  And of course now it is in my left hip/groin area, so like you, more than one site.   If I get any answers I will get back to you.

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Well, just to report back that it isn't nerve impingement, the MRI scans confirmed it, but according to the consultant, it sounds like it might be caused by 'something like shingles' and 'it sounds nervy'.  If only the doctors could agree - three out of five think its nerve related, two think it could have been shingles that set it off (if only I had been given the anti-viral but I guess, six months after the event it is too late).    I felt so much better over all today then wham, this evening, terrible itch in my hip and in my breast again, worse than ever.   Well, I am going to have to get some sort of pain relief if this irritation continues.  The only thing that I think might have set it off is a very poor diet over the weekend with birthday celebrations, too much cake (albeit gluten free) and chocolate.    If there are any shingles veterans reading this, any tips or encouragement would be welcome.

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I've seen advertisements for Lyrica as a treatment for diabetic nerve pain.  I don't know anything about it beyond that though.  It might be worth checking into.  Large boxes of wine might be cheaper? :D

 

http://www.lyrica.com/

I actually take Lyrica twice a day. I was prescribed it a year before being diagnosed with Celiac disease. It has had no negative effects in me at all. I have not gained any weight whatsoever which I wish I could. And am definitely not suicidal or hungry all the time. So I think it may be a to each it's own type of thing. I had numbness and tingling from my shoulders all the way down my arms to my fingertips. I could not even move at one point it was awful. Lyrica has made my life a lot better.

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Thanks for sharing your experience, Samjayde.  I am grateful.  I am having yet another scan next week to just check all OK in my lower abdomen area.  If that is clear I think I will feel more confident to take some medication - I didn't want to numb any pain (which I gather itching can be, a type of pain) that was trying to tell me something.  I hope your numbness and tingling gets better.

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Hi BeckyD.   

I am so sorry you are having all these problems.

These issues have changed.  After more than a year of itchy left-sided pain across my ribs and round to my back to the spine, under my left breast, etc, I was so sure was what I had was really serious that I managed to persuade a specialist to do not only another mammogram in January 2015 (we have a history of breast cancer in our family) but also an ultrasound scan.  I was so sure they had overlooked something from mammo of the previous year.  However he found everything to be normal and bless him, told me to go home and have a Gin and Tonic!  That day I drove back from my tests relieved but by the end of the journey I had searing left-sided itchy pain, in both my ribs and hip.   Worse than ever - stress? Bad posture driving?  I am just not sure but it was v. real.  

I then read up some more on Dr Google and discovered on one obscure site that the left sided itchy pain might be to do with inflammation in the the cartilege in my ribs.   I thought perhaps I should try to at least buy a new bra that gave pretty good support but didn't cut in around my back/ribs at all.  I also decided to buy a more supportive top to wear at night.  I am heavy chested and had read that restricting movement with good support might stop the irritation.

And guess what -  bit by bit, the itchy pain started to go in my ribs.  Although I should point out that if it had been shingles without the rash which my brother in law doctor thought it was, it was supposed to subside after about a year.  So perhaps that was it instead?  Anyway, it hardly ever comes back now, I am pleased to say.  I never wear a bra that cuts into my chest - after a few hours that can bring the pain back.  

The hip - well that is odd, too.  I started to see a chiro who identified that I had a very tender sacroiliac joint on the left side.  The pain and itching didn't really go with treatment, however one day I was walking in my home town and I misjudged a step, jarred my left leg and this sharp pain went through my leg and hip and right through me.   I went home to bed with the usual terrible itchy pain in my hip and then guess what, after going to bed for about five hours and sleeping it off, the pain was much better.  And it had more or less gone within a week!

Around the time I had that mammo in January 2015  I got a new symptom, buzzing in my cheek, right side this time, just for a change, but again it only last about a year.  It has almost gone now!  I treated that myself as the doctor couldn't figure out what it was.   I read that it could be neck issue so tried a rolled towel under the neck, sleeping on the unaffected side when it was playing up - bingo! Started to get better from that point onwards.

Sorry to go on and on but hopefully you might find something that might help you.

I really don't know what is wrong with me other than perhaps I have a musculoskeletal problem that exhibits itself as a strange itching/tingling/buzzing/burning. I still have sarcoiliac pain but it seems to wax and wane.  Another auto-immune issue perhaps?

I take it you have hip and rib pain too?  Do you find it waxes and wanes?  Do ask me more questions if I can help any further.

***

PS  I never took any of the suggested medication.   I did find warm baths in Epsom Salts helpful.  I found although I could go to bed feeling like my hip and ribs were on fire, I normally woke up pain free - so I tried to get as much sleep as I could.  And on bad days when I was asked to drive long distances I would try to get out of my commitment, as the pain was often worse after long drives.  I also found topical NSAIDS helpful - I cannot take oral NSAIDS or my stomach burns for days!    

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