Using capsaicin to manage peripheral neuropathy

Its estimated at least 20 million people in the US suffer from some type of peripheral neuropathy.

For many it’s painful, and sometimes even debilitating. Neuropathy often causes weakness or even numbness, and sometimes it’s extremely painful, too. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is perhaps the most recognizable, and it costs billions to treat it every year. The good news is, there are now some non-invasive options out there for treatment.

One newer option is an eight-percent capsaicin, topical treatment.

It’s applied to your feet in a healthcare office by a healthcare professional. It takes between 30 to 60 minutes for the application, which releases enough capsaicin into the skin to last for months. In fact, it’s said the treatment can provide pain relief for up to three months. It also has the advantage of being generally well tolerated with no need for dosage adjustments, and no potential drug interactions or adverse drug reactions. The method uses a short exposure, yet a high enough dose of capsaicin to achieve results. Some call it a breakthrough in terms of pain management. Those with peripheral neuropathy can sometimes have problems with their gait, open sores, experience the risk of falls, or even sometimes loss of limbs.

Capsaicin, of course, is the compound that’s commonly found in hot peppers, and it’s what makes peppers so hot.

It’s already known that capsaicin can help with certain types of aches and pains, and that’s why it’s sometimes used in creams and gels sold over the counter in pharmacies and grocery stores. Pain relief isn’t the only benefit of capsaicin, it also has a number of other health benefits, from improved metabolism to potentially better heart health and migraine relief. Of course, hot peppers taste pretty good too, which is what consistently drives people to explore the many varieties of peppers on the hot pepper scale.

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