Foods to Avoid If You Have Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, and they’re referred to as peripheral nerves. This article will focus on foods that should be avoided by anyone who is suffering from peripheral neuropathy in order to prevent further damage to the affected nerves as well as keep at bay aggravation of the symptoms.

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Speaking of symptoms, let’s first talk about them before we discuss which foods should be eliminated from the diet of a peripheral neuropathy sufferer.

Due to the fact that the peripheral nerves are damaged, it’s not unlikely for the individual with peripheral neuropathy to experience numbness in the extremities. However, it’s very much possible for him or her to experience tingling sensations and pain, too. In some instances, heaviness and weakness are present in the affected areas of the body.

There are times in which peripheral neuropathy can also cause balance problems, causing the individual who has it to stumble or even fall while walking.

According to health authorities, it’s also very much possible for peripheral neuropathy to cause reduced reflexes, problems with swallowing, trouble with passing urine and constipation. Sometimes it may also affect the heart rate and blood pressure, but health authorities say that the condition rarely causes dangerous changes in those.

Although some people associate peripheral neuropathy to diabetes, there are many other things that can cause peripheral neuropathy to come into being as well. Some examples of them are injuries, infections, exposure to toxins, excessive alcohol intake and the administration of certain drugs.

Now let’s check out some of the foods that should be avoided by anyone who is suffering from peripheral neuropathy:


The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, and the reason for that is having high levels of sugar in the bloodstream — such can cause damage to the peripheral nerves.

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Needless to say, it’s of utmost importance for anyone who is suffering from peripheral neuropathy to stay away from foods that contain a lot of sugar. Most especially if he or she is diagnosed with diabetes, it’s a move that can put under control not only peripheral neuropathy but also hyperglycemia.

Refined Grains

Donuts, cakes, muffins, bagels, white bread, white pasta — these and so many other foods that are out of refined grains should be avoided in order to keep peripheral neuropathy from worsening. That’s because they can cause the blood sugar levels of a person to spike just like sugar.

They should be replaced with foods out of whole grains that are fiber-rich and thus very good at keeping one’s blood sugar levels within the normal range.

Artificial Sweeteners

Health authorities confirm that artificial sweeteners are just as bad for peripheral neuropathy as sugar. It’s for the fact that artificial sweeteners can increase sensitivity of the nerves, thus causing aggravation of the symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy. 

Processed Foods

We all know that the inclusion of processed foods to one’s diet is bad for the health because they contain all sorts of unfavorable ingredients. What’s more, they are devoid of nutrients that the body needs.

Inflammation can stem from processed food consumption, and it’s something that can definitely make peripheral neuropathy and ultimately its symptoms worse.


Earlier in this article, it was mentioned that one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is consumption of alcohol in excessive amounts.

It’s for this reason exactly why someone who is being bugged by peripheral neuropathy should steer clear of alcohol. Toxins in alcohol can in fact damage the nerves. What’s more, it can cause nutritional deficiencies, depriving the nerves of the nutrients they need in order to remain healthy.

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