Healthy nerves are the essential to enjoy the freedom of mobility and experiencing the sensations of sight, sound, touch and smell. While most people are aware that a healthy lifestyle coupled with regular exercise and a balanced diet is important, many are still unaware that healthy nerves also play a vital role in our well-being.
Most important in nerve health care is the adequate consumption of neurotropic vitamins, B1, B6 and B12, which contain nutrients that are essential in maintaining nerve health and work in combination to treat or slow down the progression of neuropathy.
B-vitamins nourish and protect nerve cells, helping to improve their function and relieve pain. Vitamin B1 strengthens and helps to provide energy for nerves, while Vitamin B6 is necessary for the proper transmission of impulses along the nerves as well as in relieving pain. Vitamin B12 regenerates nerves, protects nerve cells from damage and is important for overall nerve health.
In a bid to raise the public’s awareness and knowledge about neuropathy, Merck organised a briefing which shared vital information on the impact of nerve damage if left untreated and how lifestyle choices and daily activities can contribute to the condition. Medical practioners at the session shared steps on how to identify pain possibly caused by nerve damage, as well as available solutions to relieve neuropathy. They also highlighted healthy habits people should adopt to prevent or reduce nerve damage.
Professor Dr. Goh Khean Jin is a consultant neurologist from University of Malaya Medical Centre, who gave an overview of neuropathic pain at the briefing, explained that nerves are like transmitters that connect the brain to every part of the body.
Symptoms of nerve damage can range from tingling and numbness in one’s extremities, resulting in an extreme sensitivity to touch, burning or piercing pain, having trouble feeling heat or cold, as well as a loss of sensation.
“Through the survey and nerve screenings we conducted, it is clear that many people suffer from early signs of nerve damage, but as the exposure to neuropathy is relatively low, most do not associate their symptoms to this disease. The lifestyles people lead in this fast and busy world today do contribute to some nerve damage, but the pains are often dismissed as part of life. However, these symptoms and pains are a sign of a larger health issue,” said Richard Lee, General Manager of Merck Consumer Health Division, Malaysia.
Many common factors in our day-to-day lifestyle have increased the chances of nerve damage. Long hours sitting at work desks or in traffic jams, repetitive activity such a typing and texting and even cooking can lead to nerve damage. Poor posture, wearing tight clothing or shoes and even being overweight can put pressure or compress nerves.
While diabetics are better aware of nerve damage given the high sugar level in their blood, which harms nerves, others tend to disregard pain if it does not alter their lives significantly.
Most of those surveyed and screened felt that the pain and discomfort they are experiencing is a result of lifestyle or work-related stress, however, they had no idea that they might be suffering from a condition known as neuropathy, which is nerve damage.
Moderately exercising, practicing a healthy lifestyle, consuming a balanced diet that includes foods that are rich in B-vitamins, avoiding long bouts of inactivity and repetitious activities, as well as regular follow-ups with your doctor if you are diabetic, are important steps to take for healthy nerves.
By building awareness about the importance of a quality combination of B1, B6 and B12 vitamins, Merck is helping Malaysians take their very first step to a pain-free life.