If you have nerve pain... Avoid these 4 foods

If you’re anything like me, you love food. Whether it’s seasoned steak or Caesar salad – if it’s on my plate I’m eating it. Unfortunately, if you’re living with nerve damage you’ve got to be a bit more particular with what you allow into your body. There are certain foods and ingredients that, if consumed regularly, can actually aggravate the pain and worsen the symptoms of neuropathy. It’s important to know what foods and ingredients are common culprits of aggravation as well as to keep a food journal to help determine which foods help or hurt you. To get you started, here’s a list of 4 foods or ingredients that everyone with nerve pain should limit or eliminate from their diet.


Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a flavor additive commonly found in frozen dinners. It contains a compound, known as glutamate, which further damages the nerves and intensifies the pain. Avoid any foods that contain MSG. Also check food labels for variations of its name. Other names for MSG include sodium caseinate, glutamic acid and yeast extract.


Think that diet soda is good for you? Think again. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener often found in diet sodas, artificially sweetened yogurt and in the little artificial sweetener packages at restaurants. It interacts with different neurons in the body and actually heightens our sensitivity to pain. Doctors have found that eliminating diet sodas can help reduce and even eliminate symptoms of chronic pain.


Though I always enjoy a fine drink with my meals, I have to be careful how much alcohol I drink. Excessive alcohol intake is a known cause of neuropathy. Alcohol contains toxins that can negatively affect your nerves. These toxins damage your nerve tissue as well as reduce the levels of certain nutrients that are critical to nerve health.

Added Sugars 

Sugar can be a trigger for pain and anyone with chronic pain should limit his or her sugar intake, especially avoiding foods that provide a quick boost in sugar (i.e. soda, candy, etc.). Increases in the levels of sugar in the blood can result in inflammation and increased nerve pain. For those suffering from diabetic neuropathy, managing blood sugar is the single most important approach to stopping and even reversing nerve damage.



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