Neuritis is one of the most serious nervous disorders. It refers to an inflammation of the nerves, involving a single nerve or a series of nerves. At times, several different groups of nerves in various parts of the body may be involved. This condition is known as polyneuritis. It is also known as polyneuropathy, for strictly speaking, the condition is not an inflammation, but a change in the state of the nerves resulting in weakness of the reflexes and changes of sensation.
The main symptoms of neuritis are tingling and burning and stabbing pains in the affected nerves. IN severe cases there may be numbness and loss of sensation and paralysis of the nearby muscles. Thus, temporary paralysis of the face may result from changes in the facial nerves on the affected side. During the acute stage of this condition, the patient may not be able to close the eyes due to loss of normal tone and strength in the muscles on the affected side of the face. Neuritis may also be caused by pernicious anaemia, involving the nerves of the spine. The patient with this condition may find it very difficult to walk in the darkness.
The chief cause of neuritis is chronic acidosis, that is, an excessive acidic condition of the blood and other body fluids. All the body fluids should be alkaline in their reaction, but when the acid waste matter is continuously formed in the tissues over a long period due to a faulty diet, it results in acidosis. Wrong habits of living, over- work , etc., lower the tone of the nervous system and contribute towards neuritis. The disease can also result form a variety of nutritional deficiencies and metabolic disturbances such as faulty calcium metabolism, deficiencies of several B vitamins like B12, B6, B1, pantothenic acid and B2 and general toxaemia. Other causes of neuritis include a blow, a penetrating injury, a bad bruise or heavy pressure over a nerve trunk and dislocation or fracture of the bones. Any violent muscular activity or over extension of the joint as in sprains may injure the nerves and cause neuritis. The condition may also result from certain infections such as tuberculosis, diptheria, tetanus, leprosy and diabetes mellitus, poisoning with insecticides, mercury, lead, arsenic and alcohol.
Treatment of neuritis by painkilling drugs may give temporary relief but it does not remove the trouble effectively. The pain is relieved for the time being at the cost of the health of other parts of the body, especially the heart and kidneys, and the neuritis remains. The best treatment for neuritis is to ensure that the patient gets optimum nutrition, well assimilated with all the vitamins and other nutrients. The diet should be made up of three basic food groups, namely seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits, with special emphasis on whole grains, particularly whole whet, brown rice, raw and sprouted seeds, raw milk , especially in the sore form and home-made cheese.
In this regimen, the breakfast may consist of fresh fruits, handful of raw nuts or a couple of tablespoons of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Steamed vegetables, whole wheat chappatis and a glass of butter milk may be taken for lunch. The dinner may comprise a large bowl of fresh, green, vegetable salad, fresh home-made cottage cheese, fresh butter and a glass of butter-milk.
In severe cases, the patient should be put on a short juice fast for four or five days before being given the optimum diet. Carrots, beets, citrus fruits, apples and pineapples may be used for juices.
All vitamins of the B group have proved highly beneficial in the prevention and treatment of nueritis. The disease has been helped when vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 and pantothenic acid have been given together and extreme pain, weakness and numbness in some cases have been relieved within an hour.
The patient should white bread, white sugar, refined cereals, meat, fish, tinned foods, tea, coffee and condiments which form the root of the trouble by continuously flooding the tissues with acid impurities. The patient should be given two or three hot Emsom salt baths weekly, remaining in the bath for 25 to 30 minutes. The affected part should also be bathed several times daily in hot water containing Epsom salt - a table- spoon of salt to a cupful of hot water. The patient should undertake walking and other moderate exercises.