When your body has to work overtime to combat peripheral neuropathy, it’s important that you give it all the right fuel it needs. Human growth hormones (HGH) are essential when it comes to healing from the damage done by peripheral neuropathy, and there are many strategies, both easy and effective, for increasing HGH.
Did you know that your body makes its very own, all-natural version of Miracle-Gro? Only it’s not a chemical (at least not in the exact same terms), and definitely doesn’t go by the same name (though it is pretty miraculous, if you think about it).
This nifty little compound is known as human growth hormone, or HGH for short. It has a pretty straightforward name, and its function is easy to wrap your head around, as well.
Human growth hormone is responsible for your body’s growth.
More specifically, HGH makes very big contributions to your body’s composition, its cell development and repair, the metabolic process, and an impressive list of other functions. HGH is also crucially important to things like muscle development, strength levels, and it’s a vital part of the recovery process when we find ourselves up against injury.
HGH Is Vital to Many Functions
In a vast and varied array of functions, HGH is heavily relied upon. Of key importance to nerve damage, HGH is essential in your body’s process of repair and recovery.
- Muscle growth and development
- Injury recovery and cellular repair
- Metabolic process — digestion, food conversion, etc.
- Weight loss
- Exercise performance
The Neuropathy Patient’s New Best Friend
As neuropathy takes its toll on your nerves, your body finds itself caught in a potentially losing battle. Once nerve damage sets in, unfortunately, it does not stop progressing until the actual cause of that damage is eliminated and/or reversed. Sometimes, the deck is stacked against your body, and it’s not able to heal its nerves as fast as they are deteriorating.
This is where HGH comes in.
When your body is fighting against nerve damage, it needs all the help you can give it. There are a variety of ways to naturally boost your body’s supply of compounds to help it fight damage inflicted by neuropathy, and HGH is one of the most effective.
This particular hormone goes to work rebuilding your body on a cellular level. This means that it makes huge contributions to your body’s built-in healing processes that help your nerves regenerate, especially when neuropathy has started working to destroy them. When demyelination occurs or axonal damage sets in, your body needs HGH to repair itself.
If HGH is in short supply, your nerve endings are out of luck unless you give them what they need. It’s not complicated or difficult, you just need to help your body create more HGH.
Let’s talk about some of the relatively easy strategies by which you can naturally increase the levels of HGH in your body, for improved healing ability (and overall improved quality of life).
1. Maintain Healthy Weight
Simply enough, more body fat equals less production of HGH. When it comes to boosting the levels of human growth hormone in the body, cutting weight (particularly belly fat) has been shown to boost the levels of HGH production.
Fasting, as it turns out, is another very effective way to lose weight and encourage HGH production. It’s important that this is done safely and carefully. Fasting is dangerous if it’s overdone, so you want to be sure that you are seeking and following safety guidelines. There are a few different effective ways to do this, so don’t hesitate to do some research and pick out a method best for you, with your specific lifestyle and schedule.
In addition to helping drop body fat, intermittent fasting, provided it is followed by a low glucose meal, can also help to limit insulin spikes (which happen when your body eats a meal), as these interfere with HGH’s natural production in the body.
2. Adjust Your Diet
On the opposite side of the “fasting” coin sits the idea that you can also add foods to your diet that encourages your body’s natural production of HGH. The food we eat is, after all, fuel. So make strategic diet choices that will boost the amount of HGH your body makes.
Strike the Sugar
First, cut your sugar intake. More sugar means more insulin, and more insulin means less HGH. Refined sugar basically elevates your insulin more than anything else, so the less you’re consuming, the easier your body can cook up that HGH.
Sugar consumption also has a link to the development of Type 2 diabetes, which, is directly linked to peripheral neuropathy. The short version of this is that constantly-elevated insulin levels in the blood are toxic to your nerve endings, and they eventually begin to die off.
Add Some Arginine
Another great way to boost your body’s HGH levels naturally is with an arginine supplement. Interestingly enough, it’s been shown that this is best taken before sleep, as your body does not tend to make much HGH when arginine is combined with immediate exercise.
Avoid Eating Before Bedtime
It’s best to avoid eating before bedtime, due to those aforementioned insulin spikes. Your body likes to make HGH while it’s asleep, so if you can avoid the potential for extra insulin in your blood before bed, you’re setting yourself up for a lot more HGH productivity while you slumber.
3. Get GABA Going
When it comes to your nerves, a neurotransmitter known as GABA is a heavy hitter. GABA is what we refer to as a “non-protein amino acid,” and as a neurotransmitter, it’s integral to the function of your nerves. Gabapentin medications, such as Neurontin, are essentially flipping the “off switch” on the production of this neurotransmitter.
When it’s functioning normally, GABA is a very powerful calming agent for both your brain and your nervous system, and it helps you get to sleep at night. As it turns out, it also helps with HGH production levels, so taking a GABA supplement actually boosts your growth hormone levels by a whopping 400% when at rest (this drops down to 200% with exercise, but is still impressive).
Adding more GABA or its precursors to help boost production may help your nerves in their healing process. However, if you are currently taking a gabapentin medication, supplementing GABA will defeat the action of the drug.
4. Work It Out
Exercise is an excellent way to boost the levels of HGH your body is producing, and it’s effective in more ways than one.
When your body is exercising, it produces a compound called lactic acid, which helps your body to make HGH. (It also decreases body fat, which encourages HGH production, as well!)
When it comes down to it, exercise is the ticket to improved health in a variety of different situations — it’s almost always helpful, on at least some level, provided that it’s undertaken with care and caution.
A high-intensity workout is one of the better ways to increase HGH production levels in the body, but this can be potentially damaging or impossible if you’re dealing with the difficulties inflicted on you by peripheral neuropathy.
There are a variety of gentle exercises that can be safe for those with peripheral neuropathy, so be sure to cautiously assess your level of ability. For those looking for a more low-impact way to exercise, these are some effective ways to increase your heart rate and healing circulation, while relieving tension and inflammation:
- Tai Chi
- Household chores
That last one is no joke! Anything that gets your blood pumping and lungs working more than the norm is considered exercise and is going to be helpful. Just make sure you do anything workouts for at least 20 minutes at a time, three to five times a week. Don’t worry about pressuring yourself, either. Work this into your schedule gradually, if you must — the important thing is that you’re just getting your body moving. Don’t sweat it (hah!) if you’re not able to go for a full-intensity workout quite just yet, just get started and work your way up the ladder. Starting with whole-body vibration to strengthen your muscles and improve balance may help get you to where you need to be to improve HGH production quicker.
5. Get Better Sleep
You may have noticed the idea that HGH is produced by the body during sleep has come several times, so it’s no surprise to learn that encouraging better sleep regularly is an effective way to boost HGH production.
There are many sleep suggestions you’ll hear over time, but for those that have trouble sleeping know that as simple as they sound, many really are not all that easy nor effective. However, with the importance of sleep for your body’s healing, introducing some slight tweak to your nightly routine should not be given up upon.
- Avoid staring at “blue light” too close to bedtime — cell phones, laptops, TV screens, etc.
- Sit or lay with a book before bed. It’ll calm you down and ease you into a more relaxed and sleep-conducive state. And if you wake up in the middle of the night, grab that book again to soothe you back to sleep — and don’t turn on a screen of any kind.
- Maintain an optimally comfortable temperature in your bedroom, most especially not too warm. You’d be surprised at how far this one goes.
- Avoid any and all late-day caffeine.
- Grab a melatonin supplement — not only does this help with your sleep, but it naturally aids in HGH production, as well.
6. Red Light Therapy
Maybe the best thing about red light therapy is that not only does it sound pretty cool and futuristic…it actually IS pretty cool and futuristic.
In all seriousness, though, recent studies have actually been showing that red light therapy, also called low-level laser therapy, is a really effective way to regenerate those frayed nerves that have fallen victim to peripheral neuropathy.
On a cellular level, red light wavelengths are proving to have a beneficial effect when absorbed by releasing nitric oxide, boosting cellular growth, and directly encouraging the regeneration of peripheral nerves.
Human Growth Hormone. It Does a Body Good. Literally.
Your body, in many ways, is a toolbox. It’s full of powerful, miraculous chemicals and compounds, each of them designed to do a specific set of tasks and to do them well.
Sometimes, though, the body just needs a bit of a leg up (pun intended). Especially when it’s going through something as intensive and high-stress as peripheral neuropathy. All that damage being done to your nerves is being caused by something, and whatever it is, it isn’t friendly.
Your body’s natural defenses can sometimes only go so far, which is why every once in a while, we find ourselves needing to call in the reinforcements. Peripheral neuropathy is definitely one of those times, but it’s actually not the only time that HGH can wind up coming to the rescue in a big way.
Since HGH is very literally your “growth” hormone, it plays a huge role in things like cell regeneration and muscle development, and other processes that are vital to the healing and injury recovery process.
Your body, in other words, needs HGH to be able to put itself back together again. That incredible (if somewhat limited) self-healing ability we all possess is thanks in part to HGH.
So more HGH makes for a healthier, stronger body. Especially if it’s under attack at the hands of peripheral neuropathy.
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