Home   Health Tips   Health Concerns    Site Index    Search    Glossary    Contact Us

Visit our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and Answers

Nerve Damage from Chemotherapy:
Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)

Just tell me what to take

What is CIPN?  
How to get relief

Chemotherapy drugs are toxic chemicals (poisons) that attack fast growing cells (rapidly dividing cells). The theory behind using these toxins is that it will destroy the fast growing cancer cells before it does too much damage to normal cells.

Hair is a quickly dividing, fast growing cell and this is the reason that hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy.

Bone marrow produces fast growing cells. Normally, when blood cells wear out in the body, they are replaced by new ones from the bone marrow.  When the chemotherapy drugs damage these fast growing cells, it can cause a low blood count, which can result in other side effects such as fatigue, headaches, and chills.  It is sometimes even necessary to do a blood transfusion. 

Nerve damage from chemotherapy drugs

Chemotherapy is hardest on the nervous system due to the fact that nerve cells are more sensitive than other cells. 

The nervous system transmits information between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body.  It is designed to transmit feeling such as touch and temperature.   It delivers messages from sight; it delivers messages to the muscles to get them to move.

Because nerve cells are more sensitive to these toxins then other cells, they are often affected and can be damaged easily.   This may  also be the reason for cognitive problems following chemotherapy, also known as "chemo fog" or "chemo-brain".  

After exposure to the chemotherapy drugs, the cells that responsible for producing myelin, the fatty substance that helps insulate and protect nerve conducting fibers, can become damaged. 

Nervous system changes in chemotherapy patients can develop months or years after treatment.  The onset of these symptoms are variable.  Some drugs may cause symptoms during or immediately after the first dose, and some have a delayed onset of symptoms, up to several weeks, months, or even years after the last dose.

The severity of these symptoms is related to the cumulative dosage of the drug received.

Additionally, someone with pre-existing neuropathy (no matter what the cause) may be at risk for more severe and long lasting neuropathy.

Symptoms of Post Chemotherapy Neuropathy

Loss of feeling in the hands and feet can make it hard to pick up small objects and cause clumsiness and difficulty walking. Some people with nerve damage first notice a "pins and needles" feeling, not unlike when an arm or leg "falls asleep". Foot nerve damage after chemo is very common which results in stabbing pain and numbness. 

As motor nerves are the most sensitive to toxins, this nerve damage may make you feel clumsy and cause difficulty in daily activities such as opening jars, fastening buttons, or even squeezing toothpaste tubes.   Loss of balance and coordination is also due to this damage. 

Per the American Cancer Society, "Chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is caused by the chemotherapy drugs used in cancer treatment."    (Neuropathy is also sometimes called paraesthesia or even myalgia.)

"The symptoms or signs of CIPN depend mostly on which nerves are involved. The most common symptoms are:

  • pain

  • burning

  • tingling (or a "pins and needles" feeling)

  • muscle shrinkage

  • weakness

  • balance problems

  • trouble with tripping and stumbling while walking

  • loss of feeling (numbness)

  • decreased or no reflexes

  • increased sensitivity to temperature (usually cold) or pressure, so that things hurt more than usual

  • constipation

  • trouble passing urine

  • blood pressure changes

  • trouble swallowing"

"CIPN often affects both sides of the body the same way; for example, the toes of both feet. It can cause severe pain and can affect your ability to do everyday things like walk, write, button your shirt, or pick up a coin. If it gets very bad it can cause very serious problems like changes in your heart rate, trouble breathing, paralysis, or organ failure"

This is the reason that medical doctors have to keep close watch over their patients when receiving chemotherapy.

Are these long-term side effects of chemotherapy?

When a person develops neuropathy due to chemotherapy, the oncologist will prescribe drugs to cover up the symptoms and the patient will get a pamphlet entitled “Living with Neuropathy”. There is hope that it will get better after the chemo is finished.  However, quite often, the damaged cell will continue to deteriorate and the symptoms will get worse. The only way to correctly manage this chronic neuropathy is to address the real causes, not the symptoms.


Can this be Reversed? 


When the myelin sheathing of the nerve cells are damaged or they degenerate due to the cancer treatment, the signals being transmitted are scrambled, resulting in your body receiving signals that real interpreted as heat, cold, tingling, pain, etc. 


This is similar to an electrical wire that is covered with insulation, and the insulation is beginning to crumble.  Without insulation, the unprotected wire will start short-circuiting.  


Sometimes the signals don't go through the nerve and thus you get numbness in sensory nerves and clumsiness, lack of coordination and muscle weakness when a motor nerve is damaged.  The muscles aren't getting the signals they need to function. 


Medical doctors are beginning to be aware that that increased levels of Thiamine (Vitamin B1) in the blood stream are effective in reducing symptoms and building healthy nerves. 

Unfortunately, the oral intake of vitamin B1 does not greatly increase the levels of B1 in the blood stream.  


The reason for this is that Thiamine), like all of the B vitamins, is water-soluble.   Thiamine cannot be stored in the body and flushes out within 4 to 5 hours.


Additionally, chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy has been found to be made worse by insufficient amounts of B12 in the body.


Vitamin B12 supports the sheathing that protects nerve cells and has shown in studies to promote the regeneration and growth of nerve cells.


In the past, it has been difficult to remedy the B12 deficiency.

The reason for this is that while vitamin B12 is readily stored by the body, it is not readily absorbed by the body. For this reason much larger amounts have been used in supplementation, but even large oral dosages have not been an adequate solution.


Keep reading. There is a solution.


A Remedy for this Problem: 


You might have heard of the new type of vitamin B1 being produced, called Benfotiamine. It is a fat-soluble version of vitamin B1. What does this mean?  It means this new form of vitamin B1 can be taken orally in large dosages and it will not flush out of the body the way ordinary Thiamine (vitamin B1) does.  This is due to the fact that this type of B1 will be delivered into the blood stream where it can travel to the cells and be used.


Also available is Methylcobalamine (called Methyl B12). This is the form of vitamin B12 that can be directly utilized by the body.  When regular B12 is taken, the body has to convert it into the Methyl B12 in the gut.   This type of B12 already comes in the useable form.


Where can I find these supplements?


RECOMMENDED:  (This is where we have researched products and found one that we found will work and reverse the damage) 


The vitamins talked about above are available together.  It was formulated 9 years ago and and found to be the right combination of B vitamins to give the body all the tools it needs to build healthy nerves.

The name of the product is WSN® Nerve Support Formula It contains both Benfotiamine and Methyl B12. The result is that the blood stream levels of vitamin B1 and vitamin B12 can be greatly increased, providing the nutritional support needed by the body to rapidly and far more effectively to build healthy nerves. 


The WSNÒ “Nerve Support Formula” is far more effective than either the Benfotiamine or Methyl B12 alone due to the combination of these two vital B vitamins, The formula also includes other B vitamins and D3 that work together to help the body to utilize these two important vitamins. 


Both Benfotiamine and Methyl B12 have been shown to be non-toxic and without any side effects even in very high dosages.


These vitamins have a 90-Day money back guarantee and the company who makes it also has a live support line.  This money back guarantee means that you can buy 1, 2 or 3 bottles (up to three months worth) and return them if this doesn't work for you.  The company has product consultants that will guide you through whatever you need to do to get relief.  They don't just sell you a vitamin.  

It costs $44.20 for 120 capsules.   The WSN® Nerve Support Formula has no known side effects or interactions with any medications. 


The Nerve Support Formula is made at an "FDA Inspected Facility"  and  cGMP labs (Good Manufacturing Practice Facility).This means it adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices for supplement manufacturers.  This process guarantees the potency, purity and quality of this product.  Made in the USA.  Go to Quality of WSN Manufacturing  


Sounds too good to be true.  They have a very high success rate with lots of testimonials. 

After Chemotherapy – “I realized I was having a difficult time remembering things, plus the pain, tingling, and numbness in my feet and legs were getting worse, not better. Three months after taking the Nerve Support Formula, the condition was about 90% improved, with not only the painful symptoms reversing, but the bonus was more energy and clearer thinking”  Linda S, California

You can read more successes here  Relief from Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy

Go to the Nerve Support Formula for more information about this product and how it can build healthy nerves.



Ready to Order?        

Order the WSN® Nerve Support Formula


Chemo Brain     Chemo Side Effects   Causes of Neuropathy


If you would like to receive the McVitamins Newsletter,  Please Sign up here:  Newsletter Signup

We take privacy and security seriously, read about it here

Search the Site for More Information

Home   Health Tips   Health Concerns    Site Index    Glossary

Neuropathy, nerve pain

McVitamins is an affiliate of Real Health Products, now the exclusive source of Wellness Support Network Products

© 2000-2014 McVitamins
.  All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of this website in full or in part is prohibited without the express written permission of McVitamins

We have used our best judgment in compiling this information. The Food and Drug Administration may not have evaluated the information presented. Any reference to a specific product is for your information only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease

create counter