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Is Zinc to Blame for Nerve Damage?

Is Zinc to Blame for Nerve Damage?

Q. For the past eight years, I have had numbness in both feet and my right hand. I recently had foot surgery due to a bone displacement. I’d hoped that this might rectify the situation, but it has not.

The numbness is getting severe and there are times when I feel like I am walking on air, as there is no feeling whatsoever. It comes and goes but is becoming more and more frequent.

I just heard about zinc poisoning. I have been wearing dentures for about eight years, so I wonder if this could this be the source of my problem. I see my podiatrist tomorrow and would be grateful for any information you can provide.

A. Too much zinc can cause neuropathy; numbness is sometimes a symptom of this condition. Dental adhesives have traditionally contained zinc because it enhances the sticking power. Manufacturers are reformulating their products so look for a denture cream without zinc.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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