Metabolic Syndrome: Pre-Diabetes?

Carrying around excess body fat creates a number of health issues, not the least of which is higher amounts of circulating blood fats and sugar, which can displace oxygen, leading to the development of neuropathy and other disorders.

One of the things I write about, and we see quite often in the neuropathy and chronic pain clinic, is patients with metabolic syndrome. Now, metabolic syndrome is something I’ve written about and speak about all the time. Once upon a time, this was called pre-diabetes. Now it’s called Syndrome X.

So why can metabolic syndrome be potentially more dangerous and more devastating than a diagnosis of diabetes?

The real reason, as we find, is that most patients once diagnosed with diabetes tend to take better care of themselves. But metabolic syndrome is like a smoldering fire that, too often, does not get serious attention until damage has been occurring for years.

Unfortunately, metabolic syndrome is probably the most dangerous affliction of modern man. Being just 20 pounds overweight is a major risk factor not only for things like heart disease, but other conditions too, not the least of which is peripheral neuropathy.

Metabolic syndrome can present in a number of ways, commonly years before the diagnosis of diabetes. It is marked by borderline changes in blood sugar and blood fats, possibly increasing blood pressure, and always an increase in waist size.

Carrying around excess body fat creates a number of health issues, not the least of which is higher amounts of circulating blood fats and sugar, which can displace oxygen, leading to the development of neuropathy and other disorders.

So how does metabolic syndrome develop? Usually very slowly and over many years. We’ve seen patients present with neuropathy for sometimes 10 years or more, before being diagnosed as frankly diabetic.

It is a sad fact, but even modern medicine accepts an ever-expanding waistline as simply normal.

In our next series of articles, what we will do is highlight the simple (but also very effective) things you can do to not only minimize your risk of metabolic syndrome, but to better manage it, as well as diabetes.

For more on metabolic syndrome visit us at

Handling The Holiday Stress

Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, especially if you have neuropathy or chronic pain!

Even for the healthy, the holidays can be incredibly stressful.

Some surveys have even found that people are more stressed by the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than by asking the boss for a raise!

But when you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Post-Chemotherapy neuropathy

Since you now have the stress of the holidays to deal with too, your health could take a serious beating—that will take you months to recover from.

Here are some steps you can take to make the holidays (and the months following them) a little easier to deal with:

1. Understand How Stress Affects Your Body

Stress (both mental and physical) causes the body to release hormones that prompt the liver to secrete glucose. That can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels if you suffer from diabetes. In Type 2 diabetics, stress can also block the release of insulin from the pancreas and leave that extra insulin floating around in the bloodstream. In Type 1 diabetes, the effects are a little different. Some Type 1 diabetics say that stress drives their glucose up, while others maintain that stress drives their glucose down. Either way, your energy levels are wrecked. On a good day, that can be difficult to deal with. At the holidays, it can be pure misery.

If you are feeling stressed and your energy is especially low, you are less likely to pay attention to your glucose levels, or eat as you know you should. Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, and Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon”

2. Do What You Can To Reduce Mental Stress

Many of the things that stress us at the holidays are easy to manage or control. Make your life as easy as possible during this trying time.

If traffic really works your nerves, leave home a little earlier or try getting to work by a different route and avoid the areas that are particularly congested.

If your boss is a nightmare, plan to take vacation around the holidays if at all possible, and give yourself a mental break.

Volunteer to help with the holiday activities of a local charity. Doing something good for someone else is a wonderful way to make someone else’s life better and make you feel good at the same time.

Resolve to start a new exercise program, learn a new skill, or start a hobby as soon as the holidays are over. Enlist a friend to do it with you so you can encourage each other. Giving yourself a goal and something to look forward to after the grind of the holidays is over will do wonders for your state of mind.

3. How Do You Cope?

Everyone has a coping style. Some people are the take-charge type and take steps immediately to solve their problems. Other people just accept the problem, recognize that they can’t fix it, acknowledge that it’s probably not as bad as it could be, and go their merry way. Still, others are hand wringers and feel perpetually out of control.

The take-chargers and accepters have less problems with stress, both at the holidays and on a daily basis—as a result, their blood glucose levels don’t become elevated.

4. Relax…

One of the most useful things you will ever learn (diabetic or not) is to relax. For many, the ability to relax is not natural, but it can be learned. Some ways to help you relax are:

Breathing Exercises
Sit down or lie down without your arms or legs crossed. Inhale deeply. Push as much air as possible out of your lungs. Repeat the process but , this time, relax your muscles while you exhale. Start with this exercise for 5 minutes at a time and increase your time until you’re practicing breathing at least 20 minutes at a time, once a day.

Progressive Relaxation Therapy
Tense your muscles then relax them. Lie still and repeat the process for 5 minutes at a time, at least once a day.

We can’t say enough about the benefits of exercise. As we’ve said before, you don’t have to run a marathon to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. You can walk or stretch, too.

Watch Your Mindset
When it comes to reducing stress, a lot can be said for the power of positive thinking. It’s really easy to let your mind overwhelm you this time of year…

“I’ll never get it all done…”

“What if they don’t like what I give them?”

“Oh man, I have to spend time with my brother again this year…”

Just watch your mindset and you can eliminate much of the stress of the holiday season. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Say a prayer or recite a poem or a quote that makes you feel good. Think of something that makes you happy. It may sound trite, but go to your happy place.

Choose one or more of these methods to relax and do it daily. Relaxing doesn’t come naturally to us, but we can definitely learn to do it with practice, and the health benefits are beyond measure.

Face the fact that many holiday stressors are not going away. The relative you don’t get along with, the traffic, the never-ending list of things to do will always be there.

But you can learn to manage the holiday stress. And if you can learn to manage holiday stress, just think of what you can do the rest of the year.

Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ doctor or physical therapist to explore ways to handle the holiday stress and make it a healthier and more enjoyable experience this—and every—year, even with neuropathy or chronic pain!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Vitamin E and Nerve Health

With neuropathy, if you lack vitamin E, it will be impossible for your nerves to heal and function properly.

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for all of us, especially those who suffer from many forms of peripheral neuropathy.

As a member of the fat-soluble vitamin family that includes vitamins A, D, E and K, it is also lacking in many modern diets.

This is also one key nutrient that occurs in eight different forms; two are the most biologically active. The most common are gamma and alpha. In your diet this will be found primarily in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which basically means it helps prevent cells from damage due to “free radicals”, or cell destruction generated by some biochemical reactions.

Although Vitamin E is best known for its role as an antioxidant, it does have some profound roles in protecting the nervous system. Vitamin E is essential to helping healthy nerve function, as it helps us repair and protect myelin, the sheath that insulates our large nerves.

Healthy myelin is largely responsible for normal nerve conduction.

In fact, studies suggest that Vitamin E, when given to diabetics can improve nerve conduction significantly.

But there are some precautions: First, there are no overnight miracles. Supplementation for months may be necessary to see a significant effect. Too much Vitamin E can cause the blood to thin; this has an additive effect for anyone who takes Coumadin and other anticoagulant medications, including aspirin. Be especially careful here!

In addition to seeds and nuts (almonds and sunflower in particular), there are some other good dietary sources of Vitamin E, such as palm oil, the principal ingredient in “Earth Balance”, a butter substitute and line of products we recommend. To a lesser extent, leafy green vegetables and avocadoes will provide some active vitamin E.

Generally, safe supplementation is in the range of 2 to 400 international units of mixed tocopherols for most patients.

There maybe other occasions where your physician may want to prescribe larger amounts of the d-alpha tocopherol form. This is sometimes done in other neurologic conditions including multiple sclerosis.

As we say all the time, there is no one single magic nutrient. But if you lack vitamin E, it will be impossible for your nerves to heal and function properly.

This is another reason why multiple nutrient components are necessary for effective health maintenance and treatment of disease; this is not a short-term proposition.

As always, with neuropathy it is important to work very carefully with your physicians and therapists and make sure that your progress is monitored.

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Digestive Problems Caused by Autonomic Neuropathy?

Gastric bypass surgery has brought on a whole new subset of patients who suffer from G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy.


You finally bit the bullet and had gastric bypass surgery…

Or maybe you opted for the lap band…

Everything went really well with the surgery and now you’re back home and on your way to your new life and brand new you.

You started to lose weight almost immediately and you couldn’t be happier with the results.

You knew you’d have some side effects but you really didn’t expect anything you couldn’t handle.

But you never expected:

•      Heartburn

•      Bloating

•      Nausea and/or vomiting

•      Difficulty in swallowing because your esophagus no longer functions properly

•      Inability to empty your stomach

•      Diarrhea

•      Constipation

None of these symptoms is pleasant.  And what’s even worse is that they can last from days to weeks on end.

You knew you needed to take off the weight but it’s beginning to feel like it might not have been worth it.

They warned you about possible side effects but one they may not have mentioned could be causing one or several of your symptoms.

Your problems could be a result of Gastrointestinal or G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy.

Exactly What Does That Mean?

It means that your body is suffering from nutritional deficiencies caused by the lack of certain nutrients and vitamins.  The bypass surgery or lap band procedure may have stopped your body from taking in too much food, but it also substantially reduced the amount of nutrients and vitamins you’re getting from your food.

You no longer take in enough food with the nutrition your body needs. When that happens, the body begins to break down.  One of the many issues you can develop due to what is basically malnutrition is G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy.  The nerves, specifically the Vagus Nerve is damaged by the lack of nutrition and it begins to malfunction.  That means difficulty in digesting food, difficulty in swallowing, an inability to eliminate waste properly…

Basically an inability of the digestive system to do anything it was designed to do.

Before the advent of gastric bypass surgery and lap band procedures, most people who developed G.I. Autonomic neuropathy or other types of neuropathy were diabetics, alcoholics or they live in countries where malnutrition was common.

Now gastric bypass surgery has brought on a whole new subset of patients who suffer from G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy.

The Nutrients You Probably Lack

G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy is usually caused by deficiencies in:

•           Vitamin B1 or Thiamine

•          Vitamin B3

•          Vitamin B6

•          Vitamin B12

•          Vitamin E

  •        Trace elements including cobalt which can cause permanent spinal cord damage

Many of the symptoms caused by your G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy can be lessened and possibly even controlled by a healthy diet and management of whatever underlying condition you have that could be contributing to your neuropathy.

What If You’re Not a Gastric Bypass Patient But You Have These Symptoms

What if you haven’t had gastric bypass or lap band surgery but you still have the symptoms we talked about above?  If you have

•     A history of alcohol abuse

•     Hepatitis C

•     Crohn’s Disease

•     Celiac Disease

And you’re having the problems we discussed above contact your doctor immediately.  Ask him to test to make sure that you are indeed suffering from nerve damage that could be linked to any of these causes.  Once that diagnosis has been made, ask them about treatment options.

Treatment Options

A highly skilled medical professional well versed in diagnosing and treating nerve damage is your best place to start for treatment of your G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy. * Lab testing is essential in bypass patients on a regular basis.

An excellent place to start is with a NeuropathyDR clinician.  They have had great success in treating patients with your symptoms using a multipronged approach that includes:

•      Care and correction for your muscular and skeletal systems

•      Treatment for any underlying medical problems

•      Nutrition education and diet planning

•      A step by step exercise regimen

•      Medication as needed or necessary

If you have a confirmed diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Autonomic Neuropathy or think you may have it, you don’t have to just live with it.  In fact, just living with it could be downright dangerous due to intestinal blockages, continued malnutrition, etc.

Contact us today for information on how G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy can be treated, your suffering, Find a NeuropathyDR  Clinician via office visit or Telemedicine HERE.


Neuropathy and Chronic Pain Health Plan

Patients who do extremely well managing, and ultimately defeating chronic pain keep tight schedules.

One of the things we find in our practices with patients who do extremely well managing, and ultimately defeating chronic pain, is that they tend to keep tight schedules.

With patients that do the best we find there is scheduled physical activity every day, yes even patients recovering from neuropathy, fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis and yes even more serious illnesses.

Now I’m not saying this is easy.

In fact, it may be one the most challenging things you do.

But it could also be one of the most rewarding.

The reason for this is our bodies work on set schedules.

Did you know that even such things like body temperature, alertness, etc. all run on internal schedules and cycles?

This also helps explain why those who schedule things such as meals, physical activity, self treatment with your self care and clinic care do far better!

Otherwise, especially in this modern world the tendency is to drift aimlessly.
And yes, even things such as our computers, social groups, and social media can wind up being distractions using a vast majority of our time.

Unfortunately, this tends to happen more not less as we get older, retire, become disabled or move away from daily structure.

The bottom line is it is not healthy.

So here’s where I recommend begin today. Start by outlining what an ideal date looks like for you.

What time do you get up? What do you have for breakfast that makes you feel the best?

Most of our neuropathy and chronic pain patients find that adhering to the NeuropathyDR diet and eating schedule goes along way towards keeping them productive.

This is because the NeuropathyDR diet will allow you to maintain more even blood sugars and thus your energy level and mental alertness.

Next, regardless of your fitness or illness level some type of scheduled physical activity is critical.

If you need help, developing a more productive schedule join the conversation on Facebook!

Physical Activity and The Best Neuropathy Treatment

Typically, inactivity will make your neuropathy worse.

So, for patients who already suffer from peripheral neuropathy, this is even more critical. So what’s the solution?

Much has been written about the effects of exercise and health in general. But what you may not know is there are good studies showing improvements in many health parameters with regular physical activity and exercise.

Not too long ago, the American College of Sports Medicine made the statement that adults should be very physically active seven days a week. Not unexpectedly, the media attacked this as totally not doable by most adults.

But the fact is, the more sedentary our lives become, the worse our health becomes. For example, we know that metabolism slows with as little as 90 minutes of continued sitting at your desk. As your metabolism slows, you become much more efficient at making fat than you do burning it. And as a regular reader of this column, you know that poor metabolism can lead to the development of neuropathy, type II diabetes, or more serious illnesses.

So this means you can boost your metabolism with a workout at the gym or a stroll in the morning—and eat properly—but sitting all day without moving will negatively impact your health.

Typically, inactivity will make your neuropathy worse. So, for patients who already suffer from peripheral neuropathy, this is even more critical. So what’s the solution?

In simple terms, it’s important to get as much physical activity as you possibly can. In times of illness, or recovering from surgery or accidents, this may simply mean getting from bed to bathroom more often. As recovery continues, it’s imperative that you push and move as much as possible.

For patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy of the feet, using bicycles and similar low-impact equipment can be very beneficial.

But whatever you do, make sure you are doing it often enough! Even just five minutes an hour can really add up at the end of your day.

Not only will you feel better, but you will improve the chances of a better neuropathy treatment outcome!

For more on Neuropahty Treatments visit us on NeuropathyDR

Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy—Which is it?

We train our clinicians to be exceptional and diligent in the diagnosis of neuropathy and chronic pain.

Very often in our clinics, we see patients who present with multiple health issues. Now, as you might expect in any chronic pain treatment center, this is not at all uncommon. But our treatment centers are different; we look at patients differently. Rather than simply attempting to calm pain, we look deeply for underlying causes.

One of the most interesting things is how deeply rooted lifestyle and personal habits are linked to many health problems. Fibromyalgia and neuropathy are no exception.

In both fibromyalgia and in many cases of neuropathy, patients are frequently overweight and in poor physical condition. Often times this “deconditioning” has been present for years. Contributing factors to this include things such as poor diet, and, yes, even health problems like underlying thyroid disease.

In both fibromyalgia and in neuropathy, patients often experience tingling, numbness, and significant amounts of pain. This is not at all surprising, since recent research suggests that some fibromyalgia patients actually have small-fiber neuropathy.

Only time will tell how true this is in fact. I have long suspected this, however, since one of our observations many years ago was that many fibromyalgia patients responded very well to our neuropathy treatment programs, with some specific modifications. That’s why, right now, effective treatment depends so much upon the skill as well as the time and interest of the clinician.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to find this in a public healthcare setting any longer. Most doctors are simply under too much time pressure, with little financial benefit to treat patients who need the diligent care they so deserve.

This is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

At NeuropathyDR, we train our clinicians to be exceptional and diligent in the diagnosis of neuropathy and chronic pain. This includes fibromyalgia.

And the reason for this should be very obvious. Once we understand as much as we possibly can about what may be underneath your symptoms, then we can begin the most effective neuropathy treatment plan possible.

And this goes double for those patients who suffer fibromyalgia-related chronic pain conditions!

For more information visit us at

What is the most difficult part of Neuropathy Treatment?

Perhaps the most difficult thing in Neuropathy Treatment is deciding what to do.

Like so many things in life, taking the first step is the most difficult.

And unfortunately, for many patients with peripheral neuropathy this is extremely difficult. That’s because of the lack of knowledge that appropriate initial care can help you do much better!

For example early intervention such as stopping cigarette smoking, getting weight and getting blood sugar under control before diabetes frankly develops are two of the most common neuropathy prevention and treatment strategies that can be implemented immediately.

You see, neuropathy is often a “condition” rather than a disease, which accompanies other healthcare problems. And as we have written about before, many of these neuropathies possess common underlying features. (There are of course exceptions like the hereditary neuropathies.)

But perhaps the most difficult thing for neuropathy treatment patients is deciding what to do. A lot of this of course has to do with the amount of misinformation regarding neuropathy treatment.

Many patients are not aware of the full impact of their lifestyle’s, diet, and even medication usage on the ultimate progression of this very debilitating condition.

Yes, the state of neuropathy treatment today demands a high degree of awareness and knowledge on the part of the patient.

Unfortunately, many physicians are still unfamiliar with some of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy. This includes some of the medications that are often prescribed for other conditions.

Some doctors are still trained that when the nervous system is damaged the only tool they have at their disposal is medication help the patient’s symptoms.

They are likewise unaware that some therapies that we apply at home and in the clinic can have an oftentimes dramatic, positive effect on neuropathy treatments.

Combined treatment therapies including nutrition and metabolic rehab, the use of massage, manual spinal treatment, application devices such as the NDGen and laser are now at their disposal.

Keep in mind however the only person really qualified to help you take those first steps is someone with extensive experience in the multiple options available to peripheral neuropathy patients.

So make your choices very carefully.

For more on Neuropathy treatments that really work visit us on

Neuropathy and Fatigue

In neuropathy, fatigue can be the result of pain, and emotional stress.

One of the things many neuropathy patients tell us is how tired they can feel form day to day. Now, fatigue is common in many health conditions and should never be taken lightly.

For example, profound fatigue with weight loss can be a sign of several diseases, including cancer.

Diabetics often report fatigue, as do those patients with anemia and simple over work and inadequate sleep.

In neuropathy, fatigue can be the result of pain, and emotional stress.

Sometimes it’s from the diseases that may have caused your neuropathy.

But one of the things we observed a few years back on is that when treating neuropathy patients who suffer from the most common types we see (sensory, due to diabetes, metabolic syndrome and chemotherapy) is that when good neuropathy treatment begins, fatigue starts to vanish too!

And we even find patients with more serious forms of neuropathy improved as well, though more slowly and not as completely.

You see, we know that in the most common forms of neuropathy, energy production by the body in general, and the nerve cells in particular is poor. I theorized early on that therapies that can boost metabolism or how our bodies efficiently “burn” fuel will very often help neuropathy patients regain function.

These therapies include some food compounds, supplements and exercise, as well as therapies like laser and microcurrent which help individual cells produce ATP, which is the energy powerhouse behind every living cell!

And as a side benefit, we see our diabetic and obese patients losing significant weight, and some dropping their blood sugars significantly and thus need for medications.

So here is the best news of all: When patients engage in neuropathy treatment programs that handle all the key pieces they can, fatigue fades away and energy and a profound sense of wellbeing return to many neuropathy patients!

For more information visit us at


Why does my Neuropathy Diet taste so Bland?

Unfortunately, too many people are used to highly processed and salted foods, so their neuropathy diet tastes bland.


One of the things that we hear very often when getting patients to shift their diets is how to make fresh food taste great. Unfortunately, too many people are used to highly processed and salted foods. When we consume these foods over long periods of time, our taste buds often need adjustment when we begin to eat better.

Another factor of which a lot of neuropathy patients are unaware of is that good digestion begins in our mouths. It is important to understand especially as we consume more vegetables and complex carbohydrates that properly chewing of our food actually begins good digestion.

The good news is that proper digestion can actually make you feel a whole lot better!

Very often, in the neuropathy treatment clinic we see patients that have been diagnosed with chronic G.I. issues. This can include things like ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, or worse.

Very often, these digestive issues are related to stress and years of poor diet.

It if you watch enough television or read enough magazines you would almost think this is normal.

The truth of the matter is that shifting your diet to more whole foods can result in some amazing changes, not the least of which is improvement in neuropathy symptoms. Of course, this is not the entire picture and all underlying neuropathy causes must be treated.

However, when neuropathy treatment patients shift their diets they often start to feel better than they have in years!

The reason for this is simple. Whole foods contain more water, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are also high in critical antioxidants and other very important factors like the minerals sulfur and magnesium.

Consumption of specific vegetables like asparagus on a regular basis can help your body detoxify faster and more efficiently.

One of keys to neuropathy treatment success is gradually improving your lifestyle and diet. Take advantage of all the information we have regarding food preparation.

In particular, listen to my recent radio interview with natural food chef and TV host Andrea Beaman. Andrea and I discussed together value of learning to use proper spices, as well as consuming local and fresh produce, wherever possible.

One final word on diet and neuropathy treatment.

Make sure any dietary changes are done gradually.  And if you have any questions at all consult your NeuropathyDR® clinician who also has training in the appropriate dietary regimens impossible supplementation.


Neuropathy and Your Diet!

”Why do I just feel so lousy all the time?”

This is something that unfortunately is becoming more rather than less common in our NeuropathyDR clinics.

You see, there is a tendency now for people not to prepare or consume fresh foods, especially vegetables. Too often, fast food works its way into our diets.

As for people with peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain, this is like pouring gasoline on fire!

The reason for this is that poor food choices raise blood fats and blood sugars. When blood sugar is increased, some of the sugar molecules tend to attach to proteins; proteins like those that help make up our muscles and skin.

This then leads to achiness, stiffness, and quite possibly inflammation. For the peripheral neuropathy sufferer, regardless of the cause this typically poor diet seems to make it worse.

Increased sugar consumption in addition to aggravating your underlying neuropathy, will cause you to gain weight, lose energy and sleep more poorly.

The good news is however when you make deliberate changes to when and how you are eating, you often times will find yourself feeling better than ever!

So, how do we do this without becoming overwhelmed?

The simplest way to do this is to keep a food diary or record for a week. Keep track of everything you consume. You may be shocked at how much sugar is in things like soda, ice cream, and other things that may have become a staple for your diet.

You, like most neuropathy patients probably know you should be eating better.

When neuropathy patients write all this down, changes are much easier for us to help you with.

Always remember, neuropathy is often times a manifestation, or made worse by poor metabolism, secondary to poor diet and lack of enough activity.

Improving both of these can often improve most forms of peripheral neuropathy!

Learn more at

“But, I only Have A Little Neuropathy…”

Saying I have a little neuropathy is just like saying I’m a little bit pregnant.

One of the things we see fairly frequently in the neuropathy treatment clinics is when patients present with the early onset of neuropathy symptoms.

This could be due to things such as chemotherapy, statin medications, or perhaps even “pre-diabetes” now called metabolic syndrome.

Now there are cases of course where neuropathy is not long term.

This usually occurs in younger patients, who have been exposed to poisons or medications that eventually are stopped.

Unfortunately, for many adults neuropathy is a very different situation. For most of us saying I have a little neuropathy is just like saying I’m a little bit pregnant.

In order to have affective neuropathy treatment it is critical to identify correctable factors early on. This would include things such as obesity, certain medications, and lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking. Likewise, it is also very important to begin the most appropriate neuropathy treatment as soon as possible.

You see one of the things we know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that when patients begin neuropathy treatment early and seriously the long-term results are far better.

In the clinic we can find patients who treat their neuropathy early are less debilitated, and return to better function much more easily.

So what can you do? First of all, do not be a “minimizer”. When you experience symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or burning, have them thoroughly checked out as soon as possible by a licensed healthcare professional.

Next, help your clinicians help you by fully revealing your family history, medication usage and other factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption et cetera.

Lastly, learn the importance of good homecare programs. NeuropathyDR homecare programs can speak your progress as well as improve your neuropathy treatment results, often times dramatically.

Join our conversation on Facebook HERE!

Exercising Caution With Autonomic Neuropathy

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or autonomic neuropathy you know you’re at risk for some serious medical issues.

Autonomic neuropathy (i.e., nerve damage to the autonomic nervous system) can affect every system in the body, especially:

  • Cardiovascular – your heart, blood pressure and circulation
  • Respiratory
  • Gastrointestinal – your digestion, ability to ability to empty your bowels
  • Genitourinary – erectile dysfunction and loss of bladder control

While you’re dealing some or all of these issues, exercise may not be on your radar.

But it should be.

Exercise can help control the symptoms of your underlying illness (whatever caused your autonomic neuropathy) and by doing that, you can help lessen the symptoms of your autonomic neuropathy.

But a word of caution is in order here.

The very nature of your autonomic neuropathy can affect the systems that are most sensitive to the effects of exercise.  Any exercise program you begin should be designed and monitored by a medical professional well versed in the effects of autonomic neuropathy, like your NeuropathyDR® clinician.

Use Vs. Disuse

When you’re thinking about starting an exercise program and you’re thinking about how dangerous it can be, you also need to consider the effects of not starting an exercise program.  The effects of not exercising are called “disuse syndrome”.  If your level of activity seriously out of synch with your level of inactivity, you can develop:

  • Decreased physical work capacity
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Negative nitrogen and protein balance
  • Cardiovascular deconditioning
  • Pulmonary restrictions
  • Depression

The effects of any of these symptoms of disuse syndrome in combination with your autonomic neuropathy symptoms can make a bad situation even worse.

What You Need To Think About Before You Start Exercising

Think about what happens to your body when you exercise.

Your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes labored, you sweat.

Every single one of those results is controlled by the autonomic nervous system.  Autonomic neuropathy can seriously impact how your body responds to the stimulus of exercise.  And your body may not react as it should.

  • Heart rate – If your autonomic neuropathy affects your cardiovascular system, you need to make sure that your exercise program is designed and monitored by your NeuropathyDR® clinician. Your autonomic neuropathy can lead to abnormal heart rate, inability to properly regulate blood pressure and redistribution of blood flow.  Your cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy may cause you to have a higher resting rate and lower maximal heart rates during exercise.
  • Blood pressure – Blood pressure response with posture change and during exercise is abnormal in patients with cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy.  Postural hypotension, defined as a drop in blood pressure may be seen.  This can mean that the blood pressure doesn’t react normally during exercise.  Symptoms are similar to hypoglycemia and may be mistaken for a drop in blood glucose even though it’s actually a drop in blood pressure.  Patients should be alerted to the potential confusion in these symptoms and instructed to check blood glucose before treating for hypoglycemia.
  • Sweating and Disruption of Blood Flow – Autonomic neuropathy may reduce or even eliminate your ability to sweat.  The loss of sweating, especially in your feet, can cause dry, brittle skin on the feet and you can develop skin ulcers.  It can also make it more difficult for your body to respond to cold and heat. You need to make sure that you’re taking proper care of your feet before and during any exercise program.  Make sure your shoes fit properly and examine your feet regularly to make sure you don’t have any sores, cracks or ulcers.

Autonomic neuropathy can have a serious effect on the very systems in the body that are directly affected by exercise.  Make sure you talk to your local NeuropathyDR® clinician before you start an exercise program and let them monitor your progress.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at

Good Neuropathy Treatment is a Project!

You see there is no one-size-fits-all Neuropathy treatment program.

One of the things that frustrate physicians and patients alike in peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain syndromes is that multiple processes are often at work, which must be dealt with.

You see there is no one-size-fits-all treatment program for neuropathy.

There are however significant things, which are common in all good neuropathy and chronic pain treatment programs.

The biggest problems arise when daily things that should be attended to are not.

Most of these things are centered on your own good self-care. If you read our columns frequently you have a good idea of what you should be doing on a daily basis.

But what most patients and even physicians under estimate is the role that repetitive neurostimulatory therapies have in the recovery process in many forms of peripheral neuropathy.

These include things like specific guided exercises and targeted dietary supplementation, as well as repetitive electric and laser stimulation.

But problems can arise when these are not applied in the most specific manner possible.

It takes much more than ordinary training on the part of your doctor or therapist to be proficient in neuropathy treatment systems that produce the results we are both looking for.

There are therapies that can be in many cases regenerative in nature and others to which you may react unfavorably, some in fact may be harmful. That’s why it is imperative to get good guidance!

This is also why neuropathy and chronic pain treatment programs that focus only on stopping the pain process and not enhancing healing are almost always doomed to failure!

Always remember good neuropathy treatment is a project.

The reality is NeuropathyDR pioneered this treatment approach and only our licensed clinicians are able to provide both the clinic AND home care systems that are essential to long term neuropathy treatment success.

And like all good projects you, need a written plan and somebody to help guide you through the process.

That’s why we are here; let us know how we may help you! To learn more Go To or just call us 24/7 at 339-793-8591, So we can refer you to one of our NeuropathyDR Treatment Centers.


Suprascapular Neuropathy

Even Healthy People Can Develop Neuropathy



Cancer and chemotherapy…

Any of these conditions can lead to peripheral neuropathy…

But what you might not realize is that you can develop peripheral neuropathy even if you’re perfectly healthy.

Athletes who take part in sports that require consistent overhead movement of the arms (like tennis, baseball, kayaking, volleyball) place a lot of strain on their shoulders.  That places them at a much higher risk of overuse injuries.

And that can lead to a very specific type of neuropathy – suprascapular neuropathy.

What is Suprascapular Neuropathy?

Suprascapular neuropathy- that’s a real mouthful isn’t it?  It may sound complicated but it really isn’t.

Suprascalupar neuropathy is nerve damage to the suprascapular nerve – the nerve that runs from the brachial plexus (a group of nerves in the neck and shoulders) to nerves that help the body fully rotate the arms.  Suprascapular neuropathy causes shoulder pain and weakness and can lead to career ending pain for professional athletes or stop weekend warriors from doing what they love.

The most common symptoms of suprascapular neuropathy are:

–   Deep, dull aching pain in the shoulder

–   Weakness or muscle pain

–   Frozen shoulder (inability to move the shoulder)

–  Numbness and tingling

If any of these symptoms are keeping you sidelined, talk to your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today.

Exactly What Causes Suprascapular Neuropathy?

As the suprascapular nerve passes over the shoulder blade, it can be compressed and stretched.  When that happens repeatedly over a period of time, the nerve can become damaged and neuropathy develops. The first symptoms are usually pain and weakness when you try to rotate the shoulder.  More than just being uncomfortable, the pain can disrupt your life on a daily basis.

Imagine trying to put on a t-shirt or reach for a can on the top shelf of your pantry with a frozen or extremely painful shoulder…

If your experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician immediately to determine if you have nerve damage.  You’ll need to start treatment immediately to prevent permanent damage.

What You Can Expect From Treatment

Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will start with nerve conduction studies to find out exactly where the nerves are damaged.  Electromyography will show exactly how severe the damage is.

Once you know for sure you have suprascapular neuropathy, the first step will be stop participating in the sport that caused the injury (until the damage is repaired).

Next, you’ll start a course of physical therapy and prescribed exercise.  Therapy will concentrate on maintaining your full range of motion and strengthening your shoulder muscles.

Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will employ a very specific treatment protocol depending on

–          The location of your injury and how severe it is

–          Your age, general health and typical activities

–          How long you’ve had your symptoms and whether or not they was caused by overuse or a specific injury

If your shoulder pain is keeping you on the bench and stopping you from participating in the sports you love or even from living a normal life, call your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today.   Early intervention is one of the best ways to minimize the damage caused by suprascapular neuropathy and repair any nerve damage you may have suffered.

For more information on coping with suprascapular neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at

The Importance of a Neuropathy Treatment System

Having a Neuropathy Treatment System to follow, provides for more measurable neuropathy treatment results!

One of the most frustrating things for patients and doctors alike is not having adequate treatment plans for patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain.

Too often, a haphazard approach is taken both by patients and their professionals early on, and the net result is failure, or possibly worsening of the underlying neuropathy and chronic pain condition.

Neuropathy patients are searching continuously for this solution that solution. This magic pill, this wonderful cream that will cure all your ills.

The exotic supplement from the mountains of the Himalayas…You get where this is going.

Whatever you can think of is for sale, specifically targeting neuropathy & pain patients and yes even unwary professionals!

But the good news is when specific neuropathy treatment systems are followed, you know what to expect, and importantly how to measure progress.

For example, most patients who suffer from diabetic neuropathy know when they keep their fasting blood sugars within a healthy range, their neuropathy reacts much better.

Conversely, when blood sugars are out of control due to poor dietary systems the net result is worsening of their neuropathy.

And the same holds true for other facets of neuropathy treatment. For example, having a personal system for regular and scheduled exercise as well as stretching and rest can make a profound difference.

The timing of dietary supplements, combined with other pieces of a real system and yes even medications can make a big difference. We know for example that regularity, in terms of time of day and spacing of dosages and at home or in the clinic can make a huge difference for many neuropathy patients.

We also know that when treating with our home care neuropathy treatment systems at specific times, intensities frequency and combinations with the entire NeuropathyDR treatment system makes a huge difference and leads to bigger improvements in quality of life.

Remember no two patients are the same. Some trial and error is necessary to find out what works best.

But the good news is having a neuropathy treatment system instead of playing “Blind Archery” with your health provides for more measurable neuropathy treatment results!

For more information plesae consider using the NeuropathyDR Treatment Systems used world wide and dont forget to visit us at

Neuropathy and Sleep

It’s four in the morning and you’re still awake.  You’ve been in bed, and you should have been asleep ages ago.  Your alarm will go off in only a few hours, and you’re dreading the long day ahead that you’ll have to spend completely exhausted.

If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, this scenario is probably all too familiar.  Insomnia (lack of sleep) affects almost half of the overall population, but among neuropathy sufferers, that ratio jumps to over seventy percent.  Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep for most adults, regardless of their age or gender, an intimidating goal if you’re someone whose chronic pain keeps them up at night.

Neuropathic pain can intensify in the evening hours, both in reality and in perception (fewer distractions of the day can cause a sufferer to focus more on their pain the closer they get to bedtime).

Research suggests that sleep apnea, a common cause of insomnia, can actually cause peripheral neuropathy, as well.  Beyond a mere relationship, studies have shown that apnea is a high-risk condition among the insulin-resistant, which could likely be affecting incidents of neuropathy among diabetics in very direct ways.

Insomnia from neuropathy can perpetuate its own problem, too.  Not only is neuropathic pain prodigious when it comes to nighttime restlessness, but the resulting lack of sleep can make the pain even worse!  Rest is essential to recovery and treatment, and lack of sleep can lower your pain threshold drastically.  You need that sleep, so what can you do?

There are several steps you can take if your neuropathy is keeping you awake at night.  Your NeuropathyDR® clinician can work with you to best help your specific situation, but here are some guidelines to get you started:

  • Do your best to keep a regular sleeping schedule.  Be persistent! Getting to bed and getting up at the same times each day is one of the best ways to train your body to sleep correctly.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and any medication that incorporates a stimulant (non-drowsy), especially in the evening hours.
  • Avoid heavy foods in the evening. Our bodies metabolize food for hours after we eat, giving us a boost of energy!  Energy is great when we need it, but can be a pain when we don’t.  Many cultures eat their biggest meal of the day in the morning and only a small snack at dinnertime for this reason.  Try it out!
  • Try turning off the TV and computer a few hours before bed.  Mileage varies from person to person, but electronics tend to stimulate the senses.   Try a book or quiet conversation, instead.
  • Adjust your environment to be ideal for sleeping.  Layer your covers to ensure you stay warm but not hot, and minimize light and noise.

There are a number of herbal and natural sleep aids as well, which may help you fall asleep quickly.  Most sleep experts recommend entertaining a number of stress-relief methods, psychological conditioning, and homeopathic solutions for insomnia before resorting to pharmaceutical sleep aids, which can often form dependencies and, over time, exacerbate the problems associated with restlessness.  Always be cautious with medications, and consult your NeuropathyDR® clinician or other doctor before medicating.

Always remember, altering your sleep pattern won’t happen overnight (so to speak)!  It could be three to four weeks before any changes you make to your routine begin to have meaningful impact on your success getting to and staying asleep, and don’t be surprised if your restlessness gets worse before it gets better.  Contact us, and we can help you find a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area and give you even more information about how to get the rest you need while suffering from neuropathy.



When Neuropathy Strikes Hard

One of the most difficult things we see in the NeuropathyDR clinics is when a patient presents with a new onset of neuropathy…

Now this patient’s neuropathy can be due to things like viral infections, an accident, and sometimes even a chemical exposure. Sometimes-even drugs that save our lives may cause sudden neuropathy.

Very often though, a patient presents with neuropathy that appeared suddenly, but has been probably coming on for a long time.

So what I’d thought I’d do today lets talk about something we see too frequently. That is, when the tingling, numbness and burning are sudden, but the causes are many. And in reality, have been creating some trouble for years.

Here’s a patient story that is not unfamiliar.

Jim who just turned 45 has gradually become less active over time, but otherwise relatively healthy. He’s also become very poor with his eating habits; you know chips and beer with the boys during the week instead of just during a weekend ball game. He’s stunned at how trim and fit he looked when he finds his high school pictures but says, “Oh well…”

He never kicked the cigarettes. And about 10 months ago he learned in a life insurance exam his cholesterol and blood sugars were “borderline” high but probably “OK” for his “age”.

He finally sees his doctor who says quite frankly, ‘clean up your act’ or you’ll have no choice but to take these drugs. Guess which path he takes? Yes, statin medication and blood sugar pills. Oh yeah, he now is eating antacids like crazy and never eats anything green. Then, he has surgery for a longstanding hernia and then seemingly all at once, his feet are on fire, with his hands not far behind.

Now, he remembers his grandfathers diabetes and just how miserable his hands and feet were with neuropathy when he was a kid.

So, was this neuropathy sudden? Well the symptoms sure were but actually our patient’s health habits had set the neuropathy stage for more than 20 years.

My friends, the sad part is in the NeuropathyDR clinics we see every day patients like our friend.

Sadly, this kind of neuropathy is a consequence of long standing habits, some of which are very preventable.

We now know way more than we did about neuropathy, and we are ready when you are to tackle the health habits that may be standing in your way of living and feeling a whole lot better!

But it is all up to you to take action or continue to let your issues worsen.

For more information visit us at


Diabetic Neuropathy and Nutritional Supplements

If you have insulin dependent diabetes, you know you need to take insulin to keep your blood sugar under control…

You’ve probably also been told to exercise…

And you’ve definitely been told to watch your diet – especially when it comes to sugar…

What you might not realize is that there are nutritional supplements and vitamins you can take to help control your blood sugar as well.
And many of these supplements can also help with the effects of diabetic neuropathy – one of the chief contributors to amputations in diabetic patients.

The number of clinical studies that show adding key nutrients to the health care regimen of diabetic neuropathy patients is growing constantly.

Granted, these nutritional supplements will not take the place of proper diet, controlling your blood sugar and a sound exercise plan, but they can definitely improve the effectiveness of all of these pieces of the diabetic neuropathy puzzle.

What You Should Look For in Nutritional Supplements

As a patient with diabetic neuropathy, your requirements in nutritional supplements are different than those of other people. While many companies use the convenience of their once-a-day multivitamin as a selling point, a pill you take only once a day is only going to be really effective for the two hours after take it. You need more than that for the symptoms of your diabetic neuropathy.

To get the full effect for treating your diabetic neuropathy, you need to maintain a steady therapeutic level of these vitamins and nutrients throughout the day to help keep your blood sugar under control.

Choose supplements that you take at last three times a day to keep the levels steady in your blood stream.

And look for nutritional supplements that come from an FDA approved manufacturer to ensure that what you’re taking is pharmaceutical grade.

Which Vitamin Supplements You Should Take

There is so much information on the market now about nutritional supplements and vitamins. Don’t go out there and buy vitamins without being prepared. Do your research and talk to a specialist like your NeuropathyDR® clinician to make sure you’re taking the right vitamins for your specific diabetic neuropathy symptoms. We have a very specific protocol in our clinics.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet of the Top 12 vitamins and nutrients for diabetic neuropathy treatment to help you identify some of the essential supplements that can help your diabetic neuropathy and exactly what they do:

Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – helps maintain healthy oxygen levels in the blood stream which means that you less chance of nerve damage due to poor oxygen levels reaching the nerves. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of thiamine for the average person is 1.0 to 2.4 mg per day but diabetic neuropathy patients should take in the range of 60 mg per day in equally divided doses.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – works in combination with Vitamin B6 to help your body use glucose properly. The RDA is 1.2 to 1.6 mg per day but therapeutic levels should be around 60 mg per day.

Vitamin B6 – along with folic acid and B12, it helps prevent nerve damage and heart attacks. It can also help prevent diabetic blindness and/or vision loss. Therapeutic levels should be at least 60 mg per day but be very careful with your dosage. Some toxicity has been reported with extremely high levels of B6.

Vitamin B12 – works with folic acid to help prevent stroke and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy. It also helps relieve neuropathy pain.

Biotin – when taken in combination with chromium, biotin (a B vitamin) helps insulin work more effectively, keeps the pancreas working well, and lowers blood sugar levels.

Chromium – when taken with biotin, helps insulin work better, keeps the pancreas working well and lowers blood sugar levels.

Copper – helps protect the cells in the pancreas that make insulin healthy, helps prevent diabetes related damage to blood vessels and nerves and lowers blood sugar levels.

Folic Acid – works with B12 to help prevent strokes and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy.

Magnesium – helps relieve diabetic neuropathy pain and helps insulin work more effectively.

Manganese – helps prevent damage to blood vessels and nerves.

Selenium – sometimes called an insulin imitator, selenium helps take blood sugar into the cells. Selenium protects against blood vessel and nerve damage from elevated blood sugar levels, two of the contributing factors in diabetic neuropathy.

Zinc – helps blood sugar get into the cells and insulin work more efficiently.

These supplements, when used properly and under the care and supervision of your NeuropathyDR® clinician, can help improve your diabetic neuropathy symptoms and lessen the chances of permanent nerve damage and eventual amputation.

But take note – these supplements will not take the place of eating properly and exercising. They work in combination with a healthier lifestyle, not in place of it.

And never self prescribe vitamins supplements and nutrients. Work with you NeuropathyDR® clinician to arrive at the levels you need for your particular diabetic neuropathy and blood sugar control issues. As with many other things, too much of a good thing can do more harm than good if not properly regulated and monitored by a specialist.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at

Is The Flu Vaccine Helpful?

It’s that time of year again…

Pre-flu season…

And everywhere you look are signs advertising “Flu Shots – Walk Ins Welcome” or “Get Your Flu Shot Today.”

For the average, healthy person getting a flu shot is a no-brainer.

After all, the flu accounts for 200,000 hospitalizations every year and up to 36,000 deaths.  If you can take a shot and avoid that, why wouldn’t you?

But if you have peripheral neuropathy caused by

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer (and you’re undergoing chemotherapy)
  • Shingles
  • HIV/AIDS or some other immune system disorder
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Gluten sensitivity (also known as celiac disease)
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Hereditary neuropathy

You may think that a flu shot isn’t for you.

HIV patients tend to be especially skeptical about receiving the vaccine.

If you have peripheral neuropathy caused by any of these underlying illnesses, you need to make an informed choice about whether or not to get a flu shot.

This is what you need to know.

The Flu Vaccine Will Not Actually Make You Sick

Contrary to urban myth, the flu vaccine will not make you sick.  It works by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that actually fight the virus. It does not give you the flu.

You also need to know that there is no evidence that the flu shot will make your neuropathy symptoms worse if your neuropathy is caused by any of the underlying illnesses we listed above.  In fact, the Centers for Disease Control strongly recommends that peripheral neuropathy patients with any of these illnesses receive a flu shot every year because they’re more prone to developing serious complications if they get the flu.

A Word of Caution for Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP Patients

If your peripheral neuropathy is caused by Guillain-Barre Syndrome or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), talk to your NeuropathyDR clinician or other medical professional before you receive the flu vaccine.

Because the vaccine keeps you from getting the flu by tricking your immune system into producing antibodies to fight it off,  if you have neuropathy caused by Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP,  this immune stimulation may actually cause a relapse in patients with a history of either of these illnesses.

If you have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome and the resultant peripheral neuropathy in the past, it might be a good idea to wait at least one year after your symptoms are gone before you receive the flu shot.

If you have CIDP and your symptoms are still present, you might want to avoid the flu vaccine.  Talk to your NeuropathyDR clinician or other medical professional and consider the chances of complications from the vaccine as opposed to the health risks of actually getting the flu.  Take into account:

  • Advanced age
  • Other chronic medical conditions
  • Possible relapse triggered by getting the flu virus

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you receive the flu shot every year if you fall into any of these groups:

  • You’re six months to 19 years old
  • You’re 50 years of age or older
  • You have a chronic medical condition (lung, heart, liver or kidney disease, blood disorders, diabetes)
  • You live in a nursing home or other long term care facility
  • You live with or care for someone at high risk for complications from the flu (healthcare workers, people in your household (i.e., children too young to be vaccinated or people with chronic medical conditions)

In the end, the decision to get the flu shot or take a pass on it is up to you. Talk to your practitioners before you make your decision and do what’s best for you.

For more information on coping with peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at