Gentle Yoga: A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy

You can ease the pain of neuropathy in feet with a simple yoga practice—even if you’ve never done yoga before.

Peripheral neuropathy can be an aggravating and chronic condition, and it’s tough to treat using traditional medications. But there’s a treatment you can do on your own—in a class, or at home—that can be very beneficial over time, and that’s gentle yoga.

Yoga isn’t just about spiritual growth or physical fitness anymore. Many neuropathy patients are finding that simple yoga poses can alleviate uncomfortable tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes. Best of all, many basic yoga poses are easy to learn and don’t require special equipment.

Some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include:

1. Increased circulation to the hands and feet. Many yoga poses use the pull of gravity to shift habitual blood flow patterns, particularly to the feet. (Don’t worry, this doesn’t require a headstand!)
2. Improved body self-awareness. A regular yoga practice can help you connect with your body sensations and really notice what your body is telling you.
3. Relaxation and peacefulness. A simple, non-strenuous yoga practice for 10 to 30 minutes before bed can help you relax and sleep better. Or, if you prefer, use yoga as a gentle wake-up practice in the morning to set a peaceful tone for your day.

In general, yoga is a wonderful form of self-care that can be modified for your own unique physical goals and needs.

If you have no experience with yoga, it’s best to begin with assistance from a teacher. You can look for a local “gentle yoga” class or use a beginning yoga DVD as a guide at home.

Here’s one very simple yoga technique to get you started with relief for your feet. Sit cross-legged with your shoes and socks off. Weave your fingers one by one through the toes of the opposite foot, and hold this position for about 20 seconds. Then, switch to using the other hand and foot. You may want to do this 2 or 3 times for each foot.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Neuropathy and Your Diet

“Why do I just feel so lousy all the time? Could it be my diet?”

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 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!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

What You Need To Know About Metabolic Syndrome

Increased blood pressure. Higher than normal insulin or blood sugar levels. Excess body fat, particularly around your waist. Abnormal cholesterol levels – and that means both “good” and “bad” cholesterol. If you have not just one but all of these conditions, you may have Metabolic Syndrome. And that increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as peripheral neuropathy.

If you know you have one of these symptoms, you may have others and not know it.  Do any of these sound familiar?

1. Obesity – Are you carrying excess weight, particularly around your waist? Do you have an “apple shape”?

2. Elevated Blood Pressure – If your systolic (the top number) blood pressure is higher than 120 or your diastolic (the bottom number) is higher than 80, you have blood pressure issues that you need to talk to your doctor about.

3. Abnormal Cholesterol Levels – If you have high triglycerides (blood fat) and low “good” or HDL cholesterol, you need to ask your doctor about treatment.

4. Insulin Resistance – If your body doesn’t properly regulate the amount of sugar in your blood, you could be on your way to becoming diabetic.

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about testing to make sure you don’t have others.  With the exception of obesity, any of these could be silent symptoms of metabolic syndrome that remain undetected without proper medical testing.

Stay tuned…in our upcoming articles, we’ll talk about the causes of metabolic syndrome and give you an idea of what your lifestyle may be doing to contribute to your metabolic syndrome.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

The minute you injured you back, your life changed forever.

The constant pain…

The loss of mobility…

The inability to live a normal life.

You wanted so desperately to feel normal again you agreed to back surgery. And your pain is worse than ever.

If you’ve undergone back surgery and you’re still suffering from

• Dull, aching pain in your back and/or legs
• Abnormal sensitivity including sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain in your arms or legs
• Peripheral neuropathy and the symptoms that go with it – numbness, tingling, loss of sensation or even burning in your arms and legs

You could have “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome” or “FBSS”. You’re not alone.  Back surgeries fail so often now they actually have a name for the condition patients develop when it happens.  As back pain experts, NeuropathyDR® clinicians see patients like you almost every day.

What Exactly Is “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”?

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome[1] is what the medical community calls the chronic pain in the back and/or legs that happens after a patient undergoes back surgery.

Several things can contribute to the development of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.  It can be caused by a herniated disc not corrected by the surgery, swelling or a “mechanical” neuropathy that causes pressure on the spinal nerves, a change in the way your joints move, even depression or anxiety.

If you smoke, have diabetes or any autoimmune or vascular disease, you have a much higher chance of developing Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

If you do have any of these conditions, think long and hard before you agree to back surgery.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

You know you don’t want another surgery and who could blame you? You’ve already been through the pain of surgery and recovery only to be in worse shape than you were before the surgery.

The good news is that there are some excellent alternatives to surgery.

• Therapeutic massage to manipulate the soft tissues of the body to relax the muscles and eliminate “knots” in the muscles that can cause or contribute to your back pain and other symptoms.
• Manual therapy to restore motion to the vertebrae, alleviate pressure and get your spine and muscular system back into proper alignment.
• Yoga and other low impact exercises to aid in relaxation, pain management and alleviating stress and depression.
• Proper nutrition to help your body heal itself.  This is especially important if you have diabetes or some other underlying illness that could be contributing to your peripheral neuropathy.

All of these are components of the NeuropathyDR® treatment protocol.

The right combination of these treatment approaches in the hands of a knowledgeable health care provider, well versed in the treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, can be an excellent alternative to yet another surgery.

If you’re tired of living with the pain and don’t want to go under the knife again, contact your local NeuropathyDR® specialist to see if their exclusive protocol for treating chronic back pain, peripheral neuropathy, and Failed Back Surgery Syndrome will work for you.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Hereditary Neuropathy

If you’re reading this and you’re already in your late 20’s or early 30’s (or older) and you have:

• Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
• Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsies (HNPP)
• Dejerine-Sottas Disease (DSD)
• Hereditary Motor Neuropathy (HMN)

You were probably diagnosed in your teens or possibly earlier.  But if you or someone you know is in their teens (or younger) and they have a combination of the following symptoms:

• Numbness
• Tingling
• Pain in their feet and hands
• Weakness and loss of muscle mass (especially in their calves or lower legs and feet)
• Impaired sweating
• Insensitivity to pain
• Foot deformities such as hammer toes or high arches
• Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)

It might be time to do some genetic testing to determine if they have a form of hereditary neuropathy.

What is Hereditary Neuropathy?

Hereditary neuropathies are inherited disorders that affect the peripheral nervous system, often resulting in peripheral neuropathy.  Hereditary neuropathies can affect you in many different ways but they are usually grouped into four different categories:

Motor and sensory neuropathy – affecting movement and the ability to feel sensations
Sensory neuropathy – affecting the senses
Motor neuropathy – affecting the ability to move
Sensory and autonomic neuropathy – affecting the ability to feel sensation and the autonomic nervous system (the system that controls your ability to sweat, your heart rate, your body’s ability to regulate your blood pressure, your digestion, etc.)

As the names imply, they are classified based on exactly which nerves are affected and which functions are impaired.

The most common form of hereditary neuropathy is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (a motor and sensory neuropathy)  affecting 1 out of every 2500 people.  Most people with CMT are diagnosed before they reach their 20’s but their symptoms can begin years earlier.  CMT may take a while to diagnose because the symptoms can wax and wane over a period of years.

How Can I Find Out if I Have Hereditary Neuropathy?

The only way to diagnose hereditary neuropathy is through blood tests for genetic testing, nerve conduction studies and nerve biopsies.   If you’ve been diagnosed without going through any of these tests, you probably don’t have a good diagnosis.

Your doctor should take a very thorough history and physical.  In order to really determine if you are at risk for hereditary neuropathy, you need to look as far back as three generations.  However, a word to the wise, even if you hereditary neuropathy has not shown up in your family previously, all inherited diseases have to start somewhere.  You could just be the person starting it in your family.   That makes genetic testing even more important.

Are Hereditary Neuropathies Curable?

There are no cures for the various types of hereditary neuropathies.  Treatment is usually to treat the symptoms and give your body the support it needs to function as normally as possible.  That usually means physical and occupational therapy,  as well as

• Care and correction for your muscular and skeletal systems
• Treatment for any other underlying medical problems
• Nutrition education and diet planning
• A step by step exercise regimen
• Medication as needed or necessary

A highly skilled medical professional well versed in diagnosing and treating nerve damage is your best place to start for treatment of your Hereditary Neuropathy.  An excellent place to start is with a NeuropathyDr® clinician.  They have had great success in treating patients with hereditary neuropathy in all its various forms.

If you have a confirmed diagnosis of Hereditary Neuropathy or think you may have it, seek treatment now.  While you can’t be cured, you can take steps to treat and lessen your symptoms and greatly improve your quality of life.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Neuropathy Treament Challege

Physical Activity, Neuropathy and Chronic Pain Patients

While your pain may make any kind of physical activity the furthest thing from your mind, a good clinician can greatly increase your potential for rehabilitation. Your neuropathy does not have to be a life sentence.

Peripheral neuropathy affects virtually every patient differently. Some neuropathy patients suffer strictly from nerve pain, some have issues with numbness, and still others have issues with mobility or some combination of symptoms.

Any neuropathy symptom can make functioning and carrying on a normal life virtually impossible.

If you suffer from any of these issues:

· Pain
· Weakness or numbness
· Increased nerve sensitivity
· Abnormal gait when you walk
· Decreased endurance
· Limited range of motion
· Difficulty keeping your balance
· Problems with bracing yourself
· Joints that are stiff or contracted…

A good therapist, chiropractor, or osteopathic physician may be able to help you.  Clinicians who specialize in treating neuropathy patients, like our NeuropathyDR® therapists and chiropractors, will have a strong knowledge base when it comes to addressing whatever your particular neuropathy symptoms happen to be.

What To Expect

We will do a complete history and physical, and find out where you need the most assistance and what course of treatment will work best for you. Therapy can be a crucial step to increase the likelihood of rehabilitation from your peripheral neuropathy.

Be sure to find a clinician with expertise in treating neuropathy patients.  A qualified clinician will be able to develop a treatment regimen that won’t make your neuropathy symptoms worse.

One thing to remember – in order for your insurance to pay for therapy treatment, you will more than likely need a prescription from your treating physician.

Therapy Treatment Options

Some clinicians will attack your particular issues directly or they may opt to work indirectly and work around the underlying problem to first address whatever your particular deficits may be.  If you have balance issues, they may work to build your muscle strength and allow you to be more grounded.

Every patient is different.  What worked for one may not work for the next.  A good clinician will take the time to fully understand your particular issues and prescribe a treatment regimen that addresses the areas where you need the most assistance and that will show the best opportunity for improvement.

If you’ve never sought treatment before, you may not really understand what they do.  Here are some basic treatment techniques used in a therapy regimen that might help you:

· Soft tissue manipulation techniques
· Peripheral and/or spinal mobilization
· Thermal treatments
· Electrical stimulation
· Ultrasound
· Near infrared phototherapy
· Balance systems
· Individualized therapeutic exercise
· Functional activities

Seeing an expert can give you a chance at a positive outcome and improve your ability to function normally. Give yourself every opportunity to get your life back and live beyond your peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain issues.

We hope you found this information helpful and you take steps today to find a NeuropathyDR® practitioner in your area. Be an informed patient.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Calcium and Your Health

Calcium is an element which is essential to life and health. Like potassium and chloride, too much or too little of this key element can literally kill us! Your body has some aging mechanisms built in to keep calcium levels in our blood nearly constant. So much so that, if we consume too little, our parathyroid glands send hormone messengers that break down bone to release more usable calcium.

Calcium is necessary for proper heartbeat and normal nerve function. A disturbance in blood calcium can cause fatal arrhythmia of our heart, and “tetany”, which is a severe disabling contraction of our muscles!

Now you probably have been lead to believe that dairy consumption is the only way to get adequate calcium. You might even have been told that calcium consumption alone can prevent or treat osteoporosis.

Neither of these assumptions, by themselves, are true.

For example, John Robbins was one of the first to point out in the ’90s that in cultures where daily physical activity and plant-based diets are the norm, osteoporosis was virtually non-existent. These cultures do NOT consume any dairy at all.

Instead, they eat lots of vegetables, nuts, and lean protein like fish, using animal products sparingly. This diet, which we recommend to our clients, is far healthier than the typical sugar, fat, and soda consumption of the average modern diet!

These cultures also have higher levels of active Vitamin D, secondary to sunlight exposure. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium in our gut, and among many other things, helps us build stronger bones, ward off infections, and a whole host of diseases.

Calcium is a key player in your health! Unless you have a disease which requires careful monitoring, eating healthy and getting enough vitamin D and exercise are probably all we need.

Most of the time, large amounts of calcium supplementation may actually be dangerous, and could actually contribute to other disease risks.

In nature, calcium often occurs with magnesium. Effective supplementation delivers calcium and magnesium in near-equal concentrations.

Magnesium is another crucial nutrient—in fact, the most commonly deficient in the so-called modern diet. We’ll discuss more about that, and other supplements, in upcoming blogs.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan

Make your Neuropathy Treatment Plan Today!

Those who use written neuropathy treatment plans have a far better chance at not only feeling better, but regaining significant quality of life.

If you or someone you love suffers from peripheral neuropathy, you know how devastating this condition can be. You probably are also aware of the immense life changes a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy can bring.

But the good news is, as you read on these pages repeatedly there is a whole lot you can learn to better deal with your peripheral neuropathy.

This is where having a written neuropathy treatment plan goes along way. In fact you could apply this to almost any illness.

Here’s what to do next:

First of all take out a large piece of paper, or even on mobile phone. Actually, in this stage I am a huge fan of mobile notes sync across all devices.

On your neuropathy treatment plan should first be all your known risk factors. This would include things like cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption, inactivity, and perhaps diabetes. Maybe there are other known factors, such as consumption of medications known to produce peripheral neuropathy.

Once you have your list, then you need to divide it into things that you can change. The very next thing you need to do is to prioritize your neuropathy treatment plan. For example what is having the biggest impact on your health?

This is the very first thing, although perhaps the most difficult that you need to do first.

By first developing a neuropathy treatment plan and then using your own willpower and discipline, along with the help from your family and healthcare professionals, you can do a whole lot to help yourself feel better and function better!

What we do know is those who use written neuropathy treatment plans and not only work off them but share them with their neuropathy treatment specialists have a far better chance at not only feeling better, but regaining significant quality of life.

To that end, we are here to support you!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Worse than Diabetic Neuropathy?

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, heart and vascular disease, contributes to mental decline and maybe even dementia and so many other disorders.

One of the things I write about, and we see quite often in our 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.

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

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 twice weekly articles and multiple daily tips and strategies on social media we 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 information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Manual Therapies for Your Diabetic Neuropathy

Your doctor has probably explained that diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy specific to patients who have diabetes, and that diabetic neuropathy is caused by a lack of blood flow to the nerves and elevated and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

You’re probably taking painkillers, closely monitoring your blood sugar (hopefully), and being more careful about your diet (as you should).

So how are your diabetic neuropathy symptoms now?

If they’re not improving, you might want to add something else to your treatment plan…

Chiropractic and Manual Physical Therapy Treatments for Diabetic Neuropathy

Chiropractic care for diabetic neuropathy patients usually concentrates on correcting misalignments in the spine which can wreak havoc on your nervous system and your internal organs – including the pancreas, a direct link to diabetes.

If the other pieces of your treatment puzzle are not working as quickly as you had hoped, and you’re doing everything else your doctor tells you to do, contact your local NeuropathyDR® specialist.  Our team has an exclusive treatment protocol with proven results for diabetic neuropathy patients.  An integral part of that treatment protocol is chiropractic adjustment to correct problems with your spinal alignment.

Pain Reduction and Nerve Repair

The next step in your treatment for diabetic neuropathy is taking steps to reduce your symptoms and help the nerves repair themselves.  This can be done through a combination of topical pain medications, manual manipulation of the bones and joints to properly align the nervous system, and nerve stimulation.

Proper alignment of the bones and muscles and nerve stimulation are all important aspects of successful treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

Personal Care Tips For The Diabetic Neuropathy Patient

Diabetes is the fifth deadliest disease in the United States and the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is growing at an alarming rate. One of the things that makes diabetes so deadly is the risk for infection and resulting amputation.  Diabetic neuropathy is a serious contributing factor in the risk for amputation.

While you’re undergoing treatment for diabetic neuropathy and having chiropractic adjustments, pay particular attention to your feet, hands, arms and leg.  Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any blisters, sores, torn skin, or inflammation.   The combination of your diabetes and your diabetic neuropathy can lead to very serious infections that are slow or impossible to heal.   This can lead to dire complications that can be avoided if you receive the proper medical treatment early.

Do a Visual Inspection and Don’t Rely on Soreness or Pain. 

Diabetic neuropathy impairs your ability to feel pain in your extremities and you may not notice the problem until it’s too late for successful treatment.

If you have any of the issues we’ve discussed, contact your healthcare provider and take full advantage of their expertise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathies, including diabetic neuropathy, and their ability to provide chiropractic care to correct misalignment in your spine.

The positive effects of chiropractic adjustment on diabetic neuropathy are being affirmed by a growing number of case studies.  Give it serious consideration in treating your diabetic neuropathy.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Disuse Syndrome

In our last post, we discussed how exercise can help control the symptoms of your underlying illness (whatever caused your autonomic neuropathy). Today we’re going to discuss the effects of not exercising, which are called disuse syndrome.

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 sync 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.

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.

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 healthcare provider before you start an exercise program and let them monitor your progress.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Exercising Caution With Autonomic Neuropathy

If you’ve been diagnosed with 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 with 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”. We’ll discuss more about “disuse syndrome” in our next post.

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 neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

What Can Cause Peripheral Neuropathy?

The causes of peripheral neuropathy are in many cases unfortunately unknown. In fact, the most common cause of neuropathy in this day and age may actually be what’s called idiopathic, meaning of unknown certainty. It’s no longer just diabetes.

In our modern world, we are subjected and exposed to many environmental toxins, including heavy metals. We also are seeing patients surviving cancer and living much longer. Unfortunately, one of the undesired complications of chemotherapy is the development of peripheral neuropathy.

We are also seeing patients developing compression neuropathy, such as carpal tunnel, chronic sciatica and back pain and nerve damage associated with conditions like degenerative spinal disc disease and spinal stenosis. Part of this, of course, is because we are living longer and being more active than ever before.

Another common, but often overlooked, cause of peripheral neuropathy is the use of statin medication, which has expanded exponentially. It’s not too long ago that the statins were heralded to be the cure-all for many of mankind’s greatest diseases and illnesses. This is not the forum to debate the appropriate use of statins, but if you or a family member are taking them, you do need to be aware that peripheral neuropathy is a potential complication.

There are other causes of peripheral neuropathy, like kidney disease and hormonal diseases that occur in patients with hyperthyroidism, as well as Cushing’s disease, which affects the adrenal glands and the output of cortisol.

Alcoholism can cause peripheral neuropathy, as can vitamin deficiencies, especially deficiencies of thiamin, or vitamin B1. There are still more causes: chronic hypertension, cigarette-smoking, immune-complex diseases, generalized degenerative lifestyles that include obesity, poor diet combined with cigarette smoking, abuse of over-the-counter medications, etc.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Hypoxia and Neuropathy (Part 2)

In our last post, we discussed hypoxia and neuropathy, specifically the chronic pain that results when nerve signal propagation is reduced between adjacent nerve cells due to insufficient oxygen being available to support nerve cell “health” (metabolism). This situation is responsible for many neuropathy and chronic pain cases.  The remaining 10% are caused by physical trauma.

As such, it appears the main precipitating factor is hypoxia and demineralization of the synaptic fluid which creates shrinkage of the nerve cells thus widening the gap between these cells making it more difficult for normal sensations to propagate, and loss of electrical conductivity in the synaptic fluid itself.

A temporary hypoxia of nerve tissue can be traced to most causes of neuropathy and chronic pain.  The primary negative effects are as follows:

• A defensive contraction of the nerve cell resulting in oversize synaptic junctions

• A loss of electrical conductivity of the synaptic fluid between nerve cells

• A defensive change in the electrical potentials of the cell membrane resulting in a higher resting state of the trigger level which effectively limits the sensitivity to incoming sign

When nerve signals can no longer jump the enlarged synaptic gap, the electrical tension that normally holds these minerals in place is absent, causing the synaptic fluid to leach out its mineral content. Electrical conductivity is reduced, thereby inhibiting the transmission of the normal nerves’ electrical signals across this gap.

Common short term remedies with prescription drugs only ameliorate the pain temporarily and do little or nothing to mitigate or cure the underlying condition.  They may provide some level of temporary relief, but as the disease progresses, the effective dosage of the drug needed to continue suppressing the pain increases concurrently.

The side effects of these types of drugs are difficult to deal with and add to the patient’s discomfort.  When the increased drug dosage reaches a threshold level, the patient can become confused, ataxic, constipated, confined to a wheelchair or may become bedridden.  Symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s may soon follow.

If you suffer from neuropathy or chronic pain, it is important that you discuss all of your treatment options with your healthcare providers. And as always, our NeuropathyDr clinicians are here to help answer any questions you may have.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

Hypoxia and Neuropathy (Part 1)

The common link in all of these peripheral neuropathies, regardless of the cause, appears to be hypoxia.

Hypoxia is simply a word that describes loss of oxygen. This occurs at what are called the neuronal junctions: the areas in the human body where one nerve cell communicates to another.

At a simplistic level, nerve cells communicate electrochemically across a gap. In neuropathy caused by hypoxia, this neuronal gap widens, which is theorized to be responsible for the symptoms that include not only the burning and the tingling but the shooting pains as well.

Neuropathy and chronic pain is characterized by pain, numbness, loss of tactile feedback, and poor tissue perfusion. These symptoms may indicate that oxygen is not getting to all the cells causing dysfunction.

Because the patient’s quality of life is decreased, these results are often devastating.  Pain medications do not cure the condition; it only helps mask it and, eventually, leads to complications with adverse side effects such as mental confusion and intestinal problems.

As a result of conducting our own research and reviewing published studies from around the world, we have been led to new models concerning the causes of neuropathy and chronic pain.  We have concluded that it is not reasonable to merely label neuropathy and chronic pain symptoms as diabetic, peripheral, vascular, or “idiopathic”. What is needed is a more full understanding of the etiology of the condition so new technology can be brought to bear with both ameliorative and therapeutic benefits.

We’ll discuss hypoxia, neuropathy, and chronic pain further in our next post.

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

Questioning The Status Quo

One of the things that we find very challenging, and gets in the way of patient progress many times, is the patient’s unwillingness to question the status quo.

Now, if you suffer from neuropathy or indeed many forms of chronic pain, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, etc. know that often times the only answers presented to you are drugs and more drugs.

By and large, our system does a terrible job of educating patients the impact that their lifestyles, diet, and fitness have on the progression and wherever possible reversal of their underlying diseases.

Question the status quo.

One of the fundamental reasons for this is that very little time in professional education is spent in these critical areas.

Furthermore, the constant barrage in all forms of media with drug-only solutions does tend to brainwash people. Also, it’s a sad fact that these tools are made available to patients with little or no cost out-of-pocket before potentially less harmful, less invasive alternatives.

Thanks to patients like you, however, all of this is changing.

Social networks like this continue to grow and bring alternative solutions to patients literally around the world.

Oftentimes though YOU need to carry this a step further when dealing with your healthcare professionals.

Ask more questions.

Be sure you fully engage your doctors and therapists!

You have every right to. After all, this is the only body you’ll ever get.

Talk neuropathy and pain treatment side effects. Talk risks versus benefits. Talk about trying alternative solutions FIRST!

Above all do something more every day to improve the quality of your health.

You’ll be glad you did!

Your body will thank you day after day!

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

Neuropathy Pain Is A Complex Phenomenon

Peripheral neuropathy pain and many forms of chronic pain are now easier than ever to manage at home and in the clinic.

Practical day-to-day solutions can be difficult for neuropathy and chronic pain patients to deal with.

This is largely because every single medication has potential side effects. Sometimes they’re not obvious for many years. With many over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs, the side effects may not be apparent until liver or kidney failure appears.

This is not an exaggeration. If you follow us on social media, you know how often we talk about this; right now it is the number one cause of liver and kidney failure in this country. This is a huge public health epidemic.

Unfortunately, medical education generally does not do a good job of educating physicians on drug-free alternatives to pain management. For generations now, even children have been fed medications at an early age and taught this is the only solution.

There are even links to early dosages of acetaminophen and the development of asthma, and perhaps other health issues as well.

Let’s talk about the most practical solutions. First and foremost, rather than reaching for medications first, use all the drug-free alternatives you have at your disposal. Simple measures early on are far better. Applications of ice packs, warm packs, and Epsom salt baths still go a long way to solving many of life’s aches and pains.

Maintaining proper body weight and make sure you are eating an anti-inflammatory diet.

But neuropathy pain is a different animal. Severe pain—debilitating pain—from any source requires extraordinary measures. Still, the simple things we spoke about earlier can have a powerful impact.

This is especially true when simple measures are combined with appropriate dietary changes.

The good news is, peripheral neuropathy and many forms of chronic pain are now easier than ever to manage at home and in the clinic.

With the introduction of our new NDGen®, and ever improving in clinic protocols, more patients are finding better and longer lasting results than ever before.

Always remember though, the key to best managing neuropathy, arthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal pain, etc… is stopping pain at its source wherever possible—and rapidly! This means improving the overall function of your entire body early on, not simply masking pain with medication, and, most importantly, boosting and improving the efficiency and energy of your key body systems.

That’s what we help you do!

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

Copper: Another Key Neuropathy Nutrient

Most people don’t think about copper as a key nutrient. Or in any way related to peripheral neuropathy or chronic pain. But as you’ll see, a small daily amount is necessary and essential to normal health and well-being.

Only the tiniest amounts are necessary for normal health. But like so many nutrients, lack this tiny amount, and we cannot survive.

In the human body, copper serves several roles. Perhaps the most important are our body’s ability to process oxygen, and absorb iron. Both of these functions are of course essential to life.

We only need approximately 3 mg or so per day to remain healthy. Unfortunately, excess copper more than our bodies can normally dispose of can cause a whole host of health problems, and must be avoided.

The most common source of excess copper in humans is likely from copper plumbing.

Copper levels can be measured in the blood and in the hair.

As we discussed recently, excess zinc supplementation will deplete copper, creating a mineral imbalance and the health problems that go with it. So, excess zinc supplementation will cause a copper deficiency.

This can lead to a host of health problems. There is a syndrome called myeloneuropathy in which copper deficiency causes a B12 deficiency like illness, with damage to the nerves and spinal cord.

Likewise, copper deficiency due to excess zinc, either due to supplements or poisonings like denture cream, can lead to the development of neuropathy too.

One of the key functions of copper is maintenance of normal joint and soft tissue proteins. There is no scientific evidence that copper bracelets and copper socks and the like work for arthritis, even though this was once suggested as a possible cure.

Our NeuropathyDR diet is adequate for normal intake of copper because it is high in nuts and seeds. Additional good sources include olives and avocados. Paleo sources include shellfish, beef, and lamb.

Because copper is essential for normal cellular energy and respiration, a deficiency could aggravate many underlying conditions yes including chronic pain and neuropathy.

Now you know more about this pretty metal!

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

A Simpler Chronic Pain and Neuropathy Treatment Strategy

Suffering from peripheral neuropathy or any other form of chronic pain can be difficult to manage on a day-to-day basis. But a simpler treatment strategy can often help alleviate much suffering for these individuals.

If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy or really any other form of chronic pain than you understand how difficult it can be manage this on a day-to-day basis.

One of the reasons for this is that by its definition chronic pain is insidious, meaning it tends to creep up slowly.

So like most patients for quite a long period of time you may have already tried a dozen or more medications.

But yet this entire time no one has helped you focus on the simpler things that can have enormous and often extraordinary benefits to your overall health, no matter what stage you’re at.

Specifically we’re talking about diet, meditation, mindfulness, stress reduction, and as much physical activity in which your condition will allow.

For those patients who have been seriously ill or recovering from surgery, this simply may be getting up and about out of bed more often with assistance, and at-home physical therapy.

In this category I would also add the appropriate use of non-drug treatment modalities, physical therapy modalities, massage, using your NDGen kit, and laser therapy.

Some of these are available in the clinic as well as at home.

What DOES not work is continually plying your body with more painkilling medications without paying attention to everything else.

Of course this is not to say that medications are not helpful. Often times these are extremely beneficial in helping to manage the pain and discomfort associated with neuropathy when it can be at its very worst.

But for too many, simply relying on these along while ignoring the simplest but critical things is doing you a tremendous disservice.

Many patients find that learning more about how these different tools, like the NDGen unit, and then redesigning a simpler life, along with reducing medications and their associated side effects, are more appropriate self-care strategies that go a long way towards helping them improve the quality of their life.

That’s why our clinicians are here! We stand by ready to help when you are.

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

Hydration is Crucial to Feeling Our Best

Maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain and yes less neuropathy pain too!

Almost invariably when we see a new chronic pain patients in our practice, we discuss health habits and we find that more often than not, failure to drink adequate amount of water is almost universal.

So why is that?

Why would not drinking enough water tend to cause more widespread pains? There are several reasons and the answers are not complicated.

You see the vast majority of our body is made of water. Blood and all the critical fluids keep us functioning like well-oiled machines.

Our kidneys, brain, and all our other vital organs use these fluids to communicate and also perform daily purifications.

Yet most of us don’t pay nearly enough attention to this key fact.

So rather than going through our days drinking fluids, most especially water that will keep our blood and fluid volumes high, we tend to over consume caffeine, or worse yet soft drinks, and perhaps even alcohol which depletes our water reserves even further.

If we don’t drink enough water we can suffer an impaired ability of our vital organs like kidneys and liver that help rid our bodies of toxic wastes. These toxic wastes can make us stiff sore and uncomfortable.

If you already suffer from neuropathy or chronic pain, becoming even slightly dehydrated will make you feel a whole lot worse.

So how much water do you need to drink?

In the absence of kidney or heart disease, the proverbial eight glasses a day is about right.

A more accurate consumption is approximately half your body weight in ounces in a 24-hour period. This is not 100 percent accurate but it’s a darn good approximation.

There are of course other factors which may require more or less water consumption.

This of course includes how much you perspire, the outside air temperature, and yes even the humidity.

So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you’d be consuming approximately 100 ounces of water during the course of the daily 24-hour period. That may sound like a lot, but it’s under a gallon in 24 hours.

As always you need to work with your doctors on your own personal medical issues that you may have questions or concerns about.

You may want to ask for the simple blood tests which measure your electrolytes and relative hydration.

Working together maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain and yes less neuropathy pain too!

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