Nutritional Support for Cancer Treatment and Recovery


 

 

 

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, no one has to tell you how devastating that diagnosis can be…

Your life literally changes overnight…

You’re faced with the reality of treatment and that usually means

∙           Surgery

∙           Chemotherapy

∙           Radiation

∙           Experimental treatments including possible hormone therapy

And all the side effects that come with each of those cancer treatment options.

If you’re a cancer or post chemotherapy patient and you suffer from

∙           Loss of appetite

∙           Nausea

∙           Post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy, including nerve pain and/or balance and gait issues

∙           Dry mouth

You may be missing a very important piece of the cancer recovery puzzle…

Nutritional support for cancer treatment and recovery.

Trying to recover from cancer without giving your body what it needs to build itself back up is like trying to rebuild a house after a tornado without 2×4’s and nails.

If your body doesn’t have the essential materials it needs to heal, no medical treatment has any hope of succeeding.

Granted, food may not sound appealing right now.  Talk to your medical team to put together a cancer recovery diet plan that will make food taste good and give you the nutrients you need to heal.

Here are some things to think about when designing a cancer recovery nutrition program:

Basic Cancer Nutrition Tips[1]

If you’ve undergone chemotherapy or you’re preparing to, you need to support your immune system.  Your best option for doing that is a diet rich in whole foods that are easy on the digestive system.  Make sure your cancer recovery diet includes foods that are high in anti-oxidants and protein.  Your diet plan should include foods rich in vitamins, especially vitamins C, D and E and nutrients like soy isoflavones, amino acids, folic acid, l-glutamine, calcium and carotenoids.  Drink as much water as possible and don’t worry about keeping your calorie count low.  This is the time to take in all the calories you need.

Chemotherapy and radiation may affect your ability to digest foods so invest in a good food processor and/or juicer.  Both of these tools will allow you to prepare foods that are easy to ingest and digest while still getting the nutrition you need.

Try These Foods To Rebuild Your Body[2]

It’s easy to say “eat foods that are high in vitamins” but you may not know exactly which foods you need.  Here are some suggestions for foods to aid in your Nutritional support for cancer treatment and recovery and chemotherapy symptoms:

Vitamin C

∙           Red cabbage

∙           Kiwi fruit

∙           Oranges

∙           Red and Green Bell Peppers

∙           Potatoes

Vitamin D

∙           Salmon and tuna

Vitamin E

∙           Nuts, including almonds and peanuts

∙           Avocados

∙           Broccoli

Carotenoids

∙           Apricots

∙           Carrots

∙           Greens, especially collard greens and spinach

∙           Sweet potatoes

Soy Isoflavones

∙           Soybeans

∙           Tofu

∙           Soy milk – this could also be helpful if you need to go lactose-free

Folic Acid

∙           Asparagus

∙           Dried beans

∙           Beets

∙           Brussels sprouts

∙           Garbanzo beans

∙           Lentils

∙           Turkey

These are just a few examples.  Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ clinician for a specially prepared diet plan that incorporates all the foods you need to rebuild your immune system.

Use Herbs and Spices to Give Your Food More Flavor

Herbs and spices are a natural way to flavor your food without adding man-made chemicals.  And many herbs have natural medicinal properties of their own.  Try some of these to make your food taste better:

∙           Cinnamon

∙           Basil

∙           Coriander

∙           Cumin

∙           Ginger (natural anti-inflammatory properties, too)

∙           Garlic

∙           Mint (great for fighting nausea as well)

∙           Fennel

∙           Turmeric

We hope this gives you the basic knowledge you need to talk with your health care team, including your local NeuropathyDR treatment specialist about cancer recovery nutrition and your pre and post chemotherapy diet.  Working with your medical team to design a cancer recovery diet plan that works for you will ensure that you’re not neglecting the missing piece of the cancer recovery puzzle – good nutrition.

For more information on Nutritional support for cancer treatment and recovery and coping with the symptoms of your cancer treatment, including peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com

Call us for personal help at 781-659-7989


[1] www.cancer.org/Treatment/SurvivorshipDuringandAfterTreatment

 

[2] www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-survivor

Peripheral Neuropathy In Your Hands and Feet – More Than Just A “Symptom”


 

 

 

 

If you have

•         Diabetes

•         Cancer (and you’re undergoing chemotherapy)

•         Shingles

•         HIV/AIDS

And you‘ve noticed that, in addition to the discomfort you expected from your disease, you also have

•     Swelling in your feet, legs or hands

•     Muscle cramps in your legs

•     Changes in your skin and nails

•     Numbness in your feet and hands

•     Inability of feel heat or cold

•     Sleepless nights due to pain

•     Muscle weakness

•     Painful burning and itching in your hands or feet

•     Feeling like you’re wearing gloves or socks when you’re not

You could have another problem and it’s not just an uncomfortable symptom of your disease.

You could have peripheral neuropathy in your feet and/or hands.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy[1]?

 

Peripheral neuropathy is the damage that occurs when your peripheral nerves are damaged.  That damage can occur because of your diabetes, as a result of toxic chemotherapy, nerves being damaged by shingles, a lack of oxygen to the nerves caused by some other underlying condition or even as a result of HIV.

If you have the symptoms listed above, the nerves in your hands and feet have probably been damaged by your illness.

When you compare peripheral neuropathy to your actual illness, it may sound like it’s really no big deal.  The people around you may think you’re overreacting.  But you know how miserable it is to have constant nerve pain…to be unable to feel the simplest sensation in your hands and feet…or on the opposite end of the spectrum, to go to bed at night and be so hypersensitive that even the sheets touching your hands and feet is torture.

How Serious is Hand/Foot Peripheral Neuropathy[2]?

In your feet, it can be very serious.  How many diabetic patients have you seen with amputations below the knee?

Those amputations are usually caused by damage to the circulatory and nervous system caused by their diabetes.  Peripheral neuropathy plays a big part in these complications.

Diabetics are not the only people susceptible to peripheral neuropathy in their feet and hands.  If you are taking chemotherapy, if you have HIV/AIDS, if you’ve had shingles, or even if you’ve had some other infectious disease, you’re a candidate for peripheral neuropathy.

Think about it.

If you have a small wound on one of your feet and your neuropathy prevents you from feeling it, you’re not going to treat it properly.  Your immune system and circulatory system are compromised so the tissue doesn’t heal properly.  The next thing you know, you have a serious infection and you lose your foot.

The hands are less susceptible to something that severe (they’re closer to the heart, more active and have better blood circulation).  You use your hands more frequently and you’re much more likely to notice a wound on your hands than your feet.  That means you’ll seek treatment faster.

What You Can Do

The first thing you need to do is make sure your treating physician is aware of the problems you’re having with your feet and hands.  Then you can take steps to help yourself.

•      Get plenty of rest

•     Pace yourself and limit your activities

•     Exercise regularly – walking and swimming are good exercises for neuropathy patients

•     Take care of your skin and pay close attention to your feet and hands

•     If you smoke, stop

•     Eat a healthy, well balanced diet

If you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy in your hands and feet, pay particular attention to those areas and contact your NeuropathyDR® specialist immediately if you notice any blisters, sores, torn skin, or inflammation.   The combination of your diabetes, cancer, infectious disease or other underlying medical problem 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.

Make sure you’re doing a visual inspection and not relying on soreness or pain.  Your peripheral neuropathy will impair your ability to feel pain in your extremities and you may not notice the problem until it’s too late for successful treatment.

Assess your current medical situation and take note of any of the symptoms we described.  If you are experiencing any of these issues associated with peripheral neuropathy in your hands and feet, contact your local NeuropathyDR® and take full advantage of their expertise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathies.

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

If You’d Like personal help or referral to one of our licensed clinicians, call us at 781-659-7989

 

 

 

Getting a Grip on Diabetic Neuropathy

 

If you have diabetes and you’re experiencing any of these

–          Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting

–          Difficulty swallowing

–          Deep pain, especially in your legs and feet

–          Loss of sensation and ability to feel warmth or cold

–          Muscle cramps

–          Numbness, tingling or burning in your arms, hands, legs or feet

–          Weakness

–          Dizziness, especially when you try to stand up

–          Drooping facial muscles

–          Loss of bladder control

You could have diabetic neuropathy.  Diabetic neuropathy is a type of peripheral neuropathy specific to patients who have diabetes.  Typically, it’s caused by lack of blood flow to the nerves and elevated and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

If left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can lead to debilitating nerve damage.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek treatment with a medical professional with experience in diagnosing and treating diabetic neuropathy like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.

If your NeuropathyDR® specialist determines that you have diabetic neuropathy, it’s vital that you start treatment right away.

How Will My NeuropathyDR® Specialist Treat My Diabetic Neuropathy?

The first goal for treatment in diabetic neuropathy is to get your diabetes under control and keep it under control to slow the progression of any nerve damage. That means ensuring that you’re taking any prescribed medications and that you’re strict with a diet specific to diabetes control.

A diet specific to diabetes control will include:

–          Fresh vegetables

–          Limited fruit

–          Nuts & Legumes

–          No sweets

Your NeuropathyDR® specialist has an exclusive treatment protocol with proven results for diabetic neuropathy patients.  An integral part of that treatment protocol is nutrition counseling and diet planning.  Your specialist will sit down with you and plan your meals to include the proper portions of each of these categories on a daily basis to make sure that your blood sugar remains as constant as possible.

Pain Reduction and Nerve Repair

Once you have your blood sugar control, the next part of the treatment protocol for your 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 therapy of the bones and joints and other care like NDGen(R) and often times laser.

Diet, proper alignment of the bones and muscles and appropriate stimulation therapies are all important aspects of successful treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

A Word To The Wise Diabetic Neuropathy Patient

If you are suffering from diabetic neuropathy, pay particular attention to your feet, hands, arms and legs and contact your NeuropathyDR® specialist 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.

Make sure you’re doing a visual inspection and not relying on soreness or pain. Your diabetic neuropathy will impair your ability to feel pain in your extremities and you may not notice the problem until it’s too late for successful treatment.

Assess your current medical situation and take note of any of the symptoms we described.  If you are experiencing any of these issues associated with diabetic neuropathy, contact our main office at
781-659-7989 and take full advantage of our systems & expertise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy, including diabetic neuropathy.

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

 

We'll identify the source of your pain first

What You Need to Know About Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia

 

What You Need to Know About Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia

We'll identify the source of your pain first

You wake up one morning to a red painful rash…

A band of blisters wrapped around your body from the middle of your back around your side to your breastbone.  As if that weren’t bad enough, you may also have

–            Pain, burning, numbness or tingling

–            Fluid-filled blisters

–            Itching

–            Headache

–            Fatigue

–            Body aches

–            Fever and chills

If not for the rash, you might think you were coming down with the flu.  Instead, your first thought is that you’re having an allergic reaction to food, or a new bath soap or even the perfume in your laundry detergent…

But if you are

–            Over 50 years of age

–            Had chicken pox at some point in your life

–            Have an autoimmune disease

–            Have any other health issue or significant stress that weakens your immune system

You probably have a virus called Varicella zoster virus (VZV), more commonly known as shingles. VZV is the same virus that causes chicken pox.  Once you’ve had chicken pox, the virus lies dormant in your system until it’s reactivated by various risk factors and you develop shingles.

And that’s a good news/bad news diagnosis.

Contrary to several old wives’ tales, shingles is not life-threatening…that’s the good news.

The bad news is that shingles is extremely painful and you may experience nerve pain (Postherpetic Neuropathy) long after the actual rash and other symptoms are gone.

If you think you have shingles or that you might be at risk of developing them, this is what you need to know about shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia:

Is Shingles Contagious?

Yes, like chicken pox, shingles is contagious.  You can pass the shingles virus to anyone who hasn’t had chicken pox.  And how’s this for a twist?  The person you pass the virus to will develop chicken pox, not shingles.

Fortunately, the shingles virus is not an airborne virus.  It’s passed through direct contact with the open sores caused by shingles.  Until your blisters are healed, you are contagious.  Avoid contact with

–            Newborns

–            Pregnant women

–            Anyone with a weakened immune system

How Is Shingles Treated?

Shingles is not life-threatening and, much like any other virus, it will probably resolve on its own within a few weeks.

However, getting to the doctor as soon as your shingles appear (within 72 hours) is the wise (and much less painful) course of action to speed up the healing process and lessen the likelihood of potentially serious complications.

Once your doctor confirms that you have shingles, usually through taking a complete history and physical and cultures from your rash, the standard course of treatment is anti-viral and pain medications to kill the virus and make you more comfortable.

To help the medication work, you need to get plenty of rest, avoid stress and either take a cool bath or use cold wet compresses to ease the itch and pain.

What Are Some of the Complications from Shingles?

While shingles is not a serious illness, some of the complications arising from shingles can be.

Postherpetic Neuropathy

Your blisters go away but the pain remains. Postherpetic Neuropathy is caused by damaged nerve fibers sending exaggerated pain messages to your brain.  Pain medication, antidepressants or even anticonvulsant medications are often prescribed to bring relief from Postherpetic Neuropathy; however, repairing the damaged nerves is more desirable for long term relief.  Contact your local NeuropathyDR clinician to ask about their unique treatment protocol for treating Postherpetic Neuropathy and repairing the damaged nerves.

Loss of Vision

If your shingles erupt around or in your eyes, you can develop serious eye infections that could damage your eyes and result in loss of vision. If you have shingles anywhere on your face, contact a healthcare professional for immediate treatment.

Neurological Problems

Depending upon where your shingles erupt and which nerves they affect, you can develop

–            Hearing or balance problems

–            Facial paralysis

–            Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

Skin Infections

If your shingles blisters are not properly treated, you can develop skin infections cause by bacteria.  If the skin around your shingles becomes reddened, warm, firm, or possibly has red streaks spreading out from the affected area, contact your doctor.  You will need antibiotics to stop the infection.

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

This complication is rare but it does happen.  If cranial nerves are affected by shingles you can develop Ramsay Hunt Syndrome resulting in facial nerve weakness and deafness.  If you have shingles around or inside your ear, seek medical treatment immediately.

How Can I Protect Myself From Shingles?

The best way to protect yourself from shingles is to stay healthy, control stress and exercise on a regular basis.

The shingles vaccine is often recommended for people who are 60 years of age or older and have actually had chicken pox.  Again, this vaccine won’t guarantee that you won’t develop shingles but it could lessen the severity of symptoms. It might reduce your chances of developing Postherpetic Neuralgia.

A word of caution – do not get the vaccination if you

–            Have ever had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin or any other component of the shingles vaccine.  Ask your healthcare provider what’s in the vaccine before you are             vaccinated.

–            Are receiving radiation, chemotherapy or any kind of steroid treatment

–            Have ever had bone marrow cancer or any cancer affecting the lymphatic system

And by all means, if you know someone has shingles, exercise precautions!

We hope this information helps you deal with this very uncomfortable illness and the possible lasting effects of Postherpetic Neuropathy.  Having a bit more background information on your illness will help you participate in your care and give you a better chance of a positive outcome.

Don’t just live in pain. Call us today at 781-659-7989 and talk to us about treating your shingles & postherpetic neuropathy with our NeuropathyDR Treatment Systems.

 

 

 

 

Carol Jeffrey

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

Written by: Carol Jeffrey

Carol Jeffrey

We’re traveling down this windy, crazy, hazardous road of chronic pain. Often we’re speeding in the darkness with our headlights off, violently crashing into unseen obstacles. We shake off and often minimize the damage caused by these collisions. But if we don’t attend to these damages as they occur…our vehicle will soon be totaled.

 

Wildly we slip and slide out of control in the storms that overwhelm us. So we pull over, rest and wait for the storm to pass. But if the storm lasts too long, we stop clearing the windows, and cease to look if the sun has reappeared. This type of apathy is a slow and silent killer of hope.

Bridges often crumble beneath the weight of our burdens. This type of loss and isolation is one of the greatest hardships of chronic pain. If we are to avoid being stranded on an isolated island, and trapped in a deep dark pit of depression…survival requires us to adapt, learn new skills, maintain healthy relationships, and build connections to life.

We easily see when others are in need, and graciously pull over to offer assistance. After all, this is a welcomed distraction from our own painful journey…but lets not make it a road-stop. While it’s easy to identify needs and solutions for others, it’s equally as difficult to acknowledge our own need for fuel or repair. Our engines will cease to run, if we allow our ego to fill our gas tank with gallons of guilt, instead of letting another fill us with fuel.

At times we’re impatiently and painfully held up in surgical construction or we may find ourselves on a needed detour learning new paths that promote health. Pit stops are required, to clear the windshield, change the tires, tweak the engine so that we may travel with optimal performance. Maintenance and checking our route is essential for a less burdensome journey.

We are not alone in our chronic pain journey, for our doctors, friends and family are passengers…who’s needs also need to be acknowledged. It’s easy to forget that it’s a challenging and painful journey for them as well.

We are in control of our life and choose whether the pain steers us wildly off of a cliff or whether we take control of our vehicle and steer it in the path of our desires.

Douleur - Rage de dents

Do You Suffer from Neuropathy “Analysis Paralysis”?

While searching for a precise answer or neuropathy treatment plan, constructive changes such as changes in health and behavior may be neglected. A better solution is to vow to do everything you possibly can to improve the quality of your health and well-being immediately.Douleur - Rage de dents

If you are reading this, no doubt you understand how difficult and frustrating a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy can be.

You should know this is very frustrating for your clinicians as well.You probably know that many times it is impossible to identify precisely what causes a patient’s peripheral neuropathy. The same is true for many forms of chronic pain.

One of the things that’s the most frustrating for patients and clinicians alike is searching for a precise answer where none is liable to be found. We call this neuropathy analysis paralysis. Unfortunately, many patients with peripheral neuropathy end up just like this.

So what happens is, both patients and clinicians will delay treating the patient. Now, sometimes this is a good idea— especially when it involves strong medications with powerful side effects and/or invasive tests or procedures.

But what also happens is, while searching for a precise answer or neuropathy treatment plan, constructive changes such as changes in health and behavior are neglected, and our patient’s suffering continues.

A better solution is to vow to do everything you possibly can to improve the quality of your health and well-being immediately.

What we do know is that our behaviors have a profound impact upon the outcome of any disease, trauma, or health condition.

For example: could you become a little more fit, starting today? Are there other habits you have, like smoking cigarettes, or consuming too much alcohol, that you could change immediately? These could make a profound difference in how you feel a month from now.

If you are like most neuropathy patients, the answer is a resounding yes!

So, while it’s wonderful to have an accurate diagnosis, and all the answers, too often, when dealing with neuropathy treatment, this is not possible.

This is why becoming more involved with your own health conditions goes a long way towards speeding you on your path back to health.

But where do you begin? This is always the first question that patients pose. The answer is, start with a list of things you could be doing different right now.

A dedicated neuropathy treatment list will help your neuropathy treatment professionals go a long way towards improving the quality your life, beginning today!

So don’t add “neuropathy analysis paralysis” to your list of maladies. Instead, vow to take daily positive actions, however small they may seem.

So let us help you wth a REAL neuropathy treatment plan! Go To http://NeuropathyDR.com NOW!

You’ll be happy that you did.

 

The Most Dangerous Number for Neuropathy Treatment Success

One of the things that concerns me while treating many neuropathy patients is when clinicians and patients focus exclusively on trying to find the “one” cause of their pain, burning, tingling numbness or other neuropathy symptoms.

Doctor And Nurse On Hospital WardPerhaps the most frustrating, but real issue surrounding patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy and many types of chronic pain is that more often than not, there are multiple underlying causes.

As you know, life is an accumulation of experiences—sometimes, unfortunately, including trauma and illnesses.

All of these things have dangerous consequences, some of which will not show up for many years. You probably also know that things that are very easy to ignore at 25 now become impossible to ignore at 65 and beyond.

One of the things that concerns me while treating many neuropathy patients is when clinicians and patients focus exclusively on trying to find the “one” cause of their pain, burning, tingling numbness or other neuropathy symptoms.

The reason for this is quite simple. Most commonly, patients develop peripheral neuropathy as the result of multiple factors.

For example, a common scenario is an overweight smoker who had a history of back surgery. Perhaps they even took statin medications.

The reality is, all these things are risk factors for the development of chronic pain, and often peripheral neuropathy.

So, unless all these factors are addressed, the patient is unlikely to significantly improve.

Worse yet is when doctors and other caregivers are not familiar with this all-too-common scenario.

I honestly believe this is the reason why so many patients receive symptomatic medication, yet no constructive advice on how to manage, let alone possibly beat, their peripheral neuropathy.

So the best advice I can give you is to try and understand everything that may be contributing to your current situation.

Also understand how very important it is NOT to delay proper treatment. The longer the delay, the more difficult peripheral neuropathy becomes to manage.

I find this is also why the biggest neuropathy treatment successes come when implementation of EARLY effective neuropathy treatment, including neurostimulation (NDGen), massage therapy, and laser (LLLT/LED) therapy, can have a profound impact on my patients’ outcomes, no matter what the underlying cause(s) might turn out to be.

Join the conversation all day here on Facebook!

The Most Dangerous Number for Neuropathy Treatment Success is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

Related posts:

  1. Your Best Neuropathy Treatment Success Story? The reality is that managing peripheral neuropathy and most forms…
  2. The Second Step in Neuropathy Treatment Success If regaining control is the first step, “action” is the…
  3. Anxiety, Depression, and Good Neuropathy Treatment One of the things that is perhaps universal amongst patients…
  4. More on Physical Activity and Your Neuropathy Treatment Why is this so important for good neuropathy treatment? For…
  5. The Importance of Having a Neuropathy Treatment System Having a neuropathy treatment system to follow provides for more…

Stop Waiting for the One Magic Neuropathy “Trick”

So what are the answers— real answers—to become a more informed neuropathy treatment consumer? Become your own neuropathy treatment advocate!

You don’t have to go far to find numerous ads and sales pages for some new magic health cure formula. Weight loss is perhaps is the best example.

Physical Therapist and Patient

Approach any serious underlying condition with curiosity, and uncover all the relative facts.

Nowhere else are there so many gimmicks, offers, and programs available for people who struggle with weight management. Of course, there are many other conditions that fall into this category.

Unfortunately, peripheral neuropathy is no exception. In fact, as I predicted back in 2009, this would be increasingly common, once people figured out good neuropathy treatment is actually possible.

As a reader of neuropathy-related health information you already understand that peripheral neuropathy and many forms of chronic pain have multiple underlying factors.

This makes them necessarily complex to evaluate and treat. This is also why looking for one simple magic formula, or pill to help cure your neuropathy problem is ineffective, at best—and dangerous, at worst.

So what are the answers— real answers—to become a more informed neuropathy treatment consumer? Become your own neuropathy treatment advocate!

You also find that this will make your doctor’s or therapist’s job of providing you an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment much easier.

In this day and age, it is not all uncommon to find patients who know more about an underlying condition than some physicians and therapists. In reality, this is a tremendous opportunity for you or a loved one with peripheral neuropathy who are seeking help.

When you approach any serious underlying condition with curiosity, and uncover all the relative facts, you’ll be far happier and ultimately much more satisfied with any at-home or in-clinic neuropathy treatment.

Join our growing Facebook community!

Call us at 781-659-7989 for professional referrals, treatment systems and Telemedicine

Smiling senior doctor with stethoscope

What’s The Best Neuropathy Treatment?

Start With An Accurate Diagnosis…

Smiling senior doctor with stethoscopeCould my neuropathy symptoms be due to something else? This is a question I get all the time. I wish it were easy to answer.

But it’s not. That is unless of course you are sure you actually have neuropathy!

Some neuropathy treatments when probably applied can be a godsend. They help many patients’ recover, sleep better function better improve mobility strength and even endurance.

Others have no merit at all.

Most drugs only mask symptoms and do little or nothing to improve nerve function.

But one of the problems we are seeing more and more is when patients self diagnose, or are wrongly diagnosed, and then apply treatments which are ineffective.

There are for example some things, which can masquerade as peripheral neuropathy. One of the most common is disc disease of the spine. When spinal disks herniate, or bulge centrally they can irritate your spinal cord and adjacent nerve roots creating symptoms, which mimic those due to other conditions such as diabetes.

Another common condition is spinal stenosis, even when the stenosis (which simply means narrowing) occurs in the neck or cervical spine.

A couple other conditions, which can masquerade as peripheral neuropathy, include RSD, MS or multiple sclerosis, and rarely infections involving the spine or nervous system.

This is why is very important to get an accurate diagnosis FIRST wherever possible. Make sure your clinician has ruled out all possibilities.

Help your neuropathy treatment clinician by revealing all trauma, surgeries, and even medication exposures, even if you think they are not significant.

By doing this, you will be paving the way for more effective neuropathy treatment.

As I tell new clinicians we train on a regular basis, working with peripheral neuropathy patients requires extreme diligence. Often times we find patients have more than one condition existing at the same time.

Unless your neuropathy treatment clinician is a trained NeuropathyDR Specialist they may overlook or miss these things that maybe related your symptoms.

So why not save yourself lots of time money and aggravation and consult with one of our clinicians vis Telemedicine or in person, today?

Just Go HERE

 

Start a Proper Neuropathic Nutrition and Diet Plan Today!

Calcium and Your Health: A Balancing Act by Your Body

Eat like the NeuropathyDR Diet says to—lots of vegetables, nuts, and lean protein like fish, using animal products sparingly.

!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, if you live in the USA, 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 like the NeuropathyDR Diet says to—lots of vegetables, nuts, and lean protein like fish, using animal products sparingly. This diet 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.

Join the conversation on Facebook!

The post Calcium and Your Health: A Balancing Act by Your Body appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Fat mature man measuring his belly with measurement tape

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 NeuropathyDR.com

The post Metabolic Syndrome: Pre-Diabetes? appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Healthy eating woman

Handling The Holiday Stress

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

Healthy eating woman

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.

Exercise
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!

The post Handling The Holiday Stress appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Surgeon at work in operating room.

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.

So…

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.

 

Senior couple connected with family on internet

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!

The post Neuropathy and Chronic Pain Health Plan appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

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 NeuropathyDR.com

The post Neuropathy and Fatigue appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Neuropathy and Your Diet!

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

 

Person in painThis 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 NeuropathyDR.com

The post Neuropathy and Your Diet! appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Suprascapular Neuropathy

Even Healthy People Can Develop Neuropathy

 

Diabetes…

Lupus…

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 http://neuropathydr.com.


The post Suprascapular Neuropathy appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Dr John Hayes Jr

The Importance of a Neuropathy Treatment System

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

Dr John Hayes Jr

Dr John Hayes Jr

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 NeuropathyDR.com

The post The Importance of a Neuropathy Treatment System appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

FamilyHappyLarge

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 http://neuropathydr.com

The post Is The Flu Vaccine Helpful? appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Neuropathy Treament Challege

Therapist and Neuropathy Patients

Peripheral neuropathy affects virtually every patient differently.

Neuropathy Treament ChallegeSome 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.

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

Who Should See A NeuropathyDR  Specialty Clinician

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.  Talk to your own doctor about recommending a NeuropathyDR® clinician near you for an evaluation. 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 physical therapist with expertise in treating neuropathy patients.  A good physical therapy specialist 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.  Ask if there are any NeuropathyDR® therapists in your area or go online and find one yourself.

Therapy Treatment Options

Some therapists 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 therapist 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 been to a therapist, 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 therapist 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 symptoms.

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

Be an informed patient.  Get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com

The post Therapist and Neuropathy Patients appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.