healing chronic disease with the power of positive attitude

Vitamin C is a Key Neuropathy Nutrient

Vitamin C is important to neuropathy patients as is it does help our bodies rid themselves of toxic substances.

Vitamin C is another key player in health and nutrition. In fact, just like Vitamin A which we discussed a few days ago this vitamin is absolutely essential to cell health, replication, and repair.

Perhaps you are already familiar with some of the key functions of vitamin C. You probably know you can shorten recovery times from infections like the flu and colds.

Like vitamin A, this vitamin also has a significant role in bolstering our bodies immune system.

But more than this, Vitamin C takes part in many key biochemical reactions throughout the entire body. If we consume less than we need on a daily basis, our blood vessels can become fragile and our body will begin to break down very quickly.

This was the lessons learned at sea many years ago when sailors developed scurvy, the Vitamin C deficiency disease.

Vitamin C is absolutely essential for collagen and tissue repair-collagen, is the substance that binds together our skin, and ligaments, muscles, joints etc. This is one of the key reasons that this vitamin applied to the skin can help improve its tone, texture, and resistance to environmental factors.

Just like all nutrients however too much of a good thing is not necessarily better. The maximum amount of vitamin C that should be taken on a daily basis is probably around 2000 mg. and this amount should probably only be continued for a relatively short periods of time. There are of course exceptions, and each patient is different.

This is why you should work with your clinician when formulating your precise nutrition plan.

If you’re following the NeuropathyDR Diet and Lifestyle Plan, it is unlikely that you’ll be deficient vitamin C. The simple reason for this is that you’ll be consuming a fair amount of fresh vegetables and small to moderate amounts of fruits. Many of these are naturally high in vitamin C. The better quality food, the higher the vitamin content.

This is why you must learn to shop wisely and store your food carefully.

Perhaps one of the key reasons that vitamin C is important to neuropathy patients is it does help our bodies rid themselves of toxic substances. These could be anything from natural breakdown products in the body to substances we encounter in our environments.

The net result however is adequate amounts of vitamin C ensure that these critical functions happen, and will help to keep you not only feeling, healing well but also looking your very best!

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

Diabetes, Neuropathy, and Dairy

Diabetes and neuropathy nutrition should include a dairy-free diet

There is a long-reported link between dairy consumption and the development of type 1 diabetes. Significant numbers of patients with type 1 diabetes can, and do, develop neuropathy.

In our articles, we’ve spent some substantial time talking about dairy consumption, and its negative effects on human health. As I said previously, these are not popular statements—but so be it.

The fact of the matter is, the scientific evidence is overwhelming. Human beings are probably far better without dairy consumption than with it.

What you may not be aware of is there is a long-reported link between dairy consumption and the development of type 1 diabetes. You may know, significant numbers of patients with type 1 diabetes can, and do, develop neuropathy.

Also, dairy contains insulin-like growth factor which is a promoter of several different cancers, including breast and prostate cancer. Even stronger is the connection between a particular milk sugar called galactose and the development of ovarian cancer.

But more than this, 50% or more of the population has difficulty digesting milk. It is responsible for allergies, indigestion, as well as elevation in cholesterol and so-called “bad” fats.

The consumer should understand the link between milk consumption and health. We often find that patients who do a dairy and gluten-free diet have significant reductions in both pain and inflammation.

Of course, this influences many patients with neuropathy, and, indeed, many forms of chronic pain.

The simplest way to make a dietary shift is to do so gradually. Give yourself time to explore alternatives such as almond, coconut, and rice-based products.

Like everything else, some are far better than others. Be careful of any product with added sugars. Also, many patients find thickeners such as Carrageenan to be very irritating to the G.I. tract.

Of course, I encourage you to do your own research—do your homework. Unfortunately, the influence of the dairy industry is very wide. The spillover into classic nutrition, in which I was trained, is also great.

Keep in mind: in a short period of time, you could know more about dairy and human health than your doctor.

So what’s the answer? Share with them. Provide them a copy of The China Study.

Above all, remain diligent to other dietary assaults. They have a tremendous impact upon your health, well-being—and, yes, your neuropathy!

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

Risks vs Benefits

Neuropathy & Pain Treatment Risks vs Benefits

Here is a proven fact. All of healthcare, in fact you could argue most of life, our “decisions” are made pitting risks versus benefits.  As adults we ask ourselves do our actions today set us, and our children, up for a healthier and better future or not?

What if we take no action at all? Is that better than doing something?

All of these are decisions that you need to make along with your healthcare providers on a regular basis.

You see everything we do is risks versus benefits. This is so important to understand.  Make no mistake that modern science and medicine have developed amazing treatments. This also includes what we do here in our clinics. We are continually working on treatments to help neuropathy and chronic pain patients.

Do YOU Always ASK your healthcare providers “Is the cure is worse than the problem?” What if instead, we as both doctors and patients took a very strong look at the underlying causes of so much of illness and treated those first?

You know, all these things just get us into trouble. Poor dietary habits especially over the long haul, inactivity, cigarette smoking, not paying attention to stress and emotional health. I’m sure you get the picture.

What if we did all of those things before we prescribed for patients neuropathy and chronic pain treatment drugs, or surgical procedures, that could cause significant harm.

For example, if doctors and patients paid more careful attention and worked together on weight loss and lifestyle just like we do in our clinics, far less patients would be placed on statin medication. Statin medications as you probably know are one major cause of neuropathy..

What if instead of injecting patients, and suggesting invasive procedures early on, what if we both make sure as doctors and patients that all conservative treatment options were exhausted first?

You already know the answer…

You understand, as your healthcare provider does, that’s all good neuropathy and chronic pain treatment is risks vs benefits!

So why not learn more today? Why not take actions that will help you live much more fully, without devastating side effects?

Make all your decisions about your neuropathy and chronic pain treatment very carefully!

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

prevent acute pains from becoming chronic

Exercise for Diabetic Neuropathy Can Be Helpful, Not Harmful

If it seems to you that exercise for diabetic neuropathy sounds like a path to pain and discomfort, just read these tips for turning exercise into a beneficial factor for your health.

Exercise is always a beneficial element of a healthy lifestyle. Yes, even for people with diabetic neuropathy! In fact, diabetics need regular exercise to help control blood sugar and to slow down the onset of new diabetes symptoms by maintaining good circulation and heart health.

It’s true that neuropathy can make your daily activities seem much harder, and some physical movements such as walking can become more difficult. But there are ways to safely and effectively exercise for diabetic neuropathy.

Before beginning any exercise program, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about workout adjustments to accommodate your specific health needs. You’ll also want to consider exercise clothes and shoes to help prevent injury.

Which exercises should you stay away from?

For most individuals with diabetic neuropathy, weight-bearing or repetitive exercises like walking or running can be harmful and make symptoms worse. There’s some debate about weight training, which could be beneficial in small doses but potentially harmful in excess.

The best exercise for diabetic neuropathy may swimming, which is adaptable for any fitness level and can be easily modified to alleviate neuropathy symptoms. As a no-impact exercise, swimming is the least likely to cause harm to your feet, legs, or joints but also offers great benefits for circulation.

Another great exercise for diabetic neuropathy is biking, whether you’re riding an actual bicycle or a stationary bike. This low-impact activity can easily be built into your overall treatment program for neuropathy.

Keep in mind that even the most basic, minimal types of exercise can be beneficial! For example, a simple and effective stretch for your feet and legs involves flexing your ankle several times and then rotating the foot in each direction.

With any type of exercise, be sure to check your extremities (especially your feet) for any kind of sores, blisters, or irritation that can develop into an infection. Make sure you don’t get overheated, since many people with neuropathy have trouble regulating their body temperature. Also, keep an eye on your blood pressure and heart rate when exercising, particularly if you suffer from autonomic 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.

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.

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.

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.

Are All the Peripheral Neuropathies the Same?

No, all the peripheral neuropathies are not the same. However, we find that the patients who present with peripheral neuropathy, regardless of the cause, do have remarkably similar symptoms.

The good news with our treatment program has been that even in the presence of similar symptoms from different etiologies (causes), the corrective care for peripheral neuropathies is often remarkably effective, regardless of the primary cause. That is the beauty of the treatment system that we employ.

In order to find out what components of peripheral neuropathy you have, your doctor will conduct a very thorough evaluation. This will include things such as taking your vital signs, body mass index, the mobility and range of motion of your lower back and hips, and the overall health of your feet, skin, nails and hair, blood vessels, and circulation. This might include Doppler ultrasound, which is a simple painless test to check for blood flow or blockages.

As the doctor performs her clinical examination, she’ll also perform a very thorough neurological examination including reflexes, muscle-testing, and sensation to touch using a device as simple as a pin, a brush, or perhaps even a pinwheel. Doctors commonly will also check your vibration sensation, which very often is disturbed in peripheral neuropathy. This is done painlessly and very easily through the use of simple tuning forks. Your balance will also be assessed.

Laboratory tests may very well be performed. These would include things such as a chemistry panel, and kidney and liver function. Your doctor will also want to double check your blood sugar levels and more than likely perform a hemoglobin A1c.

This particular test is very good at identifying patients who may be borderline diabetic. I have found many patients who present with neuropathy symptoms have yet to be diagnosed with diabetes, but may very well suffer from what’s called metabolic syndrome. This is when your body abnormally handles blood sugar, which may unfortunately lead to the development of neuropathy and other diabetic complications well before the formal diagnosis is made.

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

Eating More Often Can Manage Neuropathy and Weight

Eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn versus store fat, keep your blood sugar even, and help keep you warmer. Eating more frequently can also help patients who are dealing with neuropathy and weight issues that can arise from their medical condition(s).

On the surface, a statement like that might seem wrong. After all, isn’t eating at the root of weight gain, obesity, and its complications? To a point, yes. This is especially true when we consume far more calories in one sitting then we need, and load our meals with carbohydrates and poor-quality fats.

But a little-known fact is that when we eat less frequently, we become much more efficient at storing fat rather than burning it.

So what does this have to do with managing peripheral neuropathy?

Neuropathy and Weight

The bottom line is, eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn fat versus store fat, keep your blood sugar more even, and actually help keep you warmer. For patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy, all of these improvements are crucial.

But this does not mean you can eat anything you want. What we do know is that by consuming relatively low amounts of carbohydrates in our meals, along with periodic snacks, we become much more efficient metabolically.

What I tell all my neuropathy patients—and, indeed, every patient—is to try to eat something not more than three hours apart. For example, you will start your breakfast with something like a protein shake, or a small serving of steel-cut oatmeal with a little added fat, perhaps some berries. Approximately two hours later, you’ll have six to 10 almonds, or perhaps another lean, low-carbohydrate snack if allergies are a problem.

Now, if you are insulin-dependent diabetic, some of what I say here will not apply, so please be careful here.

Again, this points out the need to work with well-trained neuropathy treatment professionals to truly manage your peripheral neuropathy and weight issues, indeed, your health in general.

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

The Benefits of a Carbohydrate-Controlled Diet

Many forms of peripheral neuropathy respond to carbohydrate-controlled diets.

We recently spoke about the impact of diet selection, especially carbohydrate consumption, on diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In our clinic, we’ve found that most neuropathy patients benefit greatly when they follow a carbohydrate-controlled diet plan.

Now the reality is, because many forms of peripheral neuropathy respond to carbohydrate-controlled diets, that maintaining body weight and overall body composition is critically important to beating neuropathy.

But sometimes simple dietary changes are not enough, and a more radical approach is necessary. This is where professionally supervised weight loss programs and dietary retraining can be incredibly powerful.

A healthy diet should include[1]:

• Whole grains and legumes to provide B vitamins to promote nerve health.  Whole grains promote the production of serotonin in the brain and will increase your feeling of well-being.
• Plant based proteins or lean meats,fish and eggs.
• Green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and other greens) for calcium and magnesium. Both of these nutrients are vital to healthy nerve endings and health nerve impulse transmission and, as an added bonus, they give your immune system a boost.
• Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (such as squash, carrots, yellow and orange bell peppers, apricots, oranges, etc.) for vitamins A and C to help repair your skin and boost your immune system.
• Sunflower seeds (unsalted), avocados, broccoli, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts (unsalted), tomatoes and tomato products, sweet potatoes and fish for vitamin E to promote skin health and ease the pain of nutritional neuropathy.
• Ask your us for recommendations on a good multivitamin and mineral supplement to fill in any gaps in your nutrition plan.

Foods you should avoid:

• Coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
• Fried foods and all other fatty foods. Fatty foods suppress the immune system and that’s the last thing you need when you’re fighting nutritional neuropathy.
• Control the amount of animal protein you eat. High-protein foods elevate the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine which are both tied to high levels of anxiety and stress.
• Restrict intake of starchy vegetables, as they are high in carbohydrates: potatoes, peas, corn, yucca, parsnips, beans, and yams.
• Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption limits the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body and can make a bad situation worse.

If you’re suffering from neuropathy, it is vital that you gain control of your diet, understand carbohydrate and calorie restriction, opt for healthier food selections, and plan mealtimes so you don’t eat too late at night.

If you continue to struggle with your weight, or body composition, you should explore a carbohydrate-controlled diet plan as a viable treatment option.

A carbohydrate-controlled diet has proven extraordinarily beneficial for our neuropathy patients.

Keep in mind, getting your metabolism, that is your weight and body composition, under control is a key step forward.

It goes without saying that you will look better, and feel and function better mentally, physically, and usually spiritually as well.

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

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[1] http://www.nutritionmd.org/health_care_providers/endocrinology/diabetes_complications_neuro.html

 

My Neuropathy Symptoms Aren’t That Bad!

One thing that we see fairly frequently in our clinics is when patients present with the early onset of neuropathy symptoms.

If you’re experiencing neuropathy symptoms, such as pain, tingling, numbness, or burning, this could be due to things such as chemotherapy, statin medications, or perhaps even “pre-diabetes” now called metabolic syndrome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what can you do?

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

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

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

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

How Footwear Affects Neuropathy

The shape of your feet changes with age, swelling, as well as peripheral neuropathy.

One of the issues we see very frequently in the neuropathy patient is whether their footwear fits comfortably.

It is very easy to take for granted the role that proper footwear has on your level of comfort. That is of course unless you suffer from peripheral neuropathy.

There are all a whole host of other conditions that occur with neuropathy that can slow down or complicate recovery. This includes common things such as flatfoot or having conditions like plantar fasciitis.

There are however some very simple things you can do. Number one, visit a traditional foot and shoe store and have your feet properly measured.

The reason for this is the shape of your feet changes with age, swelling, as well as peripheral neuropathy. Muscle changes, which accompany neuropathy, are responsible for this.

The neuropathy patient should take advantage of the expertise of their clinician too. Ask questions about the most appropriate footwear for you. Learn some basics about proper shoe construction such as the shape of the last and the strength of the heel counter.

Sometimes, “diabetic” shoes better holds inserts, which your clinician may prescribe. These may also allow for better circulation and less neuropathy pain.

We find that many neuropathy patients have excellent relief by wearing running shoes most of the time. The reason for this is the combination of shock absorption and breathability is helpful for many patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy.

This is one area where consulting the properly trained neuropathy treatment specialist can be of huge benefit!

Do not ignore your shoes!

These are in fact the foundation of your daily recovery homecare programs and are very important in getting you active again, back on your feet!

Recover faster with your neuropathy treatment by wearing the very best shoes you can find!

Let us know how your feet are affected by your neuropathy in the comment section below.

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 & Weight: How to Gain 60 Pounds in 1 Year

For many, summertime can be a months-long social event. The warmer weather and freedom from hectic schedules ushers in barbecue season, fire pits with friends on the weekends, and trips to the beach… but often, social events can go hand in hand with overindulging in food and drink options that may not be our healthiest choice.

I once had the opportunity to interview Hank Cardello, a former food industry expert. Hank Cardello’s major role is to teach us all, consumers and industry experts alike, the benefits of reducing the calories we eat, while at the same time improving food quality.

During that discussion, Hank said something that really hit home because many neuropathy patients suffer from diabetes or metabolic syndrome. This type of neuropathy happens largely because of being overweight.

Hank explained that it is not at all uncommon, and VERY easy for us, to eat an extra 600 calories or more per day then we need. This was not true 40 to 50 years ago.

If we drink soda, or eat lots of refined and pre-packaged foods, that number can be much higher.

Here’s the problem for neuropathy patients. 600 extra calories per day is 4200 per week. 3500 calories extra per week can easily turn into 1 pound of fat. This can very easily turn into 60 pounds or more during a year!

So you can see, it’s very easy to eat way more than we should or need to for normal requirements. And this is devastating for some one with neuropathy.

So, what’s the neuropathy patient to do?

First, go back to my last post and review the neuropathy diet. In there, we even showed you how to walk and shop the supermarket for neuropathy diets.

Next, start to measure your food. Seriously, a set of measuring cups and a small scale work wonders. When my neuropathy patients first start to do this they are shocked at how much more we eat than we really need!

Don’t forget, winning the neuropathy battle is dependent upon your ability to function at your very best!

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

The Best Neuropathy Diet

Even neuropathy patients can make the mistake of thinking that diet doesn’t matter!

Food, and especially quality food, has a very big effect upon the function of our bodies, especially the brain and nervous system.

Neuropathy, like many painful disorders, can have a direct connection with diet quality. The most common types of neuropathy are related to diabetes, and its relative: metabolic syndrome. But we know that good food quality helps neuropathy patients function and often feel better!

Once upon a time when our ancestors roamed the earth we were hunter-gatherers. Humans ate from fields, trees, and where available, lakes, streams and of course the ocean.

Not that this was ever easy, as diseases and starvation have been killers for centuries. But the basis of human diets was basically plants, and whenever available animals, eggs and fish. Nuts from trees were harvested and celebrated!

Now, humans roam the supermarket aisles filling their baskets often times with nothing resembling our early days. Too often, we shop with little thought. That is until we don’t feel well or face a health crisis.

And yes, even neuropathy patients can make the mistake of thinking that diet doesn’t matter!

Here’s the basic problem with thinking that way and blindly shopping: too many calories, sugars and sweets including soft drinks, all of which can aggravate many forms of neuropathy.

So what’s the best diet? As close to our ancestors as possible! That means neuropathy patients do best with a plant (vegetable) based diet.

If you shop the outside aisles in the market, you’ll find all you need except for things like coffee, tea and spices. You can pick from vegetables like spinach, broccoli and asparagus. Minimize starchy veggies like carrots and potatoes.

Grab low sugar fruits like apples, melon and in season items like peaches, pears, etc.

Then, grab a bag each of walnuts and almonds. Stop by the deli for fresh fish maybe some poultry.

Finally, circle around and grab some soy, almond or rice milk.

Follow this plan and avoid dairy, breads, cheeses, processed meats, etc.

Next time, we’ll talk about why this neuropathy diet approach may be the best of all!

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

Diabetic Neuropathy – What You Must Know

If you have diabetes and you have any of these symptoms[1]:

  • 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.  If left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can lead to serious and possibly permanent 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.

Why Does Diabetes Cause Neuropathy?

If your blood glucose levels aren’t controlled and have been high for significant period of time, the blood vessels that carry oxygen to your nerves can be damaged.  Elevated blood glucose can also damage the sheath that covers and protects the nerves. That leaves them vulnerable to damage.  Diabetic neuropathy is just the medical term for the nerve damage caused by elevated blood glucose levels.

What Happens to Your Body Once Those Nerves Are Damaged?

Diabetic neuropathy happens when the nervous system is damaged.

If your peripheral nervous system is damaged you can experience[2]

  • Numbness in your arms, hands, legs and feet
  • Inability to feel heat, cold or even pain in your arms, hands, legs and feet
  • Burning or tingling or even the “pins and needles” feeling you get when your legs or arms “go to sleep”
  • Changes in the shape of your feet caused by weakened muscles
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

If your neuropathy affects your autonomic nervous system, you can experience

  • Digestive problems like nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Inability to regulate your blood pressure

How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Diabetic Neuropathy?

The best defense against diabetic neuropathy is to get and keep your blood sugar under control.  Your best bet for doing that is proper diet, strictly monitoring your blood sugar levels and always taking your diabetes medication as prescribed by your doctor.

A good diet for controlling your blood sugar includes:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Lean meats
  • High fiber
  • Whole grains
  • 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.

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 your local NeuropathyDR® and take full advantage of their expertise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathies, 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.

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

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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

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