Do I Have Diabetic Neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of peripheral neuropathy specific to patients who have diabetes.

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® Clinician is a 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 neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

References:

[1] www.joslin.org/info/diabetic_neuropathy_nerve_damage_an_update.html

[2] http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.html

Let a NeuropathyDR® clinician can help you with you autonomic neuropathy.

Got Autonomic Neuropathy?

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

  • Dizziness and fainting when you stand up
  • Difficulty digesting food, and feeling really full when you’ve barely eaten anything
  • Abnormal perspiration – either sweating excessively or barely at all
  • Intolerance for exercise – no, not that you just hate it but your heart rate doesn’t adjust as it should
  • Slow pupil reaction so that your eyes don’t adjust quickly to changes in light
  • Urinary problems like difficulty starting or inability to completely empty your bladder

If they do, you could have autonomic neuropathy. Especially if you have diabetes, your immune system is compromised by chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, lupus, Guillian-Barre or any other chronic medical condition.

You need to see a doctor immediately. A good place to start would be a physician well versed in diagnosing and treating nerve disease and damage, like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.

What Is Autonomic Neuropathy?

Autonomic neuropathy in itself is not a disease[1]. It’s a type of peripheral neuropathy that affects the nerves that control involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and perspiration. The nerves are damaged and don’t function properly leading to a breakdown of the signals between the brain and the parts of the body affected by the autonomic nervous system like the heart, blood vessels, digestive system and sweat glands.

That can lead to your body being unable to regulate your heart rate or your blood pressure, an inability to properly digest your food, urinary problems, even being unable to sweat in order to cool your body down when you exercise.

Often, autonomic neuropathy is caused by other diseases or medical conditions so if you suffer from

  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Systemic lupus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • HIV/AIDS

Or any number of other chronic illnesses, you stand a much higher risk of developing autonomic neuropathy.[2] Your best course of action is not to wait until you develop symptoms. Begin a course of preventative treatment and monitoring with a NeuropathyDR® clinician to lessen your chances of developing autonomic neuropathy.

How Will My NeuropathyDR® Diagnose My Autonomic Neuropathy?

If you have diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDs or any of the other diseases or chronic conditions that can cause autonomic neuropathy, it’s much easier to diagnose autonomic neuropathy. After all, as a specialist in nerve damage and treatment, your NeuropathyDR® is very familiar with your symptoms and the best course of treatment.

If you have symptoms of autonomic neuropathy and don’t have any of the underlying conditions, your diagnosis will be a little tougher but not impossible.

Either way, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will take a very thorough history and physical. Make sure you have a list of all your symptoms, when they began, how severe they are, what helps your symptoms or makes them worse, and any and all medications your currently take (including over the counter medications, herbal supplements or vitamins).

Be honest with your NeuropathyDR® clinician about your diet, alcohol intake, frequency of exercise, history of drug use and smoking. If you don’t tell the truth, you’re not giving your NeuropathyDR® clinician a clear picture of your physical condition. That’s like asking them to drive you from Montreal to Mexico City without a map or a GPS. You may eventually get to where you want to be, but it’s highly unlikely.

Once your history and physical are completed, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will order some tests. Depending upon your actual symptoms and which systems seem to be affected, these tests might include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Urinalysis and bladder function tests
  • Thermoregulatory and/or QSART sweat tests
  • Gastrointestinal tests
  • Breathing tests
  • Tilt-table tests (to test your heart rate and blood pressure regulation)

Once your tests are completed and your NeuropathyDR® clinician determines you have autonomic neuropathy, it’s time for treatment.

Treatment and Prognosis

NeuropathyDR® clinicians are well versed in treating all types of peripheral neuropathy, including autonomic neuropathy. They adhere to a very specialized treatment protocol that was developed specifically for patients suffering from neuropathy. That’s why their treatments have been so successful – neuropathy in all its forms is what they do.

Autonomic neuropathy is a chronic condition but it can be treated and you can do things to help relieve your symptoms.

Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you and your other physicians to treat your neuropathy and manage your underlying condition. They do this through:

Diet Planning and Nutritional Support

You need to give your body the nutrition it needs to heal.

If you have gastrointestinal issues caused by autonomic neuropathy, you need to make sure you’re getting enough fiber and fluids to help your body function properly.

If you have diabetes, you need to follow a diet specifically designed for diabetics and to control your blood sugar.

If your autonomic neuropathy affects your urinary system, you need to retrain your bladder. You can do this by following a schedule of when to drink and when to empty your bladder to slowly increase your bladder’s capacity.

Individually Designed Exercise Programs

If you experience exercise intolerance or blood pressure problems resulting from autonomic neuropathy, you have to be very careful with your exercise program. Make sure that you don’t overexert yourself, take it slowly. Your NeuropathyDR® clinician can design an exercise program specifically for you that will allow you to exercise but won’t push you beyond what your body is capable of. And, even more importantly, they will continually monitor your progress and adjust your program as needed.

Lifestyle Modifications

If your autonomic neuropathy causes dizziness when you stand up, then do it slowly and in stages. Flex your feet or grip your hands several times before you attempt to stand to increase the flow of blood to your hands and feet. Try just sitting on the side of your bed in the morning for a few minutes before you try to stand.

Change the amount and frequency of your meals if you have digestive problems.

Don’t try to do everything all at once. Decide what really needs to be done each day and do what you can. Autonomic neuropathy is a chronic disorder and living with any chronic condition requires adaptations. Your NeuropathyDR® clinician knows this all too well and will work with you to manage your level of stress and change your daily routines to help you manage your condition and your life.

All these changes in conjunction with medications, where needed, will make it easier to live with autonomic neuropathy and lessen the chances of serious complications. Early intervention with a NeuropathyDR® clinician is still the best policy if you have any of the underlying conditions that can cause autonomic neuropathy. But if you already have symptoms, start treatment immediately

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


[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001780/

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/autonomic-neuropathy/

Stopping Chronic Pain

Stopping Chronic Pain

Do you know that approximately one fourth of the entire population of United States suffers from some form of chronic pain?

Did you also know that over half of these are related to neuropathic pain, that is conditions like chemotherapy neuropathy, shingles, diabetic neuropathy, and genetic neuropathy like CMT?

Of course there are millions worldwide who suffer from painful diseases and conditions like disc herniations, arthritis, failed back surgery, arachnoiditis, fibromyalgia… the list just seems to go on and on.  Unfortunately, for all these conditions there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

Treating chronic pain requires significant expertise and patience on the part of providers.

That’s probably why you continue to read our articles and watch our videos now more than ever before. New patients find us on the web every day, and many more are choosing the solutions our clinicians have to offer.

This is precisely because the more they read, listen, or watch they understand that stopping chronic pain requires a team effort. It requires a step-wise improvement in habits, self-care, treatment approaches, medication adjustments or eliminations, and so much more!

Your clinician stands above the rest, and her focus is only on you and getting you the very best care possible.

If you can’t go to a clinic, you can do telemedicine through your computer or telephone!

These services offered all of our clinics throughout the US!

All you need to do is to stop the cycle of chronic pain by reaching out and letting a true expert guide your way!

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

Why Is Neuropathy Treatment Difficult?

Neuropathy treatment can be difficult for some due to the fact that neuropathy is more than one condition.

An understandable question that we get in the clinic day after day is Why is neuropathy treatment so difficult?

As you probably know, a good portion of patients who suffer from some form of chronic intractable pain have peripheral neuropathy. One reason for this includes the fact that we’re living longer. Also, in general, our health habits as so-called modern and developed nations have become worse, not better.

There’s also one major misconception that hampers neuropathy treatment for many and that is  misunderstanding that Neuropathy is actually one condition when indeed its many disorders.

Nothing, and I mean nothing can be further from the truth. You see neuropathy rarely occurs without cause. Sometimes the known causes are due to chemotherapy, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and other things such as liver and kidney disease.

Sometimes, neuropathy is secondary to known disease processes. One example is Lyme disease.

Most of us know that 60% to 70% of patients who have developed diabetes, ultimately also develop some form of peripheral neuropathy.

About 50% of the time we diagnose neuropathy as being idiopathic. Idiopathic means that we are not one hundred percent sure what caused the patient’s neuropathy. As we have discussed here many times before, at least half the time in idiopathic cases the cause of the neuropathy is due to metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is so common now and occurring in younger and younger ages that it is perhaps the most devastating health condition that we as a society must face head-on. Excess sugar and carbohydrate consumption along with decreasing physical activity is having a huge impact on society as a whole.

And too often even otherwise brilliant physicians ignore this as a possible cause of the patient’s underlying health conditions. Everything from neuropathy to heart disease can directly be related to metabolic syndrome.

And that is the reason in which many patients find neuropathy treatment so difficult.

Don’t let this be you! Start today by making stronger and more informed decisions. In a nutshell, do your homework, do your research, and do everything you possibly can advocate for your health and effective neuropathy treatment!

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.

Neuropathy and Your Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, how do we do this without becoming overwhelmed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What You Need To Know About Metabolic Syndrome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Do You Suffer From Neuropathy Overwhelm?

Don’t let Neuropathy Overwhelm get the best of you. For many with the most common forms of neuropathy there are more treatment options than ever before!

One of the common things about neuropathy in most forms, except CMT, HNPP and other genetic cases is, most patients don’t even know what it is until they have it.

So a neuropathy diagnosis can come as a shock!

Up until recently, the approach to treatment has been drug-only. For years, patients heard the following, and unfortunately still often do:

“There is NOTHING you can do.” or “Just take the meds and live with it.”

Or worse.

Now, sometimes this is unfortunately true, and we are not offering false hope to those devastated patients we so wish we could do more for.

But, the reality for many with the most common forms of neuropathy (idiopathic neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, post chemotherapy neuropathy, small fiber neuropathy) is there are more treatment options than ever before.

Sometimes these can actually replace drug-only treatment options for patients. That’s really exciting for all of us!

We raised the awareness of single-frequency neurostimulation treatment when we first published Beating Neuropathy: Taking Misery to Miracles in Just Five Weeks!

Then, in just two short years of continuous work and development of treatment systems, we found better and better ways to help patients.

Things like laser and LED, vibration therapy, certain dietary supplement combinations… There are also certain other neuropathy treatment combinations, and even more powerful devices available now, thanks to some very bright and caring people.

Just as I predicted, patients now have more neuropathy treatment options than ever—and it can be overwhelming.

But there is a strategy you can use that will help!

First, understand you may never know 100% what caused your neuropathy. Sure, sometimes it’s very straightforward, but in most patients, it’s actually a combination of many things. Diet, lifestyle, obesity, and smoking are at the top of the list.

Secondly, delaying fixing correctable things like smoking, obesity (even as little as 10-20 pounds) poor, highly processed foods and sugar-laden diets, and excess alcohol consumption commonly make things worse.

So, start by making a list, two columns only. Call the first “things I could improve”. This is the time to be really honest with yourself. List out all we spoke about above, mainly lifestyle choices and habits.

In the second column, put “what I need to investigate”. Include “drugs I may be taking” and “tests I need to ask about”.

Lastly, we firmly believe that patients suffering from neuropathy and chronic pain deserve and should get very comprehensive approaches to care.

And DON’T delay treatment while searching for answers you may never find about causes. The good news is, many patients are good responders to our neuropathy treatment combinations!

But, as I’m sure you can see, good neuropathy treatment has now become a specialty all of its own! So choose your professional care very carefully.

Just be sure to do your homework first to avoid neuropathy treatment overwhelm!

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, Vitamin B1, and Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Did you know that Thiamine, or Vitamin B1, can actually improve blood sugar levels—and thus, diabetes?

Not too long ago, we spoke about a very important vitamin, and its role in neuropathy and chronic pain. This vitamin was B1, or Thiamine. As you may remember, B1 is part of the family of water-soluble vitamins, and our body storage is limited. Therefore, it is relatively easy to become deficient or suffer from low levels relatively quickly.

Perhaps the most significant cause of low thiamine in our society is the high carbohydrate diets that so many people consume. You see, thiamine is necessary for our bodies to produce energy. When we lack thiamine, a whole host of health problems can develop.

What many patients and their doctors may be ignorant of is the fact that thiamine (vitamin B1) can actually improve blood sugar levels—and, thus, diabetes.

In fact, in borderline diabetes, vitamin B1 may actually help drop blood sugars, and what is called glucose tolerance, or how our bodies handle sugar, to normal within a month.

I have even seen insulin-dependent diabetics drop their blood sugars over 200 points, one virtually overnight with as little as 25 mg of thiamine.

Like many nutrients, this is one place you really need to work with your clinicians. You and your doctors need to know that taking additional vitamin B1 can reduce need for medications, and sometimes even insulin.

This becomes even truer as you improve the overall quality of your diet. You and your doctors also should be aware that all not all vitamin B1 is created the same.

In particular we are very partial to Allithiamine. It is tolerated better than most other forms and is taken up by the body more efficiently than the common thiamine hydrochloride.

And this is precisely why that we recommend all diabetic patients get in the habit of checking their blood sugars on a regular basis.

This is also why sticking to a carbohydrate-controlled diet is essential.

The most important things to avoid are processed breads and grains, as well as sugars, soft drinks, candy, and virtually all sweets. You also need to be very careful with sugary or dried fruits. If you missed it, go back and review our last post about the NeuropathyDr Diet. We highly recommend this diet to our patients.

Some excellent sources of thiamine in the diet include tuna, sunflower seeds, pistachios, and other nuts, as well as many beans.

Be sure to add more of these to your diet on a daily basis and work closely with your healthcare professionals on optimum supplementation to help improve your diabetes!

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 NeuropathyDR Diet and Chronic Pain Reduction Guide

How to keep what you’re eating from eating you? The key is beginning and staying with this neuropathy diet program! One of the questions we frequently get, as neuropathy and pain patients begin to understand the impact their diet has on overall health, is, “What do I eat, and when?” So, what I’m doing today is to describe a typical day of meals and snacks for a patient who is following the NeuropathyDR Diet, which is relatively easy to modify and add variety to on a regular basis.

Let’s start with Breakfast

It is very important to consume some protein within one half hour of arising. The reason for this is that it helps stimulate metabolism, protein synthesis, and mental alertness. It also helps us burn fuel more efficiently. My favorite breakfast is a vegetable protein shake, using a dairy-free protein powder with almond or coconut milk. Another good breakfast is a serving of gluten-free granola, taking care to keep carbohydrates between 15 and 20g maximum. You could also use a measured serving of gluten-free steel-cut oatmeal.

No more than three hours later, have a snack again, not exceeding 15g of carbs. This could include one half apple or banana, seven or eight almonds for other nuts, etc… Packaged protein or nut bars can be fine if the carb content is low.

Lunch should universally be some form of salad with protein

You can mix this up with your favorite greens. You could use baby spinach or mixes greens. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a few almonds or walnuts, and lean protein such as tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you could use tofu or tempeh.

No more than three hours later, have an additional snack, just like your mid-morning.

When dinnertime comes, this is the time to emphasize non-starchy vegetables

Some of the best are cooked spinach, broiled or sautéed asparagus, cabbage, beets, squashes, yams, and sweet potatoes, and so on. Keep starches, such as rice and white potatoes, to a minimum.

Be sure to get in a high-quality source of protein. Don’t be afraid to try things like hormone-free pork, beef, or, if available, fresh fish. Again, you could use a vegan alternative, just be careful of gluten and carb content.

Not more than three hours after dinner, have another snack.

This time, try a few gluten-free crackers with some almond butter. You can also try some sliced tofu. There are also low carbohydrate gluten-free cookies—just be careful not to eat the entire bag, which is easy to do! Another really good choice to satisfy your evening cravings is a small square of unsweetened dark chocolate.

So, what’s NOT here?

Well there is no dairy, cheese, or yogurt. There is no bread; there are no snack foods, soda, or chips. There are no ice creams or pies for dessert. There are no fruit juices, candy, or other sweets.

Do you see where we are going here? The fact of the matter is the above list of foods is probably responsible for more ill health and disease than any other single factor in the modern developed world.

The key is beginning and staying with the program. Don’t worry about the very rare weekend, or party. Just always stay trying not to go berserk. Be especially careful during holiday periods.

Consume half your body weight in ounces of clear liquids, most especially water, during plenty any 24-hour period.

Be especially careful not to overdo coffee and tea. Limit alcohol consumption to occasional low sugar wine or beer, and very rarely stronger adult beverages.

Once you make a shift, you will realize how simple, easy, and inexpensive this approach to eating–for neuropathy patients and anyone else–can be!

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 Symptoms and Cell Energy

For those who suffer from neuropathy, significant improvement in the quality of life can happen by making a few simple changes and adding special combinations of good neuropathy treatments that help to restore cell energy to healthier levels.

One of the things we get asked all the time is, “What makes your treatment program different?

This is a really good question. For anybody who suffers (or loves someone who does) from peripheral neuropathy or another form of chronic pain, it can be very frustrating to sort through all the details.

The good news is that the reasoning behind how we are able to provide neuropathy treatment is quite simple.

My background is in health care and nutrition. So, when I first began intensely treating neuropathy patients in 2008, I knew that improving their underlying health—especially how nerve cells process energy—had to help improve many patients’ peripheral neuropathy and other forms of nerve damage or chronic pain.

Of course, there are some patients we cannot cure. But we do find that even in patients with genetic neuropathies or other extremely difficult-to-treat cases, significant improvement in the quality of life can happen by making a few simple changes and adding special combinations of good neuropathy treatments.

Cell Energy and My Neuropathy Symptoms

The bottom line is, your nervous system is made up of billions of cells called neurons. Neurons are highly sensitive to their own environmental changes; things like long-term oxygen starvation due to cigarette smoking, or carrying around too much body weight for too long.

Our society is now developing diabetes at an alarming rate, in younger and younger age groups. This is largely due to poor food and lifestyle choices. We are also living longer, as a byproduct of better infection control, better chemotherapy drugs, and surgeries.

These things all bring with them increased chances for developing chronic and painful conditions such as peripheral neuropathy.

The reason for this is, all of the things we have talked about today will affect how the nervous system processes energy—leading to the development of peripheral neuropathy.

Wherever possible, helping to restore energy efficiency to nerve cells can make a tremendous difference in many patients with peripheral neuropathy.

And that is why our treatment program includes better nutrition and body motion—and therapies such as neurostimulation, laser, and physical therapy, often with nutritional supplementation.

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

Do You Know Your Neuropathy Treatment Numbers?

There are many basic numbers that can affect your neuropathy treatment.

One of the most important things we get to do in the neuropathy treatment clinic is to teach patients about their most important neuropathy treatment numbers.

For example, if you suffer from diabetes or metabolic syndrome do you know what your blood sugar numbers are in the morning, and after meals? Are you rechecking them 3 to 4 times per day and recording these on excel sheet or graph paper?

Likewise, do you know your blood pressure, your height and weight, your BMI or body mass index?

These numbers along with critical laboratory values such as total Vitamin D and total Cholesterol levels are important to know, and monitor. These neuropathy treatment numbers also give you a benchmark.

For example, many times when treating neuropathy patients we find vitamin D levels are too low and cholesterol levels are too high. We start treatment programs to affect both of these. Unless you have your baseline numbers, you won’t know how effective your treatment is!

In neuropathy treatment there are some other things you need to keep an eye on. Your weight is an obvious one. This is something you should check the same time each week.

Another neuropathy treatment number to know is your blood pressure, taken first seated and then immediately upon standing. Your blood pressure normally should rise a little bit (10 points) upon standing. If not, it could indicate overmedication, dehydration, or possibly the development of autonomic neuropathy.

So what I would recommend you do is to keep a safe place for all these pieces of information. It’s easier now than ever with mobile devices.

Make sure you have the capability of sharing this information with your healthcare providers. Then, you’ll be able to work together on a more effective neuropathy treatment program.

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

Why is Neuropathy so Hard to “Cure”?

Why is Neuropathy so Hard to “Cure”?

This is a question we get asked a lot. And you would think there would be an easy answer. The correct answer is, “cure” depends upon what causes your particular neuropathy.

You see, there are well over a hundred different things that can cause neuropathy. If you read us on a regular basis you know that everything from infections, to certain drugs, and diseases like diabetes can cause neuropathy.

We recently talked about Lyme Disease as a cause of neuropathy. That is a good example of a condition that still gets missed in milder early cases and underlying damage gets done. That’s when neuropathy can really take hold.

Unfortunately, these conditions in and of themselves can be complicated to treat. Generally speaking, treat the underlying cause and you have a better shot at controlling and possibly “curing” the neuropathy.

This however is not always possible in cases where permanent nerve damage has been done. This commonly occurs with long-standing diabetes.

Some cases where we do see good reversals approaching a “cure” are in some of our chemotherapy cases. Not only to pain, tingling numbness, and burning get better but so do measurable changes like sensation, vibration, and skin temperatures.

This is why it’s very important to work with knowledgeable professionals. And only those with the proper training and expertise.

In any patient with neuropathy, we train our clinicians to be ever vigilant for multiple causes of neuropathy. Multiple factors in the same patient are also very common.

For example, often we have patients who smoke, eat poorly, are overweight, take Statins (cholesterol drugs) and blood pressure medications.

Each one of these is a neuropathy risk factor

So this not so hypothetical patient has FIVE factors, which may have caused individually or jointly contributed to their neuropathy.

So you can see, the more you know about neuropathy; the more you can fix, and then help yourself recover and “cure” wherever possible!

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