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/

Neuropathy Treatments Can Be Supplemented with Creativity

Are You Surprised That Making Art Could Be a Supportive Addition to Your Neuropathy Treatments?

One of the most effective at-home neuropathy treatments can be done anytime, anywhere, and you don’t need special materials to do it. You don’t even have to have a special talent or training in art.

Making art can include everything from drawing or painting to collage, scrapbooking, or even flower arranging. The basic human drive to make art, going back to cave paintings many thousands of years ago, is simply about making things that are special and unique that have personal meaning or bring beauty into your world.

And as it turns out, making art is physically good for you! Creativity might even be the perfect way to supplement neuropathy treatments.

Even way back in 2008, the National Institutes of Health described in their newsletter that scientists had already begun studying how the process of making art can reduce stress, ease pain, and improve quality of life. Art therapy has been shown positive benefits with many medical and emotional issues, from trauma or depression to chemotherapy fatigue. In other words, creativity can be a great supplement to your other neuropathy treatments.

There are many options for making art besides drawing and painting, and anyone can do these relaxing creative activities without any special training or materials. Try one of these easy art options.

Magazine Collage Journal

Materials you’ll need:

  • Blank journal or spiral notebook
  • Magazine
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Flip through any magazine looking for images that speak to you. Perhaps they make you feel happy or excited, or they remind you of good memories. Choose three images to glue down to your journal page in any way that looks right to you. If you want, flip to a new page in your journal and write down your thoughts about the images you selected today.

Index Card Mandala

Materials you’ll need:

  • Index cards
  • Pencil
  • Small jar lid
  • Markers or colored pencils

“Mandala” is a Sanskrit word for “sacred circle.” Psychologist Carl Jung used to make a daily practice of creating mandala designs to help him process his ideas. Coloring mandalas has also been shown to be relaxing to your nervous system. All you need to do is find a small circular object, like a jar lid, and trace around it onto your index card. Now use markers, colored pencils, or crayons to fill in the circle with any shapes, colors, and lines that you want. If you prefer to color in larger and more elaborate mandala designs, you can find free printable mandalas online.

Blind Contour Drawing

Materials you’ll need:

  • A Sharpie marker
  • Blank paper
  • Willingness to try something new

Elizabeth Layton is famous for having become an artist at the age of 68, using a daily practice of making blind contour drawings to help her battle depression. “Blind contour” means that you will be drawing a continuous line without looking at the paper; instead, you focus your gaze on the object you’re drawing. The end result obviously won’t be a perfect drawing, but what’s important in this process is the experience of drawing. I recommend a Sharpie marker because there’s no temptation to erase or “fix” anything and you can concentrate on really seeing an object, rather than forcing your drawing to look a certain way. Try it for a few days and see how much fun it can be to create messy, process-oriented drawings!

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

Neuropathy Treatment Basics

Help Yourself Today by Making a Neuropathy Treatment Plan

If you or someone you love suffers from peripheral neuropathy then you understand how difficult it can be. You know the story all too well: pain, tingling, numbness, burning, and sleepless nights. Maybe your walking has even been affected. So starting today make a neuropathy treatment list of all the things you can do to help yourself.

Most of the time neuropathy is a slowly progressing situation. Many patients look back and find that their symptoms have been developing for many years.

Other times it’s sudden. Some cases can result from chemotherapy, certain medications (most especially statins, antihypertensives, and some antibiotics) and yes, even accidents.

Chemotherapy-related neuropathy also often comes on suddenly.

Because we treat patients with neuropathy every day, we understand it’s easy to become overwhelmed and I’m sure it seems like you are always searching for answers too.

Neuropathy can also be caused by so many other health conditions. Things like viruses, rheumatoid arthritis, and even certain bacterial and viral infections. It takes a really good clinician to sort out everything that’s going on with every patient, to help you get an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment.

But there are some things you can actually do immediately!

The most important thing you need to do is to take a look at your overall health habits. And we strongly recommend you start by making a Neuropathy Treatment list.

Regardless of what caused your underlying health problems, things such as quitting smoking, starting a stress management program, improving your diet, most especially by limiting sugars and starches, and becoming more physically active, all can be very helpful!

This will also help your healthcare provider take the best care of you possible.

Start by making a neuropathy treatment list of all the things you can do to help yourself, beginning today! To help yourself the most, be sure to continue to update your neuropathy treatment list as your health habits improve!

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.

Best And Worst of At-Home Neuropathy Treatments

Better methods of controlling the pain and discomfort that peripheral neuropathy can bring are essential. By now you realize that there are a huge number of pills, potions, and gadgets etc… that are marketed to people who suffer from neuropathy and many other forms of chronic pain.

Many years ago when I became involved in the treatment of neuropathy and realized that this was inevitable due to the sheer number of people who suffer from peripheral neuropathy worldwide. And the huge numbers of patients is growing rapidly. Peripheral neuropathy now occurs in younger and younger ages.

Make no mistake about it this directly parallels our modern lifestyle and expanding waistlines. This of course is due to a high sugar, carbohydrate diets, and less physical activity.

In fact, the overall quality of diet and physical exercise for the vast majority of the population has deteriorated dramatically in the last 40 years.

All that said, doesn’t it make sense that these should be the primary targets of effective treatment?

Of course it does and even more so if you have the type of neuropathy that is directly related to obesity and poor fitness.

So why do these critical two components get ignored until it’s often too late?

This one is a combination of public health and healthcare professional education to be sure. The relentless push on you that all you need to do is to take this pill so that you feel better is an extreme disservice to both patients and their physicians alike.

But all neuropathy is not caused by lifestyle. Some are due to accidents, usage of certain medications, a side effect of surgery, genetics, or just bad luck.

All this means is that better methods of controlling the pain and discomfort that peripheral neuropathy can bring are essential.

The worst pain treatments are those that have no basis in science whatsoever; and there are plenty of them available. You only have to scan the aisles of your local pharmacies.

Employing other methods, which are researched and supported by science are our first choice both at home and in the clinic.

Shouldn’t they be yours as well?

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe 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.

Neuropathy Treament Challege

Physical Activity, Neuropathy and Chronic Pain Patients

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

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

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

If you suffer from any of these issues:

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

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

What To Expect

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

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

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

Therapy Treatment Options

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questioning The Status Quo

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

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

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

Question the status quo.

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

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

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

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

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

Ask more questions.

Be sure you fully engage your doctors and therapists!

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

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

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

You’ll be glad you did!

Your body will thank you day after day!

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

Copper: Another Key Neuropathy Nutrient

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now you know more about this pretty metal!

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

A Simpler Chronic Pain and Neuropathy Treatment Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Treatments for Common Neuropathy Forms

There is good potential for improvement, and even recovery, in common neuropathy forms in many patients. You need to make sure you are doing your part, but also that your treating clinician is doing everything they can for you as well!

If you are reading this, you already know something about peripheral neuropathy. You probably know millions are afflicted.

But you may not know there are many types: the most common ones are due to chemotherapy drugs, diabetes, and pre-diabetes, or metabolic syndrome.

In fact, metabolic syndrome may very well be responsible for the majority of cases that are now labeled “Idiopathic”. The Idiopathic means we just aren’t sure what the cause is.

Nevertheless, there is good potential for improvement, and even recovery, in these common neuropathy forms in many patients.

But recovery depends upon stimulating your healing capacity.

And there are several good tools which can help do just that. For example, we know a low-carb diet (I also prefer gluten and dairy-free), stopping smoking, and losing weight is key. Exercise and rehab under supervision often make a big difference too.

Research tells us our body produces substances that help nerves heal. These are called neurotropins.

So, what are the best ways to help your body along?

Well, in addition to the things we just mentioned, maintaining good mental health is key. In fact, one study showed significantly higher levels of neurotropins in people who “were in love”!

The same study also looked at electric stimulation. The results were somewhat surprising. Indications are: less is often more!

In this study, neuropathy treatment electrotherapies that are too powerful, administered for too long, or too high a frequency produced less than favorable results.

We also know that accommodation to treatment is a factor. This occurs when our bodies “get used to” any one therapy, or even a drug. It also helps explain why patient progress can seemingly plateau.

All of this highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to neuropathy treatment.

You need to make sure you are doing your part, but also that your treating clinician is doing everything they can for you 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.

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.

It Can’t Be My Diet!

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

Unfortunately we hear this often at 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 aches, stiffness, and quite possibly inflammation. For the peripheral neuropathy sufferer, regardless of the cause, this typically poor diet seems to make it worse.

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

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

So, how do we do this without becoming overwhelmed?

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

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

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

Always remember, neuropathy is oftentimes 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 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.

Common Sense Approach to Neuropathy Treatment

Would you hit a Fly with a Sledgehammer?

Of course not. It’s just common sense!

Then why are clinicians prescribing invasive methods of treatment for any condition before more simple and often times old fashioned common sense methods?

Why has so much about modern healthcare, for what were once relatively simple to manage conditions, become just like this?

One relatively recent example was highlighted by the deaths and serious infections due to contamination of steroids and drugs administered for back pain and spinal injections.

Of course I’m not saying these don’t have a place. They do.

What I have issue with is when invasive methods of treatment for any condition are prescribed before more simple and often times old fashioned common sense methods of management for spine pain including modified rest, exercise, traction, physical therapy, spinal manipulation, and noninvasive therapy modalities.

The same could also be said for many of the other conditions that we now treat with drugs instead of lifestyle and behaviors FIRST.  This includes GERD, minor depression, sleep disturbance, fibromyalgia, and other forms of chronic pain.

Furthermore, third-party payers and insurance companies do not help the situation because often reimbursement is provided for invasive and expensive procedures while these modalities are simply considered “not medically necessary”. There is no common sense in any of this!

I’m old enough to remember when this was never the case. Unfortunately, it’s also been very difficult to change. However there are some things you can do.

First of all, always inquire about inexpensive and noninvasive procedures when considering any healthcare choice. This is especially true in spine pain and peripheral neuropathy.

For example, too often patients with peripheral neuropathy are treated with expensive medications with significant side effects before exploring possible underlying causes that are easily correctable such as obesity and metabolic syndrome.

And very often patients tell us the side effects from the treatment with medications and invasive injections for pain are worse than the disorder itself!

But there are some things you can do, and one of them you’re doing right now.

And that is to learn everything you can to become your own health care advocate.

Now this is a situation that also has significant ties to politics and government, I’ll let you have those discussions on your own.

However if you like my input, I’m more than happy to contribute!

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 Treatments, Pills, and Potions!

“Just start taking my magic formula and your neuropathy can be GONE!”

Good neuropathy treatment is usually not as simple as taking or rubbing on just one thing.

If only neuropathy treatment was that simple. Or easy.

Now that is not to say that supplements and lotions can’t have a role in good neuropathy treatment. The fact is they often do.

But good neuropathy treatment is usually not as simple as taking or rubbing on just one thing.

Many neuropathy patients don’t know that some supplements should not be taken with drugs. For example, CoQ-10 can be trouble, and should not be taken if you are on Coumadin.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine can interfere with thyroid function, and its use needs to be professionally monitored. This is especially true if you take thyroid medications.

And the list goes on. It seems like some new neuropathy formula is being offered every day! Neuropathy patients need to be very careful.

So what is the he best thing a neuropathy treatment patient should do? Find a neuropathy treatment professional to work with. Find out all you can about them. Are they up on the latest techniques? Are they aware of drugs that may interact with their therapy?

Help treat your neuropathy by providing all your lab and medical records. If your neuropathy is associated with any food or skin allergies, we need to know that too.

Let us know about your family history. Have you had recent surgery, or anesthesia, which can make neuropathy symptoms worse?

Have you tried any neuropathy treatments and what have the results been? What seems to make your neuropathy feel better, and especially does anything you do seem to make it worse?

This is all part of having a neuropathy treatment plan. If you have any questions about what good neuropathy treatment is, ask your trained neuropathy treatment professional.

But just make sure they have actually studied in and are trained in the neuropathy treatment specialty!

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 and Exercise

For some, the prospect of neuropathy and exercise may seem not only unrealistic but an almost ironic misplacement of priorities.  Exercise is important for everyone, though, neuropathy and exercise can help control blood sugar and actually slow down the progression and symptoms of the condition!

Exercising regularly greatly decreases anyone’s risk of diabetic neuropathy, and has been shown to control symptoms and deterioration in sufferers by elevating overall blood flow to the limbs and controlling cardiovascular atrophy.  Depending on your specific type of neuropathy, areas affected, and the extent of the damage, you will have to adjust conventional workout routines to accommodate the condition.  Ask your NeuropathyDR® clinician if you have questions, and be sure to consult them before beginning any workout program.  Your clinician will inspect your feet and legs for signs of potential problems, and will help you make sure your shoes are properly fitted so as to avoid neuropathy-related injuries.

Additionally:

  • Use silica gel or air midsoles
  • Use polyester or polyester/cotton blend socks to keep your feet dry
  • Avoid any workout clothes that rub against your skin in the same area.

Ann Albright of the Division of Diabetes Translation in Atlanta cautions that neuropathy patients will want to steer clear of most repetitive or weight-bearing exercise, such as running, walking, or extensive weight training (although some sources advocate weight training as beneficial, in moderation).  So which exercises are the most beneficial while reducing risk?

Swimming is one of the best exercises, as it is an activity adaptable to any age, fitness level, or degree of neuropathy symptoms.  Swimming is also a full-body, “no-impact” workout, and so is less harmful to your joints, legs, and feet than most other forms of exercise, without sacrificing circulation (ask any lap swimmer and they’ll tell you—swimming has no problem getting your heart rate up!)  As such, it is highly recommended for almost anyone.

Bicycling, rowing, and use of a stationary bicycle are other excellent, low-impact activities that can be safely integrated into a neuropathy treatment program. Some organizations have even developed exercise programs for senior citizens suffering from neuropathy, incorporating a heavy emphasis on seated exercises.

If you don’t have regular access to facilities or equipment for more extensive exercise, there are some basic exercises you can do almost anywhere that can help your neuropathy!  Here are some to try:

  • For your hands, touch the pad of your thumb with your index finger, running the finger down to the base of your thumb. Then, repeat the movement with the index, middle, ring, and little fingers. Do this exercise several times.
  • For your legs and feet, straighten one knee and point your foot.  Flex your ankle five times, then circle your foot five times in each direction, clockwise and counterclockwise.
  • To increase balance, try this exercise: from a standing position, rise up slowly on your tiptoes, and then rock backward onto your heels. Keep your knees straight, but try not to lock them.

Additional precautions are vital for neuropathy patients to observe.  After every workout session, patients should remember to check their feet and any relevant extremities for blisters, irritation, or sores. These could be vulnerable to infections, which themselves could elevate risk for amputation.

It is important for neuropathy sufferers to be mindful of their heart rate and blood pressure.  Especially if you suffer from autonomic neuropathy, which can greatly increase risk of heart failure or cardiac arrest, be aware of your limitations when it comes to safe exercise.  Don’t worry—there’s a way for everyone to exercise safely.  If you have any doubts, consult your NeuropathyDR® clinician to review your workout plan.

Finally, be sure to monitor your body temperature.  Neuropathy sufferers are at high risk when it comes to overheating, since some types of neuropathy can reduce the body’s ability to temperature-control.  Consult your clinician if sweating seems overly profuse or the opposite, less than normal.

If you have any questions about neuropathy and exercise, contact us at NeuropathyDR or call
7781-659-7989

We can answer your questions and help put you in touch with a NeuropathyDR® clinician who can help you in person.  Have a great workout!

 

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5162775_exercise-peripheral-neuropathy.html

http://journal.diabetes.org/diabetesspectrum/98v11n4/pg231.htm

http://www.livestrong.com/article/99573-exercise-peripheral-neuropathy/

http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20189334,00.html

http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20188832,00.html

 

Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy Has 2 Essential Components

Does Your Treatment Plan Include Manual Therapy and Nutrition Therapy? Read More About This Non-Invasive and Cost-Effective Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy.

It’s our experience that the best results in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy are able to happen when we include two specific non-invasive components along with neurostim treatments and general lifestyle changes. These components appear simple, but they can be very powerful and have nearly immediate results, with improvements compounding over time as the therapies are continued long-term.

The first component is manual therapy. This modality can include many specific approaches, such as stretching, massage, mobilization, and spinal manipulation. These are time-tested methods that have been extremely well researched for many medical conditions, from diabetes to cancer-related neuropathy. Best of all, manual therapy utilizes cost-effective techniques that are minimally invasive, meaning that they are gentle and not intrusive to your body’s own internal healing processes. I believe, like any good doctor will tell you, that you should always try a simpler and less invasive treatment of peripheral neuropathy before resorting to more strenuous methods, such as medication and surgery, that can have serious long-term side effects and impact your quality of life.

The second component in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy is nutrition therapy, which ideally will be customized to address the needs of a specific patient. Our approach includes an extensive patient evaluation done in our office, taking into account your medical history and up-to-date lab work, so that you can be confident you are taking the supplements that are optimum in supporting the medical challenges you are facing. With clinical monitoring, we’ll work together on achieving and maintaining the nutrient levels you need to feel and perform your best in your day-to-day functioning.

Did you know that a nutritional supplement for treatment of peripheral neuropathy doesn’t even have to come in pill form? Sometimes we recommend that patients use a topical creme to administer certain nutrients through the skin. Take a look at our ND ReGen Soothing Topical Supplement Creme.

A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy: Gentle Yoga

 

foot-neuropathy

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

 

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

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

Some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include:

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

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

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

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

What do you think about using yoga as a support for other types of foot neuropathy treatment? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.