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 and Chronic Pain: Developing a Schedule

Scheduled physical activity every day can improve neuropathy and other chronic pain.

One of the things we find in our practices is that patients who tend to keep tight schedules do extremely well managing and ultimately defeating chronic pain.

More specifically when we work with these patients even recovering from neuropathy, fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, and yes even more serious illnesses, we find there is scheduled physical activity every day.

In fact, it may be one the most challenging things you do. But it could also be one of the most rewarding.

The reason for this is our bodies work on set schedules.

Did you know that even such things like body temperature and alertness, etc. all run on internal schedules and cycles?

This also helps explain why those who schedule things such as meals, physical activity, self-treatment with your home-care and clinic-care, do far better!

Otherwise, especially in this modern world, the tendency is to drift aimlessly. And yes, even things such as our computers, social groups, and social media can wind up being distractions using a vast majority of our time.

Unfortunately, this tends to happen more not less as we get older, retire, become disabled, or move away from daily structure.

The bottom line is it is not healthy.

So here’s where I recommend you begin today. Start by outlining what an ideal day looks like for you.

What time do you get up? What do you have for breakfast that makes you feel the best?

Most of our neuropathy and chronic pain patients find that adhering to the NeuropathyDR diet and eating schedule goes a long way towards keeping them productive.

This is because the NeuropathyDR diet will allow you to maintain more even blood sugars and thus your energy level and mental alertness.

Next, regardless of your fitness or illness level, some type of scheduled physical activity is critical.

We are here If you need help developing a more productive schedule.

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.

Gentle Yoga: A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy

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

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

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

Some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include:

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

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

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

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

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

Disuse Syndrome

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

Use Vs. Disuse

When you’re thinking about starting an exercise program and you’re thinking about how dangerous it can be, you also need to consider the effects of not starting an exercise program.

The effects of not exercising are called disuse syndrome.  If your level of activity seriously out of sync with your level of inactivity, you can develop:

• Decreased physical work capacity

• Muscle atrophy

• Negative nitrogen and protein balance

• Cardiovascular deconditioning

• Pulmonary restrictions

• Depression

The effects of any of these symptoms of disuse syndrome in combination with your autonomic neuropathy symptoms can make a bad situation even worse.

The very nature of your autonomic neuropathy can affect the systems that are most sensitive to the effects of exercise.  Any exercise program you begin should be designed and monitored by a medical professional well versed in the effects of autonomic neuropathy, like your NeuropathyDR® clinician.

Autonomic neuropathy can have a serious effect on the very systems in the body that are directly affected by exercise.  Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider before you start an exercise program and let them monitor your progress.

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

Exercising Caution With Autonomic Neuropathy

If you’ve been diagnosed with autonomic neuropathy, you know you’re at risk for some serious medical issues. Autonomic neuropathy (i.e., nerve damage to the autonomic nervous system) can affect every system in the body, especially:

• Cardiovascular – your heart, blood pressure and circulation

• Respiratory

• Gastrointestinal – your digestion, ability to ability to empty your bowels

• Genitourinary – erectile dysfunction and loss of bladder control

• While you’re dealing with some or all of these issues, exercise may not be on your radar.

But it should be.

Exercise can help control the symptoms of your underlying illness (whatever caused your autonomic neuropathy) and by doing that, you can help lessen the symptoms of your autonomic neuropathy.

But a word of caution is in order here.

The very nature of your autonomic neuropathy can affect the systems that are most sensitive to the effects of exercise.  Any exercise program you begin should be designed and monitored by a medical professional well versed in the effects of autonomic neuropathy, like your NeuropathyDR® clinician.

Use Vs. Disuse

When you’re thinking about starting an exercise program and you’re thinking about how dangerous it can be, you also need to consider the effects of not starting an exercise program.  The effects of not exercising are called “disuse syndrome”. We’ll discuss more about “disuse syndrome” in our next post.

What You Need To Think About Before You Start Exercising

Think about what happens to your body when you exercise. Your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes labored, you sweat.

Every single one of those results is controlled by the autonomic nervous system.  Autonomic neuropathy can seriously impact how your body responds to the stimulus of exercise.  And your body may not react as it should.

• Heart rate – If your autonomic neuropathy affects your cardiovascular system, you need to make sure that your exercise program is designed and monitored by your NeuropathyDR® clinician. Your autonomic neuropathy can lead to abnormal heart rate, inability to properly regulate blood pressure and redistribution of blood flow.  Your cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy may cause you to have a higher resting rate and lower maximal heart rates during exercise.

• Blood pressure – Blood pressure response with posture change and during exercise is abnormal in patients with cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy.  Postural hypotension, defined as a drop in blood pressure may be seen.  This can mean that the blood pressure doesn’t react normally during exercise.  Symptoms are similar to hypoglycemia and may be mistaken for a drop in blood glucose even though it’s actually a drop in blood pressure.  Patients should be alerted to the potential confusion in these symptoms and instructed to check blood glucose before treating for hypoglycemia.

• Sweating and Disruption of Blood Flow – Autonomic neuropathy may reduce or even eliminate your ability to sweat.  The loss of sweating, especially in your feet, can cause dry, brittle skin on the feet and you can develop skin ulcers.  It can also make it more difficult for your body to respond to cold and heat. You need to make sure that you’re taking proper care of your feet before and during any exercise program.  Make sure your shoes fit properly and examine your feet regularly to make sure you don’t have any sores, cracks or ulcers.

Autonomic neuropathy can have a serious effect on the very systems in the body that are directly affected by exercise.  Make sure you talk to your local NeuropathyDR® clinician before you start an exercise program and let them monitor your progress.

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

Neuropathy Pain Is A Complex Phenomenon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s what we help you do!

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

Copper: Another Key Neuropathy Nutrient

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now you know more about this pretty metal!

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

Don’t Fall for Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures

The one most important thing you can do as a neuropathy patient or family member is to do your homework, very carefully! Don’t Fall for Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures.

You know what I’m talking about

You have seen these ads for miracle cures as often as I have. ”Take this one miraculous supplement and your neuropathy will disappear.” Sometimes it’s just, “put this into your shoes and watch the miracles begin.”

Unfortunately, as you well know, neuropathy and most forms of chronic pain (like fibromyalgia and arthritis) need a multi-pronged approach in order for patients to improve—or, whenever possible, recover!

You also understand that quality-of-life is the most important objective for any neuropathy or chronic pain patient.

Now, I’d be the last to want to discount the value of good marketing… just as long as the solutions are ethical and viable.

But I will repeatedly tell you that the one most important thing you can do as a neuropathy patient or family member is to do your homework, very carefully!

This is exactly why at our centers we advocate a multi-pronged approach to treatment. There is no one magic nutrient, therapy, or technique that by itself is going to restore your health immediately.

This is a fact. What is most important, however, is that you keep yourself on track, making incremental—but definite—progress, on a daily basis!

You know I write about this extensively: things such as maintaining a carbohydrate controlled, dairy and gluten-free diet, getting as much physical activity as your condition allows, and really taking the time to understand the impact that a high-sugar and carbohydrate diet has on your health—and how destructive this can be. Understand that sitting for as little as 90 minutes at a time can slow your metabolism dramatically.

All of these things we have written or spoken about on our radio shows and articles during the last 90 days.

Above all, it is critical to be working with healthcare professionals, who are on your side and encourage you to improve your health—not just calm your neuropathy symptoms with medication.

This is what we do all day long—train chronic pain health care professionals to be their very best for you!

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 and Chronic Pain Morning Game Plan

If you or someone you love suffers the misery of chronic pain or neuropathy, you know how these can seemingly run your life. A winning morning game plan for many neuropathy and chronic pain patients is a must.

When conditions like shingles, peripheral neuropathy and back pain linger, a real strategy is needed to best get back control of your life.

Experience in the clinic for over 30 years tells me repeatedly that those patents with routines do far better, suffer less pain and life disruption, including depression.

Game Plan

So what does this Daily game plan look like? Something like this:

Get up at a set time every day. Be sure to stay well dressed and completely warm and comfortable year round. Next, drink a warm beverage like coffee or tea. Use stevia instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners. Ideally, you’ll be sipping during quiet prayer or meditation, even if just for a little while. There’s nothing wrong with longer periods either!

Within 30 minutes of rising, eat a high protein meal. Could be a couple omega 3 eggs, or a protein shake. No bagels, toast or English muffins allowed this early!

Next, some light activity like a walk, gentle bike ride, and some stretching. It’s crucial that you stay well fed and warm to get the most pain reduction and healing benefits.

After a shower or bath, get yourself to therapy if it’s a treatment day.

If not, engage in some good self-treatment! Typically my patents use a home care kit of some type. Along with medications, this may include dietary supplements, heat packs, topical and often an electric neurostimulator. This could take up to an hour.

And then, get on to your day! Remember, a gluten and dairy free diet high in vegetables and lean protein works best for most neuropathy and pain patients. Low carbohydrate, high quality snacks like nuts and small amounts of fruit should be consumed so your are never going more than 3 hours without refueling. Keep your life as simple and free of distraction as possible.

At the end of your day, repeat the all the great self care and stick to the diet plan above!

This has proven to be a winning morning routine for many neuropathy and chronic pain patients, and I hope for you too!

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

Sensory vs. Motor Neuropathy

Spend any time on the Internet, and you would think that all neuropathies are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth actually.

Neuropathy is actually a group of disorders; some are relatively simple, some extraordinarily complex. So we strongly recommend that in addition to everything you can do at home, you put a true neuropathy professional in charge of your care. A neuropathy professional can help you understand the type of neuropathy you have, and how best to treat it.

Sensory vs. Motor Neuropathy

Let’s spend a little time talking about the differences between sensory and motor neuropathy. Sensory neuropathy is just as it sounds—that is, neuropathy where patient experience issues related to sensation. For example, patients with a sensory neuropathy may have decreased sensation, commonly described as numbness—or increased sensation such as burning, tingling, and pain.

Other patients will have simply a loss of sensation. Too often, related to loss of sensation, is the experience of losing one’s balance. As you know, this can be devastating to the neuropathy patient.

The most common forms of neuropathy are largely sensory. This includes early diabetic neuropathy, most chemotherapy-related neuropathy, and those due to metabolic syndrome.

In motor neuropathy, there is a loss of muscle power, and often muscle size and strength. As the name suggests, motor neuropathy can be accompanied by significant weakness.

As a general rule, motor neuropathies are serious, and more difficult to treat. A certain portion of motor neuropathies may be genetic in nature, and can be very difficult to diagnose.

Some motor neuropathy can be the result of serious infections, like Lyme disease, and represent true medical emergencies.

Although frustrating to both patients and doctors alike, a totally accurate diagnosis in some cases of motor neuropathy is impossible—or to do so would involve very expensive genetic testing.

Regardless of the cause of your underlying neuropathy, we feel that good self-treatment is essential.

Cases that have been labeled as hopeless sometimes show improvement with proper nutrition, good physical therapy, and appropriate neurostimulation techniques.

Even in genetic cases of neuropathy, where nerve function is impaired, patients sometimes will sometimes respond to energy simulation techniques, including appropriate supplements like CoQ10.

This is why we strongly recommend that in addition to everything you can do at home, you put a true neuropathy professional in charge of your care.

It will make a big difference in your outcome.

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

Overcome Anxiety and Depression with Good Neuropathy Treatment

One of the things that is perhaps universal among patients who suffer from chronic pain and neuropathy is the manifestation of both anxiety and depression. But good neuropathy treatment can go a long way towards helping patients overcome these feelings.

Unfortunately, these feelings often don’t receive the attention they deserve. What you may not know is that part of the development of anxiety and depression is the result of nervous system reactions. A solid neuropathy treatment plan often helps patients get back those feelings of well-being that can sometimes seem only a distant memory.

I’m firmly convinced that part of this development is simply sensitization of the nervous system to all the changes that peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain can bring. This is also why I am convinced EVERY neuropathy and chronic pain patient should own a home self-treatment kit as part of their neuropathy treatment plan.

These feelings of anxiety and depression are very common, and suffered by most neuropathy patients. But seldom are they talked about honestly and openly with family or clinicians.

Yes, quite frankly, this is a mistake.

There ARE a couple simple things you can do immediately that will help.

First of all, realize there’s often lots you can control about your health—and some things you can’t. Resign yourself to that fact once and for all. Meditate or pray on this one if need be, as it really helps! It’s one of the great paradoxes of life—however, once accepted as fact, it can make a tremendous difference in your level of mental health and well-being.

And for everything you can change, such as your diet, lifestyle, mental health habits, attitude, etc… accept one hundred percent responsibility right now! Each of these factors can make or break your neuropathy treatment plan!

Along these lines, there are several other things I suggest you explore to get the most out of your neuropathy treatment. Number one, make sure you have as simple and low stress a lifestyle as you possibly can.

I have seen many patients make extensive progress on the road back to health by simply practicing everything we’ve said in the last few paragraphs.

I have written extensively about designating enough “Me” time. It’s a mistake to neglect yourself above others—and this includes parents, relatives, and children.

Number two: with severe depression including thoughts of suicide, you need professional guidance immediately!

Ask for help, and make sure you get it. Today!

Where these are unavailable, a trusted friend, clergy member, or advisor may be the next best thing.

And as always, discuss the best neuropathy treatment options available to you with your treating clinician. The sooner you get on the road to wellness, the better you will find that you feel.

Above all, recognize you are not alone.

 

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

Laser Therapy and Neuropathy

It could be that laser therapy is the “missing link” in some forms of neuropathy treatment!

Laser therapy has been used in medicine for many years. They’ve been around since about 1960 or so when a now famous scientist produced these “focused light beams” in the laboratory.

These ultra focused light beams can be used at high intensity to seal tissue and aid surgeons, dentists, and dermatologists in their daily work with patients. At lower intensity, they have had applications in physical therapy and neuropathy treatment for some time too.

Now, lasers are everywhere, everything from CD Players, printers and measuring devices to military weapons. I’m sure you may even have seen a few of your own!

So what does laser have to do with neuropathy treatment?

Well, it could be that laser therapy is the “missing link” in some forms of neuropathy treatment!

As we discuss together frequently, no neuropathy treatment works 100 percent of the time. And that is a key point to remember. We also have talked about effective neuropathy treatment being the result of working only with highly trained neuropathy treatment professionals.

And nowhere is this more apparent than in laser treatments for neuropathy. Even amongst laser neuropathy treatment experts there’s often disagreement as to what makes good neuropathy treatment.

But some techniques in laser neuropathy treatment equipment are looking very promising!

One of our basic attempts when treating neuropathy is to do whatever can help safely and effectively boost your nerve cells use of “energy”.

Along with proper nutrition and electrotherapy, laser may aid energy production in damaged nerves.

The way this may happen is fascinating, but way beyond the scope of this column.

But the good news is more experience and research including our own will help us find even better neuropathy treatments than we have available today!

Always remember though, we go to great lengths every day to be sure our highly trained neuropathy treatment professionals are up to date in the latest, and best forms of neuropathy treatment for you and your family!

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

Understanding Shotgun Therapy

Patients who become the most proactive in their personalized neuropathy treatment programs always do the best.

Shotgun therapy is a term applied in medicine when multiple therapies that are sometimes not exactly complimentary are presented to patients. Don’t get me wrong; sometimes in health crises this can be lifesaving!

But too often, it is we as patients who are guilty of this.

A big example of shotgun therapy is the widespread usage of over the counter cold and pain medications. This has long been a concern of pharmacists and healthcare professionals alike.

Due to a wide degree of variability in patient responses, there are many OTC drug and dietary supplement combinations out there that are probably not beneficial.

Too often herbal based dietary supplements, yes even sometimes those prescribed for neuropathy patients, fall into this category. Far too many of these “neuropathy” treatment formulas have multiple ingredients that can interact in unknown ways.

And unbeknownst to you as a patient, this shotgun therapy approach may actually be more harmful and not helpful.

As I’m sure you are aware, peripheral neuropathy can be a very frustrating condition to treat.

But one of the most frustrating things for both doctors and patients alike is where no clear neuropathy treatment plan is identified.

Every therapy and every medication you take must be part of an overall neuropathy treatment strategy. Even if that strategy is a trial to see what works best for you!

This is why those patients who become the most proactive in their personalized neuropathy treatment programs always do the best.

So as frustrating as it may be at times, I encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and neuropathy treatment options as possible, but do your best to avoid shotgun therapy.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause of your peripheral neuropathy is, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many 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.

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.

Lyme Disease and Neuropathy

If diagnosis and treatment are delayed, the chances of developing peripheral neuropathy increase greatly.

This is been called the great imitator. Unfortunately, patients who suffer through Lyme Disease oftentimes end up with neurologic disorders that mimic a whole host of neurologic conditions, including the development of peripheral neuropathy.

A major reason for concern is the prevalence of Lyme disease and peripheral neuropathy. This illness is endemic in some parts of United States, especially including the Northeast United States and other wooded areas. It is especially prevalent upon the island of Nantucket where I spend a lot of time.

I have seen patients on the island with a variety of neurologic symptoms, as well as arthritic symptoms. Prior to the understanding of that the Lyme Disease bacteria was causing these symptoms, patients were often discounted as having psychiatric conditions.

Now, we (mostly) know better. I still see occasions where clinicians are slow to consider a Lyme diagnosis.

This can be practically dangerous is if the patient is suffering from neurological signs and symptoms. Some of these include tingling, numbness, burning or shooting pains. Sometimes, patients develop Bell’s palsy, a facial nerve paralysis.

It is also very important to understand that the classic presentation of an insect bite and a “bulls eye” rash does not always occur. I’ve seen several cases with an initial presentation of headache, fatigue, and/or flu-like symptoms, usually accompanied by significant fever. Too often, I have seen it misdiagnosed as the flu.

It is very important to establish a diagnosis early. If diagnosis and treatment are delayed, the chances of developing peripheral neuropathy greatly increases.

In addition to neuropathy symptoms, arthritic symptoms can and do often develop.

Establishing the Lyme disease diagnosis early on is essential to successful treatment and shortening neuropathy recovery time!

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

The Benefits of a Carbohydrate-Controlled Diet

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

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

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

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

A healthy diet should include[1]:

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

Foods you should avoid:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Be Your Own Best Neuropathy Advocate

“I’m not sure I have neuropathy, nor is my doctor…”

Unfortunately, this is something we hear all too often at our neuropathy and chronic pain clinic. This is why it is so important to get the knowledge out there in the hands of more competent and caring neuropathy treatment specialists. Being your own neuropathy advocate can also go a long way to ensuring you receive the treatment that you need to ease your symptoms and improve the quality of your life.

One of the worst things we can do for our symptoms is fail to try to treat the sleep disturbance and life disruption that oftentimes accompanies so many illnesses, including the various forms of peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain. This is where you can step in and become your own best neuropathy advocate.

Communicate with your providers. Some of our lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise or lack thereof, alcohol consumption, can exacerbate our symptoms. Be honest with your providers about these issues. And ask them what treatment options are available to you.

At our clinic we strongly recommend drug therapy only as a second, not first, resort!

The good news is there are now effective treatments, including the usage of portable devices like the NDGen, packaged in all our home care kits, which can be used by you or a loved one even at bedtime, which can make a huge difference in the resolution of your neuropathy and pain symptoms.

It’s also important to note that treating early and aggressively like this during the process of neuropathy and pain diagnosis has no negative side effects!

In fact, improving quality of life immediately is one of the reasons for our great NeuropathyDR® treatment success.

But this will require two things:

First, shifting your own mindset. Second, becoming your own neuropathy advocate.

The good news is, when neuropathy and chronic pain treatments are not harmful, and likely to be helpful in the short-term, most physicians and therapists are open-minded, and will go out of their way to help their patients.

But sometimes, it’s not enough to do your own homework. This is where NeuropathyDR® comes in.

One of the things we do all day long is field questions from patients and health care providers regarding our neuropathy treatment program success.

Often times, simply getting the knowledge out there in the hands of more competent and caring neuropathy treatment specialists is all that is needed.

Always remember, we are ready to begin 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.