Low level laser therapy.

Laser Therapy For Neuropathy Treatment?

Laser therapy could be the “missing link” in some forms of neuropathy treatment!

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

These ultra-focused light beams can be used at high intensity to seal tissue, aid surgeons, dentists, and dermatologists in their daily work with patients. And 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 therapy 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 is 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”.

Well, 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 your NeuropathyDR Clinician is 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 subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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

Gluten Neuropathy

Could Gluten and Neuropathy be Connected?

All of us can remember at some point in time, walking into a bakery or kitchen where fresh breads and pastries were being made.

The aroma can be overwhelming and draws us in like magnets.

Now once upon a time most especially when human beings were extremely physically active, bread was in fact the staff of life. There was no problem consuming massive amounts of carbohydrates as long as it was consumed during physical activity.

Well Flash Forward 300 years and the situation is now, entirely different. Not only are we less active but grains are often heavily processed, grown on nutrient deficient soils, or perhaps even GMO.

Breads and pastries are also sources of extremely high carbohydrate levels. In fact a sandwich can have 40 to 60 grams of carbohydrates!

And this has had an effect on neuropathy and our health in general.

With neuropathy, however, the stakes are higher. Gluten can and does cause celiac disease.

Sometimes in celiac disease, the only presentation is a gluten neuropathy.

Most of the time, however, it’s a simple fact that gluten can aggravate our bellies at the least and yes even our aches and pains, including neuropathy.

You see gluten is a gooey protein. That’s what gives bread that wonderful texture.

But most of us who stop eating gluten on regular basis find out quickly how much better we feel.

It appears that this is because even those of us who don’t have celiac disease and even test negative for allergy to gluten, may still be “sensitive”.

In patients suffering from gluten neuropathy, as well as in other patients, it appears that gluten may actually trigger inflammatory reactions. This adds to pain, stiffness, and possibly neuropathy symptoms.

However the evidence is not conclusive, and there are many that would argue this point.

What I can tell you, as a clinician, is that many patients feel so much better we feel it’s worth a try.

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

Chronic Pain Answers

If you suffer from chronic pain the first thing you should do is reach out and look for answers.

As a clinician, the most common problems that present to us in private practice usually involve the skeletal system. For example, headaches and low back pain are the two most common chronic pain complaints heard by many primary care and medical practices.

This true for both acute or new health conditions and but especially chronic conditions.

Now I define chronic conditions as those that have lasted more than six months and have not effectively been treated or managed.

One only has to look at television ads and yes even newspapers from over hundreds of years ago to realize there is nothing new or unique here!

Let’s face it, some pains are just part of life. But when chronic pains and other annoying symptoms become long-term and interfere with our quality of live, they can have devastating consequences.

Now obviously, very little can be done about devastating accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, this is a real and unpleasant fact. Bad things can and do happen to all of us.

So even though we know that the best way to prevent chronic disabling pain is to treat pain appropriately is from the beginning.

This involves much more than just medication. In fact, this is a team effort.

Most of the time pain management should include some type of physical therapy. Physical therapy, chiropractic and other physical therapy is often extremely beneficial especially when applied early on for many types of chronic pain.

This does not mean that chronic pain is not treatable. It just becomes more difficult.

Chronic pain needs to be handled by very experienced physicians and physical therapists. In order to be truly effective long-term, a good portion of this care should include non-drug treatment methods.

And that is in fact what we do every day, all day long in our treatment centers.

So, if you suffer from chronic pain the first thing you should do is reach out and look for answers.

Don’t take no for an answer until you have left no stone unturned!

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

Emotional Support is Vital for Those Who Suffer with Chronic Pain

Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.

Although it may be a shocking idea, your personal support network may be equally as important to your health as your medical treatment team—or any kind of supplemental therapies.

Why? Because the bottom line is that a positive outlook is the best medicine for good health outcomes. If you are feeling contented and supported in your personal relationships, you’ll be much better equipped to cope with pain when it arises.

Unfortunately, many people find it hard to ask for help from their family and friends. We may have heard the message that it was weak or shameful to be dependent on others.

The truth is that when we are able to accept love and support, we’re better equipped to be as independent as possible in our daily lives.

Make a list of people in your life who have helped you in big and small ways in the past, as well as people that would probably be willing to help now if you were to ask.

Now, think about the things that are making your life the most difficult or stressful right now. This list could be anything from a leaky faucet in your kitchen to a pile of medical bills. Just get it all down on paper.

Finally, begin matching the list of stress points with the list of helpers in your life. Who could come over and fix that leaky faucet for you? Who could help you make phone calls to arrange a payment plan for those bills?

You will find that most of the people on your list are grateful for a chance to help you—they just didn’t know what to do that would be truly helpful. And when your stress level decreases (now that the leaky faucet or pile of bills is a thing of the past), your overall health will be optimized. That means chronic pain becomes less of a burden because you’re better able to cope with it.

Building your support network is just one way that you can take control of your own health and overcome chronic pain.

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

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/

clouds-floating

How to Use Meditation for Chronic Neuropathy Treatment

Chronic neuropathy treatment can be supported with meditation—and it doesn’t have to be fancy, structured, or even spiritual in nature. Here’s a list of 5 ways to begin a meditation practice today on your own, for free.

When you think of meditation, do you picture a very serene-looking monk sitting cross-legged on a cushion? Or maybe a young man or woman in yoga gear on a cliff by the ocean? Maybe you’ve heard that there’s only one right way to meditate, and you’d need to watch a DVD or attend a class to find out how.

Well I have great news for you! The truth is that you don’t need a class, a DVD, or a perfect body to meditate. You don’t even have to sit on a cushion on the floor. Best of all, meditating is so easy, you can start today.

Here are 5 kinds of meditation that don’t require any kind of training. You can start with just 5 or 10 minutes each day.

1. Sitting meditation

Sitting doesn’t have to mean sitting on a cushion. You can sit upright in any chair that is comfortable for you. The key factor is in having appropriate posture. Think of your head as a balloon that is rising toward the ceiling on a string; let it float over your shoulders. Now think of having a strong, upright back and an open, receiving heart. Sit in this way for 5 to 10 minutes and just notice any thoughts or feelings that arise, like clouds floating by in the sky.

2. Walking meditation

This is a special way of walking that holds less danger of repetitive stress, because you won’t cover much ground in 5 minutes. It might more accurately be called balancing meditation. Simply slow down each step and notice every aspect of it: shifting your weight onto one foot, letting the other foot rise forward, contacting the ground, shifting your weight again. Then repeat on the other side. It’s just like walking, but at a glacial pace that allows you to really notice the sensations of movement and balance.

3. Meditating in bed

For those who find sitting or walking meditation too painful due to neuropathy symptoms, the wonderful thing to know about meditation is that you can do it in any position—even lying down. (The Buddha himself said so!) The key practice isn’t your body position, although it’s best to be in a posture that allows for effective breathing. Instead, the key is in noticing sensations and thoughts and simply allowing them to pass by without judgment.

4. Mindfully doing a creative act

Meditation doesn’t even have to happen in stillness. It’s possible to engage in a daily meditative practice involving any creative act, such as cooking or creating music. Again, the key to a meditative practice is in being fully aware in each moment of how you are feeling, what you’re thinking, and what judgments are arising about the situation. If you find that your attention drifts, just gently bring it back to this moment.

5. Mindfully completing any household chore

Finally, meditation works with any activity, regardless of its nature. The dullest of household chores can be a form of meditation if they are done mindfully—that is, with your attention on sensation and awareness. For example, when you are washing the dishes after dinner, spend those 10 minutes noticing how the soapy water feels on your hands and being aware of the pattern of your breathing.

Meditation of any kind can be an effective stress relief and a self-help supplement for your chronic neuropathy treatment.

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

healing chronic disease with the power of positive attitude

Healing Chronic Disease with the Power of Positive Attitude

How to Transform Negative Self-Talk into Positivity for Healing Chronic Disease

The bad news: Negative self-talk can be very damaging to your health.

The good news: You can easily learn to transform negative self-talk into positive thinking that can actively help you in healing chronic disease; from diabetes to cancer.

What is negative self-talk?

This is the term for the kind of demeaning, insulting, or belittling internal messages that we give ourselves when we are frustrated by our perceived failings. “I’m so stupid.” “I always mess up.” “Nobody could ever love me.”

These messages are so hurtful because they are based on labeling and judgment. They tell you that there is something wrong with you as a person. When your goal is healing chronic disease, negative self-talk tells you that instead of getting better, you ought to BE a better person.

You wouldn’t allow your best friend to talk this way to herself. It’s time to become your own best friend and intervene in negative self-talk. All you have to do is learn to break the pattern and replace negativity with truly healing actions that support you in healing chronic disease. Remember that healing begins from within, and you have total control over the mindset that is either helping or hurting your chance at optimum health.

Begin by simply noticing during the day when you use negative self-talk. Write down what the circumstances were, what you said or thought to yourself that was negative, and how those thoughts made you feel. Then, pick one recurring negative thought and decide how you will turn it around into a healing action.

For example, if you have noticed that you think to yourself “I’m such a klutz,” use this thought as a cue to notice what you need. The next time you catch yourself thinking about being a klutz, stop and say, “What do I need right now?” Maybe it’s a rest break, some water to rehydrate you, or a kind word from a good friend. Then take that healing action.

We think of negative self-talk as “automatic thoughts,” but the truth is that you can break the negative cycle and turn the negative into a positive. Let your negative thoughts be a signal that it’s time for a wellness check-in to find what your body needs right now. Soon, every moment will become a healing moment on the path to healing chronic disease.

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

Stopping Chronic Pain

Stopping Chronic Pain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These services offered all of our clinics throughout the US!

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

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

Taking Charge of Your Health

Is Your Neuropathy Making You Feel Like You’ve Lost Control?

Neuropathy symptoms can make you feel like your health has spun out of control. But regardless of the particulars of your situation, there’s one thing for sure—anxiety and disappointment about the state of your personal healthcare are likely exacerbating your symptoms.

The number one reason to step in and take charge of your own wellness is that feeling in control will make you feel better. Anxiety can compound existing symptoms (such as trouble sleeping) and create new ones by putting the focus on what’s not working. But it’s important to remember that you DO have control over many of the factors that can positively influence your health in a big way.

Many people come to us looking for a “magic bullet,” one simple pill or procedure that will cure neuropathy overnight and permanently. They want a neuropathy treatment formula in a bottle like a one-a-day supplement.

Of course, there are many medically-based aspects to our treatment program, but there are also several significant components of the program that are completely in your control as beneficial lifestyle changes to impact neuropathy. Here are just two simple examples of things that YOU can control in your healthcare, starting today.

First, begin making small, gradual improvements in your diet. Start by weaning away from sodas and processed foods. Notice that you don’t have to go cold turkey or give them up “forever.” Just switch to thinking of them as occasional treats. Choose organic and local produce and other foods whenever you can. Seek out natural and healthy alternatives to your usual meal routine.

Second, get moving. Many people shudder at the thought of doing “exercise”. Forget all that and just start moving more than usual—a walk around the block twice a day, slow-dancing to the oldies in your living room, or even vigorous housework or gardening are all candidates for healthy and fun exercise. Make sure you check with your doctor first to find out what’s appropriate for you.

The key is to think of “diet and exercise” not as unreachable fitness goals but as things you already incorporate into your everyday life. Just introduce a small shift in the WAY you do these things, and let a tiny pebble of intention turn into an avalanche of increased health!

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

foot stretches for neuropathy pain

Relieve Neuropathy Pain and Discomfort with These Simple Stretches

A Series of Simple Daily Stretches Could Help You to Reduce Neuropathy Pain and Discomfort

Neuropathy pain can lead you to feel immobilized. It’s easy to gradually become fearful of making the pain and discomfort worse by moving around too much, in the belief that too much exercise could increase your pain.

But in truth, mild exercise is likely to actually help you feel better on a daily basis. If moderate exercise causes more neuropathic pain for you, try some of these simple stretches, which you can even do lying down or in bed. You can repeat each stretch five or six times.

  1. First, gently spread your fingers wide apart, then loosely close them into a fist. Spread your toes wide, then curl them up.
  2. Next, begin making circles with your wrists and ankles. Be sure to rotate in both directions several times.
  3. Now pull your hands in toward your shoulders and bend your knees in gently toward your chest. Gently relax back into your original position.
  4. Slowly bring up your arms toward your ears, then back down to a resting position.
  5. Last, lift one leg as far as you comfortably can while keeping your knee straight. Gently lower the leg, then repeat on the other side.

These stretches are great for anyone with neuropathy pain that results in limited range of motion. They can help to improve circulation in your legs and arms in addition to giving your joints a gentle workout.

Remember, even mild and occasional exercise is helpful in keeping yourself as healthy and pain-free as possible. Start at a very slow pace, only going as far as you feel comfortable, and then build up your stretching stamina on a daily or weekly basis. Of course, be sure to speak with your NeuropathyDR® clinician before initiating any new exercise program.

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

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.

Is Peripheral Neuropathy Causing Your Sleep Disturbances?

For Peripheral Neuropathy Sufferers, Sleep Disturbances Can Cause Serious Symptom that Can’t Be Ignored

Did you know that more than 70 percent of people with neuropathy also struggle with insomnia? When chronic pain and tingling in feet or hands is keeping you awake at night, it’s a good bet that you’re not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep that you need for good overall health.

There are mixed reasons why neuropathic pain is tied to sleep problems. Pain associated with peripheral neuropathy has a tendency to feel more intense at night, when you’re tired and when there are fewer distractions available to break your focus on the pain.

What’s more, there may be another strong tie between insomnia and neuropathy. Sleep apnea is a very common cause of sleep disorders, and research has indicated that untreated sleep apnea can actually lead to peripheral neuropathy symptoms. And if you’re diabetic and resistant to insulin, sleep apnea may be even more likely to affect your neuropathy.

Of course, it stands to reason that lack of adequate sleep can make your peripheral neuropathy symptoms seem even worse than before. It’s a fact that lack of sleep tends to lower one’s pain threshold significantly.

Here are some of our guidelines for improving sleep when dealing with peripheral neuropathy:

  • Limit your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Institute a sleep routine that helps you wind down at night and go to sleep at about the same time every evening.
  • Don’t eat a large or heavy meal late in the evening. If your body is hard at work on digestion, it’s not resting.
  • Make any needed changes to your bedroom to induce restful sleep, including temperature, darkness, and noise.
  • Limit electronics at night, including television, computers, and any handheld devices. These have a stimulating effect on your brain. If you need an activity to help you sleep, try reading an actual book!

These are simple guidelines that can help you institute lasting positive change in your sleep patterns, hopefully leading to reduced peripheral neuropathy discomfort. But true relief can come only with the support of a trained NeuropathyDR clinician who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR clinician in your area.

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

 

The Key Elements of a Beneficial Neuropathy Diet

Nutrition Plays a Big Role in Healing Neuropathy—Poor Nutrition Can Make Your Symptoms Worse.

Neuropathy symptoms resulting from conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, lupus, diabetes, or shingles can make life pretty miserable. Unfortunately, a medical treatment program focused on managing neuropathy only through injections or other medication may ultimately provide you with little relief.
That’s because so many symptoms of neuropathy are caused or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. Only by addressing those key elements missing in your diet can you see substantial and long-term improvement in neuropathy pain.

A beneficial neuropathy diet is especially important for you if you’re also dealing with gastritis, Crohn’s disease, or similar types of digestive issues. In that case, your body is simply not able to absorb the nutrients needed from the foods you eat, leading to chronic vitamin deficiency that over time can encourage neuropathy symptoms. As you can see, your body’s ability to process nutrients properly can have systemic effects that go beyond your digestive system to alter your quality of life.

Fortunately, what this means is that you can take charge of your neuropathy symptoms by making dietary changes. Following a neuropathy diet, along with other supportive treatments recommended by your NeuropathyDR® clinician, is likely to manifest noticeable differences in your symptoms.

Key Elements of a Neuropathy Diet

A nutritional plan for neuropathy should include the following:

  • Lots of veges, beans and peas otherwise known as legumes and with any grains always going gluten free; these can be a great source of B vitamins to support nerve health.
  • Eggs and fish, which contain additional B vitamins including B1 and B12.
  • Fruits and vegetables with a yellow or orange color, including yellow bell peppers, squash, oranges, and carrots, which contain vitamin C and vitamin A for an immune system boost.
  • Kale, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables that offer magnesium and calcium for your immune system and nerve health.
  • Foods rich in vitamin E (avocado, almonds, unsalted peanuts, tomatoes, unsalted sunflower seeds, fish).

If there are any nutrient gaps in your neuropathy diet due to an inability to eat some of the foods listed above, your clinician will work with you to provide an appropriate supplement.

Remember, one key way that you can take charge of your health starting today is to implement beneficial dietary changes. Your neuropathy diet can make all the difference in the world.

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.

Neuropathy or Chronic Pain?

Neuropathy self-treatment often includes self-prescribed medication.

If you felt better, you would change your outlook on things pretty quickly.

While beginning to take a hard look at your own self-care, one of the most important things to do is some form of effective pain control that does not create potentially damaging side effects.

How, you might ask, is this possible?

By applying some more simple solutions wherever possible.

The reason this is so important is that too many patients will blow off early warning signs in many illnesses and attempt to self-treat. Often times this self-treatment includes some form of self-prescribed medication regimen.

Numerous over-the-counter products are tried often, to little or no avail. Yet silently they could be creating liver or kidney damage.

Here’s the most common example.

Did you know that acetaminophen is the number one cause of liver failure?

This is one of the reasons that patients often times will consume multiple preparations and prescriptions that otherwise contain this compound. Sometimes patients fail to discuss with their physicians which over-the-counter medications they are taking, thinking they are insignificant.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Many professionals prescribe pain products that also contain acetaminophen. In the beginning they may help you feel better, but the long-term side effects are devastating unless closely monitored.

So we suggest the very FIRST thing rather than last is the application of these critical pain control measures.

As simple as it sounds, a tightly carbohydrate controlled (sugar, soda, and sweets elimination) diet can really make an enormous difference. The reason for this is that even borderline elevations of blood sugar over time can make you stiff, sore, and predisposed towards inflammation and the resulting internal pain.

Whenever necessary, professionally supervised oral and topical medications, which may be decreased or limited over time can be applied within clinic strategies and at home tools like Neurostim.

Although not an overnight cure, many patients who employ these strategies, especially under supervision, do incredibly well!

Remember it takes years to get ill, and a long time to turn things around or recover.

The sooner you begin a more diligent self-care program, the sooner you will see the results no matter what caused your peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, or other chronic pain.

Remember, we are here to help, but YOU must reach out and grab it!

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.

Do you have Pain, Neuropathy, and Stress?

If we already suffer from a painful condition like peripheral neuropathy, stress makes it worse.

As a reader of this column, you already understand the relationship between diet, lifestyle, and your health.

You probably already know to that inflammation and “inflammatory states”, even at microscopic level, can cause a whole host of human illnesses, ranging from arthritis to cancer and heart disease.

The more inflammation we suffer, the more pain and disease we can endure. This is also why we are continually writing about easily correctable factors such as diet, certain supplements, adequate water intake, etc.

A key component of health is stress management. Stress is something that all human beings deal with on a daily basis. Some of us are confronted with enormous periods of stress and remain healthy.

But we all have our limits. Sooner or later, our bodies experience breakdown. And if we already suffer from a painful condition like peripheral neuropathy, stress makes it worse. But why is this so?

We know that inflammatory diets, such as those high in sugar, can aggravate pain, as can our environments, physical activity, and a many other external factors.

Scientists have finally made the connection between stress and pain.

A research team at Carnegie Mellon Institute in Philadelphia discovered that stress significantly affects our body’s ability to regulate inflammation.

Not only can stress affect hormone production, but it can affect the way our immune cells and immune system response to attacks by things like viruses.

And, everybody knows, inflammation causes pain!

For example, how bad does a sunburn or deep scratch hurt? When you look at these, you notice the swelling, redness ,and sometimes extreme discoloration. These are all signs of inflammation.

If we are relatively healthy, our bodies will respond relatively quickly. Within two weeks we never knew anything happened.

But what happens if you can’t control inflammation properly?

That scratch or sunburn may worsen, or could develop a serious complication like an infection. We all know how badly they can hurt.

So, when inflammation is not regulated properly internally, our pain levels will increase; we are more predisposed to everything from the common cold to more significant illness and disease. The longer this goes on, the worse it becomes.

It’s been said that the first step to improvement is knowledge, so in our upcoming posts we’ll talk about some practical stress management techniques for those who suffer from many forms of pain and, of course, peripheral neuropathy.

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