One of the things that we see frequently are patients with pain or neuropathy symptoms for many years before having a professional evaluation. In these cases, it is so crucial to have very thorough evaluation before jumping to conclusions about what may or may not be going on. Making assumptions that are not based in fact is dangerous. This is a big reason you need to ask for a common-sense approach to neuropathy treatment.
Too often, patients search for answers without an accurate diagnosis and thus never have effective treatment. This is becoming more common, especially when the only consulting “doctors” have been Facebook and Google. This also means that too often today the actual conditions underlying or aggravating neuropathy are going untreated.
The consequences of this are dangerous. The longer you delay proper evaluation and treatment, the more difficult effective treatment could actually be.
This is not to say every case of neuropathy is curable; unfortunately, it is not.
But we now understand the impact of things like lifestyle, cigarette smoking, and body weight have on most forms of peripheral neuropathy, and related disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
So here’s the best advice we can give you. Realize just how important it is to get the most accurate diagnosis possible and then proper treatment that targets the overall improvement of your health—early! Work with healthcare professionals that understand all possible underlying causes of your situation.Be sure to identify any correctable things such as poor diet, cigarette smoking, et cetera.
Above all, it is important to take responsibility for your own care, in your own health. Neuropathy and chronic pain are not one-size-fits-all disorders. Patients who do the best realize this—and take action every single day.
Be sure to get regular physical activity as tolerated. Ask for proven modern treatments including neurostimulation and laser.
Finally, listen to your body. Pay attention to what it is telling you. Years from now, you’ll be glad you did.
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Sleep disturbance is a very common human condition. In fact, sometimes it’s unavoidable. For most of us, fortunately, sleep disturbances are mild and brief. This is When Counting Sheep Won’t Stop Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms…
Space your meals and pay attention to things like too much sugar or too much caffeine.
However, when sleep disturbances or insomnia last for long periods of time, they can cause serious health problems.
Last time, we spoke extensively about RLS, or Restless Leg Syndrome. As you probably now know, RLS is often associated with peripheral neuropathy.
So let’s talk a bit more about sleep. Sleep is the time when both your brain and your body rest.
It’s part of normal 24-hour, or, Circadian, rhythms. During the normal sleep rhythms of the body, certain functions such as changes in our body temperature (which help induce sleep), and hormone levels that control things such as appetite take place.
But when things like peripheral neuropathy, restless leg syndrome, or even simple stress intervene, the net result is disturbance in all of the above. So, side effects from sleep disturbance can include weight gain, muscle aches and pains, overall lack of energy, and sometimes serious depression.
But what is the neuropathy sufferer to do? Well, fortunately, there are several things that can be done. First of all, work with your doctors to take appropriate dosages of medications, when absolutely necessary.
We also strongly suggest that you keep yourself is active during the day, if your condition allows. Wherever possible, this should include some exercise in bright sunlight.
Stay well hydrated. Dehydration or too much water consumption late in the day also disturbs sleep.
Space your meals and pay attention to things like too much sugar or too much caffeine.
Magnesium supplementation taken throughout the day may also be very helpful. We commonly suggest 200 to 400 mg of NDGen Magnesium per day into divided dosages. Never do this without your doctor’s knowledge, and never in the presence of kidney disease.
Finally, if you have not already taking advantage of one of our NDGen Home Care Kits which includes a unique neurostimulator, you should know that one of the chief reasons for owning these is that they can greatly help reduce painful symptoms when used 1-2 hours before bed—and thus help you sleep more easily.
They’re so easy to use, they will even shut themselves off with a built-in timer, which means you can go to bed with them on. Gentle electric stimulation often helps you feel better in a number of different ways. Don’t let sleep disturbance—whether due to peripheral neuropathy, RLS or some other condition—continue.
Pay attention to diet, and stress reduction. All of these things, plus the use of your NDGen home care kit will greatly facilitate a good night’s rest!
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When Counting Sheep Won’t Stop Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists
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No. All the peripheral neuropathies are not the same. We find, though, that the patients who present with peripheral neuropathy, regardless of the cause, do have remarkably similar symptoms.
The good news with our treatment program has been that even in the presence of similar symptoms from different etiologies (causes), the corrective care for is often remarkably effective regardless of the primary cause. That is the beauty of the treatment system that we have been able to employ.
In order to find out what components of peripheral neuropathy you have, your doctor will need to conduct a very thorough evaluation. This will include things such as your vital signs, body mass index, the mobility and range of motion of your lower back and hips, and the overall health of your feet, skin, nails and hair, blood vessels and circulation. This might include Doppler ultrasound, a simple painless test to check for blood flow or blockages.
As the doctor performs her clinical examination, she’ll also perform a very thorough neurological examination including reflexes, muscle-testing, and sensation to touch using a device as simple as a pin, a brush or perhaps even a pinwheel. Doctors commonly will also check your vibration sensation, which very often is disturbed in peripheral neuropathy. This is done painlessly and very easily through the use of simple tuning forks. Your balance will be assessed.
Laboratory tests may very well be performed. These would include things such as a chemistry panel, kidney and liver function. Your doctor will also want to double check your blood sugar levels and more than likely perform a hemoglobin A1c.
This particular test is very good at identifying patients who may be borderline diabetic.
We find many patients who present with neuropathy symptoms have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes but may very well suffer from what’s called metabolic syndrome. This is when your body abnormally handles blood sugar, which may unfortunately lead to the development of neuropathy and other diabetic complications well before the formal diagnosis is made.
All the more reason to really be sure to work with the most knowledgeable physicians.
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“Doctor, my blood sugar is just a little off–that can’t cause Neuropathy…”
Unfortunately, the reverse is probably true.
Here is reality: Aggressive treatment of both metabolic syndrome and diabetes can lessen the progression and the severity of one of the most common forms of peripheral neuropathy.
We have written extensively about diabetes and metabolic syndrome. We talk often about about how carrying excess body fat impairs our body’s ability to process blood fats and blood sugars.
There’s also really good evidence and multiple clinical studies that show even borderline elevations in the blood sugar over long periods of time make patients more likely to develop peripheral neuropathy.
So how does this slight elevation of blood sugar and blood fats or triglycerides cause neuropathy? Unfortunately, nobody is 100% sure. But there are several good theories.
The most likely explanation is that excess amounts of circulating fats and sugar interfere with your delicate nerves’ ability to take in critical nutrients, including oxygen.
Over a long period time, these can eventually manifest as the tingling, numbness, and burning so commonly found in peripheral neuropathy.
Because it is a well-known fact that patients with metabolic syndrome can likely develop a number of diseases, including heart disease and high blood pressure–as well as peripheral neuropathy—it is critical to attempt to reverse the changes wherever possible.
If frank diabetes develops, it is necessary to treat it as aggressively as possible with minimal side effects. We do know that aggressive treatment of both metabolic syndrome and diabetes can lessen the progression and the severity of one of the most common forms of peripheral neuropathy. But what happens if you’ve done all the right things and your neuropathy persists?
This is the most common presentation we now see in our clinics.
This is because so many more enlightened patients are taking charge of their health by improving their diet and starting to exercise on a regular basis.
And this is how we should all first approach patients with neuropathy and chronic nerve pain.
Let our team help you too.
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If you’ve been diagnosed with neuropathy as a result of
- HIV/AIDS or some other autoimmune disease
You probably have more questions than answers.
Neuropathy is probably the one symptom you never expected when you received your diagnosis.
To understand why you developed neuropathy, it helps to understand exactly what neuropathy is.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system controls communication between your brain and your spinal cord and every other part of your body. When you pick up a hot pan and feel the pain of the burn, that’s the peripheral nervous system at work.
When the peripheral nervous system is damaged by whatever your other condition is, the communication super highway of the peripheral nervous system is disrupted. The signals from the brain and spinal cord don’t make it to whatever part of the body is affected by your neuropathy. It’s like going into a dead zone with your cell phone and not having any “bars”. Your nerves just don’t make the proper connection.
And neuropathy doesn’t just affect the hands and feet. It can affect your digestive system, your cardiovascular system, your reproductive system, even your brain.
What Causes Neuropathy?
Any number of things can cause your neuropathy. Here are a couple of common examples:
If you have diabetes and 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. Sort of like a potted plant that doesn’t get enough sunlight or water. Your nerves will wither and cease to function, just like your sunlight deprived plant.
If you HIV/AIDS or some other autoimmune disease, your immune system begins to attack your body and that can include your nervous system. That causes damage to the peripheral nerves.
Any of the conditions we discussed earlier can cause neuropathy because they all can damage your nervous system. The damage and the part of the nervous system damaged can vary as much as the patients with neuropathy but any of these illnesses places you at a much higher risk than the average person for developing neuropathy.
What Happens Once Those Nerves Are Damaged?
If your nervous system is damaged you can experience
- 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
Your NeuropathyDR® specialist has an exclusive treatment protocol with proven results for 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 neuropathy, contact your local NeuropathyDR® and take full advantage of their expertise in the treatment of neuropathies.
For more information on coping with diabetic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com.
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:
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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 autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com