What You Need To Know About Hypoglycemia and Autonomic Neuropathy

What You Need To Know About Hypoglycemia and Autonomic Neuropathy

If you have diabetes and have already experienced hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) you already know you can have a serious problem.

That problem is hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia can occur in anyone with diabetes, especially if they’re taking medication but especially injected insulin to lower their blood glucose.  If you have type 1 diabetes and you’re insulin dependent, you stand a higher chance of developing hypoglycemia.

The symptoms might be mild and easy for you to recognize.  However, the symptoms can be severe enough to cause you to lose consciousness…

If those prospects concern you, they should.  The really frightening thing is this –

You Might Not Even Know You Have A Problem

Most people expect hypoglycemic episodes to come with classic symptoms[1]:

∙           Tremor

∙           Sweating

∙           Heart palpitations

That doesn’t always happen.  If you’ve had type 1 diabetes for a long period of time and try to keep your blood glucose levels close to normal, you may not even realize you have a problem.

Here’s why:

If you have type 1 diabetes, when your blood glucose levels fall, your insulin levels don’t decrease and your glucagon levels don’t increase.  They just reflect your body’s absorption of insulin.  When that happens, your body loses its first two lines of defense against the imbalance in your system.  Your body’s normal response is impaired.

What Causes the Impairment[2]?

Several things –

∙           Your brain may have become used to hypoglycemia because it’s been dealing with it for awhile. If you’ve had frequent episodes, the system in your body that’s responsible for transporting adrenaline to where it’s needed no longer senses a great need.  It just doesn’t respond.

∙           You may be using medications that mask your hypoglycemia symptoms and not even know it. You may not experience the tremors or heart palpitations that another person would during a hypoglycemic episode.

All of these are reasons (especially if you are insulin dependent) you should be checking and recording your blood sugars at least 4 times per day. It is so critical to use a good monitor and always have supplies on hand.

One last thing. Ask your doctor about having hypoglycemia recovery tools like glucose (sugar) tablets on hand for a low blood sugar emergency.

About Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy in itself is not a disease.  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.

The autonomic nervous system is the body’s back up plan for dealing with hypoglycemia.  When it malfunctions, it can lead to a world of problems.  Imagine 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.  In your case as a patient with diabetic hypoglycemia, your autonomic neuropathy could be keeping your liver from producing insulin.

If you have diabetes, you need to take every precaution to maintain proper glucose levels.  Make sure you report any change in your condition to your doctor immediately.

If you’ve developed autonomic neuropathy as a result of your hypoglycemia, prompt treatment is your best bet to avoid serious and possibly deadly complications.  Early intervention with a NeuropathyDR® clinician is a good place to start.  If you already have symptoms, start treatment immediately.  If you take beta blockers or you’ve had frequent episodes of hypoglycemia in the past, see your doctor immediately and make sure you’re on a good preventative regimen.

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.

 

Peripheral Neuropathy and Your Quality of Life

Peripheral Neuropathy and Your Quality of Life

If you’re suffering from peripheral neuropathy, you know how much it affects your life.

Every single day…

Even the simplest tasks can be difficult if not impossible…

To anyone unfamiliar with peripheral neuropathy and its symptoms, they might just think “your nerves hurt a little…”

But at a peripheral neuropathy sufferer, you know better…

Peripheral neuropathy not only affects your health, it can wreck your quality of life.

The ND Clinician is a Highly Trained Specialist

The ND Clinician is Highly Trained To Help You!

How Do You Define Quality of Life?

Generally speaking, Quality of Life is a term used to measure a person’s overall well-being. In medical terms, it usually means how well a patient has adapted to a medical condition.  It measures[1]:

  • Your physical and material well being
  • Your social relationships – how you interact with others
  • Your social activities
  • Your personal fulfillment – your career, any creative outlets you may have, how involved you are with other interests)
  • Your recreational activities – your hobbies, sports, etc.
  • Your actual health – what your health is really like and how healthy you believe you are

How do you feel about these aspects of your life?  Your attitude and approach to your illness, both your neuropathy and the underlying cause of your neuropathy (i.e., diabetes, HIV/AIDS, lupus, etc.) can make a huge difference in how well you adapt to your neuropathy symptoms.

Neuropathy Symptoms Aren’t Just Physical

The pain of peripheral neuropathy falls into the category of what is considered chronic pain.  It usually doesn’t just come and go.  You can’t just pop a couple of aspirin and forget about it.  It’s pain with its root cause in nerve damage.

The nerves that actually register pain are the actual cause of the pain.  When you’re in that kind of pain on a consistent basis, it affects you in many different ways[2]:

  • You become depressed and/or anxious
  • Your productivity and interest at work is disrupted
  • You can’t sleep
  • It’s difficult for you to get out and interact with other people so you feel isolated
  • You sometimes don’t understand why you’re not getting better

What You Can Do To Improve Your Quality of Life

You may feel like your situation is hopeless, especially if you’ve become mired in depression.

But it isn’t.

There are things you can do to lessen the physical (and emotional) effects of peripheral neuropathy and help you function as normally as possible:

  • Pay special attention to caring for your feet.  Inspect them daily for cuts, pressure spots, blisters or calluses (use a mirror to look at the bottom of your feet).   The minute you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician for help.  Never go barefoot – anywhere.
  • Treat yourself to a good foot massage to improve your circulation and reduce pain.  Check with your insurance company – if massage is actually prescribed by your doctor, they may cover some of the cost.
  • Only wear shoes that are padded, supportive and comfortable and never wear tight socks.
  • If you smoke, quit.  Nicotine decreases circulation and if you’re a peripheral neuropathy patient, you can’t risk that.
  • Cut back on your caffeine intake.  Several studies have found that caffeine may actually make neuropathy pain worse.
  • If you sit at a desk, never cross your knees or lean on your elbows.  The pressure will only make your nerve damage worse.
  • Be really careful when using hot water.  Your peripheral neuropathy may affect the way you register changes in temperature and it’s really easy for you to burn yourself and not even realize it.
  • Use a “bed cradle” to keep your sheets away from your feet if you experience pain when trying to sleep.  That will help you rest.
  • Try to be as active as possible.  Moderate exercise is great for circulation and it can work wonders for your emotional and mental health.
  • Make your home as injury proof as possible – install bath assists and/or hand rails and never leave anything on the floor that you can trip over.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.  If you don’t know what you should and shouldn’t eat, talk to your NeuropathyDR® clinician about a personalized diet plan to maintain proper weight and give your body what it needs to heal.
  • Try to get out as often as possible to socialize with others.

We hope this information helps you to better manage your peripheral neuropathy symptoms.  Take a look at the list above and see how many of these things you’re already doing to help yourself. Then talk to your local NeuropathyDR® clinician about help with adding the others to your daily life.

For more information on improving your quality of life when dealing with peripheral neuropathy, get our Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com.


Motor Neuropathy Care- Long Term Strategies are Key

Motor Neuropathy Care- Long Term Strategies are Key

If you are a regular NeuropathyDR® blog reader, you know that we tend to focus on the latest developments and research in treating neuropathy pain.  With peripheral neuropathy, though, pain is only one component.  This week, we’re going to talk about how neuropathy can affect your muscles, also called motor neuropathy.

There are essentially three kinds of motor neuropathy.  The first is the overall weakening effect of the muscles, especially in the extremities, which often accompanies peripheral neuropathy.  This can occur because the nerves which control motor function in the muscles have become damaged, or—in the case of a compression neuropathy—constricted.  The second kind is called multifocal motor neuropathy, and takes place when the immune system itself begins to attack the nerves, as can happen after a series of infections or after an illness.  The third kind is Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, which, as the name suggests, is genetic in nature.  Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, or HMSN, occurs when there is a naturally-occurring deterioration in the nerves that control the muscles, causing the muscles to not be used, become weak, or even atrophy.

Motor neuropathy usually starts in the hands and feet, and can affect the full extension of fingers and toes.  In addition to the dexterity problems this obviously causes, it often also has a visual appearance of “clawlike” fingers.  The condition is degenerative, getting worse over a period of months and years.  Twitching and spasms can also happen in affected limbs.  While motor issues associated with peripheral neuropathy usually accompany pain, tingling, and numbness, multifocal motor neuropathy involves no pain (only the motor nerves are affected).  Generally, none of the varieties of motor neuropathy are life-threatening, although they can absolutely impact your comfort and quality of life if you suffer from them.

When we met our patient Robert, he complained of a steady and declining loss of strength in his feet, which he had experienced over the past 4 years.  Robert had had cancer during that time, culminating in having his prostate removed.  His motor neuropathy caused Robert to have trouble walking or standing for long periods, and he even had trouble feeling his feet on some occasions.  He also complained of shooting pain, tingling, and soreness in his feet, all typical calling cards of peripheral neuropathy.  Since in cases of multifocal motor neuropathy, the sensory nerves are usually unaffected, Robert’s pain and numbness ruled that out.  Sure enough, when we performed a battery of tests, we found that Robert’s sensation to vibration was all but gone in several places on his feet.

Motor Neuropathy is Characterized by Weakness of The Muscles

Robert did not respond with the typical level of relief we usually see after treating a patient with electro-stimulation.  Over the course of three treatment sessions, Robert’s level of strength and comfort in his feet did not change in any meaningful way.  While this is unusual, it highlights an important theme: neuropathy is a complex problem with many symptoms and manifestations, and NO single therapy technique or tool—even those with a very high rate of success—can stand on their own as a complete treatment.

We designed a treatment for Robert intended to produce more long-term benefit, as his short-term progress was not substantial.  Motor neuropathies require an extensive MULTI-MODAL level of treatment, sometimes pharmaceutical and sometimes homeopathic, and usually involving some level of regular exercise and controlled diet.  Robert is currently improving steadily, and is seeing his NeuropathyDR® clinician as prescribed to monitor his condition and progress.

If you suffer from weakness or pain in your limbs, you may have peripheral neuropathy.  If so, we are here to help!  Contact NeuropathyDR® right away and we will help you find the best course of treatment for your specific symptoms.  We can even put you in touch with a specially-trained NeuropathyDR® clinician who can help you develop a therapy plan that will get results.

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multifocal_neuropathy/multifocal_neuropathy.htm

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multifocal_neuropathy/multifocal_neuropathy.htm

 

Physical Therapy and Neuropathy Patients – A Winning Combination

Physical Therapy and Neuropathy Patients – A Winning Combination

 

The Correct Physical Therapy and Neuropathy Patients – A Winning Combination

 

Peripheral neuropathy affects virtually every patient differently.

Some neuropathy patients suffer strictly from nerve pain, some have issues with numbness and still others have issues with mobility or some combination of symptoms.

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

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

Who Should See A NeuropathyDR  Specialty Clinician

If you suffer from any of these issues:

·            Pain

·            Weakness or numbness

·            Increased nerve sensitivity

The NeuropathyDR Protocol is Based Upon Unique Combination Therapies

·            Abnormal gait when you walk

·            Decreased endurance

·            Limited range of motion

·            Difficulty keeping your balance

·            Problems with bracing yourself

·            Joints that are stiff or contracted

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

What To Expect

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

Be sure to find a physical therapist with expertise in treating neuropathy patients.  A good physical therapy specialist will be able to develop a treatment regimen that won’t make your neuropathy symptoms worse.

One thing to remember – in order for your insurance to pay for physical therapy treatment, you will more than likely need a prescription from your treating physician.  Ask if there are any NeuropathyDR® physical therapists in your area or go online and find one yourself.

Physical Therapy Treatment Options

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

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

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

·            Soft tissue manipulation techniques

·            Peripheral and/or spinal mobilization

·            Thermal treatments

·            Electrical stimulation

·            Ultrasound

·            Near infrared phototherapy

·            Balance systems

·            Individualized therapeutic exercise

·            Functional activities

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

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

Be an informed patient.  Get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com

What You Need To Know About “The Silent Killer” Metabolic Syndrome

What You Need To Know About “The Silent Killer” Metabolic Syndrome

What You Need To Know About “The Silent Killer” Metabolic Syndrome

Increased blood pressure…

Higher than normal insulin or blood sugar levels…

Excess body fat, particularly around your waist…

Abnormal cholesterol levels – and that means both “good” and “bad” cholesterol…

If you have not just one but all of these conditions, you may have Metabolic Syndrome. And that increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?

Sometimes Called Pre-Diabetes Metabolic Syndrome is rampant in our society…

As the name implies, Metabolic Syndrome is linked to your body’s metabolism and could be caused by your body’s inability to properly regulate the amount of insulin in your bloodstream.  Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas and it helps control the amount of sugar in your blood.

If your body is operating normally, your digestive system breaks down the food you eat into sugar (what doctors normally refer to as glucose).  Your blood then carries the glucose to your tissues where the cells use it as fuel.  Insulin helps the glucose enter the cells.  If you’re insulin resistant, your cells don’t respond normally to insulin and glucose can’t enter the cells as it should.

The body reacts by producing more and more insulin thinking that will help the glucose get into the cells, sort of like pumping the gas pedal in your car to get more fuel to the carburetor.  Just as that can flood the engine in your car, the result is higher than normal levels of insulin in your blood.  And that can, and often does, lead to diabetes.

Even if you don’t develop diabetes, elevated glucose levels can raise your triglyceride levels or interfere with how your kidneys work.  All of which puts you at higher risk for heart disease, stroke and a host of other conditions.

Think You May Have Metabolic Syndrome?

If any of these symptoms or conditions applies to you, talk to your doctor about testing to make sure you don’t have the others before they cause serious health problems.

If you’re not sure what to ask your doctor, here are some basic questions:

•       Are the symptoms I’m experiencing now related to metabolic syndrome or some other condition?

•       What kinds of tests do I need to best manage my conditions?

•       What else can I do to improve my health?

•       What other options do I have to manage the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome?

•       How do best manage all of these conditions together?

•       What restrictions do I need to follow?

•       Where can I get more information on metabolic syndrome or any of the conditions I currently have?

One More Thing to Think About

We’re seeing more and more metabolic syndrome in younger patient populations.  And one of the first symptoms they experience is peripheral neuropathy.  Because nerve tissues are especially vulnerable to damage from diseases that affect the body’s ability to transform nutrients into energy or produce some of the components of cell repair (think diabetes), nerve damage and the resulting peripheral neuropathy is very common.

Classic symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are:

•       Tingling and/or burning in hands and feet

•       Neuralgic-like pains

•       Loss of the sense of touch or an inability to feel vibration

•       Temperature changes in the flesh – do your extremities feel excessively warm or cold?

•       Serious sleep disturbances with resultant depression or side effects from pain medication

If you have a confirmed diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and are now experiencing any of these symptoms, you don’t have to just live with it.  Contact us today for information on how peripheral neuropathy can be treated, your suffering lessened and exactly how to find a NeuropathyDR Treatment Center in your area.

Manual Therapies for Your Diabetic Neuropathy

Manual Therapies for Your Diabetic Neuropathy

If you have diabetes and one or more of these symptoms[1]:

Chiropractic care for diabetic neuropathy patients usually concentrates on correcting misalignments in the spine.

  • 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’ve probably been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy.

Your doctor has probably explained that diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy specific to patients who have diabetes and that diabetic neuropathy is caused by lack of blood flow to the nerves and elevated and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

You’re probably taking painkillers…

You’re probably closely monitoring your blood sugar (hopefully)…

You’re probably being more careful about your diet (as you should)…

So how are your diabetic neuropathy symptoms now?

If they’re not improving, you might want to add something else to your treatment plan…

Chiropractic and Manual Physical Therapy Treatments for Diabetic Neuropathy

Chiropractic care for diabetic neuropathy patients usually concentrates on correcting misalignments in the spine.  Those misalignments can wreak havoc on your nervous system and your internal organs – including the pancreas, a direct link to diabetes.

If the other pieces of your treatment puzzle are not working as quickly as you had hoped, and you’re doing everything else your doctor tells you to do, contact your local NeuropathyDR® specialist.  Your NeuropathyDR® has an exclusive treatment protocol with proven results for diabetic neuropathy patients.  An integral part of that treatment protocol is chiropractic adjustment to correct problems with your spinal alignment.

Pain Reduction and Nerve Repair

As a result of your chiropractic adjustment for diabetic neuropathy, the next step in your treatment for diabetic neuropathy is taking steps to reduce your symptoms and help the nerves repair themselves.  This can be done through a combination of topical pain medications, manual manipulation of the bones and joints to properly align the nervous system and nerve stimulation.

Proper alignment of the bones and muscles and nerve stimulation are all important aspects of successful treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

Personal Care Tips For The Diabetic Neuropathy Patient

Diabetes is the fifth deadliest disease in the United States and the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is growing at an alarming rate.

One of the things that makes diabetes so deadly is the risk for infection and resulting amputation.  Diabetic neuropathy is a serious contributing factor in the risk for amputation.

While you’re undergoing treatment for diabetic neuropathy[2] and having chiropractic adjustments, pay particular attention to your feet, hands, arms and leg.  Contact your NeuropathyDR® specialist immediately if you notice any blisters, sores, torn skin, or inflammation.   The combination of your diabetes and your diabetic neuropathy can lead to very serious infections that are slow or impossible to heal.   This can lead to dire complications that can be avoided if you receive the proper medical treatment early.

Do a visual inspection and don’t rely on soreness or pain.  Your diabetic neuropathy impairs your ability to feel pain in your extremities and you may not notice the problem until it’s too late for successful treatment.

Keep a close eye on your diabetes.  Make note of any of the symptoms we described.  If you have any of the issues we’ve discussed, contact your local NeuropathyDR® and take full advantage of their expertise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathies, including diabetic neuropathy and their ability to provide chiropractic care to correct misalignment in your spine.

The positive effects of chiropractic adjustment on diabetic neuropathy are being affirmed by a growing number of case studies.  Give it serious consideration in treating your diabetic neuropathy.

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