If You Have Neuropathy Pain from Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP, There Are Special Considerations When Choosing Whether to Have a Flu Shot. Keep Reading for Details On How to Weigh the Risks and Benefits.
Flu season will be here before we know it. Most healthy adults will choose to get a flu shot to help stop the spread of this sometimes incapacitating illness, which can be responsible for thousands of deaths every year. And finding a place to get immunized is easy, with availability at nearly any drugstore, pharmacy, and walk-in clinic. Your insurance may even cover the cost.
But for some, deciding whether to get a flu shot isn’t an easy decision. People with neuropathy pain face a tough dilemma due to potential reactions to the vaccine. The list of folks who may be wary of the flu vaccine due to possible side effects includes people with peripheral neuropathy caused by cancer treatments, immune disorders such as AIDS and HIV, celiac disease, liver or kidney disease, shingles, and diabetes.
It’s important for people with neuropathy pain to realize that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) actually recommends getting a flu shot due to the serious complications that can arise from flu exposure with certain underlying illnesses.
However, if you have neuropathy pain caused by some illnesses, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome and CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy), you will need to discuss this issue in detail with their doctors. That’s because the immune system stimulation from a flu shot can sometimes trigger a relapse of these illnesses. Many doctors will recommend waiting a year after symptoms cease before receiving a flu shot.
Who is most at risk of catching and transmitting the flu virus? The CDC says you may want to consider getting a flu shot if any of these apply to you:
- You’re at least 50 years old. (Children under 19 are also at higher risk.)
- You are dealing with a chronic serious medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease.
- You are a resident of a long-term care facility or nursing home.
- You are living with someone who is in a high-risk category, such as a child who is below the recommended age for vaccination.
Ultimately, whether to be vaccinated for the flu is your decision. People with neuropathy pain should speak with their doctors about this issue before taking action.
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If you’re a patient suffering from peripheral neuropathy as a result of
· Guillian Barre Syndrome
· Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
· Or any other peripheral neuropathic pain
One of your greatest challenges (other than dealing with the pain and disruption of your normal daily activities) may be finding a medical professional to treat you with empathy and a real understanding of what you’re dealing with as a peripheral neuropathy sufferer.
Neuropathy pain can be hard to describe and even harder to measure. You can’t put a number on it and you can’t always give a concrete definition or explanation for your symptoms. That makes it difficult for the medical community, a community of science, to effectively treat you as a neuropathy patient.
The difficulty in finding a doctor well versed in treating peripheral neuropathy, in all its various forms, can make your life an exercise in frustration. Not only are you dealing with your peripheral neuropathy pain but you can’t find anyone to treat you with any success.
It might help to know what your treatment options are so you can interview your potential treater with some background knowledge about the pain management options available to you as a neuropathy patient.
Here are some of the options for pain management in peripheral neuropathy patients:
The first line of therapy for peripheral neuropathy patients is usually pain medication, sometimes in combination with antidepressants. There has been some success with drugs used to treat epilepsy as well as opioids. Opioids may be effective but the dosages are very high and only help specific patients.
Always ask your treating physician about side effects from any medication prescribed. Many of the drugs used to treat neuropathy pain can have serious side effects and you need to take that into consideration before you use them.
Some creams can be help if you have small areas affected by your neuropathy.
Topical treatments usually don’t provide long lasting relief so talk to your doctor about a more permanent therapy if that doesn’t interest you. The exception are the cremes used in conjunction with the NeuropathyDR Treatments you’ll find HERE
Study after study has shown that active people heal faster. Period. By exercising your muscles, you will more easily adapt to your other physical limitations such as balance or gait issues.
Another benefit of physical therapy is that by keeping your muscles active and loose, you are less likely to suffer from severe muscle spasms, a common symptom in neuropathy patients.
But be prepared. NOT all PT is good and many PTs are NOT trained to help Neuropathy specifically.
When you first begin a course of physical therapy to treat your neuropathy pain, you will probably experience a little more pain than usual. You probably haven’t used those muscles in a while and they’re adapting to the treatment. If you need a boost in your pain medication until the muscle pain subsides, ask for it.
Chronic pain or chronic illness leads to depression in many neuropathy patients. Treating the psychological aspects of your peripheral neuropathy pain is just as important as treating the physical symptoms. Any successful pain management therapy should include psychological counseling. Ask your doctor for a referral to a good therapist to talk about the emotional and psychological aspects of your neuropathy. You’re not overreacting to your pain and you’re not imagining it!
Other and “Alternative” Therapies
A good body/mind therapy regimen can be really helpful in dealing with your peripheral neuropathy. Consider yoga, acupuncture, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, or any other meditation technique as a complement to your pain management program. Any of these alternative therapies can increase the production of endorphins in your brain and help the body manage your pain in unison with any other medical treatment.
Neurostimulation And Laser
Applying small amounts energy via light AND or electrical stimulation (NDGen(TM) in various shapes or waves to the nerves and muscles may be successful in cutting pain levels dramatically and aiding them in functioning normally again. There are home AND clinic options with this unique tool!
Far from ordinary TENS, this combination treatment when properly applied cuts pain often dramatically and may even stimulate the nerve to function more normally again.
Learn more about the NDGen™ Home and Clinic treatment protocol or better yet, go visit a NeuropathyDR clinician in your area.
Our NeuropathyDR Clinician is a specialist in using the NDGen™ treatment protocol to cut your pain and drug use in many cases helping them to function more normally again.
For more information on coping with your peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our Bi-Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.
 See www.touchneurology.com/articles/treatment-options-neuropathy-patients
 See http://www.supportiveoncology.net/journal/articles/0102107.pdf