Self-Diagnosis is a Dangerous Game

Self-Diagnosis is a Dangerous Game

Self diagnosis is a dangerous game more and more have engaged in, especially in certain on-line groups and forums. In some ways, the Internet has been a blessing in terms of the availability of medical information. This can be helpful if you suspect that you have a cold, or a mild skin rash, or poison ivy.

Where it’s not helpful, and may be very harmful indeed, is when you rely entirely on the Internet for self-diagnosis of serious health concerns.

This of course is related to many disorders —including heart disease, abdominal pain, diabetic neuropathy and so much more.

When we attempt to self-diagnose and self-treat these conditions, we are often preventing a truly helpful evaluation by a trained physician that could potentially prevent additional damage and substantially improve our quality of life

We’ve talked to so many patients who delayed seeing a physician because they wanted to save money. They inevitably tell us that they regret the wasted time and the long-term expense caused by increased damage and all that it entails.

Talking to a physician now is easier than anytime in the past due to the growth of Telemedicine appointments and virtual care to get you started.

When you are dealing with pain and especially neuropathy related to diabetes, chemotherapy treatment, and other serious conditions, it’s so important to think long-term. Neuropathy isn’t just an annoying side effect. It is a degenerative condition that will get worse over time and often complicates other health concerns.

You may have learned that self-reliance and “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” is a good thing. In the case of many symptoms however, the worst thing you can do is spend time on-line trying to diagnosis and treat yourself.

When we say that self-treatment and home care is important, we’re referring to lifestyle elements and home care systems. Those which can be supported by us that complement the medical therapies recommended for you by your physicians obviously are best.

Self-treatment is an important component of  treatment, AFTER a clinical diagnosis. Anything else is just a delaying tactic—one that could severely impact your health, not just today but years from now.

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Join the conversations all day on Facebook and Instagram ask questions too. Watch our videos on YouTube

*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of  #pain & #neuropathy. Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #chronicpain & #neuropathy  on our website HERE

*You can also call or text our team 24/7 at 339-793-8591 (international inquiries welcome.) Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns. We’ll answer during business hours 9-5 EST Monday-Thursday.

 

Risks vs Benefits

Risks vs Benefits

Risks vs Benefits

Here is a proven fact. All of healthcare in fact you could argue most of life our best “decisions” are made by considering risks versus benefits.  As adults we ask ourselves and teach our children, do our actions today set us up for a healthier and better future or not?

What if we take no action at all? Is that better than doing something?

All of these are decisions that you need to make along with your healthcare providers on a regular basis. You see everything we do is risks versus benefits. This is so important to understand.  Make no mistake about modern science and medicine have developed amazing treatments.This also includes what we do here. We are continually working on treatments to help neuropathy and chronic pain patients.

Do YOU Always ASK your doctors Is the cure is worse than the problem?

So, what if instead, we as both doctors and patients took a very strong look at the underlying causes of so much of illness and treated those first?

You know, all those things just get us into trouble. Poor dietary habits especially over the long haul, inactivity, cigarette smoking, not paying attention to stress and emotional health. I’m sure you get the picture.

What if we did all of those things before we prescribed for patients neuropathy and chronic pain treatment drugs, or surgical procedures that could cause significant harm?

For example, if doctors and patients paid more careful attention and worked together just like we do on weight loss and lifestyle, far less patients would be placed on statin medication. Statin medications as you probably know are one major cause of neuropathy and are not without neurologic risks.

What if instead of injecting patients, and suggesting invasive procedures FIRST we both make sure as doctors and patients that all conservative treatment options were exhausted first?

You already know the answer…

You understand, as we do, that all good treatment is risks vs benefits!

So why not learn more today? Why not take actions that will help you live much more fully, without devastating side effects?

Make all your decisions about your neuropathy and chronic pain treatment very carefully!

Why not contact us today and let us help you too!!!

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Join the conversations all day on Facebook and Instagram ask questions too. Watch our videos on YouTube

*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of  #pain & #neuropathy. Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #chronicpain & #neuropathy  on our main website HERE

*You can also call or text our team 24/7 at 339-793-8591 (international inquiries welcome.) Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns.

We’ll answer during business hours 9-5 EST Monday-Thursday.

*Marshfield Private Practice Patients text our team for help at 781-659-7989
See our daily updates & Videos plus “Check In” & Review Us on
SSCW Facebook HERE

 

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

Written by: Carol Jeffrey

10410908 10201354916388597 4209510695619029275 n 300x300 The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

We’re traveling down this windy, crazy, hazardous road of chronic pain. Often we’re speeding in the darkness with our headlights off, violently crashing into unseen obstacles. We shake off and often minimize the damage caused by these collisions. But if we don’t attend to these damages as they occur…our vehicle will soon be totaled.

Wildly we slip and slide out of control in the storms that overwhelm us. So we pull over, rest and wait for the storm to pass. But if the storm lasts too long, we stop clearing the windows, and cease to look if the sun has reappeared. This type of apathy is a slow and silent killer of hope.

Bridges often crumble beneath the weight of our burdens. This type of loss and isolation is one of the greatest hardships of chronic pain. If we are to avoid being stranded on an isolated island, and trapped in a deep dark pit of depression…survival requires us to adapt, learn new skills, maintain healthy relationships, and build connections to life.

We easily see when others are in need, and graciously pull over to offer assistance. After all, this is a welcomed distraction from our own painful journey…but lets not make it a road-stop. While it’s easy to identify needs and solutions for others, it’s equally as difficult to acknowledge our own need for fuel or repair. Our engines will cease to run, if we allow our ego to fill our gas tank with gallons of guilt, instead of letting another fill us with fuel.

At times we’re impatiently and painfully held up in surgical construction or we may find ourselves on a needed detour learning new paths that promote health. Pit stops are required, to clear the windshield, change the tires, tweak the engine so that we may travel with optimal performance. Maintenance and checking our route is essential for a less burdensome journey.

We are not alone in our chronic pain journey, for our doctors, friends and family are passengers…who’s needs also need to be acknowledged. It’s easy to forget that it’s a challenging and painful journey for them as well.

We are in control of our life and choose whether the pain steers us wildly off of a cliff or whether we take control of our vehicle and steer it in the path of our desires.

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post The Winding Road of Chronic Pain appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

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Join the conversations all day on Facebook and Instagram ask questions too. Watch our videos on YouTube

*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of  #pain & #neuropathy. Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #chronicpain & #neuropathy  on our main website HERE

*You can also call or text our team 24/7 at 339-793-8591 (international inquiries welcome.) Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns.

We’ll answer during business hours 9-5 EST Monday-Thursday.

*Marshfield Private Practice Patients text our team for help at 781-659-7989
See our daily updates & Videos plus “Check In” & Review Us on
SSCW Facebook HERE

Alcohol, Neuropathy and Chronic Pain

Alcohol, Neuropathy and Chronic Pain

One of the most serious—but rarely discussed—conditions resulting from extended alcoholism is alcoholic neuropathy.  One of the reasons for its being relatively obscure, aside from difficulties inherent in any discussion of substance abuse, is that much of the scientific evidence linking neuropathy and alcoholism is somewhat vague.  Even so, medical science generally accepts that excessive use of alcohol can cause neuropathy.

Alcoholic neuropathy has symptoms similar to other forms of neuropathy, with tingling and numbness in the extremities, loss of heat and cold sensation, loss of fine motor control, impotence in men, and so on.  All this is accompanied by the chronic pain typical in cases of peripheral neuropathy.  Because of the areas of the mind and body targeted by the alcohol, it is common for alcoholic neuropathy sufferers to exhibit outward signs of intoxication even when sober, such as slurred speech, stumbling gait, and clumsiness.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that, in severely affected patients, the legs and hands may be nearly useless to the point of paralysis and sensation may be entirely absent in extremities.  In these cases, the skin can also be dry and atrophic.

The specific causes of alcoholic neuropathy are difficult to pin down, and thus, the case can be tricky to diagnose.  If you frequently drink alcohol, let your doctor know!  Generally, a pattern of heavy alcohol use for a period of ten years or more will be accompanied by neuropathy symptoms.  A leading theory contends that the cause of alcohol-related neuropathy may be the combined effect of direct nerve-poisoning by the alcohol itself, coupled with the long-term poor nutrition that often accompanies alcohol abuse.  Alcoholics typically exhibit erratic eating habits, resulting in poor overall nutrient intake, and the damage to organs reduces the absorption of nutrients from food.  Of course, difficulty in motor control resultant from neuropathy often exacerbates the malnutrition, as the patient becomes socially uneasy about mealtimes and self-conscious about feeding themselves.

Nerve damage from alcoholism is usually permanent.  If you believe you suffer from alcoholic neuropathy, the first order of business, of course, is to bring your drinking and nutrition problems under control!  If your alcohol consumption is not severely limited and adequate nourishment is not supplied, additional treatments will be futile and your symptoms will almost invariably compound.  Beyond this, treatment will seek three main goals:

• To control symptoms
• To maximize and restore function (quality of life)
• To prevent further injury to the patient due to neuropathic vulnerabilities

Most treatments address these three tenets simultaneously.  Pharmaceutical treatments include the use of painkillers, either prescription strength or over-the-counter (such as analgesics).  Your doctor will probably recommend the lightest use of pain medication possible; this is very important if you, as an alcoholic, have a propensity for substance abuse.  During a period of withdrawal, you are especially vulnerable to new addiction.  Be aware of this danger, and  monitor use of any medications very carefully.

Because of the underlying nutritional deficit usually at the root of alcoholic neuropathy, you may benefit from a system of nutritional supplements and parenteral multivitamins.  Consult a dietician or your NeuropathyDR® clinician to ensure the proper replenishment of nutrients necessary to prevent the spread of neuropathic symptoms.

Several new lifestyle habits can help you adjust to living with alcoholic neuropathy, such as carefully monitoring the temperature of bathwater to prevent burning, inspecting yourself and your clothing and footwear for points of rubbing or wear on your skin, and so forth.  Establishing these habits (which are themselves advisable for all neuropathy patients) can be instrumental in replacing the drinking routine that caused the problem.  Living with neuropathy can actually help you break the cycle!

Although nerve damage is usually permanent, your prognosis for sufferers of alcohol-related neuropathy can be very good if you are able to replenish your nutrition and stop drinking.  You probably won’t see substantial recovery from neuropathic symptoms for several months.  Of course, you’ll see subjective improvements in lifestyle and health almost immediately when you quit drinking, as a result of general detoxification.

If you believe you might be suffering from alcoholic neuropathy, it is vital to your quality of life that you find help!  Contact us right away—your NeuropathyDR® clinician is ready to give expert, judgment-free guidance to help you adjust your lifestyle and stop symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy in their tracks.

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

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000714.htm

http://www.neillneill.com/alcoholic-neuropathy

http://www.bettermedicine.com/article/alcoholic-neuropathy

http://www.learn-about-alcoholism.com/alcoholic-neuropathy.html

http://www.ajcn.org/content/9/4/398.full.pdf

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Join the conversations all day on Facebook and Instagram ask questions too. Watch our videos on YouTube

*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of  #pain & #neuropathy. Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #chronicpain & #neuropathy  on our main website HERE

*You can also call or text our team 24/7 at 339-793-8591 (international inquiries welcome.) Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns. We’ll answer during business hours 9-5 EST Monday-Thursday.

*Marshfield Private Practice Patients text our team for help at 781-659-7989
See our daily updates & Videos plus “Check In” & Review Us on
SSCW Facebook HERE

 

 

Just Keep It Simple

Just Keep It Simple

Just Keep It Simple. Sage advice that so often works, but only if you pay attention. Too often patients are chasing this doctor or that, this new pill or that, in search of relief rather than getting to the bottom of what may be actually causing their issues

One of the things that is most serious but far too often ignored in cases of neuropathy, fibromyalgia, many forms of chronic pain and indeed many chronic illnesses is the impact that daily habits and of course our lifestyles have on both the prevention and progression of diseases and illnesses.

Too often, in our society there is a rush to look for a magic pill to cover up symptoms rather than to find out what is really going on that could be perpetuating or in fact causing chronic health issues.

The most common of course in our society now is lack of fitness and excess and poor food consumption. Plain and simple, this causes more disease than any other single factor.

So you would think the smartest thing to do would be to start here when dealing with neuropathy or other health problem. Unfortunately, we find patients are conditioned far too often chasing this doctor or that, this drug or that, in search of relief rather than getting to the bottom of what may be actually causing their neuropathy.

Now this is not to say that bad things don’t happen to good people. Of course they do! This is where some of the most amazing drugs and surgery have a very wonderful place. But for the vast majority of what we see in practice every day the solutions to so many health problems are often right under our noses!

But what are you TO DO?

The first thing to understand is that “everything” doesn’t make you sick. Too often patients fall into this dismal pattern of thinking, based upon popular press and media. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything doesn’t make you sick but many poor things in combination certainly do!

The most common of these is surrounding yourself with poor food choices, lack of regular daily fitness, and filling your home with possible environmental toxins. If this is the case, then the starting point for you is obvious!

There is more than enough in our affiliated practices and on this site and our social media linked below to get and keep you on track!

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Join the conversations all day on Facebook and Instagram ask questions too. Watch our videos on YouTube

*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of  #pain & #neuropathy. Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #chronicpain & #neuropathy  on our website HERE

*You can also call or text our team 24/7 at 339-793-8591 (international inquiries welcome.) Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns. We’ll answer during business hours 9-5 EST Monday-Thursday.

Your Best Chance of Beating a Serious Health Problem, Just Keep It Simple. is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

Handling The Holiday Stress

Handling The Holiday Stress

Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, especially if you have neuropathy or chronic pain!

 

Even for the healthy, the holidays can be incredibly stressful.

Some surveys have even found that people are more stressed by the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than by asking the boss for a raise!

But when you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Post-Chemotherapy neuropathy

Since you now have the stress of the holidays to deal with too, your health could take a serious beating—that will take you months to recover from.

Here are some steps you can take to make the holidays (and the months following them) a little easier to deal with:

1. Understand How Stress Affects Your Body

Stress (both mental and physical) causes the body to release hormones that prompt the liver to secrete glucose. That can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels if you suffer from diabetes. In Type 2 diabetics, stress can also block the release of insulin from the pancreas and leave that extra insulin floating around in the bloodstream. In Type 1 diabetes, the effects are a little different. Some Type 1 diabetics say that stress drives their glucose up, while others maintain that stress drives their glucose down. Either way, your energy levels are wrecked. On a good day, that can be difficult to deal with. At the holidays, it can be pure misery.

If you are feeling stressed and your energy is especially low, you are less likely to pay attention to your glucose levels, or eat as you know you should. Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, and Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon”

2. Do What You Can To Reduce Mental Stress

Many of the things that stress us at the holidays are easy to manage or control. Make your life as easy as possible during this trying time.

If traffic really works your nerves, leave home a little earlier or try getting to work by a different route and avoid the areas that are particularly congested.

If your boss is a nightmare, plan to take vacation around the holidays if at all possible, and give yourself a mental break.

Volunteer to help with the holiday activities of a local charity. Doing something good for someone else is a wonderful way to make someone else’s life better and make you feel good at the same time.

Resolve to start a new exercise program, learn a new skill, or start a hobby as soon as the holidays are over. Enlist a friend to do it with you so you can encourage each other. Giving yourself a goal and something to look forward to after the grind of the holidays is over will do wonders for your state of mind.

3. How Do You Cope?

Everyone has a coping style. Some people are the take-charge type and take steps immediately to solve their problems. Other people just accept the problem, recognize that they can’t fix it, acknowledge that it’s probably not as bad as it could be, and go their merry way. Still, others are hand wringers and feel perpetually out of control.

The take-chargers and acceptors have less problems with stress, both at the holidays and on a daily basis—as a result, their blood glucose levels don’t become elevated.

4. Relax…

One of the most useful things you will ever learn (diabetic or not) is to relax. For many, the ability to relax is not natural, but it can be learned. Some ways to help you relax are:

Breathing Exercises
Sit down or lie down without your arms or legs crossed. Inhale deeply. Push as much air as possible out of your lungs. Repeat the process but , this time, relax your muscles while you exhale. Start with this exercise for 5 minutes at a time and increase your time until you’re practicing breathing at least 20 minutes at a time, once a day.

Progressive Relaxation Therapy
Tense your muscles then relax them. Lie still and repeat the process for 5 minutes at a time, at least once a day.

Exercise
We can’t say enough about the benefits of exercise. As we’ve said before, you don’t have to run a marathon to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. You can walk or stretch, too.

Watch Your Mindset
When it comes to reducing stress, a lot can be said for the power of positive thinking. It’s really easy to let your mind overwhelm you this time of year…

“I’ll never get it all done…”

“What if they don’t like what I give them?”

“Oh man, I have to spend time with my brother again this year…”

Just watch your mindset and you can eliminate much of the stress of the holiday season. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Say a prayer or recite a poem or a quote that makes you feel good. Think of something that makes you happy. It may sound trite, but go to your happy place.

Choose one or more of these methods to relax and do it daily. Relaxing doesn’t come naturally to us, but we can definitely learn to do it with practice, and the health benefits are beyond measure.

Face the fact that many holiday stressors are not going away. The relative you don’t get along with, the traffic, the never-ending list of things to do will always be there.

But you can learn to manage the holiday stress. And if you can learn to manage holiday stress, just think of what you can do the rest of the year.

Talk to us and explore ways to handle the holiday stress and make it a healthier and more enjoyable experience this—and every—year, even with neuropathy or chronic pain!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

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