Peripheral neuropathy and many forms of chronic pain are now easier than ever to manage at home and in the clinic.
Practical day-to-day solutions can be difficult for neuropathy and chronic pain patients to deal with.
This is largely because every single medication has potential side effects. Sometimes they’re not obvious for many years. With many over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs, the side effects may not be apparent until liver or kidney failure appears.
This is not an exaggeration. If you follow us on social media, you know how often we talk about this; right now it is the number one cause of liver and kidney failure in this country. This is a huge public health epidemic.
Unfortunately, medical education generally does not do a good job of educating physicians on drug-free alternatives to pain management. For generations now, even children have been fed medications at an early age and taught this is the only solution.
There are even links to early dosages of acetaminophen and the development of asthma, and perhaps other health issues as well.
Let’s talk about the most practical solutions. First and foremost, rather than reaching for medications first, use all the drug-free alternatives you have at your disposal. Simple measures early on are far better. Applications of ice packs, warm packs, and Epsom salt baths still go a long way to solving many of life’s aches and pains.
Maintaining proper body weight and make sure you are eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
But neuropathy pain is a different animal. Severe pain—debilitating pain—from any source requires extraordinary measures. Still, the simple things we spoke about earlier can have a powerful impact.
This is especially true when simple measures are combined with appropriate dietary changes.
The good news is, peripheral neuropathy and many forms of chronic pain are now easier than ever to manage at home and in the clinic.
With the introduction of our new NDGen®, and ever improving in clinic protocols, more patients are finding better and longer lasting results than ever before.
Always remember though, the key to best managing neuropathy, arthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal pain, et cetera, is stopping pain at its source wherever possible—and rapidly! This means improving the overall function of your entire body early on, not simply masking pain with medication, and, most importantly, boosting and improving the efficiency and energy of your key body systems.
That’s what we help you do!
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Neuropathy Pain Is A Complex Phenomenon is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists
It’s that time of year again…
For the average, healthy person getting a flu shot is a no-brainer.
And everywhere you look are signs advertising “Flu Shots – Walk Ins Welcome” or “Get Your Flu Shot Today.”
For the average, healthy person getting a flu shot is a no-brainer.
After all, the flu accounts for 200,000 hospitalizations every year and up to 36,000 deaths. If you can take a shot and avoid that, why wouldn’t you?
But if you have peripheral neuropathy caused by
- Cancer (and you’re undergoing chemotherapy)
- HIV/AIDS or some other immune system disorder
- Exposure to toxins
- Gluten sensitivity (also known as celiac disease)
- Kidney or liver disease
- Hereditary neuropathy
You may think that a flu shot isn’t for you.
HIV patients tend to be especially skeptical about receiving the vaccine.
If you have peripheral neuropathy caused by any of these underlying illnesses, you need to make an informed choice about whether or not to get a flu shot.
This is what you need to know.
The Flu Vaccine Will Not Actually Make You Sick
Contrary to urban myth, the flu vaccine will not make you sick. It works by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that actually fight the virus. It does not give you the flu.
You also need to know that there is no evidence that the flu shot will make your neuropathy symptoms worse if your neuropathy is caused by any of the underlying illnesses we listed above. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control strongly recommends that peripheral neuropathy patients with any of these illnesses receive a flu shot every year because they’re more prone to developing serious complications if they get the flu.
A Word of Caution for Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP Patients
If your peripheral neuropathy is caused by Guillain-Barre Syndrome or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), talk to your NeuropathyDR clinician or other medical professional before you receive the flu vaccine.
Because the vaccine keeps you from getting the flu by tricking your immune system into producing antibodies to fight it off, if you have neuropathy caused by Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP, this immune stimulation may actually cause a relapse in patients with a history of either of these illnesses.
If you have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome and the resultant peripheral neuropathy in the past, it might be a good idea to wait at least one year after your symptoms are gone before you receive the flu shot.
If you have CIDP and your symptoms are still present, you might want to avoid the flu vaccine. Talk to your NeuropathyDR clinician or other medical professional and consider the chances of complications from the vaccine as opposed to the health risks of actually getting the flu. Take into account:
- Advanced age
- Other chronic medical conditions
- Possible relapse triggered by getting the flu virus
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you receive the flu shot every year if you fall into any of these groups:
- You’re six months to 19 years old
- You’re 50 years of age or older
- You have a chronic medical condition (lung, heart, liver or kidney disease, blood disorders, diabetes)
- You live in a nursing home or other long term care facility
- You live with or care for someone at high risk for complications from the flu (healthcare workers, people in your household (i.e., children too young to be vaccinated or people with chronic medical conditions)
In the end, the decision to get the flu shot or take a pass on it is up to you. Talk to your NeuropathyDR clinician or other medical professional before you make your decision and do what’s best for you.
For more information on coping with your peripheral neuropathy, get our Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com/.
The next time you have a headache…
Or even muscle cramps or twitching…
Go online and “Google” any of those terms and see what you come up with.
I’m willing to bet you’ll be terrified by the results.
For headache you’ll see anything from brain tumor to bleeding in the brain to meningitis and encephalitis.
Indigestion will lead you to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or even abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts.
And muscle cramps or twitching will run the gamut from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Your search will also give you the more common reasons for any of these symptoms. Many people latch on to the more dramatic reasons and begin living like every day is their last.
Others will downplay symptoms, assume that they have something simple to treat and go to the corner drug store and buy whatever over the counter remedy “seems” to treat their symptoms.
Either of these reactions could be courting disaster. Especially if you have a condition that can lead to peripheral neuropathy. Delaying treatment with your local NeuropathyDR® clinician can lead to severe lifelong nerve damage that will destroy your quality of life.
Expecting the Worst
If you fall into the “I know I’m dying” category, you will probably begin doctor shopping. Going from specialist to specialist looking for someone to confirm the worst. Even beyond the physical damage the stress of this process can do to your body, your emotional well-being is destroyed.
You live day to day expecting the worst with the specter of the Grim Reaper hanging over your shoulder. That is no way to live.
The first thing you need to do is make appointment with your primary care provider, preferably a NeuropathyDR® clinician. Tell them your symptoms and let them do some diagnostic testing. If the results warrant it, they will get you started on a treatment protocol to not only alleviate your symptoms but treat the root cause of your medical problem. The NeuropathyDR® treatment protocol includes nutrition counseling, diet planning, stress management techniques, and hands on adjustment to properly align your nervous system.
If you actually do have a serious condition, the earlier you start this process, the better off you’ll be. The earlier you receive treatment for any condition that can lead to peripheral neuropathy, the less your chances of permanent nerve damage.
Ignoring the Obvious
The other end of the spectrum is the patient who does their own research, opts for the condition easily treatable with over the counter meds, and puts off seeing a specialist until their symptoms are much worse.
Let’s take the muscle twitching or cramping symptom as an example. Yes, this could be caused by overworking the muscle or even a vitamin deficiency. Either of those are easy to fix.
But what if it’s something more serious?
If the condition lasts longer than a few days, you need to see your local NeuropathyDR® clinician. You could have a condition leading to peripheral neuropathy. Failing to treat the underlying cause quickly can lead to lasting nerve damage, muscle degeneration, and ultimately, even amputation of the affected limb.
Something as simple as seeing a specialist well versed in conditions affecting the bones, muscles and bones, like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician, can make the difference between life in a wheelchair and getting back to normal quickly.
Cyberchondria vs. Informed Caution
Before you think we’re advocating running to the doctor every time you have a hang nail, that is definitely not the case. We’re not advocating the spread of Cyberchondria (i.e., the rising epidemic of online diagnosis and treatment), just asking that you approach any medical condition with informed caution.
An informed and educated patient is a gift for any physician. Informed patients are much more likely to participate in their own care and keep their physician apprised of any changes in their condition. That’s a win for both sides.
Instead of using the internet as a tool to diagnose (or, in many cases, misdiagnose) your own conditions, choose to use it as a means of educating yourself enough to provide your health care provider with all the information he needs to accurately and quickly diagnose your illness.
You’ll be making your life, and your NeuropathyDR® clinician’s life, much easier.
For more information on coping with your peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.