Let’s talk about eating smart. One of the things that patients with neuropathy—and many patients with chronic illnesses must understand—eating smart by keeping well-fueled and well-hydrated goes a long way towards possibly reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life! Now, the reasons for this are many, and paying better attention to basic body needs dramatically improves the function of our brain and nervous system and thus how we feel.
Paying better attention to basic body needs dramatically improves the function of our brain and nervous system
There are a couple of basic rules that serve most neuropathy and chronic pain patients very well.
First, let’s talk a little about water consumption. An easy rule of thumb is to consume one half your body weight in ounces during a 24-hour period. So if we weigh a hundred and eighty pounds, we should drink ninety ounces of water (or non-alcohol liquids) in a 24-hour period. Remember, coffee, tea, and alcohol can cause us to lose fluid more rapidly, so go easy here. Under no circumstances should diet or other soft drinks be consumed.
Next, the mainstay or proper fueling is eating every 2 to 3 hours maximum. Getting used to smaller meals, and adding low-carbohydrate snacks such as several nuts or one half of an apple or other low-carb fruit can help us feel much better. The reason for this is it helps us maintain normal blood sugar levels and helps us burn fat more efficiently. If you are NOT insulin dependent or on diabetes medication, intermittent fasting may actually be beneficial. Learn way more about diet with the ND Diet Plan.
Eating more frequently as long as it is low in carbs (except within an hour HEAVY exercise) makes us feel better—and helps fuel us much more efficiently.
Carb control is also what helps us fight things like diabetes and metabolic syndrome—that, as you already know, complicate many health problems and make neuropathy and pain worse.
Like everything, there are exceptions to these rules. For example, if you’re insulin-dependent, you need to match your insulin dosage against your carbohydrate consumption very carefully.
Likewise, if you suffer from kidney or heart disease, you may need to be more careful with fluid consumption. Always follow your doctor’s orders. Try these simple suggestions starting today, and see how much better you may feel within just a few days!
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Eating Smart to Improve Neuropathy and Chronic Pain is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists
“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.
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Years ago, we called it pre-diabetes. Lately, the common term is Syndrome X. No matter what name we give it, metabolic syndrome is a potentially devastating diagnosis.
I would go so far as to say that metabolic syndrome is the number one most dangerous medical condition challenging our society today.
That’s because so many people start to take care of their diet, exercise, and other self care only AFTER they have been diagnosed with diabetes or diabetic neuropathy. And by then, for so many, it’s a major health crisis!
Metabolic syndrome lies hidden for years, causing damage to multiple major body systems. At our clinics, we see so many patients with diabetic neuropathy and chronic pain related to metabolic syndrome. In fact, it’s the likely cause of most cases of “idiopathic” (cause unknown) neuropathy.
Typically, metabolic syndrome tends to show up as a collection of subtle symptoms many years before a diabetes diagnosis. People with metabolic syndrome will notice a weight increase and thickening of the waist, along with small changes in their blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
The first thing you can do to protect yourself from the ravages of metabolic syndrome is to accept that a 20+ pound weight gain and spreading waistline is not a normal part of aging, and in fact can lead to very dangerous health complications. Being overweight is a risk factor for peripheral neuropathy in addition to many serious conditions, like heart disease.
Your next line of defense is to begin working with a medical specialist who is well trained in diagnosing and teaching you how to treat metabolic syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, and other disorders.
Remember that only you can be an effective health advocate for yourself.
Finally, let us help! There is lot’s of of information here in our library and videos.
Next, be sure to share with your doctor the crucial lifestyle changes you are making that can have a significant impact on your health related to metabolic syndrome and diabetic neuropathy.
Get your copy of our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!
Carrying excess body fat can elevate blood sugars and triglycerides over time. Even mildly elevated blood sugars can cause some of these sugars to attach to protein molecules, causing chronic pain.
As a regular reader of these posts, you understand—in part, at least—the importance of controlling carbohydrates in our diets.
There are two forms of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include things like refined sugar, which is commonly contained in cookies, cakes, sodas, ice cream, etc. You probably also know that these items are forbidden on the NeuropathyDR Diet Plan!
There are also complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are manly starches like those found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.
The most dangerous part of high carbohydrate consumption is that it simply causes us to gain weight unnecessarily. The mechanism by which this happens is relatively complex.
In a nutshell, high carbohydrate consumption causes our bodies to produce excess insulin. Production of extra insulin actually causes a number of things to occur, but the most important is lowering of blood sugar by driving excess calories into fat cells.
This is how excess carbohydrates in our diet causes us to gain weight, seemingly very rapidly.
Another factor which many patients are unaware of is carrying excess body fat can elevate blood sugars and triglycerides over time. Even mildly elevated blood sugars can cause some of these sugars to attach to protein molecules. This is responsible for making us feel very stiff and sore.
This also makes it more difficult for our bodies to regulate insulin levels.
Of course, this response is dramatically altered in patients who are diabetic, creating all types of dangerous health effects, including eye disease, kidney disease, and of course peripheral neuropathy and other forms of chronic pain.
The good news is, pre-diabetes and borderline diabetes can often be controlled—and sometimes reversed—by improving the quality of diet.
The sooner we spring into action, the better our chances of impacting our current and future health.
There are, however, two circumstances in which higher carbohydrate consumption maybe needed.
Number one, is if you take insulin. If you take insulin, you need to know that changing your diet, and certain dietary supplementation, especially with thiamine or vitamin B1, can influence your blood sugar and insulin requirements. That’s why need to work very carefully with prescribing healthcare professionals.
Also, if you are an athlete in training, you will need to consume more carbohydrates than average. To avoid excess weight gain, avoid overeating, and emphasize the complex carbohydrates, such as those contained in fruit and vegetables, as opposed to simple sugars.
Also try to confine higher carbohydrate consumption to within one hour before, and perhaps after, strenuous physical activity.
For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.co
Diabetes and neuropathy nutrition should include a dairy free diet
There is a long-reported link between dairy consumption and the development of type 1 diabetes. Significant numbers of patients with type 1 diabetes can, and do, develop neuropathy.
In one of our recent articles, we spent some substantial time talking about dairy consumption, and its negative effects on human health. As I said previously, these are not popular statements—but so be it.
The fact of the matter is, the scientific evidence is overwhelming. Human beings are probably far better without dairy consumption than with it.
What you may not be aware of is there is a long-reported link between dairy consumption and the development of type 1 diabetes. You may know, significant numbers of patients with type 1 diabetes can, and do, develop neuropathy.
Also, dairy contains insulin-like growth factor which is a promoter of several different cancers, including breast and prostate cancer. Even stronger is the connection between a particular milk sugar called galactose and the development of ovarian cancer.
But more than this, 50% or more of the population has difficulty digesting milk. It is responsible for allergies, indigestion, as well as elevation in cholesterol and so-called “bad” fats.
All politics aside, let’s help the consumer understand the link between milk consumption and health. We often find that patients who do a dairy and gluten-free diet have significant reductions in both pain and inflammation.
Of course, this influences many patients with neuropathy, and, indeed, many forms of chronic pain.
The simplest way to make a dietary shift is to do so gradually. Give yourself time to explore alternatives such as almond, coconut, and rice-based products.
Like everything else, some are far better than others. Be careful of any product with added sugars. Also, many patients find thickeners such as carrageenan to be very irritating to the G.I. tract.
Of course, I encourage you to do your own research—do your homework. Unfortunately, the influence of the dairy industry is very wide. The spillover into classic nutrition, in which I was trained, is also great.
Keep in mind: in a short period of time, you could know more about dairy and human health than your doctor.
So what’s the answer? Share with them. Provide them a copy of The China Study.
Above all, remain diligent to other dietary assaults. They have a tremendous impact upon your health, well-being—and, yes, your neuropathy!
For more information on coping with diabetic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.co
Neuropathy treatment can be difficult for some due to the fact, neuropathy is more than one condition.
An understandable question that we get in the clinic day after day is Why is neuropathy treatment so difficult?
As you probably know a good portion of patients who suffers from some form of chronic intractable pain have peripheral neuropathy. One reasons for this includes the fact we’re living longer. Also in general, our health habits as so-called modern and developed nations have become worse, not better.
There’s also one major misconception that hampers neuropathy treatment for many and that is misunderstanding that Neuropathy is actually one condition when indeed its many disorders.
Nothing, and I mean nothing can be further from the truth. You see neuropathy rarely occurs without cause. Sometimes the known causes are due to chemotherapy, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and other such things as liver and kidney disease.
Sometimes, neuropathy is secondary to known disease processes. One example is Lyme disease.
Most of us know that 60% to 70% of patients who have developed diabetes, ultimately also develop some form of peripheral neuropathy.
About 50% of the time we diagnose neuropathy as being idiopathic. Idiopathic means that we are not one hundred percent sure what caused the patients neuropathy. As we have discussed here many times before, at least half the time in idiopathic cases the cause of the #neuropathy is due to metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is now so common and occurring in younger and younger ages that it is perhaps the most devastating health condition that we as a society must face head-on. Excess sugar and carbohydrate consumption along with decreasing physical activity is having a huge impact on society as a whole.
And too often even otherwise brilliant physicians ignore this as a possible cause of the patients underlying health conditions. Everything from neuropathy to heart disease can directly be related to metabolic syndrome.
And that is the reason in which many patients find neuropathy treatment so difficult.
Don’t let this be you. Start today by making stronger and more informed decisions. In a nutshell, do your homework, do your research and do everything you possibly can advocate for your health and effective #neuropathytreatment!
For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com.