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
One main factor in many cases of peripheral neuropathy is diet. You probably know that neuropathy is linked to diabetes and other conditions where daily intake of sugars and nutrients is important, but your diet can also influence the condition of nerves in more direct ways, such as in cases where a nutritional deficiency is causing neuropathic damage. We call this Neuropathy Nutrition.
Perhaps the most common links between neuropathy and nutrition is a deficiency in B vitamins, particularly vitamin B-12. Fight neuropathy by eating foods that are all high in B vitamins. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, don’t worry! There are plant foods that contain substantial amounts of B-12 (GREAT Reference HERE).
Vegetables are high in nutrients that have been shown to be effective treating neuropathy. Additionally, if you suffer from diabetes, fresh produce can mellow your blood sugar levels. If numbness or pain in your extremities is severe, keep pre-cut vegetables and limited fruits at the ready, so you don’t have to worry about the stress involved with preparing them! Just be careful of too much fruit sugars. This means a serving is 1/2 apple, banana, etc. Most non-starchy vegetables like greens and asparagus especially are great for most of us.
Foods that are high in Vitamin E are also good for neuropathy nutrition, according to neurology.com. A deficiency of Vitamin E can happen in cases where malabsorption or malnutrition are taking place, such as the case with alcoholic neuropathy. Whole grains and nuts are all excellent sources of vitamin E.
Lean proteins are also an important part of a healthy diet for people with neuropathy. Saturated fats and fried foods increase risk of diabetes and heart disease, in addition to aggravating nerve decay from lack of nutrients. If you suffer from diabetes, lean proteins also help to regulate blood sugar levels.
For some types of neuropathy, research shows that specific antioxidants may help slow or even reverse nerve damage that has not existed for too long a time. For HIV sensory neuropathy, Acetyl-L-Carnitine has demonstrated good results, and Alpha lipoic acid is being studied for its effects on diabetic nerve damage. But PLEASE, do not self treat! Get an accurate diagnosis and work with a professional armed with the latest research before beginning any supplementation or treatment, even with antioxidants. Let our team help.
Use Tools Like Journaling and Blood Sugar Monitoring Every Day…
So what are the best ways to monitor what you are neuropathy nutrition? The easiest way is to make lasting changes it to keep a food journal. Record everything you eat at meals, for snacks, and any vitamin supplements you might be taking. Your journal will help you and your NeuropathyDR® clinician determine if your diet could be a factor in your neuropathy symptoms! As a bonus, food journaling is a great way to be accountable for your overall nutrition, as well as to help avoid dietary-related conditions other than neuropathy. If you have a goal for weight loss, weight gain, or better overall energy, those are other areas in which keeping a food journal can help! Other ways to monitor what you eat include cooking at home as opposed to going out to restaurants, keeping a shopping list instead of deciding what groceries to buy at the store, and consulting a qualified NeuropathyDR® clinician about the best ways to meet your specific needs.
Dietary supplements (when properly prescribed and monitored by blood testing) may also help manage neuropathic symptoms and nerve degeneration. Supplementing with only the highest quality, liquid distilled fish oil can help supply Omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for brain and neurologic help. Many other types of supplements can be beneficial if you suffer from neuropathy; consult us directly for specific recommendations.
Patients and Doctors are invited to call us at 781-659-7989 at 12:30 EST Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to talk with the next available senior clinician.