Motor Neuropathy Care- Long Term Strategies are Key

Motor Neuropathy Care- Long Term Strategies are Key

If you are a regular NeuropathyDR® blog reader, you know that we tend to focus on the latest developments and research in treating neuropathy pain.  With peripheral neuropathy, though, pain is only one component.  This week, we’re going to talk about how neuropathy can affect your muscles, also called motor neuropathy.

There are essentially three kinds of motor neuropathy.  The first is the overall weakening effect of the muscles, especially in the extremities, which often accompanies peripheral neuropathy.  This can occur because the nerves which control motor function in the muscles have become damaged, or—in the case of a compression neuropathy—constricted.  The second kind is called multifocal motor neuropathy, and takes place when the immune system itself begins to attack the nerves, as can happen after a series of infections or after an illness.  The third kind is Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, which, as the name suggests, is genetic in nature.  Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, or HMSN, occurs when there is a naturally-occurring deterioration in the nerves that control the muscles, causing the muscles to not be used, become weak, or even atrophy.

Motor neuropathy usually starts in the hands and feet, and can affect the full extension of fingers and toes.  In addition to the dexterity problems this obviously causes, it often also has a visual appearance of “clawlike” fingers.  The condition is degenerative, getting worse over a period of months and years.  Twitching and spasms can also happen in affected limbs.  While motor issues associated with peripheral neuropathy usually accompany pain, tingling, and numbness, multifocal motor neuropathy involves no pain (only the motor nerves are affected).  Generally, none of the varieties of motor neuropathy are life-threatening, although they can absolutely impact your comfort and quality of life if you suffer from them.

When we met our patient Robert, he complained of a steady and declining loss of strength in his feet, which he had experienced over the past 4 years.  Robert had had cancer during that time, culminating in having his prostate removed.  His motor neuropathy caused Robert to have trouble walking or standing for long periods, and he even had trouble feeling his feet on some occasions.  He also complained of shooting pain, tingling, and soreness in his feet, all typical calling cards of peripheral neuropathy.  Since in cases of multifocal motor neuropathy, the sensory nerves are usually unaffected, Robert’s pain and numbness ruled that out.  Sure enough, when we performed a battery of tests, we found that Robert’s sensation to vibration was all but gone in several places on his feet.

Motor Neuropathy is Characterized by Weakness of The Muscles

Robert did not respond with the typical level of relief we usually see after treating a patient with electro-stimulation.  Over the course of three treatment sessions, Robert’s level of strength and comfort in his feet did not change in any meaningful way.  While this is unusual, it highlights an important theme: neuropathy is a complex problem with many symptoms and manifestations, and NO single therapy technique or tool—even those with a very high rate of success—can stand on their own as a complete treatment.

We designed a treatment for Robert intended to produce more long-term benefit, as his short-term progress was not substantial.  Motor neuropathies require an extensive MULTI-MODAL level of treatment, sometimes pharmaceutical and sometimes homeopathic, and usually involving some level of regular exercise and controlled diet.  Robert is currently improving steadily, and is seeing his NeuropathyDR® clinician as prescribed to monitor his condition and progress.

If you suffer from weakness or pain in your limbs, you may have peripheral neuropathy.  If so, we are here to help!  Contact NeuropathyDR® right away and we will help you find the best course of treatment for your specific symptoms.  We can even put you in touch with a specially-trained NeuropathyDR® clinician who can help you develop a therapy plan that will get results.

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multifocal_neuropathy/multifocal_neuropathy.htm

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multifocal_neuropathy/multifocal_neuropathy.htm

 

Alternative Therapies for Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Alternative Therapies for Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

 

Alternative Therapies for Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy, you know what the side effects can be.  Most side effects are well known, even to the person who has never experienced them.

–       Nausea

–       Hair Loss

–       Digestive problems

Another less widely discussed side effect is chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).

It’s virtually impossible to predict which chemotherapy patients will develop chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.  Some never do.  Others suffer terribly with symptoms like[1]

–       Shooting pain

–       Burning and numbness

–       Tingling in the hands and feet

–       Inability to sleep because of the pain

For many, their symptoms last well beyond their chemotherapy.

If you suffer from CIPN, there are drugs that can be prescribed to help deal with the pain.  If you want to be even more proactive and do everything you can to alleviate your current symptoms and lessen the possibility of permanent nerve damage, you might want to check into additional, alternative therapies to help you deal with the chemotherapy induced neuropathy symptoms.

What Else Can You Do?

While many think of anything outside of conventional medicine as “alternative”, that’s really not accurate.  Alternative treatments are defined as anything not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  The treatments we’re talking about here are more complementary or integrative therapies.  In other words, they’re therapies you use in addition to and to complement traditional medicine, not take the place of it.

Because of the growing popularity (and effectiveness) of these complementary and integrative therapies, the medical community has actually named them – Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Some complementary and alternative therapies providing good results for chemotherapy induced chemotherapy patients are:

–       Cancer treatment specific diets

–       Herbal supplements

–       Non-herbal supplements (like Vitamins B6 and B12, alpha lipoic acid)

–       Acupuncture

–       Massage therapy and Reflexology

The NeuropathyDR Protocol is Based Upon Combination Therapies

–       Exercise

–       Homeopathic and ayurvedic medicine

Any of these therapies, in the hands of skilled practitioner, is a great complement to your chemotherapy and other cancer treatment and can provide substantial relief from chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy pain[2].

Talk to Your Oncologist

Before you start any Complementary and Alternative Medicine regimen, talk to your oncologist.  Make sure that what you’re planning to do will not have an adverse effect on your chemotherapy regimen (some antioxidants do).  Always keep your oncologist in the loop on what you’re doing to complement your chemotherapy regimen.

Many of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine regimens we mentioned above will help you deal with and even alleviate some of your chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

The body is a finely tuned instrument and all the systems work together.  Massage therapy, acupuncture and Reflexology can help with muscle pain and stimulate the systems within your body you need to fight your cancer.

Herbal and non-herbal supplements can help give your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to repair itself and eliminate the possibility of permanent nerve damage caused by your chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.

Your Treatment Specialists Need to Get Acquainted

None of the medical specialties you employ to help you fight your cancer and treat your chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy operates in a vacuum.  They all need to know what the others are doing.

Luckily, most oncologists these days are familiar with the Complementary and Alternative Therapies chemotherapy patients are turning to for relief from the chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms.  Make sure your treaters are communicating with each other.  That will help them help you and design an effective treatment program that will get you the optimum results you deserve.

For more information on complementary and alternative therapies to deal with your chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com.

 

 

 

Acute Kidney Failure and Its Deadly Sidekick – Uremic Neuropathy

Acute Kidney Failure and Its Deadly Sidekick – Uremic Neuropathy

 

 

Doctor

This requires comprehensive medical care...

When you hear the words “acute kidney failure”, what do you think of?

Dialysis?

Hospitalization?

Symptoms too obvious to ignore?

Then you might be surprised to learn that acute kidney failure often doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms.  Many times it’s detected when the patient is already in the hospital for something else and evidence is found through tests.

When the symptoms finally do appear, they’re usually

∙           Swelling, especially in the legs and feet

∙           Cramps, muscle twitching or muscle weakness

∙           Little or no urine output

∙           Thirst and a dry mouth

∙           Dizziness

∙           Rapid heart rate

∙           Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite

∙           Confusion

∙           Anxiety or restlessness

∙           Pain on one side of the back just below the rib cage but above the waist

∙           Fatigue

While none of these symptoms appear to be life threatening on their own, in combination they can be a sign of a deadly illness – acute kidney failure.  And the root cause of many of these symptoms is a serious complication of kidney failure – uremic neuropathy.  Uremic neuropathy or neuropathy associated with kidney failure is a very common complication of kidney failure.

If you have two or more of these symptoms, you need to see a doctor immediately.  A good place to start would be a physician well versed in diagnosing and treating nerve disease and damage, like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.

What Is Uremic Neuropathy[1]?

Uremic neuropathy is a type of neuropathy caused by an increase in uremic toxins in the blood (the toxins urine usually removed from the body when the kidneys function properly.) The severity of your uremic neuropathy is directly linked to the severity of your kidney failure.  If your kidney failure is acute, your uremic neuropathy is pretty serious.

There are several conditions that cause kidney failure that will make it more likely that you’ll develop uremic neuropathy because they directly affect the central and/or peripheral nervous system.  The more common ones are:

∙           Diabetes

∙           Systemic lupus

∙           Hepatic (liver) failure

How Can Kidney Failure Lead to Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is one of the worst results of chronic kidney disease[2].  Acute kidney failure damages the kidneys.  When the kidneys are damaged fluids, waste products and toxins build up in the body.   Because many organs and bodily systems (particularly the nervous system) are directly affected by this build up of toxins, acute kidney failure leads to overall poor health and inflammation and nerve damage.

Once the nerves are damaged, they cease to function properly.  One complication leads to another and, in 20% to 50% of patients with acute kidney failure, you develop uremic neuropathy.

If you have one of the conditions we listed above that directly affect the nervous system, pay particular attention to your daily state of health.  If you develop any of the symptoms of kidney failure, contact your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician immediately for treatment.

Treatment and Prognosis

Uremic neuropathy is a serious condition that can arise from acute kidney failure.  Your best course of action is to catch your kidney issues before they become acute and you develop uremic neuropathy.

Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you and your other physicians to treat your neuropathy and manage your underlying condition.  They do this through:

∙           Diet Planning and Nutritional Support

You need to give your body the nutrition it needs to heal.

A low protein diet is best for patients with kidney disease.  Talk to your NeuropathyDR® clinician about a diet plan that will work for you.

If you have diabetes, you need to follow a diet specifically designed for diabetics and     to control your blood sugar.

∙          Individually Designed Exercise Programs

If you experience dizziness, rapid heart rate, extreme thirst or issues with impaired sensation in your feet and legs, you have to be every careful with your exercise program.  Make sure that you don’t overexert yourself, take it slowly.  Your NeuropathyDR® clinician can design an exercise program specifically for you that will allow you to exercise but won’t push you beyond what your body is capable of.  And, even more importantly, they will continually monitor your progress and adjust your program as needed.

These changes in conjunction with medications and possibly dialysis will make it easier to live with acute kidney failure and uremic neuropathy. Early intervention with a NeuropathyDR® clinician is still the best policy if you have any of the underlying conditions that can cause uremic neuropathy.  If you already have symptoms, start treatment immediately.

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

 

 

 

 


[1] www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/guidelines_ckd/p6_comp_g11.htm

[2] http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/chronic-kidney-disease-topic-overview

One More Symptom of STD’s – Peripheral Neuropathy

One More Symptom of STD’s – Peripheral Neuropathy

If you’ve been diagnosed with one or more of these sexually transmitted diseases:

•     HIV/AIDS

•     Genital Herpes (or any one of the large number of herpes-simplex viruses)

•     Gonorrhea

•     Syphilis

•     Chlamydia

•     Hepatitis B and D

•     HPV (Human papillomavirus infection)

Yes, we said one or more.

Because of the way sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are spread, it’s not uncommon to be infected with more than one STD through a single encounter.  For example, about half of the people who are infected in a single sexual encounter with Chlamydia are also infected with gonorrhea at the same time.[1]

If you’ve been diagnosed with an STD and you’re now experiencing

•     Extreme fatigue

•     Headaches

•     Painful, swollen joints

•     Swelling in your feet, legs or hands

•     Pleurisy

You may have yet another symptom from your STD to worry about – any of these diseases can cause peripheral neuropathy.

If it does, the pain, swelling or even loss of sensation won’t go away on its own.  And more than just causing pain, it can be deadly if the wrong nerves are affected.

How Does A Sexually Transmitted Disease Cause Peripheral Neuropathy?

Many of these STD’s are caused by viruses or bacteria.  Viruses and bacteria can attack nerve tissue and severely damage sensory nerves. If those nerves are damaged, you’re going to feel the pain, quickly.

The virus that causes HIV, in particular, can cause extensive damage to the peripheral nerves.  Often, the progression of the disease can actually be tracked according to the specific type of neuropathy the patient develops.  Painful polyneuropathy affecting the feet and hands can be one of first clinical signs of HIV infection.

Any of these viral or bacterial disorders can cause indirect nerve damage.  Those damaged nerves lead to peripheral neuropathy.

Exactly What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

 

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that develops when the peripheral nervous system is damaged by a condition like diabetes, cancer or a sexually transmitted disease.  When these nerves are damaged, they no longer communicate properly and all the bodily functions they govern are disrupted.

Depending upon which nerves are damaged and the functions they serve, you can develop serious or even life threatening symptoms.

 

Why Should You Worry About Peripheral Neuropathy?

 

After all, you’ve already received a devastating diagnosis when you found out you had a sexually transmitted disease.  Aside from the physical discomfort, as a responsible partner you have to alter how you handle the most intimate aspect of your life.

But you should worry about peripheral neuropathy because you could develop serious problems.

If your peripheral neuropathy affects the autonomic nervous system, you could develop

•     Blood pressure problems

•     Heart rate issues

•     Bladder or bowel control issues

•     Difficulty swallowing because your esophagus doesn’t function properly

•     Bloating

•     Heart burn

•     Inability to feel sensation in your hands and feet

Beyond being uncomfortable, any of these conditions can cause serious health issues; some can even be fatal.

 

How Can You Protect Yourself?

 

If you suspect you have a sexually transmitted disease, get medical treatment immediately.  If you’re sexually active and have more than one partner, you might want to be tested even if you don’t have any of the common STD symptoms.  Often patients, especially women, are infected and have no symptoms.  Getting tested and finding out early on if you’re infected will make it less likely that you’ll develop peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage.

If you know you have a sexually transmitted disease and you’ve developed any of the peripheral neuropathy symptoms we mentioned earlier, one of the smartest things you can do for yourself to head off potential problems is to consult a specialist who treats neuropathy and will recognize problems quickly and act to resolve them.  A great place to start is with your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.  Your NeuropathyDR® specialist follows a very specific protocol specifically designed to minimize nerve damage from peripheral neuropathy.

Contact us today for information on the best course of treatment to make sure that once your sexually transmitted disease is cured or under control, you won’t carry the burden of nerve damage from peripheral neuropathy.

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

 

An Infectious Disease Could Just Be The Start of Your Problems

An Infectious Disease Could Just Be The Start of Your Problems

If you have lupus, Lyme Disease, Varicella Zoster (aka Shingles), HIV/AIDS, or even Legionnaire’s Disease, you’re probably dealing with some combination of

•     Extreme fatigue

•     Headaches

•     Painful, swollen joints

•     Anemia

•     Fever and chills

•     Swelling in your feet, legs or hands

•     Pleurisy

•     Rashes

•     Hair loss

These are all symptoms we’re familiar with when we hear about these infectious diseases[1].

But what you may not realize is that any of these diseases can cause peripheral neuropathy.

If it does, the pain, swelling or even loss of sensation won’t go away on its own.  And more than just causing pain, it can be deadly if the wrong nerves are affected.

How Can An Infectious Disease Cause Peripheral Neuropathy?

 

Excellent question.

Many of these infectious diseases are caused by viruses or bacteria.  Viruses and bacteria can attack nerve tissue and severely damage sensory nerves. If those nerves are damaged, you’re going to feel the pain, quickly.

The virus that causes HIV, in particular, can cause extensive damage to the peripheral nerves.  Often, the progression of the disease can actually be tracked according to the specific type of neuropathy the patient develops.  Painful polyneuropathy affecting the feet and hands can be one of first clinical signs of HIV infection.

Any of these viral or bacterial disorders can cause indirect nerve damage and bring on conditions that we refer to as autoimmune disorders.  Autoimmune disorders cause the body’s immune system to go on the offensive and attack its own tissues.  These assaults by the body on the body damage the nerve’s protective covering.  Think of it as “internal friendly fire” – misdirected but potentially serious.

Aside From Discomfort, What Other Problems Could I Have?

 

You could have serious problems.

If your peripheral neuropathy affects the autonomic nervous system, you could develop

•     Blood pressure problems

•     Heart rate issues

•     Bladder or bowel control issues

•     Difficulty swallowing because your esophagus doesn’t function properly

•     Bloating

•     Heart burn

•     Inability to feel sensation in your hands and feet

Beyond being uncomfortable, any of these conditions can cause serious health issues; some can even be fatal.

 

How Can You Protect Yourself?

 

If you suspect you have any of these diseases, get medical treatment immediately.  The earlier you start treatment, the less likely you’ll be to develop peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage.

One of the smartest things you can do for yourself to head off potential problems is to consult a specialist who treats neuropathy and will recognize problems quickly and act to resolve them.  A great place to start is with your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.  Your NeuropathyDR® specialist follows a very specific protocol specifically designed to minimize nerve damage from peripheral neuropathy.

In addition to the NeuropathyDR® protocol and specific drug therapies designed for your particular condition, there are a few things you can do to help yourself[2]:

•     Get plenty of rest

•     Pace yourself and limit your activities

•     Exercise regularly – walking and swimming are good exercises for neuropathy patients

•     Take care of your skin and limit your exposure to the sun

•     If you smoke, stop

•     Eat a healthy, well balanced diet

•     If you’re a woman, pay particular attention to birth control issues.  Any of these infectious diseases can cause serious problems during pregnancy.

Your NeuropathyDR® clinician or other healthcare provider can work with you to design a diet and exercise plan that will help you fight back against these infectious diseases and the long term problems they can cause.

Contact us today for information on the best course of treatment to make sure that once your infectious disease is cured or under control, you won’t carry the burden of nerve damage from peripheral neuropathy.

 

 

Has An Internal War Caused Your Peripheral Neuropathy?

Has An Internal War Caused Your Peripheral Neuropathy?

 

Diabetes…

Compressed nerves…

Heredity…

Chemotherapy…

Any number of things can cause peripheral neuropathy.

One of the lesser known causes can be an assault on your nerves by the very immune cells designed to protect your body from foreign infection.  Once the nerves are attacked by these so-called “good” cells, they either fail to respond or respond so weakly that they are totally ineffective.

This failed or pitifully weak response[1] leads to

•      Numbness

•      Tingling

•      Pain, especially in the feet and hands

•      Muscle weakness

•      Loss of reflexes

•      Fatigue

•      Difficulty walking

•      Fainting spells

All caused by a particular type of immune related peripheral neuropathy called Chronic Inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy or “CIDP”.

 

What is CIDP?

Closely related to Guillain-Barré Syndrome, CIDP is what is known as an acquired immune-mediated inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nerves.  Basically, that means that the immune system has malfunctioned, attacked the nerves and damaged the protective covering that normally shields the nerves and insulates them.

Once that protective covering has been compromised, the peripheral nervous system breaks down and the damage becomes CIPD.  Chances of relapse and progression of your peripheral neuropathy with CIPD are very high so it’s vital that you seek treatment immediately if you have any of the above symptoms, especially if you also have

•      AIDS

•      Herpes simplex

•      Mononucleosis

Any of those illnesses[2] compromise your immune system and increase the chances that your symptoms are CIPD related.

How Is CIPD Diagnosed?

Because your neuropathy symptoms with CIPD progress rapidly and can come and go, there is a possibility that you may see your doctor on a “good” day.  Don’t let the good days fool you. As your CIPD progresses you may even develop bowel and bladder control issues if the autonomic nervous system is affected.  Monitor the pattern and progression of your symptoms and make an appointment to see your doctor.

To diagnose CIPD, your doctor needs to perform a complete clinical neurological examination; however, most experts agree that you must have symptoms for at least 8 weeks before an accurate diagnosis can be made.  Once you’ve had symptoms for that period of time, your doctor will do a series of tests including:

•      Electrodiagnostics – including electrymyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS)

•      Blood serum tests to rule out other autoimmune diseases

•      Nerve biopsy – only if they cannot get a clear diagnosis with the EMG and blood serum tests and can’t rule out other possible causes for your neuropathy, such as heredity or as a side effect of some other illness.

What Can You Expect From Treatment?

 

While CIDP is not curable, it can be treated and you can get some relief from the symptoms.  The normal course of treatment is corticosteroids, plasma exchange and/or intravenous immunoglobulin.

A highly skilled medical professional well versed in diagnosing and treating nerve damage is your best place to start for treatment of your CIDP.  An excellent place to start is with a NeuropathyDr® clinician.  They have had great success in treating patients with hereditary neuropathy in all its various forms.

In addition to drug therapies, there are steps you can take to repair your immune system and get those good cells working like they should again.

First – correct any dietary deficiencies you may have.

Second – start an exercise program to rebuild your muscles.  You may not be able to do much at first but just walking every day will help.  Once you become accustomed to walking, move up to a good low impact activity like yoga or swimming.

Third – talk to your doctor about nerve stimulation therapy to help your nerves repair themselves from the onslaught of your immune system.

If you think you may have CIPD in any of its forms (i.e., Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Myasthenia Gravis, Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome, etc.), seek treatment now.  While you can’t be cured, you can take steps to treat and lessen your symptoms and greatly improve your quality of life.  Contact us today for information on how your CIPD can be treated, your suffering lessened and exactly how to find a NeuropathyDR® in your area.