Don’t Overlook Vitamin D Supplementation & Lifestyle Factors
Vitamin D is an absolutely essential nutrient that plays an important role in a healing neuropathy diet, not to mention multiple other types of disorders.
This vitamin has many key functions in your body. For one thing, it helps you maintain bone mass. Perhaps most importantly, Vitamin D allows you to build an immune system that can fight off invading diseases and restore order when your health has gone awry.
We may not even know everything there is to know about Vitamin D! New research continues to turn up additional ways that this vitamin is important for overall health as well as a vital part of a neuropathy diet.
Low levels of Vitamin D can really wreak havoc on your immune system. You’ll find that you get sick more easily with colds or the flu. You may also have global aches and pains that are hard to define or treat.
For your optimum health when battling neuropathic pain or discomfort, Vitamin D can be a significant part of a clinician-recommended neuropathy diet. That’s because Vitamin D helps your body manufacture certain substances, called neurotropins that exist to repair and regenerate damaged nerves.
You may be wondering how to determine an effective dose of Vitamin D. Unfortunately, experts don’t necessarily agree on this topic, especially in terms of world regions. Many European countries have a standard recommendation of several thousand international units (IUs) every day for adults.
In the U.S., doctors have often said that a good daily dose for adults is 600 IUs which for most of us is likely not nearly enough.
When I am helping a patient develop a customized neuropathy diet, I often recommend 2500 IUs or even more. That’s because the research shows that most people don’t get enough sunlight or enough natural food-based Vitamin D, so they need plenty of supplementation.
The best place to start is with a baseline check of your Vitamin D levels, so that you can work with your clinician to come up with the perfect dosage for your body’s needs. Most of all, be sure not to take TOO much Vitamin D without close monitoring—in very high doses, it can be toxic.
For at-home supplementation of a neuropathy diet, we so often recommend the NDGen Metabolic Support Formula, a safe and effective base mix of key nutrients to support optimum healing. Click here to learn more.
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Recent research highlights the relationship between vitamin D and dementia. Turns out maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D may help prevent the onset of brain disease commonly called dementia. Even the news media has latched onto this one. Vitamin D is associated with many diseases and conditions including dementia.
As it turns out and as we have long suspected vitamin D is critical for brain health.
But what about its involvement with neuropathy and chronic pain? Over the last few years we have highlighted it’s role, and the fact that vitamin D deficiencies are associated with chronic pain.
Furthermore vitamin D deficiencies are often associated with peripheral neuropathy.
Often times there is no direct cause and effect noted but we do know that vitamin D deficiency is associated with chronic poor health and many diseases and illnesses.
But why is this? How can one nutrient have such profound effects? The reason is vitamin acts as a hormone. Also acts as a cellular protectant.
One mistake that too many make however is simply blindly taking vitamin D without having it’s blood levels measured. This is a point I cannot stress enough.
You must know your vitamin D levels like you know your height ,weight and blood pressure.
So why not learn more about how vitamin D may help protect you from dementia, as well as numerous other disorders, including neuropathy as well as many forms of chronic pain!
Just use the search function on his site and go through our archives and learn much more about vitamin D!
There’s no other way to say it.
This should be part of routine testing for all patients, no excuses.
For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com
Sleep Problems are Common among Neuropathy Patients. Here’s What You Can Do to Make It Better.
Sleep disturbances aren’t unusual for most people during times of stress or illness. But people with neuropathy tend to experience sleep problems more often, and in a more severe way, than the general population.
You may have already experienced how a lack of sufficient restful sleep can negatively impact your daily function. It can also be detrimental to your long-term health and quality of life.
If you’re not getting enough restful sleep, your body’s major systems just aren’t able to recharge like they need to in order to combat neuropathy symptoms. You’ll be noticing more and more weight gain, fatigue, depression, and chronic pain over time as you continue losing sleep.
It’s so important to share information about your sleep problems with your neuropathy specialist, who can build sleep adjustment into your overall treatment plan.
You can also make lifestyle changes starting right away to help improve your sleep quality and reduce neuropathy symptoms. Daily movement or exercise, preferably outdoors for the addition of vitamin D from sunlight, is very important for neuropathy sufferers with insomnia. Stress reduction is another key to healthy sleep to supplement your neuropathy treatment. Make sure to also get enough water and eat foods from a healthy neuropathy diet. Some patients (those without kidney disease) may want to ask their doctors about magnesium supplements.
Another option is the daily use of our home care kit featuring an FDA-approved electrotherapy neurostimulator. By reducing tingling and other symptoms that can distract you from sleep, this daily care program can get help you get more Z’s on a regular basis. The NDGen Home Care Kit also offers automatic shut-off and a timer so that you can safely use it while drifting off to sleep. Take a look at our NDGen neuropathy home care kit.
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Vitamin B9, AKA Folic Acid, is a Key Supplement for Maintaining and Improving Nerve Health When Dealing with Peripheral Neuropathy.
You may know that folic acid helps to prevent birth defects, which is why it’s one of the key ingredients in prenatal vitamins.
What you may not know, however, is that folic acid is a vital nutrient for people with neuropathy and chronic pain. That’s because a folic acid deficiency can directly influence the development of peripheral neuropathy.
Why is folic acid so important for those with neuropathy?
It has to do with the role of folic acid in the body. This supplement, which is also known as vitamin B9, is essential for repairing damaged cells in the body. It feeds DNA synthesis, and it’s needed for preventing anemia (a condition involving a lower than normal quantity of red blood cells).
An abnormally low level of folic acid in the body can also cause fatigue, depression, and mouth sores.
For all of these reasons, folic acid is one of the essential nutrients that should be checked by your neuropathy specialist in a routine evaluation, along with vitamins D and B12, especially if you’re over 50 years old.
Also, don’t rely on self-diagnosis for folic acid deficiency. This is important to understand because if you took a folic acid supplement without first testing for B12 deficiency, you could be masking one problem while trying to provide self treatment for another. The other reason to avoid self-diagnosing is that some vitamin deficiencies can have serious consequences for your nervous system, and it’s best to begin your neuropathy treatment with a thorough examination by a trained neuropathy specialist.
Be aware that you’re unlikely to experience a folic acid deficiency if you are following our recommended neuropathy diet. That’s because the diet includes an abundance of foods that are natural sources of the B vitamins, such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, and fresh fruits. However, it’s vital to store and prepare your food appropriately in order to avoid breakdown of key vitamins before the food is even ingested.
You can find neuropathy nutritional supplements such as our Neuropathy DR Metabolic Support Formula at the Self-Guided Care Store.
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If You’re Thinking of Making a Fresh Start This New Year, You Should Know that Neuropathy and Dairy Don’t Go Well Together.
For years, you’ve been getting the message that milk and other dairy products are good for your body.
But for people struggling with neuropathy symptoms (as well as for most other people), dairy could be doing significant harm to your health.
Cow’s milk was never intended for human consumption. It was meant to nourish baby cows as a way to transmit bovine hormones they need to grow. It certainly is not an appropriate food for people. Even human breastmilk is only useful to infants for about two years.
Then why do we all think of milk as being so good for us? It’s only because the dairy industry is powerful in this country. Everything you hear on TV or see in magazines about dairy consumption is truly just propaganda.
So here’s what you do need to know about beating neuropathy and dairy in your diet.
It’s true that you need vitamin D and calcium for bone health to avoid osteoporosis. The thing is, you don’t need to consume milk or dairy products in order to get these nutrients.
And if you are wrestling with the question of neuropathy and dairy, the most important thing you need to know is that dairy can actually cause inflammation in your body or make existing inflammation worse. That can include neuropathy symptoms, too.
In other words, neuropathy and dairy make a terrible pair. If you consume dairy on a regular basis, chances are, you are making your neuropathic pain and discomfort worse than it has to be.
If you can’t imagine a life without milk, cheese, or other dairy products, take some time to explore the alternatives. There are many options out there made from rice, almonds, coconut, and other sources.
When it comes to neuropathy and dairy, less is more. See what you can do to reduce or eliminate dairy. Your body will thank you.
Looking for more insight into a healthy neuropathy diet? I encourage you to make nutrition your ally in treating neuropathy by reading I Beat Neuropathy: Getting Your Life Back on Track.
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Nutrition Plays a Big Role in Healing Neuropathy—and Poor Nutrition Can Make Your Symptoms Worse.
Neuropathy symptoms resulting from conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, lupus, diabetes, or shingles can make life pretty miserable. Unfortunately, a medical treatment program focused on managing neuropathy only through injections or other medication may ultimately provide you with little relief.
That’s because so many symptoms of neuropathy are caused or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. Only by addressing those key elements missing in your diet can you see substantial and long-term improvement in neuropathy pain.
A beneficial neuropathy diet is especially important for you if you’re also dealing with gastritis, Crohn’s disease, or similar types of digestive issues. In that case, your body is simply not able to absorb the needed nutrients from the foods you eat, leading to chronic vitamin deficiency that over time can encourage neuropathy symptoms. As you can see, your body’s ability to process nutrients properly can have systemic effects that go beyond your digestive system to alter your quality of life.
Fortunately, what this means is that you can take charge of your neuropathy symptoms by making dietary changes. Following a neuropathy diet, along with other supportive treatments recommended by your NeuropathyDR® clinician, is likely to manifest noticeable differences in your symptoms.
Key Elements of a Neuropathy Diet
A nutritional plan for neuropathy should include the following:
Lots of veges, beans and peas otherwise known as legumes and with any grains always going gluten free; these can be a great source of B vitamins to support nerve health.
- Eggs and fish, which contain additional B vitamins including B1 and B12.
- Fruits and vegetables with a yellow or orange color, including yellow bell peppers, squash, oranges, and carrots, which contain vitamin C and vitamin A for an immune system boost.
- Kale, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables that offer magnesium and calcium for your immune system and nerve health.
- Foods rich in vitamin E (avocado, almonds, unsalted peanuts, tomatoes, unsalted sunflower seeds, fish).
If there are any nutrient gaps in your neuropathy diet due to an inability to eat some of the foods listed above, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you to provide an appropriate supplement.
Remember, one key way that you can take charge of your health starting today is to implement beneficial dietary changes. Your neuropathy diet can make all the difference in the world.
For more information about neuropathy diet components and other ways to take control of your neuropathy symptoms, take a look at these resources for Self-Guided Care.
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