Want a Better Outcome? Get Involved!

Want a Better Outcome? Get Involved!

 

You live with your body every day…

Your health professional can have every medical degree known to man but he doesn’t live in your skin…

What’s normal for you may not be normal for someone else.

In order to properly treat you, the professional you trust with your medical care has to know what you’re feeling and the more detail you can provide, the better.

The bottom line is, you have to get involved in your own care if you want any chance of a good outcome.

Plan Now For Your Next Visit

 

Regardless of whether you’re seeing a health professional that you’ve seen before or if it’s a first time visit, the more information you can provide about your current symptoms, the better.  Don’t expect to just walk into the office and “wing it” and get the best possible outcome.

Be honest in the information you provide to your health professional.  If you don’t provide accurate information, there is no way he can accurately diagnose and treat whatever problems you’re having.

Plan to provide the following information:

  • The reason for your current visit – what are you worried about? What changes have you noticed in your body? What are your symptoms? When did they start?
  • Any allergies you have – that includes your allergies to medications, foods or anything else you’ve had an adverse reaction to.
  • Make a list of all medications you currently take – both prescribed and over the counter.  Be sure to include vitamins, supplements and herbs.
  • Be honest about your caffeine and/or alcohol consumption – think about how much coffee, alcohol or even energy drinks you consume in an average day.
  • Tell your health professional if you smoke, how much you smoke or if you use smokeless tobacco.  Any of these habits can have a significant impact on diagnosing conditions accurately.

Stay tuned for more suggestions on taking control of your medical care to get the results you want.

Recovered From Your Surgery But Having New Symptoms?

Recovered From Your Surgery But Having New Symptoms?

Great news! Your recent surgery was a success…

You came through recovery like a champ…

You managed to avoid any infections and you’re back home.

You never expected to be experiencing symptoms you never had before surgery:

  • Tingling and/or burning in hands and feet
  • Pain in your nerves
  • Loss of the sense of touch or an inability to feel vibration
  • Temperature changes in the flesh – do your extremities feel excessively warm or cold?
  • Side effects from pain medication that cause insomnia or difficulty staying asleep

Almost makes you wonder if the surgery was worth it sometimes, doesn’t it?

What Could Be Causing Your Problems?

"Why can't I fell my feet after surgery?"

 

One cause could be a condition called hypoxia.  Hypoxia can result from prolonged exposure to anesthesia used during major surgical procedures.  The anesthetic used can lead to certain nerves not receiving the amount of oxygen they need to function and that can cause nerve damage. When a surgical procedure is required, the possibility of nerve damage due to oxygen deprivation can be a necessary evil.

Another possibility could be free radical damage caused by toxins.  This sometimes happens in chemotherapy patients.  They make it through chemo and survive cancer only to be faced with the pain associated with nerve damage. Granted, when you’re facing down cancer, pain associated with nerve damage is the least of your problems but it can really make your post-chemo life miserable.

Yet another cause could be nerve compression from things like sciatica or carpal tunnel syndrome.  If your surgery was for either of those conditions or some other condition caused by nerves being pinched or squeezed, your symptoms could be left over damage from pre-surgical conditions.

Next time, we’ll talk about what you need to do next to treat these painful symptoms and get your life back.

What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?

As the name implies, Metabolic Syndrome is linked to your body’s metabolism and could be caused by your body’s inability to properly regulate the amount of insulin in your bloodstream.  Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas and it helps control the amount of sugar in your blood.

If your body is operating normally, your digestive system breaks down the food you eat into sugar (what doctors normally refer to as glucose).  Your blood then carries the glucose to your tissues where the cells use it as fuel.  Insulin helps the glucose enter the cells.  If you’re insulin resistant, your cells don’t respond normally to insulin and glucose can’t enter the cells as it should.

The body reacts by producing more and more insulin thinking that will help the glucose get into the cells, sort of like pumping the gas pedal in your car to get more fuel to the carburetor.  Just as that can flood the engine in your car, the result is higher than normal levels of insulin in your blood.  And that can, and often does, lead to diabetes.

Even if you don’t develop diabetes, elevated glucose levels can raise your triglyceride levels or interfere with how your kidneys work.  All of which puts you at higher risk for heart disease, stroke and a host of other conditions.

If you have any of the conditions we talked about last week – obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels that are off the mark, talk to your doctor about additional testing.  Determining whether or not you have metabolic syndrome and starting treatment early on can save you from developing serious illnesses down the road.

What’s the Common Link in the Neuropathies? – Part 1

The common link in all of these peripheral neuropathies, regardless of the cause, appears to be hypoxia.

Hypoxia is simply a word that describes loss of oxygen. This occurs at what are called the neuronal junctions. That is, the areas in the human body where one nerve cell communicates to another.

At a simplistic level, nerve cells communicate electrochemically across a gap. In neuropathy caused by hypoxia, this neuronal gap widens, which is theorized to be responsible for the symptoms that include not only the burning and the tingling but the shooting pains as well.

Neuropathy and chronic pain is characterized by pain, numbness, loss of tactile feedback, and poor tissue perfusion.  These symptoms may indicate that oxygen is not getting to all the cells causing dysfunction.

Because the patient’s quality of life is decreased, these results are often devastating.  Pain medications do not cure the condition; it only helps mask it and, eventually, leads to complications with adverse side effects such as mental confusion and intestinal problems.

As a result of conducting our own research and reviewing published studies from around the world, we have been led to new models concerning the causes of neuropathy and chronic pain.  We have concluded that it is not reasonable to merely label neuropathy and chronic pain symptoms as diabetic, peripheral, vascular, or “idiopathic”. What is needed is a more full understanding of the etiology of the condition so new technology can be brought to bear with both ameliorative and therapeutic benefits.