Neuropathy Nutrition

Neuropathy Nutrition

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.

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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.

Is A Neuropathy Cure Possible?

Is A Neuropathy Cure Possible?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that Neuropathy is just one disorder.

Nothing, and I mean nothing could be further from the truth.

You see, there are so many different things that can induce the various forms of peripheral neuropathy.

The most common form of neuropathy is related to lifestyle and obesity.

This is called metabolic syndrome. As a society we have become larger and less mobile so were seeing many more patients with this affliction.

But that still leaves 50% with neuropathy from other disorders some, indeed very serious and possibly life threatening.

The reality is neuropathy can and does develop from simple things such as a nutrient deficiency like vitamin B12, vitamin D or even cancer.

They’re also significant numbers of patients who have toxic exposures and who develop neuropathy. These toxic exposures could include anything from certain medications to cigarette smoking to occupational exposures.

This of course means your most important first task is to have a thorough evaluation by a professional who truly knows the depth of neuropathy and it’s causes. Unfortunately, too many physicians and therapists are ill informed, in our opinion often not nearly thorough enough.

So is a neuropathy cure possible?

The answer is yes but that of course depends upon what caused it. This also means identifying correctable causes early on is key.

Despite this fact however there are issues that are equally common amongst many forms of neuropathy.

The most important thing that you need to understand is the better care you take of yourself, the better your prognosis.

For most patients this means cleaning up their diets, oftentimes losing a significant amount of weight, eliminating potential neuropathy irritants such as artificial sweeteners and highly refined foods. It also means eating more vegetables and limiting all forms of sugar and sweeteners.

Wherever possible adding exercise, physical therapy, and using the tried-and-true methods of treatment including specialized neural stem and other therapy where available.

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

Neuropathy Treatment Formula: Taking Charge of Your Health

Neuropathy Treatment Formula: Taking Charge of Your Health

Is Your Neuropathy Making You Feel Like You’ve Lost Control?
Neuropathy symptoms can make you feel like your health has spun out of control. But regardless of the particulars of your situation, there’s one thing for sure—anxiety and disappointment about the state of your personal healthcare are likely exacerbating your symptoms.

The number one reason to step in and take charge of your own wellness is that feeling in control will make you feel better. Anxiety can compound existing symptoms (such as trouble sleeping) and create new ones by putting the focus on what’s not working. But it’s important to remember that you DO have control over many of the factors that can positively influence your health in a big way.

Many people come to us looking for a “magic bullet,” one simple pill or procedure that will cure neuropathy overnight and permanently. They want a neuropathy treatment formula in a bottle like a one-a-day supplement.

Of course, there are many medically-based aspects to our treatment program, but there are also several significant components of the program that are completely in your control as beneficial lifestyle changes to impact neuropathy. Here are just two simple examples of things that YOU can control in your healthcare, starting today.

First, begin making small, gradual improvements in your diet. Start by weaning away from sodas and processed foods. Notice that you don’t have to go cold turkey or give them up “forever.” Just switch to thinking of them as occasional treats. Choose organic and local produce and other foods whenever you can. Seek out natural and healthy alternatives to your usual meal routine.

Second, get moving. Many people shudder at the thought of doing “exercise,” which sounds like some kind of aerobic torture device. Forget all that and just start moving more than usual—a walk around the block twice a day, slow-dancing to the oldies in your living room, or even vigorous housework or gardening are all candidates for healthy and fun exercise. Make sure you check with your doctor first to find out what’s appropriate for you.

The key is to think of “diet and exercise” not as unreachable fitness goals but as things you already incorporate into your everyday life. Just introduce a small shift in the WAY you do these things, and let a tiny pebble of intention turn into an avalanche of increased health!

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

 

 

Copper: Another Key Neuropathy Nutrient

Copper: Another Key Neuropathy Nutrient

Most people don’t think about copper as a key nutrient. Or in any way related to peripheral neuropathy or chronic pain. But as you’ll see, a small daily amount is necessary and essential to normal health and well-being.

Only the tiniest amounts are necessary for normal health. But like so many nutrients, lack this tiny amount, and we cannot survive.

In the human body, copper serves several roles. Perhaps the most important are our body’s ability to process oxygen, and absorb iron. Both of these functions are of course essential to life.

We only need approximately 3 mg or so per day to remain healthy. Unfortunately, excess copper more than our bodies can normally dispose of can cause a whole host of health problems, and must be avoided.

The most common source of excess copper in humans is likely from copper plumbing.

Copper levels can be measured in the blood and in the hair.

As we discussed recently, excess zinc supplementation will deplete copper, creating a mineral imbalance and the health problems that go with it. So, excess zinc supplementation will cause a copper deficiency.

This can lead to a host of health problems. There is a syndrome called myeloneuropathy in which copper deficiency causes a B12 deficiency like illness, with damage to the nerves and spinal cord.

Likewise, copper deficiency due to excess zinc, either due to supplements or poisonings like denture cream, can lead to the development of neuropathy too.

One of the key functions of copper is maintenance of normal joint and soft tissue proteins. There is no scientific evidence that copper bracelets and copper socks and the like work for arthritis, even though this was once suggested as a possible cure.

Our NeuropathyDR diet is adequate for normal intake of copper because it is high in nuts and seeds. Additional good sources include olives and avocados. Paleo sources include shellfish, beef, and lamb.

Because copper is essential for normal cellular energy and respiration, a deficiency could aggravate many underlying conditions yes including chronic pain and neuropathy.

Now you know more about this pretty metal!

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

Zinc and Your Health

Zinc and Your Health

As you know, zinc is a metal. It is used in a process applied to preserve metals from corrosion, especially in salt water. This of course is called galvanization. But what you may not know is that zinc also plays a large role in your health, especially neurologic and immune system-related issues.

Zinc and Your Health

Like so many nutrients, balance is everything. Too much zinc will suppress the immune system and cause difficulties with copper levels. Too little zinc can create problems ranging from memory impairment to prostate disease.

Yes, neurologic dysfunction can result when zinc is deficient. According to Hambridge et al in 2007 in “Zinc deficiency a special challenge”, it is stated that zinc is an element with “profound biologic significance”. In fact, zinc deficiencies worldwide are responsible for many disease states.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that zinc imbalances are relatively common. This is due both to low levels in foods of modern agriculture as well as elevated levels of copper due to plumbing and environmental sources.

In the clinic, we will measure hair and blood levels of these crucial elements when assessing nutrition status.

In our bodies, zinc can actually act as an antioxidant. This protects us against damage from environmental assaults, as well as natural aging. The presence of zinc is essential for normal nerve function.

It is well-known that zinc can speed the healing process and, in essential amounts, will help stimulate the immune system and possibly prevent prostate disease.

When zinc is used in shampoos and skin lotions, it can act as a sunscreen, a soothing dressing, and also help prevent dandruff.

The reason that zinc is so important is that it participates in many chemical reactions, especially in enzymes.

The recommended dietary allowance for zinc is around 15 mg per day. However modern diets alone sometimes fall short of this.

The good news is, the neuropathy diet that we recommend is high in nuts and seeds which provide relatively good zinc levels. Seafood, shellfish in particular, can be great sources of dietary zinc.

For most patients, safe zinc supplementation level is probably not more than 25 mg per day. More than 50 mg a day could be detrimental. Like so many nutrients, this is one area where working with your neuropathy healthcare professionals is essential if there are any questions at all about appropriate zinc dosages.

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