Food supply is a doubled edged sword. As little as 50 years ago, foods in some areas of the modern world were in short supply. Modern food processing and even food “manufacturing” has changed all that.
Food itself is far more plentiful for most people than at any time in our history. And that unfortunately has created lots of problems.
Obesity, diabetes and a very common form of peripheral neuropathy are very closely linked. Neuropathy and diabetes are both much more common now a days, and showing up in younger ages than ever before in our modern world.
Along with supply, has come a huge increase in the “density” of calories. A calorie is a simple measure of energy potential in what we eat and drink. An average healthy person may only need around 2000 calories per day. But the problem is, its possible to eat (very easily) way more than that, even in 1 meal! Yikes!
So, this means that a cup of a processed food for example can have 3 times the calories and fewer nutrients than a cup of say steamed vegetables, or even lean protein.
And consume these foods long enough before you know it you’ve packed on 20, 40, 60 or more pounds and neuropathy, diabetes and heart disease can and often do result.
Recently, there has been a wave of politicians attempting to legislate better health habits. What a theft of personal choice that is!
Just consider the proposals made by Mayor Bloomberg, and others who wanted to ban sales of certain foods! Quite frankly I’m appalled.
Aren’t we big boys and girls any more? Can we still teach our kids right from wrong? Behavior has consequences!
Real empowerment in neuropathy or any disease comes from the choices you and I make every day. The good news is progress from food companies is being made. Slow, but real.
I’m rather about adults learning what’s best and teaching our children better personal choices every day!
How about you?
I once had the opportunity to interview the famous Hank Cardello, a former food executive and the author of “Stuffed”.
Listen in as Hank and I discuss the Obesity Epidemic and The Food Industry…
For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com.
We don’t need to tell you how miserable the symptoms can be…
• Take your medication…
• Take precautions to account for muscles weakness or loss of strength in your arms and legs…
• Do whatever your doctor tells you to do and your symptoms still aren’t improving.
In addition to the neuropathy caused by your illness, you could be suffering from nutritional neuropathy.
What Causes Nutritional Neuropathy?
One of the leading causes of nutritional neuropathy is vitamin deficiency, especially Vitamin B12. If you don’t eat meat, dairy products or even fish, you might not be getting the vitamins you would normally get from those foods.
If, in addition to your underlying illness, you also suffer from
• Crohn’s disease
• Other chronic digestive problem
Your body is probably not getting the nutrition it needs from what you’re eating. That can lead to nutritional neuropathy.
Any condition you have that affects your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients and vitamins from your food can lead to nutritional neuropathy. And that just makes a bad situation worse if you already have some other type of neuropathy caused by one of the illnesses we just mentioned.
How Nutritional Neuropathy Affects Your Body
Even though the name implies that nutritional neuropathy is linked to your digestive system, it can affect much more than that.
Your body runs on what you feed it. If your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs, the malnutrition begins to affect every system in your body. Eventually it affects the peripheral nervous system. The nerves are damaged and no longer function properly.
If your nutritional neuropathy affects your autonomic nervous system, it can lead to problems with blood pressure, an inability to control your bladder or bowels, or even sexual dysfunction.
If your nutritional neuropathy affects your sensory nerves, you can have problems with your sense of touch – not just possibly an inability to feel sensation but a heightened sense of sensation. Imagine the sheets on your bed feeling like sand paper against your skin.
If your nutritional neuropathy affects your motor nerves, you can lose the ability to control your muscles, you could lose your balance and the muscle cramps you experience from your neuropathy can be even worse.
Even if your neuropathy is being treated with physical therapy or even drug therapies, you still need a healthy diet to give your body what it needs to heal.
If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding nutritional neuropathy, you need the right diet.
Good Nutrition Can Be Your Secret Weapon
The very first thing you need to do is make sure you’re giving your body the right tools to fight back against nutritional neuropathy. That means a healthy diet and managing your digestive condition.
Talk to your doctor, preferably a NeuropathyDR® clinician, about all of your underlying medical conditions. Your diet will not only need to include the vitamins and minerals, but you also need to take into account any digestive problems you may be experiencing that will prevent your body from absorbing the good stuff you put into it.
• Whole grains and legumes to provide B vitamins to promote nerve health. Whole grains promote the production of serotonin in the brain and will increase your feeling of well-being.
• Fish and eggs for additional vitamins B12 and B1.
• Green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and other greens) for calcium and magnesium. Both of these nutrients are vital to healthy nerve endings and health nerve impulse transmission and, as an added bonus, they give your immune system a boost.
• Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (such as squash, carrots, yellow and orange bell peppers, apricots, oranges, etc.) for vitamins A and C to help repair your skin and boost your immune system.
• Sunflower seeds (unsalted), avocados, broccoli, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts (unsalted), tomatoes and tomato products, sweet potatoes and fish for vitamin E to promote skin health and ease the pain of nutritional neuropathy.
• Ask your neuropathy specialist for recommendations on a good multivitamin and mineral supplement to fill in any gaps in your nutrition plan.
Foods you should avoid:
• Coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
• Fried foods and all other fatty foods. Fatty foods suppress the immune system and that’s the last thing you need when you’re fighting nutritional neuropathy.
• Control the amount of animal protein you eat. High-protein foods elevate the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine which are both tied to high levels of anxiety and stress.
• Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption limits the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body and can make a bad situation worse.
Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ treatment specialist for a personalized diet plan to help you to help your body to heal with the right nutritional support for nutritional neuropathy and your digestive issues.
We hope this gives you some tips to get started on the road to putting nutritional neuropathy behind you. Working with your medical team, including your local NeuropathyDR™ specialist, to design a nutrition plan tailored to your specific needs is a great place to start.
For more information on recovering from nutritional neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com.
You Know That A Healthy Neuropathy Diet Can Make All the Difference in Your Quality of Life with Peripheral Neuropathy. But Do You Know How to Implement This Change in the Best Way?
If you’re been reading for a while, you know that we discuss a healthy neuropathy diet as one of the primary ways to improve your health immediately and over time.
Unfortunately, many neuropathy patients struggle with this lifestyle change. When you are accustomed to processed foods, which typically contain lots of salt and sugar, learning to enjoy leafy green vegetables and other staples of the neuropathy diet can be a challenge.
But it’s well worth it. You’ll begin feeling better overall within a matter of days, and a neuropathy diet offers control over your symptoms which can have both physical and emotional impacts.
So many of the neuropathy patients we see in our clinics are suffering from chronic GI problems—irritable bowel, ulcers, and so on. Those things complicate neuropathic pain and certainly detract from quality of life. They can be precipitated by stress, but often a very poor diet is also to blame.
Here’s why we advocate whole foods for a neuropathy diet. Whole foods simply contain more things that your body needs to heal from neuropathy: vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water.
Ideally, your neuropathy diet will contain local fresh farmer’s market produce whenever possible. You’ll also want to learn how to flavor and season your food primarily with spices rather than salt.
As with any significant change in your health regimen, talk with your neuropathy specialist about how to begin incorporating a healthy neuropathy diet into your lifestyle in a gradual way.
Many People Don’t Know About Vitamin B7, One of the Important Neuropathy Supplements.
If you’ve heard about the B vitamin known as biotin, you might have only seen references to it in terms of cosmetics. Recently there’s been a surge of beauty products that include biotin as an ingredient, supposedly to strengthen or enhance nails, skin, and hair.
The truth is, using personal products with added biotin probably will not have any impact on your hair or make your nails stronger. There’s very little hard evidence of this.
And in the general population, most people don’t have a biotin deficiency, because it’s generated by our normal gut bacteria. (The exception is when someone is taking long-term antibiotics, which can harm those intestinal bacteria and lead to low biotin levels.)
But in terms of neuropathy supplements, biotin or vitamin B7 can be a powerhouse. Here’s what neuropathy patients and especially those struggling with diabetes need to know about supplementing with biotin.
If you have a genuine deficiency in biotin, similar to the other B vitamins, you might be experiencing symptoms like fatigue, skin rashes, depression, and peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetics may have a higher than average need for supplementing with biotin. Neuropathy supplements like biotin can aid in regulating blood sugar and lipids for diabetics.
Biotin is naturally present in a broad range of foods, although the amount of biotin in a single serving tends to be very small. The key to getting enough biotin in your diet without supplementation is to stick with a regimen of plenty of leafy green veggies, eggs, and other healthy whole food sources.
For most people with neuropathic pain, biotin can help. Consult with your neuropathy specialist about whether neuropathy supplements like biotin are needed to bolster your symptom-busting neuropathy diet.
For more information about what to eat for a neuropathy diet, take a look at our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!
Did You Know That Eating More Often Can Actually Help Heal Your Peripheral Neuropathy?
We know that obesity can contribute to medical conditions like diabetes that cause peripheral neuropathy. So it may not seem logical that eating more often, not less often, could be a primary way to address peripheral neuropathy symptoms.
Why would frequent meals be a GOOD idea for peripheral neuropathy sufferers? Here’s an explanation.
When you eat few meals per day, you are essentially training your body to store fat. That’s a primal survival mechanism to keep calories available to you as needed for fuel. It works against you when you are eating more calories in one meal than you really need—and especially if your meals are loaded with “bad” fats and simple carbohydrates.
On the other hand, when you eat more frequent meals, you’ll be training your body to burn fat more efficiently through stimulating metabolism. Frequent meals can also help to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Of course, there’s a catch. It isn’t enough to just eat more often. You’ve got to make sure that WHAT you are eating is nutritious and supportive so that you’re slowly healing your peripheral neuropathy, not making it worse.
The diet we recommend for those with peripheral neuropathy is based on fewer (and complex) carbs and plenty of good protein and healthy fats. It’s best to avoid going more than three hours without eating a meal or snack.
Obviously, for diabetics who need insulin to regulate blood sugar, follow the advice of your doctor.
Everything we know about healing peripheral neuropathy is based on a close working relationship with a specially trained neuropathy treatment specialist who can customize YOUR treatment to address YOUR neuropathy symptoms and overall medical condition.