Your cholesterol or blood pressure was elevated so you take multiple medications…
You work in a manufacturing environment…
You’ve been exposed to lead, mercury or thalium in your job…
You have a history of drug or alcohol abuse…
Any of these things can cause one of the most difficult types of peripheral neuropathy to diagnose –
If you have any of these problems with your feet:
Or if you suffer from
- Difficulty walking
- Shooting pain in your muscles
It is vitally important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis and start treatment as quickly as possible to try and prevent permanent nerve damage. This commonly includes extensive lab tests, electro-diagnostics like EMG/NCV, hair samples and maybe even tissue biopsy.
What Causes Toxic Neuropathy?
Toxic neuropathy is basically nerve damage caused by exposure to toxic substances. The two most common causes of toxic neuropathy are drug abuse and exposure to chemicals on the job. More and more though environmental sources such as mercury from heavy fish consumption for example must be considered. Any type of prolonged exposure to toxins in the environment can cause toxic neuropathy. Even prolonged exposure to some organic insecticides or certain self-administered supplements can cause toxic neuropathy. Some herbal medicines are particularly high in mercury and arsenic, both of which can cause peripheral neuropathy.
Why Can Toxic Neuropathy So Difficult to Diagnose?
Patients with toxic neuropathy often present with very subtle pain or mild weakness. Because initial symptoms are fairly mild, patients may “blow them off” and it’s then harder to pinpoint a diagnosis. When symptoms are more pronounced and painful, there may be a lag time between the exposure to the toxin and the onset of significant symptoms. The symptoms come on so gradually that it’s harder for the patient to give the doctor a clear picture of what they may have been exposed to.
The difficulty in diagnosing toxic neuropathy is one of the reasons that it is so important to consult a doctor with legitimate training. Do your homework here. With experience & expertise and so often a team approach, he or she is more likely to pick up on subtleties that will allow a faster diagnosis. Faster diagnosis means faster treatment and that means less chance for permanent nerve damage.
What is the Treatment for Toxic Neuropathy?
Our initial goal is always help make the most accurate diagnosis FIRST.
The next step is to devise a treatment plan. The first order of business will be to stop exposure to the suspected toxin(s). If the cause of your toxic neuropathy was environmental, we will work with you to formulate a plan to decrease or eliminate your exposure.
Then you can begin treatment but note these precautions:
- If you are already suffering nerve deficits that are affecting your ability to perform basic daily tasks due to loss of sensation, you will need to take safety precautions to avoid falls.
- Treatment is often in-office and home care simultaneously. Unless you do your part, good results will certainly be limited.
Remember, toxic neuropathy can develop even after short term exposure to toxic chemicals and some well known drugs. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms we’ve discussed and you know or suspect you’ve been exposed to chemicals or you have or have had a drug problem, your doctor immediately. Toxic neuropathy and chronic pain is often treatable but any kind of neuropathy is very unforgiving of delay and your nerve damage could be very dangerous.
For more information on diagnosis, treatment and coping with toxic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com
If you or someone you love suffers from peripheral neuropathy or chronic pain, I don’t have to tell you how frustrating treatment options can be. You probably also are aware how limited many conventional treatments are. In reality, proper neuropathy and chronic pain treatment requires individualized attention. A haphazard approach just won’t do.
Unless an individualized treatment approach is taken right from the very beginning, and fully implemented, patients continue to suffer the pain, sleeplessness, often needlessly.
That is why the most important thing you can do is to work with a highly competent professional. But you also need to learn everything you can, and take proven action steps that will help improve the quality of your life. That is exactly why we publish the dietary and lifestyle posts every week.
Simply wishing the problem will go away, or masking it’s symptoms without attempting to treat the underlying cause is futile. A combined treatment approach really works best in the long term. The good news is, we now have available more effective and far less invasive treatment strategies for patients with chronic pain and peripheral neuropathy than ever before.
When these are combined with your own powerful self-care program the net result is many of our patients are now experiencing significant improvements in quality of life.
So we encourage you to talk with us, and learn about all the advances in the new technology that more and more neuropathy & chronic pain patients can now take advantage of!
Join our conversation with our staff today on Facebook by clicking HERE!
Effective neuropathy treatment plans are easier to implement with patients who have good habits and schedules.
It is a well-known fact that our daily habits contribute more to our long-term well being than any other single activity.
What does your daily routine consist of?
Of course, this includes things like exercise, drinking soda, tobacco usage, drug usage etc.
It also includes our mental activity. We have a choice to regularly have active mental stimulation such as reading, meditation and prayer versus passive activities such as long periods of watching television.
Unfortunately, most of us never take a hard look at our daily activities, and the impact they’re having upon our health.
Now when you’re young, these are relatively easy to ignore. But throw in advancing age, and some health challenges and it becomes a different ball game!
With chronic pain and neuropathy, sticking to good daily health habits becomes a much more difficult task.
Nonetheless what I can tell you after taking care of hundreds of patients is that those who have routines and habits fair far better.
One of the reasons for this is more effective neuropathy treatment plans are easier to implement with patients who have good habits and schedules.
Scheduling and timing of daily things such as meals, light activity, supplements, and even your own self-care goes along way.
One of the reasons this is true is your body has its own biorhythms.
Timing of certain supplements, and even self-treatment throughout the day can make a BIG difference in your outcome!
And these are all things we are able to assist you with.
Just make sure you engage us and ask for guidance with regard to the most effective neuropathy and chronic pain treatments and activities.
But most importantly ask and learn about the best scheduling, and timing.
Make a DAILY schedule for yourself, then stick to it!
Do you have a daily routine? Join our conversation today on Facebook by clicking HERE!
How Do You Keep What You’re Eating From Eating You?
The key is beginning and staying with the NeuropathyDR diet program!
The most common nutrition question we get when patients begin to understand the impact their diet has on overall health is
“What do I eat, and when?”
So, what I’m doing today is to describe a typical day of meals and snacks for a patient who is following the NeuropathyDR Diet, which is simple, easy to modify and add variety to on a regular basis. Controlling body weight and blood sugar levels by diet, exercise and lifestyle has a profound effect on your ability to heal and stay as healthy as possible in so many diseases, neuropathy and other forms of chronic pain.
YOU NEED TO KNOW: More and more research says avoiding or minimizing animal products is crucial to health and longevity but you MUST be sure key blood nutrient levels are monitored!!! At a minimum, before starting care we urge you to let us check your blood count, (CBC), HbA1C, complete urine with microscopic exam, liver, kidney and thyroid function tests, Vitamin D, Folate, B-12, Iron and often B6 and homocysteine levels. DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE & TREAT without expert guidance. Most of us may also require some supervised daily dietary supplementation.
Let’s start with Breakfast
It is very important to consume some protein within one half hour of arising. The reason for this is that it helps stimulate metabolism, protein synthesis, and mental alertness. It also helps us burn fuel more efficiently. My favorite breakfast is a vegetable protein shake, using a dairy-free protein powder with almond or coconut milk. Another good breakfast is a measured serving of gluten-free granola, taking care to keep carbohydrates between 15 and 20g maximum. You could also use a measured serving of gluten-free steel-cut oatmeal.
No more than three hours later, have a snack again, not exceeding 15g of carbs. This could include one half apple or banana, seven or eight almonds for other nuts, etc… Some packaged protein or nut bars can be fine if the carb content is low.
Lunch should universally be some form of salad or cooked vegetables with protein.
You can mix this up with your favorite greens. You could use baby spinach or mixed greens. Microwaved organic broccoli is high in protein and can be mixed with a few vegan “meatballs”. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, some almonds or walnuts, You can use tofu or tempeh or other pant based protein from vegetarian sources.
No more than three hours later, have an additional snack, along the same lines as your mid-morning.
When dinnertime comes, this is the time to emphasize non-starchy vegetables
Some of the best are cooked spinach, broiled or sautéed asparagus, cabbage, beets, squashes, yams, and sweet potatoes, and so on. Keep starches, such as rice and white potatoes, to a minimum.
Be sure to get in a high-quality source of protein. Again, you could use one of the better vegan alternatives, just be careful of gluten and carb content.
Three hours after dinner, have another small healthy snack. This time, try a few gluten-free crackers with some almond or cashew butter. There are also low carbohydrate gluten-free cookies—just be careful not to eat the entire bag, which is easy to do! Another really good choice to satisfy your evening cravings is a small square or two of unsweetened dark chocolate.
So, what’s NOT here?
Well there is no dairy, cheese, or cows milk yogurt. There is no regular consumption of bread; there are no snack foods, soda, or chips. There are no ice creams or pies for dessert. There are no fruit juices, candy, or other sweets. Plant diets are best!
Consider periodic fasts with your doctors help and consent.
More and more research is showing value in periodic fasts of 8-12 hours and sometimes longer. But you CAN get into serious trouble if you are diabetic or on certain medications.
Do you see where we are going here? The fact of the matter is, poor choice of foods is probably responsible for more ill health and disease than any other single factor in the modern developed world.
The key is beginning and staying with the program. Don’t worry about the very rare weekend, or party. Just always stay trying not to go berserk. Be especially careful during holiday periods.
Most of us should consume half our body weight in ounces of clear liquids, most especially (filtered) water, during any 24-hour period.
Be especially careful not to overdo coffee and tea. Limit alcohol consumption to occasional low sugar wine or beer, and very rarely stronger adult beverages.
Once you make a shift, you will realize how simple, easy, and inexpensive this approach to eating–for all of us.
For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com.
You might not realize that you can develop some forms of peripheral neuropathy even if you’re perfectly healthy…
Diabetes, Lupus, Cancer and chemotherapy, Any of these conditions can lead to peripheral neuropathy…But what you might not realize is that you can develop some forms of peripheral neuropathy such as suprascapular neuropathy even if you’re perfectly healthy.
Athletes who take part in sports that require consistent overhead movement of the arms (like tennis, baseball, kayaking, volleyball) place a lot of strain on their shoulders. That places them at a much higher risk of overuse injuries.
And that can lead to a very specific type of neuropathy – suprascapular neuropathy.
What is Suprascapular Neuropathy?
Suprascapular neuropathy- that’s a real mouthful isn’t it? It may sound complicated but it really isn’t.
Suprascalupar neuropathy is nerve damage to the suprascapular nerve – the nerve that runs from the brachial plexus (a group of nerves in the neck and shoulders) to nerves that help the body fully rotate the arms. Suprascapular neuropathy causes shoulder pain and weakness and can lead to career ending pain for professional athletes or stop weekend warriors from doing what they love.
The most common symptoms of suprascapular neuropathy are:
– Deep, dull aching pain in the shoulder
– Weakness or muscle pain
– Frozen shoulder (inability to move the shoulder)
– Numbness and tingling
If any of these symptoms are keeping you sidelined, talk to your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today.
Exactly What Causes Suprascapular Neuropathy?
As the suprascapular nerve passes over the shoulder blade, it can be compressed and stretched. When that happens repeatedly over a period of time, the nerve can become damaged and neuropathy develops. The first symptoms are usually pain and weakness when you try to rotate the shoulder. More than just being uncomfortable, the pain can disrupt your life on a daily basis.
Imagine trying to put on a t-shirt or reach for a can on the top shelf of your pantry with a frozen or extremely painful shoulder…
If your experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician immediately to determine if you have nerve damage. You’ll need to start treatment immediately to prevent permanent damage.
What You Can Expect From Treatment
Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will start with nerve conduction studies to find out exactly where the nerves are damaged. Electromyography will show exactly how severe the damage is.
Once you know for sure you have suprascapular neuropathy, the first step will be stop participating in the sport that caused the injury (until the damage is repaired).
Next, you’ll start a course of physical therapy and prescribed exercise. Therapy will concentrate on maintaining your full range of motion and strengthening your shoulder muscles.
Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will employ a very specific treatment protocol depending on
– The location of your injury and how severe it is
– Your age, general health and typical activities
– How long you’ve had your symptoms and whether or not they was caused by overuse or a specific injury
If your shoulder pain is keeping you on the bench and stopping you from participating in the sports you love or even from living a normal life, call your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today. Early intervention is one of the best ways to minimize the damage caused by suprascapular neuropathy and repair any nerve damage you may have suffered.
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