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!
Which neuropathy treatments may really work? Well, that so often depends upon what’s going on “underneath”. Which is why it is SO important to have a very comprehensive diagnostic work up FIRST. Guess work and internet “magic” fads are just plain dangerous.
Peripheral Neuropathy is the term used for the group of conditions that affect those nerves outside the brain and spinal cord.
Along with other forms of long standing pain, neuropathy is a major source of aggravation and loss of work. Billions of dollars a year are spent dealing with the devastation it can bring.
Twenty million plus people suffer from this condition, with several thousand new patients every year. And if we count the people who suffer from daily pain, that number well exceeds one hundred million.
There are many causes. The most common is in fact lifestyle related due to lack of fitness, obesity and metabolic syndrome.These also bring along the complications of their causes like diabetes or cancer. The most serious are genetic diseases.
And here lies the secret answer to better helping our neuropathy patients! The best treatments target the underlying problems whenever that is possible! And where it’s not, looking at legitimate studies and evidence to support a rational plan of care for you.
I know you understand how miserable life with neuropathy can be because you are reading this article. Maybe it’s for yourself, maybe it’s for someone you love very much.
You have seen just how miserable it can be! For some, its loss of sleep and being able to do the things they love. For others, the prospect of facing yet another day or sleepless night of pain, tingling numbness and burning is terrifying.
You just don’t know what to do!
Recently, even major medication trials have been stopped because of poor neuropathy treatment results.
That is just why we publish our series of articles talking in detail about some real solutions to this huge problem.
But most importantly, always touching base with the real simple things you can do to help take charge of your health and improve the quality of your life no matter where you are right now.
If we can help you in any way, please post your comments or visit our growing Facebook family of friends where we’ll be sharing every day.
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.
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.
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.