The NeuropathyDR Diet and Chronic Pain Reduction Guide

The NeuropathyDR Diet and Chronic Pain Reduction Guide

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.

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.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

Eating Better to Help Neuropathy

Eating Better to Help Neuropathy

Do you remember why we eat? It’s to provide fuel and “building blocks” so our bodies can function smoothly, and repair themselves. Eating Better to Help Neuropathy can help you improve your neuropathy treatment!

In our last few posts I’ve talked about how simple a neuropathy diet can, and should be most of the time

Do you remember though, why we eat? It’s to provide fuel and “building blocks” so our bodies can function smoothly, and repair themselves. Thinking very consciously about this really can help you change your neuropathy treatment!

One of the biggest things I find that helps us is always having a powerful image of how we want to feel, and function! Think about it. Would you rather be building your body with empty calories from highly refined foods or from fresh, “live” foods such as vegetables, fruits and so on.

As part of good neuropathy treatment we are trying to stop or reduce “Inflammation”, the cause of much pain and suffering.

Neuropathy patients especially, need to be able to repair their bodies better, maintain an even blood sugar, and also provide things like magnesium, and vitamins.

In neuropathy, magnesium can help ease pain and restore better sleep. In our neuropathy diet, this would be from eating our leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts and as part of our supplementations.

The B Vitamins especially help our nerve cells work better. A key neuropathy vitamin is B1 or Thiamine. This one is crucial in neuropathy and diabetes as it helps your body “burn” starches and sugars, commonly called carbs now a days.

Plant food sources of thiamine include  nuts, oats, oranges, seeds, legumes, peas and yeast. Cereals are limited in the neuropathy diet, but small portions of things like whole oats: (hint: always measure) can help your belly work better and help keep cholesterol levels in check.

One of my favorite ways to start the day is with ¼ cup gluten free granola with almonds, then, add 1 tablespoon of our pea protein powder, and finally a splash of soy or almond milk. You’ll be keeping your carbs around 15-20 grams and be getting a head start on vitamins if you do this right.

A final word about neuropathy treatment supplements. Neuropathy treatment supplements are often advised in the NeuropathyDR clinics, always under supervision, and knowing what medicines you may be taking.

But always remember, the foundation of your best  treatment at home should be eating better to help your neuropathy and prescribed activity, with co-treatments directed by your NeuropathyDR clinician.

*For more information on neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://NeuropathyDR.com.

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.

 

 

The Hard Truth About Dairy

The Hard Truth About Dairy

You Won’t Hear This Advice From Many Doctors, But This One Factor May Change the Effectiveness of Your Neuropathy Diet.

The consumption of dairy products has always been a highly charged topic in nutrition. Here is the hard truth about dairy.

On the one hand, there is a sizable lobby advocating for the U.S. dairy industry. On the other hand, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that regular consumption of dairy products is a pretty bad idea for human beings.

In short, if you are wrestling with whether to include milk and other dairy products in your neuropathy diet, any contemplation of this question leads to a straightforward conclusion.

More than half of the human population has trouble digesting milk, leading to digestion problems, allergic reactions, and eventually elevated levels of “bad fats” in your body. What’s worse, there is a hormonal growth factor contained in most dairy products that is known to instigate several different types of cancer, including prostate and breast cancer. One specific kind of milk sugar called galactose is linked to ovarian cancer.

And the regular consumption of dairy is additionally linked to the likelihood of developing type 1 diabetes, which is a major risk factor for neuropathic pain.

All of this means that a neuropathy diet that eliminates dairy (as well as gluten) is one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation and pain associated with neuropathy and chronic pain.

It’s best to make a gradual shift in your diet so that the changes you instill can be permanent. There are many dairy alternatives out there, including products made from coconut, rice, and almonds. Just watch out for any added sugar or thickening agents like carrageenan.

As always, I urge you to become your own best health advocate. HERE is a copy of our NeuropathyDR Diet Plan!
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Neuropathy Self-Diagnosis and Treatment

Neuropathy Self-Diagnosis and Treatment

Ever heard the phrase “The man who represents himself has a fool for a client?” The dangers of self diagnosis and treatment of conditions like neuropathy could cost you your life.

While the old adage above is applied to the legal profession, the same can be said about patients who attempt to diagnose and treat their own illnesses and injuries. Especially when their symptoms indicate they’re dealing with something that could be serious.

The internet has made it easy for us to research our own health issues and become educated patients  but it has also made it easy to misdiagnose and inaccurately treat those medical conditions. Often from very unqualified information.

Now this may not be dangerous with a common cold, but if you have (or think you have):

–           Shingles

–           Diabetic neuropathy

–           Post-chemotherapy neuropathy

–           Guillian-Barre Syndrome

–           Peripheral neuropathy

You could be doing your body irreparable harm by not consulting a highly trained clinician, for proper diagnosis and treatment.

By researching and treating on your own, you’re wasting valuable time and when you’re dealing with neuropathy or any condition that involves nerve damage, because so often you don’t have time to waste.

The delay in obtaining medical treatment could make a small problem much, much worse.  Once that window for early treatment is gone, you can never get it back.  Treating on your own is an excellent example of being penny wise and pound foolish.

Here are just a few of the things that can happen when you diagnose and treat on your own:

–           You could be wrong about the diagnosis and taking medications that you don’t need.  That not only means that you’re not “curing” yourself, you could be making matters  worse.

–          You could be right about the diagnosis but taking the wrong medications.

–          You could be right about the diagnosis but need prescription medication in the appropriate strength to address your symptoms.

–          You could be putting yourself at risk for serious drug interactions with other medicines you’re taking (especially if you’re taking over the counter medicines and supplements without medical supervision).

–          You could be fixing one problem with over the counter medications but making another problem worse or even creating a new problem.

–          You could be missing the root cause of the problem – particularly in cases of neuropathy.

–          Finally, you could be putting yourself at risk for life theatening damage.

 

You Need to Seek Professional Care

Treating on your own is a classic example of being penny wise and pound foolish. You may save a little money up front but it’s going to cost you more in the long run when your health care provider has to play catch up and try to fix the harm done by delaying proper treatment.

If you have symptoms of any of the illnesses we talked about above (especially diabetes), it is vital that you seek professional medical care.

Early treatment provided by a specialist familiar and specifically trained with peripheral neuropathy will make it much easier for your body to repair itself and lessen your chance of developing permanent nerve damage as a result of peripheral neuropathy.

Don’t be afraid to ask for our guidance.

Before you try to diagnose and treat yourself, we hope you’ll consider the potential harm you could doing to your body.  And make the right choice – seek professional diagnosis and treatment.

Time is of the essence.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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.