Holiday Stress? Just Say No.

One key to avoiding stress is knowing that it’s okay just to say, “No, I’m not participating.”

It is long been known that on the scale of psychological stresses, the holidays rank near number one.

Why is that?

As you probably guessed, there are many reasons—who can’t name a few? Finances, our and our spouses’ expectations, and—often the biggest—family.

It could be this has been a physically or financially difficult year for you. If so, the holidays might bring dread rather than joy.

One of the most important things to understand is that it’s okay just to say, “No, I’m not participating.” Seriously, I read this many years ago in one of my favorite life simplification books.

Yes, this could be the right solution for you. Sometimes one of the healthiest things we can do is just choose not to participate in chosen—or all—holiday activities.

Psychologists will be the first to tell us that, as adults, the most stressful things the holidays bring are our own expectations that they will miraculously do something for us that they can’t.

So, some people will choose travel, go away for the day, or simply be by themselves. What keeps you happy and healthy is exactly what you should do!

Others seemingly will suffer through anything, and complain about it all the while. This is how you stress yourself out!

Yet others embrace the season with joy.

Whatever it is for you, start by making a healthy choice.

Like everything, keep in mind it is a choice.

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Holiday Stress? Just Say No. is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon”

Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, especially if you have neuropathy or chronic pain!

Even for the healthy, the holidays can be incredibly stressful.

Some surveys have even found that people are more stressed by the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than by asking the boss for a raise!

But when you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Post-Chemotherapy neuropathy

Since you now have the stress of the holidays to deal with too, your health could take a serious beating—that will take you months to recover from.

Here are some steps you can take to make the holidays (and the months following them) a little easier to deal with:

1. Understand How Stress Affects Your Body

Stress (both mental and physical) causes the body to release hormones that prompt the liver to secrete glucose. That can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels if you suffer from diabetes. In Type 2 diabetics, stress can also block the release of insulin from the pancreas and leave that extra insulin floating around in the bloodstream. In Type 1 diabetes, the effects are a little different. Some Type 1 diabetics say that stress drives their glucose up, while others maintain that stress drives their glucose down. Either way, your energy levels are wrecked. On a good day, that can be difficult to deal with. At the holidays, it can be pure misery.

If you are feeling stressed and your energy is especially low, you are less likely to pay attention to your glucose levels, or eat as you know you should. Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, and Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon”

2. Do What You Can To Reduce Mental Stress

Many of the things that stress us at the holidays are easy to manage or control. Make your life as easy as possible during this trying time.

If traffic really works your nerves, leave home a little earlier or try getting to work by a different route and avoid the areas that are particularly congested.

If your boss is a nightmare, plan to take vacation around the holidays if at all possible, and give yourself a mental break.

Volunteer to help with the holiday activities of a local charity. Doing something good for someone else is a wonderful way to make someone else’s life better and make you feel good at the same time.

Resolve to start a new exercise program, learn a new skill, or start a hobby as soon as the holidays are over. Enlist a friend to do it with you so you can encourage each other. Giving yourself a goal and something to look forward to after the grind of the holidays is over will do wonders for your state of mind.

3. How Do You Cope?

Everyone has a coping style. Some people are the take-charge type and take steps immediately to solve their problems. Other people just accept the problem, recognize that they can’t fix it, acknowledge that it’s probably not as bad as it could be, and go their merry way. Still, others are hand wringers and feel perpetually out of control.

The take-chargers and accepters have less problems with stress, both at the holidays and on a daily basis—as a result, their blood glucose levels don’t become elevated.

4. Relax…

One of the most useful things you will ever learn (diabetic or not) is to relax. For many, the ability to relax is not natural, but it can be learned. Some ways to help you relax are:

Breathing Exercises
Sit down or lie down without your arms or legs crossed. Inhale deeply. Push as much air as possible out of your lungs. Repeat the process but , this time, relax your muscles while you exhale. Start with this exercise for 5 minutes at a time and increase your time until you’re practicing breathing at least 20 minutes at a time, once a day.

Progressive Relaxation Therapy
Tense your muscles then relax them. Lie still and repeat the process for 5 minutes at a time, at least once a day.

Exercise
We can’t say enough about the benefits of exercise. As we’ve said before, you don’t have to run a marathon to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. You can walk or stretch, too.

Watch Your Mindset
When it comes to reducing stress, a lot can be said for the power of positive thinking. It’s really easy to let your mind overwhelm you this time of year…

“I’ll never get it all done…”

“What if they don’t like what I give them?”

“Oh man, I have to spend time with my brother again this year…”

Just watch your mindset and you can eliminate much of the stress of the holiday season. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Say a prayer or recite a poem or a quote that makes you feel good. Think of something that makes you happy. It may sound trite, but go to your happy place.

Choose one or more of these methods to relax and do it daily. Relaxing doesn’t come naturally to us, but we can definitely learn to do it with practice, and the health benefits are beyond measure.

Face the fact that many holiday stressors are not going away. The relative you don’t get along with, the traffic, the never-ending list of things to do will always be there.

But you can learn to manage the holiday stress. And if you can learn to manage holiday stress, just think of what you can do the rest of the year.

Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ doctor or physical therapist to explore ways to handle the holiday stress-a-thon and make it a healthier and more enjoyable experience this—and every—year, even with neuropathy or chronic pain!

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Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon” is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Easy Home Tidiness Habits To Help You Reduce Stress

Coming home to a messy or cluttered house at the end of a long work day is not conducive to relaxation. It’s that simple. Stress over time can be devastating to our health, so it is important to make our homes into places of peace, a refuge from the cares of the outside world. Keeping your home tidy is an easy way to decrease stress.

Benefits of Reducing Stress

It’s no secret that stress is bad for our health. Not only can it lead to heart problems, there have been suggested links to cancer and dementia as well. Putting some time aside each day to relax, to have a peaceful space where you can let go of your worries, may aid your physical health. You may help reduce your risk of high blood pressure or even heart attacks if you take time to relax. Stress can impair memory and your ability to learn, and, as mentioned, may be a factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Aside from physical benefits, you may simply feel happier if you consciously choose to unwind each day. Stress may trigger relapses in depression and can lead to the buildup of cortisol, which can dampen the brain’s ability to produce serotonin and dopamine. Overall, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a space you can relax in every single day. Cleaning your home and making sure it is organized can help to create that environment.

Organization Practices

Part of keeping your home tidy and stress-free is having a good organization system in place. Lazy Susans can be used in more places than the kitchen cupboard. Clear up counter space in your bathroom by putting your lotions, face creams, toothpaste, or whatever you use daily on a lazy Susan to give you easy access and keep counters from being cluttered. Organize your linen closet by keeping sheets neat and folded together inside a pillow case. Add hooks or shelves to your bedroom to make sure you don’t leave jackets lying on floors, and books or purses askew on the bedside table.

Focus on the Bedroom

If you focus on creating a relaxing environment in one room, make it your bedroom. This should be your sanctuary from the rest of the world. Keep your chest of drawers tidy by using dividers so your clothes won’t be mixed and messy. Using multiple waste bins around the room can keep floors clear. If you are tight on space, you can transform your headboard into shelving, which can double as a nightstand as well. Whatever you do, make sure you keep your room feeling light and as stress-free as possible. This is the place you sleep, perhaps meditate, and should be a place of calm serenity. Adding scented candles in your preferred fragrance or using warmed oils can aid in relaxation. Hang soothing art and use light fixtures that make you feel at home in your bedroom.

A Home for Everything

It’s so easy, especially after having a long, tiring day, to strip your work day away when you get home. Your keys may go on the table and your shoes may wind up beneath the couch. Your purse may lie on the kitchen counter, and your jacket may end up half on a chair, half on the floor. This clutter can make a space, especially a small one, feel claustrophobic. Take fifteen minutes to assign “homes” for your high-use items. Make it a ritual to put things in their place right when you get home. Having a clear space with tidy walkways not only makes being home easier, but it feels like a breath of fresh air.

Your home should not add to anxiety or the stresses in your life. It should be your refuge and be somewhere you can safely unwind. By making little changes, you can ensure that your house is the perfect place to relax at the end of each day.

About Our Guest Author:

Alice Robertson began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner. After cleaning and organizing her clients’ homes for years, she decided to open her own home organization business. Over the years, she has built an impressive client list, helping to make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. She recently created tidyhome.info as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years.

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The Best Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment Strategies

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!

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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.

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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!
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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.

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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.
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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.


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The Best And The Worst of At-Home Neuropathy Treatment

Better methods of neuropathy treatment are available…just be sure you are using them!

Pills as question on white isolated background. Medical concept. 3d

By now you realize that there are a huge number of pills, potions, and gadgets etc. that are marketed to people who suffer from neuropathy and many other forms of chronic pain.

Many years ago when I became involved in the treatment of neuropathy and realized that this was inevitable due to the sheer number of people who suffer from peripheral neuropathy worldwide. And the huge numbers of patients is growing rapidly. Peripheral neuropathy now occurs in younger and younger ages.

Make no mistake about it this directly parallels our modern lifestyle and expanding waistlines. This of course is due to a high sugar, carbohydrate diets and less physical activity.

In fact, the overall quality of diet and physical exercise for the vast majority of the population has deteriorated dramatically in the last 40 years.

All that said, doesn’t it make sense that these should be the primary targets of effective treatment?

Of course it does and even more so if you have the type of neuropathy that is directly related to obesity and poor fitness.

So why then did these critical two components get ignored until it’s often too late?

This one is a combination of public health and healthcare professional education to be sure. The relentless push on you that all you need to do is to take this pill so that you feel better is an extreme disservice to both patients and their physicians alike.

But all neuropathy is not caused by lifestyle. Some are due to accidents, usage of certain medications, a side effect of surgery, genetics, or just bad luck.

All this means is that better methods of controlling the pain and discomfort that peripheral neuropathy can bring are essential.

The worst neuropathy treatments are those that have no basis in science what so ever and there are plenty of them available. You only have to scan the aisles of your local pharmacies.

Employing other methods, which are researched and supported by science are our first choice both at home and in the clinic.

Shouldn’t they be yours as well?

So, why not take a very hard look at what YOU are doing to self diagnose or treat your neuropathy or other chronic pain.

Join the conversation by calling your nearest treatment center or talk to us directly here on Facebook!

We’ll help you sort out the real science from snake oil.

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What Do YOU Need To Know About Metabolic Syndrome

Increased blood pressure…

Higher than normal insulin or blood sugar levels…

Excess body fat, particularly around your waist…

Abnormal cholesterol levels – and that means both “good” and “bad” cholesterol…

If you have not just one but all of these conditions, you may have Metabolic Syndrome. And that increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as peripheral neuropathy.

If you know you have one of these symptoms, you may have others and not know it.  Do any of these sound familiar?

1. Obesity – Are you carrying excess weight, particularly around your waist? Do you have an “apple shape”?

2. Elevated Blood Pressure – If your systolic (the top number) blood pressure is higher than 120 or your diastolic (the bottom number) is higher than 80, you have blood pressure issues that you need to talk to your doctor about.

3. Abnormal Cholesterol Levels – If you have high triglycerides (blood fat) and low “good” or HDL cholesterol, you need to ask your doctor about treatment.

4. Insulin Resistance – If your body doesn’t properly regulate the amount of sugar in your blood, you could be on your way to becoming diabetic.

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about testing to make sure you don’t have others.  With the exception of obesity, any of these could be silent symptoms that remain undetected without proper medical testing.

Stay tuned…in our next edition, we’ll talk about the causes of metabolic syndrome and give you an idea of what your lifestyle may be doing to contribute to your metabolic syndrome.

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Neuropathy and the Dairy Connection

Here’s What You Need to Know About How Dairy Impacts Your Health.

A lot of people in the American food industry simply don’t want you to know about the real impact of diary on your health, especially for people with diabetic neuropathy.

But there’s more and more scientific evidence than adult humans just weren’t meant to consume milk, and when they do, negative health impacts can happen. The most common issue is the number of adult digestive and allergy disturbances that disappear when dairy is stopped.

And there are other, more serious issues including possible inflammatory and cancer connections.

And what we see in our offices is that eradicating gluten and dairy from your diet may lead to significant relief from inflammation and pain related to diabetic neuropathy.

We always recommend gradual shifts in dietary choices. It’s okay to replace milk with similar products like coconut milk, rice milk, or almond milk. Many people find that soy milk has a distinctive flavor that may not make it everyone’s favorite milk alternative. No matter, what, try to avoid products with added sugar and thickeners or preservatives. Carrageenan is one that is known to be detrimental to the digestive tract.

There are also alternatives to cheese, mainstream yogurt, and other products made from cows milk. We highly recommend doing the research on your own in order to tailor your dietary changes to your own life. This will give you a greater sense of control over your own health and wellness. Be sure to share with your doctor what you are doing and plan to do.

Remember, too, that no one “magic bullet” is going to be the one to reduce 100% of your diabetic neuropathy problems. Instead, look at a dietary shift as one of several gradual changes for better wellness, including exercise, at-home neurostimulation protocols recommended by your doctor, and any medications he or she feels is needed at least at first to get your diabetic neuropathy symptoms under control.
Looking for a NeuropathyDR® expert near you? Click here.

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