Peripheral Neuropathy and Your Quality of Life

If you’re suffering from peripheral neuropathy, you know how much it affects your life.

You may feel like your situation is hopeless, especially if you’ve become mired in depression. But it isn’t.

Every single day…

Even the simplest tasks can be difficult if not impossible…

To anyone unfamiliar with peripheral neuropathy and its symptoms, they might just think “your nerves hurt a little…”

But at a peripheral neuropathy sufferer, you know better…

Peripheral neuropathy not only affects your health, it can wreck your quality of life.

How Do You Define Quality of Life?

Generally speaking, Quality of Life is a term used to measure a person’s overall well-being. In medical terms, it usually means how well a patient has adapted to a medical condition.  It measures[1]:

  • Your physical and material well being
  • Your social relationships – how you interact with others
  • Your social activities
  • Your personal fulfillment – your career, any creative outlets you may have, how involved you are with other interests)
  • Your recreational activities – your hobbies, sports, etc.
  • Your actual health – what your health is really like and how healthy you believe you are

How do you feel about these aspects of your life?  Your attitude and approach to your illness, both your neuropathy and the underlying cause of your neuropathy (i.e., diabetes, HIV/AIDS, lupus, etc.) can make a huge difference in how well you adapt to your neuropathy symptoms.

Neuropathy Symptoms Aren’t Just Physical

The pain of peripheral neuropathy falls into the category of what is considered chronic pain.  It usually doesn’t just come and go.  You can’t just pop a couple of aspirin and forget about it.  It’s pain with its root cause in nerve damage.

The nerves that actually register pain are the actual cause of the pain.  When you’re in that kind of pain on a consistent basis, it affects you in many different ways[2]:

  • You become depressed and/or anxious
  • Your productivity and interest at work is disrupted
  • You can’t sleep
  • It’s difficult for you to get out and interact with other people so you feel isolated
  • You sometimes don’t understand why you’re not getting better

What You Can Do To Improve Your Quality of Life

You may feel like your situation is hopeless, especially if you’ve become mired in depression.

But it isn’t.

There are things you can do to lessen the physical (and emotional) effects of peripheral neuropathy and help you function as normally as possible:

  • Pay special attention to caring for your feet.  Inspect them daily for cuts, pressure spots, blisters or calluses (use a mirror to look at the bottom of your feet).   The minute you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician for help.  Never go barefoot – anywhere.
  • Treat yourself to a good foot massage to improve your circulation and reduce pain.  Check with your insurance company – if massage is actually prescribed by your doctor, they may cover some of the cost.
  • Only wear shoes that are padded, supportive and comfortable and never wear tight socks.
  • If you smoke, quit.  Nicotine decreases circulation and if you’re a peripheral neuropathy patient, you can’t risk that.
  • Cut back on your caffeine intake.  Several studies have found that caffeine may actually make neuropathy pain worse.
  • If you sit at a desk, never cross your knees or lean on your elbows.  The pressure will only make your nerve damage worse.
  • Be really careful when using hot water.  Your peripheral neuropathy may affect the way you register changes in temperature and it’s really easy for you to burn yourself and not even realize it.
  • Use a “bed cradle” to keep your sheets away from your feet if you experience pain when trying to sleep.  That will help you rest.
  • Try to be as active as possible.  Moderate exercise is great for circulation and it can work wonders for your emotional and mental health.
  • Make your home as injury proof as possible – install bath assists and/or hand rails and never leave anything on the floor that you can trip over.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.  If you don’t know what you should and shouldn’t eat, talk to your NeuropathyDR® clinician about a personalized diet plan to maintain proper weight and give your body what it needs to heal.
  • Try to get out as often as possible to socialize with others.

We hope this information helps you to better manage your peripheral neuropathy symptoms.  Take a look at the list above and see how many of these things you’re already doing to help yourself. Then talk to your local NeuropathyDR® clinician about help with adding the others to your daily life.

For more information on improving your quality of life when dealing with peripheral neuropathy, get our Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.


Could Your Diet Be Making Your Neuropathy Worse?

If you’ve been diagnosed with neuropathy as a result of[1]

Your local NeuropathyDR™ treatment specialist can help you create a personalized diet plan for your digestive issues.

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Lupus
  • Shingles
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Lyme Disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Repetitive stress injury

We don’t need to tell you how miserable the symptoms can be…

If you

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

  • Anemia
  • Gastritis
  • 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.

A healthy diet should include[2]:

  • 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 our Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

Peripheral Neuropathy In Your Hands and Feet – More Than Just A “Symptom”


If you have

•         Diabetes

•         Cancer (and you’re undergoing chemotherapy)

•         Shingles

•         HIV/AIDS

And you‘ve noticed that, in addition to the discomfort you expected from your disease, you also have

•     Swelling in your feet, legs or hands

•     Muscle cramps in your legs

•     Changes in your skin and nails

•     Numbness in your feet and hands

•     Inability of feel heat or cold

•     Sleepless nights due to pain

•     Muscle weakness

•     Painful burning and itching in your hands or feet

•     Feeling like you’re wearing gloves or socks when you’re not

You could have another problem and it’s not just an uncomfortable symptom of your disease.

You could have peripheral neuropathy in your feet and/or hands.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy[1]?

 

Peripheral neuropathy is the damage that occurs when your peripheral nerves are damaged.  That damage can occur because of your diabetes, as a result of toxic chemotherapy, nerves being damaged by shingles, a lack of oxygen to the nerves caused by some other underlying condition or even as a result of HIV.

If you have the symptoms listed above, the nerves in your hands and feet have probably been damaged by your illness.

When you compare peripheral neuropathy to your actual illness, it may sound like it’s really no big deal.  The people around you may think you’re overreacting.  But you know how miserable it is to have constant nerve pain…to be unable to feel the simplest sensation in your hands and feet…or on the opposite end of the spectrum, to go to bed at night and be so hypersensitive that even the sheets touching your hands and feet is torture.

How Serious is Hand/Foot Peripheral Neuropathy[2]?

In your feet, it can be very serious.  How many diabetic patients have you seen with amputations below the knee?

Those amputations are usually caused by damage to the circulatory and nervous system caused by their diabetes.  Peripheral neuropathy plays a big part in these complications.

Diabetics are not the only people susceptible to peripheral neuropathy in their feet and hands.  If you are taking chemotherapy, if you have HIV/AIDS, if you’ve had shingles, or even if you’ve had some other infectious disease, you’re a candidate for peripheral neuropathy.

Think about it.

If you have a small wound on one of your feet and your neuropathy prevents you from feeling it, you’re not going to treat it properly.  Your immune system and circulatory system are compromised so the tissue doesn’t heal properly.  The next thing you know, you have a serious infection and you lose your foot.

The hands are less susceptible to something that severe (they’re closer to the heart, more active and have better blood circulation).  You use your hands more frequently and you’re much more likely to notice a wound on your hands than your feet.  That means you’ll seek treatment faster.

What You Can Do

The first thing you need to do is make sure your treating physician is aware of the problems you’re having with your feet and hands.  Then you can take steps to help yourself.

•      Get plenty of rest

•     Pace yourself and limit your activities

•     Exercise regularly – walking and swimming are good exercises for neuropathy patients

•     Take care of your skin and pay close attention to your feet and hands

•     If you smoke, stop

•     Eat a healthy, well balanced diet

If you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy in your hands and feet, pay particular attention to those areas and contact your NeuropathyDR® specialist immediately if you notice any blisters, sores, torn skin, or inflammation.   The combination of your diabetes, cancer, infectious disease or other underlying medical problem can lead to very serious infections that are slow or impossible to heal.   This can lead to dire complications that can be avoided if you receive the proper medical treatment early.

Make sure you’re doing a visual inspection and not relying on soreness or pain.  Your peripheral neuropathy will impair your ability to feel pain in your extremities and you may not notice the problem until it’s too late for successful treatment.

Assess your current medical situation and take note of any of the symptoms we described.  If you are experiencing any of these issues associated with peripheral neuropathy in your hands and feet, contact your local NeuropathyDR® and take full advantage of their expertise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathies.

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

 

 

 

Is Your Diet Affecting Your Neuropathy?

The next time you have a headache…

Or indigestion…

Or even muscle cramps or twitching…

Go online and “Google” any of those terms and see what you come up with.

I’m willing to bet you’ll be terrified by the results.

For headache you’ll see anything from brain tumor to bleeding in the brain to meningitis and encephalitis.

Indigestion will lead you to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or even abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts.

And muscle cramps or twitching will run the gamut from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Your search will also give you the more common reasons for any of these symptoms.  Many people latch on to the more dramatic reasons and begin living like every day is their last.[1]

Others will downplay symptoms, assume that they have something simple to treat and go to the corner drug store and buy whatever over the counter remedy “seems” to treat their symptoms.

Either of these reactions could be courting disaster.  Especially if you have a condition that can lead to peripheral neuropathy.  Delaying treatment with your local NeuropathyDR® clinician can lead to severe lifelong nerve damage that will destroy your quality of life.

Expecting the Worst

If you fall into the “I know I’m dying” category, you will probably begin doctor shopping.  Going from specialist to specialist looking for someone to confirm the worst.  Even beyond the physical damage the stress of this process can do to your body, your emotional well-being is destroyed.

You live day to day expecting the worst with the specter of the Grim Reaper hanging over your shoulder.  That is no way to live.

The first thing you need to do is make appointment with your primary care provider, preferably a NeuropathyDR® clinician.  Tell them your symptoms and let them do some diagnostic testing.  If the results warrant it, they will get you started on a treatment protocol to not only alleviate your symptoms but treat the root cause of your medical problem.  The NeuropathyDR® treatment protocol includes nutrition counseling, diet planning, stress management techniques, and hands on adjustment to properly align your nervous system.

If you actually do have a serious condition, the earlier you start this process, the better off you’ll be.  The earlier you receive treatment for any condition that can lead to peripheral neuropathy, the less your chances of permanent nerve damage.

Ignoring the Obvious

The other end of the spectrum is the patient who does their own research, opts for the condition easily treatable with over the counter meds, and puts off seeing a specialist until their symptoms are much worse.

Let’s take the muscle twitching or cramping symptom as an example.  Yes, this could be caused by overworking the muscle or even a vitamin deficiency.   Either of those are easy to fix.

But what if it’s something more serious?

If the condition lasts longer than a few days, you need to see your local NeuropathyDR® clinician. You could have a condition leading to peripheral neuropathy.  Failing to treat the underlying cause quickly can lead to lasting nerve damage, muscle degeneration, and ultimately, even amputation of the affected limb.[2]

Something as simple as seeing a specialist well versed in conditions affecting the bones, muscles and bones, like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician, can make the difference between life in a wheelchair and getting back to normal quickly.

Cyberchondria vs. Informed Caution

Before you think we’re advocating running to the doctor every time you have a hang nail, that is definitely not the case.  We’re not advocating the spread of Cyberchondria[3] (i.e., the rising epidemic of online diagnosis and treatment), just asking that you approach any medical condition with informed caution.

An informed and educated patient is a gift for any physician.  Informed patients are much more likely to participate in their own care and keep their physician apprised of any changes in their condition.  That’s a win for both sides.

Instead of using the internet as a tool to diagnose (or, in many cases, misdiagnose) your own conditions, choose to use it as a means of educating yourself enough to provide your health care provider with all the information he needs to accurately and quickly diagnose your illness.

You’ll be making your life, and your NeuropathyDR® clinician’s life, much easier.

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

 

Nutrition Support for the Cancer Patient


If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, no one has to tell you how devastating that diagnosis can be…

Your life literally changes overnight…

You’re faced with the reality of treatment and that usually means

∙           Surgery

∙           Chemotherapy

∙           Radiation

∙           Experimental treatments including possible hormone therapy

And all the side effects that come with each of those cancer treatment options.

If you’re a cancer or post chemotherapy patient and you suffer from

∙           Loss of appetite

∙           Nausea

∙           Post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy, including nerve pain and/or balance and gait issues

∙           Dry mouth

You may be missing a very important piece of the cancer recovery puzzle…

Nutritional support for cancer treatment and recovery.

Trying to recover from cancer without giving your body what it needs to build itself back up is like trying to rebuild a house after a tornado without 2×4’s and nails.

If your body doesn’t have the essential materials it needs to heal, no medical treatment has any hope of succeeding.

Granted, food may not sound appealing right now.  Talk to your medical team to put together a cancer recovery diet plan that will make food taste good and give you the nutrients you need to heal.

Here are some things to think about when designing a cancer recovery nutrition program:

Basic Cancer Nutrition Tips[1]

If you’ve undergone chemotherapy or you’re preparing to, you need to support your immune system.  Your best option for doing that is a diet rich in whole foods that are easy on the digestive system.  Make sure your cancer recovery diet includes foods that are high in anti-oxidants and protein.  Your diet plan should include foods rich in vitamins, especially vitamins C, D and E and nutrients like soy isoflavones, amino acids, folic acid, l-glutamine, calcium and carotenoids.  Drink as much water as possible and don’t worry about keeping your calorie count low.  This is the time to take in all the calories you need.

Chemotherapy and radiation may affect your ability to digest foods so invest in a good food processor and/or juicer.  Both of these tools will allow you to prepare foods that are easy to ingest and digest while still getting the nutrition you need.

Try These Foods To Rebuild Your Body[2]

It’s easy to say “eat foods that are high in vitamins” but you may not know exactly which foods you need.  Here are some suggestions for foods to aid in your cancer recovery and chemotherapy symptoms:

Vitamin C

∙           Red cabbage

∙           Kiwi fruit

∙           Oranges

∙           Red and Green Bell Peppers

∙           Potatoes

Vitamin D

∙           Salmon and tuna

Vitamin E

∙           Nuts, including almonds and peanuts

∙           Avocados

∙           Broccoli

Carotenoids

∙           Apricots

∙           Carrots

∙           Greens, especially collard greens and spinach

∙           Sweet potatoes

Soy Isoflavones

∙           Soybeans

∙           Tofu

∙           Soy milk – this could also be helpful if you need to go lactose-free

Folic Acid

∙           Asparagus

∙           Dried beans

∙           Beets

∙           Brussels sprouts

∙           Garbanzo beans

∙           Lentils

∙           Turkey

These are just a few examples.  Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ clinician for a specially prepared diet plan that incorporates all the foods you need to rebuild your immune system.

Use Herbs and Spices to Give Your Food More Flavor

Herbs and spices are a natural way to flavor your food without adding man-made chemicals.  And many herbs have natural medicinal properties of their own.  Try some of these to make your food taste better:

∙           Cinnamon

∙           Basil

∙           Coriander

∙           Cumin

∙           Ginger (natural anti-inflammatory properties, too)

∙           Garlic

∙           Mint (great for fighting nausea as well)

∙           Fennel

∙           Turmeric

We hope this gives you the basic knowledge you need to talk with your health care team, including your local NeuropathyDR™ treatment specialist about cancer recovery nutrition and your pre and post chemotherapy diet.  Working with your medical team to design a cancer recovery diet plan that works for you will ensure that you’re not neglecting the missing piece of the cancer recovery puzzle – good nutrition.

For more information on cancer recovery nutrition and coping with the symptoms of your cancer treatment, including peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.


[1] www.cancer.org/Treatment/SurvivorshipDuringandAfterTreatment

 

[2] www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-survivor

Neuropathy and Nutrition

If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy brought on by any of these medical issues:

·           Diabetes

·           Post-chemotherapy

·           Shingles

·           Guillian Barre Syndrome

·           Lyme Disease

Or any one of a multitude of other health problems and your over-the-counter or even prescribed medication isn’t helping, you may be overlooking a very important link in the management of your neuropathy and your neuropathy pain.  You may be missing a key element in your peripheral neuropathy treatment plan.

Look at what you’re feeding your body.

Many of the side effects from peripheral neuropathy you’re experiencing can be brought under control or possibly eliminated by following a good nutrition plan.

What Exactly Is “Good Nutrition”?

We hear so much today about the value of a good diet yet few people actually think about what they feed their bodies on a daily basis and what that food does to them.

A good way of thinking about it is “garbage in, garbage out”.  It’s like putting a really cheap grade of gas into a Formula One race car.  It may fuel the car, for maybe 100 feet from the starting line, but after that, the engine will sputter, stall and eventually just stop.  It certainly won’t run at peak performance.

The same thing happens over time when we put bad food into our bodies.  People who suffer from peripheral neuropathy are even more susceptible to the effects of poor nutrition.

Good nutrition involves putting the right mix of nutrients in the right amounts into your body.  The right mix of protein, good fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals (and staying properly hydrated) all comprise a good diet.  Even if you’re eating enough during the day, if you’re not getting the right mix of the ingredients that your body needs to function, you could be suffering from malnutrition.

Malnutrition leads to a host of medical problems and sometimes serious diseases, including diabetes.  If you already suffer from peripheral neuropathy, you’re just making the problem worse by not giving your body the basic building blocks it needs to repair itself.

All the medications in every big pharmaceutical lab on the planet won’t fix your body if you don’t give it what it needs to fix itself.

The Link Between Nutrition and Neuropathy Treatment

Food is fuel.  It’s what the body needs to function properly and support us in our daily lives. If you’re eating a healthy diet and giving the body what it needs to support you and take care of itself, it can not only lessen the effects of your neuropathy, it can even help you avoid other complications.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 20 or 30 years, you know the benefits of a healthy diet.  Significant medical evidence has shown that, especially in the elderly and diabetics (two populations with a high incidence of neuropathy), a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, even certain types of cancer.

If you already suffer from neuropathy and you develop any of these other complications, your condition will be even more serious than for someone who doesn’t suffer from neuropathy.

For example, you already know that neuropathy can affect your sense of touch.

A further complication of that loss of sensation is that it can make it more likely that you will fall and possibly suffer broken bones.  If your body doesn’t have the materials available internally to help mend those bones, your healing process can be severely compromised.

Even if your neuropathy is being treated with NeuropathyDR™ systems or other medical intervention, you still need a healthy diet to give your body and your mind what it needs to heal itself.  It will help you keep your energy level high for your therapy sessions, keep your mind sharp to follow the doctor’s instructions and may even eliminate the need for medications with serious side effects.

NeuropathyDR™ Clinicians are up to date on the best diets for your particular case. Keep in mind that we’ll also typically recommend oral and sometimes topical nutrition supplements and dietary programs.

Does What You Eat Really Affect Your Neuropathy?

In a word, yes.  If you want to be healthy and control or even stop disease, you have to eat a healthy diet.  You can’t continue to put junk into your body and not expect the body to deteriorate.  Especially if you already suffer from any of the health problems that lead to neuropathy.

One of the main components in diabetic neuropathy is metabolic syndrome.  And that’s brought on by high blood sugar  levels, high fat levels in the blood, and low insulin.  If you’re not putting foods into your body that create those problems, you’ve already won half the battle.

Even beyond the blood sugar issues faced by diabetics, other neuropathy sufferers can be affected by diet as well.  If you suffer from neuropathy, regardless of whether or not you have diabetes, here are some other problems you may be facing due to your diet:

  • Vitamin deficiencies – One of the most common is the lack of B-12.  Even if you ‘re taking a supplement, your body may not be absorbing it properly and that can cause anemia and/or nervous system disorders.  Talk to your NeuropathyDR™ Clinician about testing and what you can do to make sure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals in the right amounts.
  • Alcohol abuse – In addition to what excessive use of alcohol does to the liver and kidneys, it can also lead to nutritional deficiencies because your body doesn’t properly absorb what you put into it.  If you suffer from any form of neuropathy, your best course of action is to lay off alcohol.
  • Cancer – Studies have found a direct relation between certain types of cancer and poor diet and lack of antioxidants.  Also, if you smoke, stop now.  Cancer is one of the leading  risks of smoking and other unhealthy habits but if you have neuropathy and you smoke, you’re a ticking time bomb.

Above all else, the best way to help your body fight your neuropathy symptoms is to give it the tools it needs to do it.  Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ Clinician about what you can do, in addition to their treatment, to feed your body well and give yourself everything you need to repair your body and fight your neuropathy symptoms.

Subscribe to our Weekly Ezine at “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com to get your life back.

Metabolic Syndrome Hitting younger and harder…

Metabolic syndrome used to be called pre-diabetes. It is a devastating syndrome where blood sugar and blood fats are not handled properly, predisposing us to heart and vascular illnesses, diabetes of course. The frightening thing is how often so many professionals don’t stress its significance and preventive strategies in daily practice. We are seeing more and more of it in younger ages, where the first presenting sign is peripheral neuropathy. We’ll have way more on this next time.

Prevent Metabolic Syndrome with Healthy Lifestyle

How Do I Know If I Have Peripheral Neuropathy?

Knowing if you have peripheral neuropathy  should be very straightforward. Unfortunately, patients with peripheral neuropathy suffer greatly. In my experience and the experience of many physicians, patients have symptoms for years, which gradually build to a crescendo before they present to our offices.

These symptoms initially may include such things as mild loss of sensation of the hands and the feet, progressive  worsening of tingling and numbness that will oftentimes wake the patient at night, or completely disturbed sleep.

We also find that many patients with peripheral neuropathy have a combination of these most annoying symptoms. This could include not only the presence of tingling and numbness but shooting pains. I have had many patients tell me that one of the most annoying symptoms, especially in colder climates, is the coolness of the feet as well as the (trophic) changes that occur in the skin.  Sometimes, that is extreme dryness, cracking, fragility etc.

The diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy really is a diagnosis of exclusion. I tell my doctors this all the time. It is very important to have a doctor working with you, who is able to perform the most thorough evaluation possible,  evaluate all most your records to make sure that all correctible causes of peripheral neuropathy have been addressed. If a root cause can be identified it should be addressed as completely as is medically and humanly possible.

A diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy is more about making sure of everything it’s not. Therefore, our client doctors who take care of peripheral neuropathy patients commonly work with many physicians of other disciplines. The reasons for this should be quite obvious. It is very important that all the things we spoke about earlier, such as family history, genetics, medication usage, etc are all accounted for.

We also have to be on the lookout for iatrogenically caused neuropathy from medical care such as chemotherapy for cancer or other illnesses.

Another area which concerns me greatly is when patients self-medicate with over-the-counter medications or maybe even herbal preparations that possibly could be contaminated with heavy metals or plant toxins. I strongly advise you to seek professional counseling before creating irreversible damage to your liver or kidneys.

Hope for Inclusion Body Myositis?

Recently we discharged to home care a patient with neuropathy and weakness secondary to Inclusion Body Myositis, an inflammatory muscle disease with sensory and strength changes (weakness). As far as I am aware, there is no known cure.

In no way am I suggesting curative care was achieved. But this patient was 20% better in just five weeks, and this is after 2-3 years of standard interventions. The most striking gain though was in proximal lower extremity muscle strength gains, which objectively improved substantially off base-line measurements.

We modified our ND Protocols to include enhanced anti-inflammatory activity by boosting glutathione levels (a master detoxification system in the human body) and increasing EPA (the most anti-inflammatory Omega 3 EFA) levels, monitoring vitamin D levels, and a few other tweaks.

The best thing about our work is to see patients like this respond, and that gives us both hope, and reason to explore how we can help more people with similar illnesses.