Neuropathy Myths Busted!

Having neuropathy and chronic pain requires incredible attention to your lifestyle. It’s important to separate the facts from the myths!

One of the things that frustrates patients and doctors alike in our clinic is the idea that once neuropathy or chronic pain has set in, all the patient needs to do is take this pill or that.

This treatment or that, this miracle supplement, or creme, or that…

Nothing—and I mean nothing—could be further from the truth.

Worse yet is thinking that just because chemotherapy has stopped, or diabetes is better controlled, that neuropathy, along with the burning pain, numbness, and sleepless nights will somehow miraculously disappear.

Of course, sometimes this does happen. But that is actually relatively rare.

The reality is, whatever has caused your neuropathy, recovery is often complex and requires multiple steps and components!

The reason for this is that once nerve damage has set in, some might be permanent—or reversible, but very slowly.

This means your body needs a healing push in the right direction.

This “push” includes all the good things you can do for yourself, including specific home-care tools, like neurostim.

This is also where complementing your nutrition support, including very complete and unfragmented oral and topical programs, can go a long way.

These actually target cell energy, efficiency, and recovery potential—not simply masking neuropathy symptoms.

You see, the more you can do to stimulate a healing response in particular, the better your results will be. And the better your chances of having a more complete recovery.

Delay, or simply mask your symptoms and you will not be as fortunate.

This also requires incredible attention to your lifestyle, in detail. Is this difficult? You bet! But think of it this way: What are the alternatives to really having a lasting and best result?

Just as if you had major surgery, even something such as a heart transplant, you need to give your body every chance you can!

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

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My Neuropathy Symptoms Aren’t That Bad!

One thing that we see fairly frequently in our clinics is when patients present with the early onset of neuropathy symptoms.

If you’re experiencing neuropathy symptoms, such as pain, tingling, numbness, or burning, this could be due to things such as chemotherapy, statin medications, or perhaps even “pre-diabetes” now called metabolic syndrome.

Now there are cases of course where neuropathy is not long-term.

This usually occurs in younger patients, who have been exposed to poisons or medications that eventually are stopped.

Unfortunately, for many adults neuropathy it is a very different situation. For most of us, saying “I have a little neuropathy” is just like saying “I’m a little bit pregnant”.

In order to have effective neuropathy treatment it is critical to identify correctable factors causing your neuropathy symptoms early on. This would include things such as obesity, certain medications, and lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking. Likewise, it is also very important to begin the most appropriate neuropathy treatment as soon as possible.

You see one of the things we know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that when patients begin neuropathy treatment early and seriously the long-term results are far better.

In our clinic we find that patients who treat their neuropathy early are less debilitated, and return to better function much more easily.

So what can you do?

First of all, do not be a “minimizer”. When you experience neuropathy symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, or burning, have them thoroughly checked out as soon as possible by a licensed healthcare professional.

Next, help your clinicians help you by fully revealing your family history, medication usage, and other factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, et cetera.

Lastly, learn the importance of good homecare programs. Our NeuropathyDR homecare programs can speed your progress as well as improve your neuropathy treatment results, often times dramatically.

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

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Neuropathy Foot Wear – Your Shoes Could Be Killing You

Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy?

Do you have peripheral neuropathy in your feet and/or legs?

Has your doctor told you how important it is to take proper care of your feet?

Now, for the $25,000 bonus question…

Are you doing what your doctor tells you to do?

Many patients with peripheral neuropathy don’t take proper care of their feet and don’t follow their doctors’ instructions on foot care.

If you have peripheral neuropathy in your feet, not following your doctor’s instructions about the type of shoes you should wear and how to care for your feet can lead to amputation…

Ultimately, it could cost your life.

You’re Not Alone

If you’re not listening to your doctor and doing everything he tells you to do to care for your feet, you’re not the only one.[1]

A recent study that followed 41 patients with type 2 diabetes found that

  • 90% of the patients had been educated about proper footwear
  • 83% washed and dried their feet properly every day
  • 51% actually foot self-exams recommended by their doctors

But more than half the patients admitted that they walked around the house and even outside with no shoes.  And more than two thirds of them were not wearing appropriate footwear.  They were wearing shoes with pointed toes, high heels or flip flops, and even worse.

Finding the Right Shoes

If you have peripheral neuropathy in your feet, choosing the right shoes is vitally important.  Here are some tips to help you know what to look for and what to avoid when you’re buying shoes:

  • Never wear shoes with pointed toes.
  • Avoid shoes with a really flat sole or high heels.  Neither of these styles allow for even distribution of foot pressure.
  • Buy shoes with soft insoles.
  • Never buy plastic or synthetic materials that don’t allow your feet to breathe.
  • Only wear shoes made of leather, suede or canvas that allow air to circulate around your feet and help them stay dry.
  • Avoid slip ons – buy shoes with laces and buckles that allow you to adjust how tight your shoes are.
  • Ask for professional assistance in getting the proper fit in every pair of shoes you buy.
  • Proper shoes don’t have to look like something your grandmother would wear.  You can buy stylish shoes that won’t land you in the hospital.

Remember that neuropathy is nerve damage.  That means that the nerves in your feet are not functioning properly and you may not feel a problem until it’s too late and you have sores, blisters or ulcers.  Those can be deadly.

See Your Doctor Regularly

Ultimately, you need to see your doctor regularly[2].  Find a doctor who specializes in treating patients with neuropathy, like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.  They can help you choose proper footwear and take care of your feet on a routine basis and stop any problems before they’re severe.  By seeing your doctor regularly and staying on top of any issues you may have, you can reduce your risk of amputation by between 20% and 70%.

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

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Neuropathy, Illness or Chemotherapy? You Need A Healthy Diet!

Food

If you’re taking chemotherapy to fight Neuropathy, Cancer or other Illnesses and you’re suffering from

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy
  • Dry mouth

You can help yourself heal without resorting to even more medication.

By giving your body the nutrients and vitamins that it needs for repair and recovery.

If you’re suffering from loss of appetite, telling you to eat may sound crazy but you have options.  You can eat a healthy diet, with foods that are appetizing, and give yourself a head start on healing.

Nutrition and Cancer

Chemotherapy wreaks havoc on your immune system[1].  You need to give yourself every ounce of immune support possible.  A diet of whole foods that are easy on your sensitive digestive tract is your best option.

Get plenty of anti-oxidants and protein.  Your chemotherapy nutrition plan must 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.  Make sure you stay well hydrated (especially if you are nauseated) and forget about counting calories.  Eat every calorie you can get your hands on – this is not time to worry about weight issues.

If you’re having problems with digesting food, invest in a good juicer.  A juicer will make it easy for your digestive system to break down the food you take in and still get the nutrition your body desperately needs to build itself back up.

The Best Foods For The Chemotherapy Patient

To make it easy for you to remember which foods you need[2], here is a simple cheat sheet of foods that will ensure that your body is being well nourished while undergoing chemotherapy:

Vitamin C

  • Red cabbage
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Oranges
  • Red and Green Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Strawberries and tangerines

Vitamin D

  • Salmon and tuna

Vitamin E

  • Nuts, including almonds and peanuts
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Mangoes
  • Sunflower seeds

Carotenoids

  • Apricots
  • Carrots
  • Greens, especially collard greens and spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Acorn squash

Soy Isoflavones

  • Soybeans
  • Tofu
  • Soy milk – might be easier to digest than regular milk because it’s lactose-free

Folic Acid

  • Asparagus
  • Dried beans
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lentils
  • Turkey

Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ clinician or other medical professional about diet planning to make sure that you’re getting everything from your food that you need to rebuild your immune system.

The Beauty of Herbs and Spices

Adding herbs and spices to your food will not only make them taste better (which is vital if you have no appetite), many herbs and spices have medicinal properties.  Some really good options are:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Ginger (natural anti-inflammatory properties)
  • Garlic (natural anti-biotic properties)
  • Mint (great for fighting nausea as well)
  • Fennel
  • Turmeric
  • Parsley

Again, talk to your NeuropathyDR treatment center about cancer recovery nutrition and diet planning. Sit down and formulate what you need to eat and gather recipe ideas that sound appealing to you.  By working with your medical professionals and doing what you can on your own to rebuild your immune system, you will have a much better chance of recovery, both from your cancer and your chemotherapy treatment.  By giving your body what it needs, you can also give yourself a better chance of fewer long term effects from post chemotherapy neuropathy.

Have this article handy for your next doctor appointment and take it with you when you go to the grocery store. It’s a great reference for planning your weekly diet and making sure you’re eating the right foods for chemotherapy recovery.

For more information on nutrition to help you fight cancer and post chemotherapy neuropathyget your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com

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Nutritional Support for Cancer Treatment and Recovery


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 Nutritional support for cancer treatment and 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 Nutritional support for cancer treatment and recovery 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

Call us for personal help at 781-659-7989


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

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

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What’s The Best Neuropathy Treatment?

Start With An Accurate Diagnosis…

Neuropathy Diagnosis First Steps

Could my neuropathy symptoms be due to something else? This is a question I get all the time. I wish it were easy to answer.

But it’s not. That is unless of course you are sure you actually have neuropathy!

Some neuropathy treatments when probably applied can be a godsend. They help many patients’ recover, sleep better function better improve mobility strength and even endurance.

Others have no merit at all.

Most drugs only mask symptoms and do little or nothing to improve nerve function.

But one of the problems we are seeing more and more is when patients self diagnose, or are wrongly diagnosed, and then apply treatments which are ineffective.

There are for example some things, which can masquerade as peripheral neuropathy. One of the most common is disc disease of the spine. When spinal disks herniate, or bulge centrally they can irritate your spinal cord and adjacent nerve roots creating symptoms, which mimic those due to other conditions such as diabetes.

Another common condition is spinal stenosis, even when the stenosis (which simply means narrowing) occurs in the neck or cervical spine.

A couple other conditions, which can masquerade as peripheral neuropathy, include RSD, MS or multiple sclerosis, and rarely infections involving the spine or nervous system.

This is why is very important to get an accurate diagnosis FIRST wherever possible. Make sure your clinician has ruled out all possibilities.

Help your neuropathy treatment clinician by revealing all trauma, surgeries, and even medication exposures, even if you think they are not significant.

By doing this, you will be paving the way for more effective neuropathy treatment.

As I tell new clinicians we train on a regular basis, working with peripheral neuropathy patients requires extreme diligence. Often times we find patients have more than one condition existing at the same time.

Unless your neuropathy treatment clinician is a trained NeuropathyDR Specialist they may overlook or miss these things that maybe related your symptoms.

So why not save yourself lots of time money and aggravation and consult with one of our clinicians vis Telemedicine or in person, today?

Just Go HERE:

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Neuropathy Basics: Distinguishing Sensory Neuropathy from Motor Neuropathy

What You Need to Know about the Two Types of Neuropathy and How to Treat Them

Why is neuropathy so difficult sometimes to diagnose and treat?

Well, for starters, there is no one disorder known as neuropathy. Technically, it’s an entire group of issues ranging from basic to complex.

One helpful way of subdividing this class of disorders is to think about sensory vs. motor. Sensory neuropathy is about sensation or lack of sensation—in other words, tingling or pain on one end of the spectrum and numbness on the other end.

Losing sensation can also affect balance, which is a major quality of life issue.

Things like diabetic neuropathy (in its early stages), neuropathy related to metabolic syndrome, and chemotherapy induced neuropathy are examples of sensory neuropathies.

On the other hand, motor (or movement) neuropathy describes a loss of power and strength in the muscles. The major symptom of this type of neuropathy is muscle weakness.

Unfortunately, motor issues can be difficult to diagnose and even harder to treat. You can end up with motor neuropathy as a side effect of a Lyme disease infection, or it can be genetic.

What’s important to know about sensory vs. motor neuropathy is that even the most advanced cases with the worst symptoms can often show some amount of improvement through self care. That means good nutrition, physical therapy, and at-home neurostimulation techniques. Some types of supplements may also help, such as CoQ10.

Even though I’m urging self care, I want to make sure you truly understand that a good self care protocol and treatment plan is always developed in collaboration with a knowledgeable neuropathy clinician.

If you don’t know where to turn to find a trained neuropathy expert in your local area, click here for a list of NeuropathyDR® clinicians sorted by region.

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Peripheral Neuropathy from Chemotherapy: What Can You Do?

Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) can severely impact your quality of life.

Living with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, also known as CIPN, can be a significant quality of life issue. Nerve damage from chemo drugs can lead to tingling, pain, numbness, and loss of agility or balance. You might be more sensitive to extreme differences of temperature. You might also be bothered by certain kinds of pressure on the affected area.

You might even be unable to do simple tasks like writing a grocery list or buttoning up a shirt.

What can you do about peripheral neuropathy that stems from chemotherapy? Your oncologist or other medical team members may be able to prescribe medications to aid with neuropathy or even adjust your chemo dose in an effort to reduce side effects. There are also many things you can do in your everyday routine to minimize these effects.

Get to know your symptoms. Identify what makes your neuropathy symptoms worse, and avoid those things whenever possible. For example, if ill-fitting shoes seem to trigger neuropathic pain in your feet, make comfortable shoes a priority.

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can intensify peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

For foot neuropathy, stay off your feet as much as possible. Take good care of your feet and inspect them every day for blisters and other injuries that could turn into infection.

If neuropathy symptoms are in your hands, be sure to keep your hands protected with gloves when washing dishes or doing repair work.

But there is one more thing, perhaps the most important thing you can do to reduce pain and discomfort from chemo induced peripheral neuropathy: Do your own research and insist that your doctors be at least as well-read as you. Neuropathy treatment is a joint effort between you and your medical team.

For more information about dealing with chemo induced neuropathy, check out our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

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Neuropathy Diet for Cancer Treatment? What to Eat for Effective Immune Support

Find the ideal diet to help you combat neuropathy and other chemotherapy side effects to promote healing.

Peripheral neuropathy is an unfortunate side effect of some chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment. Other side effects you might experience as a chemo patient include nausea, dry mouth, and lack of appetite. The good news is that by adjusting your diet to include several key nutrients, you can help to minimize these side effects and support your body’s natural efforts at healing.

The first consideration for chemo patients with neuropathy and other side effects is to strengthen your immune system as much as possible, with a focus on foods that are gentle to your digestion at this time.

First, make sure you are getting enough protein, an essential component of a healing diet. You’ll also need lots of antioxidants, particularly vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Other good nutrients for neuropathy and other cancer side effects include calcium, amino acids, l-glutamine, carotenoids, folic acid, and soy isoflavones.

Staying hydrated is especially important, even if you are feeling nauseated. Consider juicing as a way to get all these healing nutrients without demanding much from your digestive system.

Any nutritionist will tell you that regardless of your weight struggles prior to a cancer diagnosis, now is not the time to worry about losing weight or even maintaining a goal weight. You need lots of calories right now to keep your energy up and promote healing.

If you’ve lost your appetite due to chemo side effects, it may seem impossible to keep the calories coming. But there is something you can do to combat this problem. Adding herbs and spices to your food will make it more appealing to you, with a bonus effect of providing healing properties. Look for ways to add these spices and herbs to your meals whenever possible:

  • Garlic, which is a natural antibiotic
  • Basil, parsley, and mint
  • Coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom
  • Cumin and turmeric
  • Ginger, which is a natural anti-inflammatory

What’s the best way to design a chemotherapy diet to aid with neuropathy and other chemo side effects? Talk with your NeuropathyDR™ clinician about a diet that addresses your side effects and nutritional needs for healing. He or she can help you create a meal plan that addresses both short-term side effects and long-term recovery from cancer. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR™ expert near you.

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Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy and CAM Therapies

Some CAM Therapies May Help with Peripheral Neuropathy Related to Chemo Treatment.

The most well-known side effects of chemotherapy treatments are hair loss and nausea. But the general public typically is not aware of one of the most debilitating side effects of chemo, which is peripheral neuropathy.

This side effect of chemo can range from numbness to tingling and burning to shooting pains in the feet or hands. In some people, the discomfort is so intense that it causes sleep disturbances.

Unfortunately, chemo-related peripheral neuropathy doesn’t always go away after treatment ends. The symptoms can linger for months or years.

Your oncologist may have prescribed medications intended to reduce your peripheral neuropathy symptoms. But you should be aware that some types of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies can also be very effective for some people with chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy.

CAM therapies are sometimes called “alternative” treatments. In reality, they are intended to be used alongside conventional medical treatment (rather than in place of it). Sometimes this is called “integrative” therapies. More and more studies are demonstrating that these types of therapies can lead to good outcomes for people with peripheral neuropathy and other cancer treatment side effects.

Here are just a few of the CAM therapies that are continuing to be explored in the medical community as a way to reduce pain and discomfort from chemo side effects, including peripheral neuropathy:

  • Acupuncture
  • Reflexology
  • Art therapy and music therapy
  • Vitamin supplements, such as vitamins B12 and B6
  • Massage therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Homeopathy

Ask your oncologist or other physician about the availability of these CAM therapies in your area and which CAM treatment may be right for you. These therapies can be so effective because they address both physical symptoms and stress reduction.

Remember, you are the most important part of your medical team. Knowing what complementary therapies could help your peripheral neuropathy is the first step to advocating for your own wellness.

For more information about complementary ways to treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, see our neuropathy owners manual.

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