Eating More Often Can Manage Neuropathy and Weight

Eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn versus store fat, keep your blood sugar even, and help keep you warmer. Eating more frequently can also help patients who are dealing with neuropathy and weight issues that can arise from their medical condition(s).

On the surface, a statement like that might seem wrong. After all, isn’t eating at the root of weight gain, obesity, and its complications? To a point, yes. This is especially true when we consume far more calories in one sitting then we need, and load our meals with carbohydrates and poor-quality fats.

But a little-known fact is that when we eat less frequently, we become much more efficient at storing fat rather than burning it.

So what does this have to do with managing peripheral neuropathy?

Neuropathy and Weight

The bottom line is, eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn fat versus store fat, keep your blood sugar more even, and actually help keep you warmer. For patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy, all of these improvements are crucial.

But this does not mean you can eat anything you want. What we do know is that by consuming relatively low amounts of carbohydrates in our meals, along with periodic snacks, we become much more efficient metabolically.

What I tell all my neuropathy patients—and, indeed, every patient—is to try to eat something not more than three hours apart. For example, you will start your breakfast with something like a protein shake, or a small serving of steel-cut oatmeal with a little added fat, perhaps some berries. Approximately two hours later, you’ll have six to 10 almonds, or perhaps another lean, low-carbohydrate snack if allergies are a problem.

Now, if you are insulin-dependent diabetic, some of what I say here will not apply, so please be careful here.

Again, this points out the need to work with well-trained neuropathy treatment professionals to truly manage your peripheral neuropathy and weight issues, indeed, your health in general.

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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The Benefits of a Carbohydrate-Controlled Diet

Many forms of peripheral neuropathy respond to carbohydrate-controlled diets.

We recently spoke about the impact of diet selection, especially carbohydrate consumption, on diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In our clinic, we’ve found that most neuropathy patients benefit greatly when they follow a carbohydrate-controlled diet plan.

Now the reality is, because many forms of peripheral neuropathy respond to carbohydrate-controlled diets, that maintaining body weight and overall body composition is critically important to beating neuropathy.

But sometimes simple dietary changes are not enough, and a more radical approach is necessary. This is where professionally supervised weight loss programs and dietary retraining can be incredibly powerful.

A healthy diet should include[1]:

• 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.
• Plant based proteins or lean meats,fish and eggs.
• 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 us 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.
• Restrict intake of starchy vegetables, as they are high in carbohydrates: potatoes, peas, corn, yucca, parsnips, beans, and yams.
• Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption limits the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body and can make a bad situation worse.

If you’re suffering from neuropathy, it is vital that you gain control of your diet, understand carbohydrate and calorie restriction, opt for healthier food selections, and plan mealtimes so you don’t eat too late at night.

If you continue to struggle with your weight, or body composition, you should explore a carbohydrate-controlled diet plan as a viable treatment option.

A carbohydrate-controlled diet has proven extraordinarily beneficial for our neuropathy patients.

Keep in mind, getting your metabolism, that is your weight and body composition, under control is a key step forward.

It goes without saying that you will look better, and feel and function better mentally, physically, and usually spiritually as well.

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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[1] http://www.nutritionmd.org/health_care_providers/endocrinology/diabetes_complications_neuro.html

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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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How Footwear Affects Neuropathy

The shape of your feet changes with age, swelling, as well as peripheral neuropathy.

One of the issues we see very frequently in the neuropathy patient is whether their footwear fits comfortably.

It is very easy to take for granted the role that proper footwear has on your level of comfort. That is of course unless you suffer from peripheral neuropathy.

There are all a whole host of other conditions that occur with neuropathy that can slow down or complicate recovery. This includes common things such as flatfoot or having conditions like plantar fasciitis.

There are however some very simple things you can do. Number one, visit a traditional foot and shoe store and have your feet properly measured.

The reason for this is the shape of your feet changes with age, swelling, as well as peripheral neuropathy. Muscle changes, which accompany neuropathy, are responsible for this.

The neuropathy patient should take advantage of the expertise of their clinician too. Ask questions about the most appropriate footwear for you. Learn some basics about proper shoe construction such as the shape of the last and the strength of the heel counter.

Sometimes, “diabetic” shoes better holds inserts, which your clinician may prescribe. These may also allow for better circulation and less neuropathy pain.

We find that many neuropathy patients have excellent relief by wearing running shoes most of the time. The reason for this is the combination of shock absorption and breathability is helpful for many patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy.

This is one area where consulting the properly trained neuropathy treatment specialist can be of huge benefit!

Do not ignore your shoes!

These are in fact the foundation of your daily recovery homecare programs and are very important in getting you active again, back on your feet!

Recover faster with your neuropathy treatment by wearing the very best shoes you can find!

Let us know how your feet are affected by your neuropathy in the comment section below.

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 & Weight: How to Gain 60 Pounds in 1 Year

For many, summertime can be a months-long social event. The warmer weather and freedom from hectic schedules ushers in barbecue season, fire pits with friends on the weekends, and trips to the beach… but often, social events can go hand in hand with overindulging in food and drink options that may not be our healthiest choice.

I once had the opportunity to interview Hank Cardello, a former food industry expert. Hank Cardello’s major role is to teach us all, consumers and industry experts alike, the benefits of reducing the calories we eat, while at the same time improving food quality.

During that discussion, Hank said something that really hit home because many neuropathy patients suffer from diabetes or metabolic syndrome. This type of neuropathy happens largely because of being overweight.

Hank explained that it is not at all uncommon, and VERY easy for us, to eat an extra 600 calories or more per day then we need. This was not true 40 to 50 years ago.

If we drink soda, or eat lots of refined and pre-packaged foods, that number can be much higher.

Here’s the problem for neuropathy patients. 600 extra calories per day is 4200 per week. 3500 calories extra per week can easily turn into 1 pound of fat. This can very easily turn into 60 pounds or more during a year!

So you can see, it’s very easy to eat way more than we should or need to for normal requirements. And this is devastating for some one with neuropathy.

So, what’s the neuropathy patient to do?

First, go back to my last post and review the neuropathy diet. In there, we even showed you how to walk and shop the supermarket for neuropathy diets.

Next, start to measure your food. Seriously, a set of measuring cups and a small scale work wonders. When my neuropathy patients first start to do this they are shocked at how much more we eat than we really need!

Don’t forget, winning the neuropathy battle is dependent upon your ability to function at your very best!

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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Diabetic Neuropathy – What You Must Know

If you have diabetes and you have any of these symptoms[1]:

  • Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Deep pain, especially in your legs and feet
  • Loss of sensation and ability to feel warmth or cold
  • Muscle cramps
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in your arms, hands, legs or feet
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness, especially when you try to stand up
  • Drooping facial muscles
  • Loss of bladder control

You could have diabetic neuropathy.  Diabetic neuropathy is a type of peripheral neuropathy specific to patients who have diabetes.  If left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can lead to serious and possibly permanent nerve damage.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek treatment with a medical professional with experience in diagnosing and treating diabetic neuropathy like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.

Why Does Diabetes Cause Neuropathy?

If your blood glucose levels aren’t controlled and have been high for significant period of time, the blood vessels that carry oxygen to your nerves can be damaged.  Elevated blood glucose can also damage the sheath that covers and protects the nerves. That leaves them vulnerable to damage.  Diabetic neuropathy is just the medical term for the nerve damage caused by elevated blood glucose levels.

What Happens to Your Body Once Those Nerves Are Damaged?

Diabetic neuropathy happens when the nervous system is damaged.

If your peripheral nervous system is damaged you can experience[2]

  • Numbness in your arms, hands, legs and feet
  • Inability to feel heat, cold or even pain in your arms, hands, legs and feet
  • Burning or tingling or even the “pins and needles” feeling you get when your legs or arms “go to sleep”
  • Changes in the shape of your feet caused by weakened muscles
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

If your neuropathy affects your autonomic nervous system, you can experience

  • Digestive problems like nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Inability to regulate your blood pressure

How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Diabetic Neuropathy?

The best defense against diabetic neuropathy is to get and keep your blood sugar under control.  Your best bet for doing that is proper diet, strictly monitoring your blood sugar levels and always taking your diabetes medication as prescribed by your doctor.

A good diet for controlling your blood sugar includes:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Lean meats
  • High fiber
  • Whole grains
  • No sweets

Your NeuropathyDR® specialist has an exclusive treatment protocol with proven results for diabetic neuropathy patients.  An integral part of that treatment protocol is nutrition counseling and diet planning.  Your specialist will sit down with you and plan your meals to include the proper portions of each of these categories on a daily basis to make sure that your blood sugar remains as constant as possible.

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 diabetic neuropathy, contact your local NeuropathyDR® and take full advantage of their expertise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathies, including diabetic neuropathy.

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.

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Metabolic Syndrome: Pre-Diabetes?

Carrying around excess body fat creates a number of health issues, not the least of which is higher amounts of circulating blood fats and sugar, which can displace oxygen, leading to the development of neuropathy and other disorders.

One of the things I write about, and we see quite often in the neuropathy and chronic pain clinic, is patients with metabolic syndrome. Now, metabolic syndrome is something I’ve written about and speak about all the time. Once upon a time, this was called pre-diabetes. Now it’s called Syndrome X.

So why can metabolic syndrome be potentially more dangerous and more devastating than a diagnosis of diabetes?

The real reason, as we find, is that most patients once diagnosed with diabetes tend to take better care of themselves. But metabolic syndrome is like a smoldering fire that, too often, does not get serious attention until damage has been occurring for years.

Unfortunately, metabolic syndrome is probably the most dangerous affliction of modern man. Being just 20 pounds overweight is a major risk factor not only for things like heart disease, but other conditions too, not the least of which is peripheral neuropathy.

Metabolic syndrome can present in a number of ways, commonly years before the diagnosis of diabetes. It is marked by borderline changes in blood sugar and blood fats, possibly increasing blood pressure, and always an increase in waist size.

Carrying around excess body fat creates a number of health issues, not the least of which is higher amounts of circulating blood fats and sugar, which can displace oxygen, leading to the development of neuropathy and other disorders.

So how does metabolic syndrome develop? Usually very slowly and over many years. We’ve seen patients present with neuropathy for sometimes 10 years or more, before being diagnosed as frankly diabetic.

It is a sad fact, but even modern medicine accepts an ever-expanding waistline as simply normal.

In our next series of articles, what we will do is highlight the simple (but also very effective) things you can do to not only minimize your risk of metabolic syndrome, but to better manage it, as well as diabetes.

For more on metabolic syndrome visit us at NeuropathyDR.com

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“Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”

The minute you injured you back, your life changed forever…

The constant pain…

The loss of mobility…

The inability to live a normal life.

You wanted so desperately to feel normal again you agreed to back surgery.

And your pain is worse than ever.

If you’ve undergone back surgery and you’re still suffering from

Dull, aching pain in your back and/or legs

Abnormal sensitivity including sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain in your arms or legs

Peripheral neuropathy and the symptoms that go with it – numbness, tingling, loss of sensation or even burning in your arms and legs

You could have “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome” or “FBSS”.

You’re not alone.  Back surgeries fail so often now they actually have a name for the condition patients develop when it happens.  As back pain experts, NeuropathyDR® clinicians see patients like you almost every day.

What Exactly Is “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”?

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome[1] is what the medical community calls the chronic pain in the back and/or legs that happens after a patient undergoes back surgery.

Several things can contribute to the development of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.  It can be caused by a herniated disc not corrected by the surgery, swelling or a “mechanical” neuropathy that causes pressure on the spinal nerves, a change in the way your joints move, even depression or anxiety.

If you smoke, have diabetes or any autoimmune or vascular disease, you have a much higher chance of developing Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

If you do have any of these conditions, think long and hard before you agree to back surgery.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

You know you don’t want another surgery and who could blame you? You’ve already been through the pain of surgery and recovery only to be in worse shape than you were before the surgery.

The good news is that there are some excellent alternatives to surgery.  One of the best places to start is with your local NeuropathyDr® specialist.

NeuropathyDR® clinicians have a treatment protocol is often perfect for treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

Hallmarks of for the chronic back pain associated with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome are:

Therapeutic massage to manipulate the soft tissues of the body to relax the muscles and eliminate “knots” in the muscles that can cause or contribute to your back pain and other symptoms.

Manual therapy to restore motion to the vertebrae, alleviate pressure and get your spine and muscular system back into proper alignment.

Yoga and other low impact exercises to aid in relaxation, pain management and alleviating stress and depression.

Proper nutrition to help your body heal itself.  This is especially important if you have diabetes or some other underlying illness that could be contributing to your peripheral neuropathy.

All of these are components of the NeuropathyDR® treatment protocol.

The right combination of these treatment approaches in the hands of a knowledgeable health care provider, well versed in the treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, can be an excellent alternative to yet another surgery.

If you’re tired of living with the pain and don’t want to go under the knife again, contact your local NeuropathyDR® specialist to see if their exclusive protocol for treating chronic back pain, peripheral neuropathy and Failed Back Surgery Syndrome will work for you.

You’ll leave us wishing you had made the call sooner.

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Diabetic Neuropathy and Good Chiropractic Care

In Diabetic Neuropathy, Chiropractic Care Can Reduce Symptoms and Improve Quality of Life.

Some kinds of neuropathy happen to people with diabetes, a severe imbalance in blood sugar levels which can block proper blood flow to the nerves.

With diabetes, you might also have some of these diabetic neuropathy symptoms:

  • Loss of ability to feel warm or cold sensations
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Problems controlling your bladder
  • Digestive trouble, like vomiting or nausea and diarrhea
  • Feelings of burning, tingling, or numbness in your feet or hands
  • General muscle weakness

Some of these symptoms, specifically numbness in the hands and feet, can lead to some of the most dangerous complications of diabetes: infection, slow healing, and the possible need amputation as a lifesaving measure.

With this diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy, you may already have been directed to monitor your blood sugar level, avoid certain foods in your diet, and possibly take prescription medications to manage your symptoms. You’ll also be asked to notice and report any sores, blisters, or inflamed areas that could lead to infection in order to intervene quickly to head off serious complications.

This is a great start and an important baseline of health for people with diabetic neuropathy. But for many, it isn’t enough for true symptom relief and quality of life.

In this case, consider looking into chiropractic care by a NeuropathyDR® specialist, who can address any issues you have with spinal alignment that may be negatively affecting your pancreas and other internal organs—not to mention your nervous system.

The two goals of chiropractic care in people with diabetic neuropathy are reducing your pain and beginning to help your nerves repair themselves. In addition to manually manipulating your joints and bones for proper alignment, chiropractic care may involve the use of topical pain relieving medications and various types of nerve stimulation.

If you are looking for a NeuropathyDR® specialist in your area, click here.

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Neuropathy Foot Care

Neuropathy Foot Care is Essential for Maintaining Your Health

It’s true that we should all probably be wearing more comfortable shoes. Our culture tends to favor types of shoes that are more suited for fashion than comfort—high heels or stiff dress shoes, pull-on flats with no arch support, or backless flip-flops.

In most people, these kinds of shoes can sometimes cause problems ranging from back pain to painful calluses.

But if you have neuropathy, footwear choices become much more than a fashion statement. Neuropathy foot comfort and health can play a big role in overall wellness and maintaining good health overall.

I would say that in particular, for people with diabetic neuropathy, foot self care is one of the most important aspects of self care along with diet to maintain blood sugar.

Anyone with peripheral neuropathy may also experience other debilitating foot-related issues, such as plantar fasciitis.

So, what are the basics of neuropathy foot care?

Comfortable shoes are the first step. This begins with having your feet measured at a shoe store to make sure you are buying the right size shoes for your feet. It’s common for the shape and/or size of feet to change slightly with age. For people with peripheral neuropathy, foot changes can be due to swelling or changes in the muscles.

Be sure to measure both feet! Many people have feet that are slightly different sizes, and you’ll need to buy shoes according to the size of your larger foot.

Before you buy new footwear, consult with your neuropathy clinician about the right kind of shoes for neuropathy foot care. He or she may recommend diabetic footwear, which can hold custom inserts.

Even if your doctor tells you that you can wear regular shoes, I would strongly urge you to stay away from problematic shoes (from high heels to flip-flops) and choose to wear shock-absorbing running shoes the majority of the time.

Proper neuropathy foot care is just one of the aspects of good health for people with neuropathy. Learn more by reading our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

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