Is My Treatment Actually Helping?

Is my treatment actually helping is a common question? The real measure of your treatment progress often times comes down to the examination skills of your doctor.

This is one of the questions we get quite often not only from patients but also from physicians and physical therapists who are new at treating patients with chronic pain and peripheral neuropathy.

It’s also very important to understand one of the basic concepts common to many patients with the most common types of pain is that laboratory and diagnostic tests are often completely normal. Sometimes, there are only very slight abnormalities which are misinterpreted or remain a point of confusion for both the doctor and the patient.

There are also tests like EMGs and nerve conduction studies, and sometimes even these are normal or nearly so. All of this makes accurately evaluating effective neuropathy and pain treatments a real specialty.

Let me share a secret with you. The real measure of your treatment progress often times comes down to the examination skills of your treating clinician. Even despite extensive technology, a good examination is still the most important element of getting great care!

Furthermore your doctor must have excellent record keeping systems so he or she can retrieve your information on a moments notice.

Some of the things that we check for are really quite simple. Things like your range of motion, sensation to touch, temperature, and vibration. Also your ability to walk on your heels and toes will be tested. All of these things can tell us so much about your progress.

Yes, sometimes you will need more diagnostic tests to confirm your progress. But, there is still no substitute for a very thorough initial examination as well as thorough and periodic follow-up examinations.

You should always feel completely comfortable with your doctor and her examination skills. If not, find somebody else. Ask questions but most especially ask what the answers to those questions mean. You have every right to expect honest answers.

*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible. Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of  #pain & #neuropathy.

Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #chronicpain & #neuropathy HERE

*You can also call or text our team at 781-659-7989 Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns.

#neuropathydr #ndgen #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork #neuropathytreatment #neuropathy #stopchronicpain

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Stop Waiting for the “Magic Fix”

Right now, a “magic fix” or “formula” for so may health conditions are pushed at consumers on many web and social media platforms. Not unexpectedly, the results can be disastrous. Nowhere else are there so many gimmicks, offers, and programs available for people who struggle with weight management. Of course, there are many other conditions that fall into this category.

You don’t have to go far to find numerous ads and sales pages for some new magic fix or formula. Unfortunately, peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain is no exception.

Here is what concerns us the most: peripheral neuropathy and many forms of chronic pain have multiple underlying medical factors.

This makes them necessarily complex to evaluate and treat. Missing one could be deadly.This is also why looking for one simple magic fix,  formula, or pill to help “cure” your problem is often ineffective, at best—and dangerous, at worst.

So what are the answers— real answers—to become a more informed patient?

Become your own treatment advocate! Look for complete treatment systems rather than isolated over hyped pieces. Approach any serious underlying condition with curiosity, and uncover all the relative facts. You also find that this will make your doctor’s job of providing you an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment much easier.

When you approach any serious underlying condition with curiosity but with caution and physician guidance, and uncover all the relative facts, you’ll be far happier and ultimately much more satisfied with any at-home or in-clinic care.

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*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible. Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of  #pain & #neuropathy.

Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #chronicpain & #neuropathy HERE

*You can also call or text our team at 781-659-7989 Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns.

#neuropathydr #ndgen #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork #neuropathytreatment #neuropathy #stopchronicpain

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Treating Diabetic Neuropathy

One of the most difficult and frustrating things doctors and patients do together is treating diabetic neuropathy As you probably know, diabetes as well as #diabeticneuropathy, is on the rise. The reasons for this are many however it is widely agreed the most common cause is sugar and carbohydrate intake and the accompanying increase in BMI or body mass index otherwise known as weight gain.

Unfortunately, this is one neuropathy problem, especially in the early stages that is not treated aggressively enough. Too many patients are simply told to “lose a little weight”, get more exercise etc. without any meaningful specifics.

Worse yet, very common hospital-based diabetic nutrition programs are still far too high in carbohydrates, as are some very famous diet programs.This also includes some programs still prescribed by nutritionists who treat diabetics. In our opinion, this has perpetuated problems with weight control in diabetes.

We also see people eating so-called healthy diets, which are loaded with natural “sugars”. This commonly includes diets rich in fruits and grains. The most important thing to realize in the treatment of diabetes and its cousin metabolic syndrome is that carbohydrates in your diet must be significantly controlled.

This means that carbohydrates need to be restricted to approximately 15g-20g per meal or snack unless you are on insulin*. This often means no more than a half a slice of bread per meal with no other carbs, minimizing starchy vegetables, and eliminating sugars. The ONLY times to add more without going crazy is if you will be engaging in HEAVY exercise within the hour.

Now this also means you will need to work with your doctors and nurses to adjust your medication dosages, especially, if you are insulin-dependent. *Do not make these suggested changes without your doctor’s knowledge or consent.

Getting very strict about carbohydrate control and realizing that conventional nutrition approaches may not be enough to manage your weight, #diabetes, but most especially your chronic pain & neuropathy goes a long way towards helping you regain control of your health, and thus your life.

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Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about diabetic and other forms of #neuropathy HERE

*You can also call or text our team at 781-659-7989 Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns.

**You can also download our free dietary guidelines (some patients report losing 50 pounds or more) HERE

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Pain, Anxiety and Depression

One of the things that is perhaps universal amongst all who suffer from chronic pain and neuropathy is the manifestation of both anxiety and depression.

Unfortunately, neither pain, anxiety and depression receive the attention they often deserve. What you may not know is that part of the development of anxiety and depression is commonly the result of nervous system reactions. These feeings when attended to may actually protect us from further harm. These feelings are very common, and suffered by most neuropathy patients.

But seldom are they talked about honestly and openly with family or clinicians. Yes, quite frankly, this is a mistake.

There ARE a couple simple things you can do immediately that will help. First of all, realize there’s often lots you can control about your health—and some things you can’t. Resign yourself to that fact once and for all. Meditate or pray on this one if need be, as it really helps! It’s one of the great paradoxes of life—however, once accepted as fact, it can make a tremendous difference in your level of mental health and well-being.

And for everything you can change, such as your diet, lifestyle, mental health habits, attitude, et cetera: accept one hundred percent responsibility right now!

Along these lines, there are several other things I suggest to explore. Number one, make sure you have as simple and low stress a lifestyle as you possibly can. Be sure to discuss your feelings quickly, honsestly and openly with your partner, adult children or supportive friends in a position to help. Where these are unavailable, talk with your doctor first, then a trusted friend, clergy member, or social worker!

With severe depression including thoughts of suicide, you need professional guidance immediately! Ask for help, (Call 911) and make sure you get it NOW!

I have seen many patients make extensive progress on the road back to health by simply practicing everything we’ve said in the last three paragraphs.

I have also written extensively about designating enough “Me” time. *It’s a mistake to neglect yourself above others—and this includes parents, relatives, and children.

Above all, recognize you are not alone. I’m firmly convinced that so often sensitization of our nervous system to all the changes that peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain can bring commonly can result in anxiety and depression. Not surprisingly, effective in-clinic treatments first often help turn pain, anxiety & depression around quickly.

This is also why I am convinced EVERY neuropathy and chronic pain patient should own an at home self-treatment kit. Better self-care with less medication can be life-changing to say the least.

You find much more about this as well as our books and other self-help products here at http://neuropathydr.com!

Need Personalized Help or Referrals? Call or Text Our Main Team 781-659-7989 (Leave your name and concerns)

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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!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

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

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What About Laser Treatments?

Laser has been around since about 1960 or so when a now famous scientist produced these “focused light beams” in the laboratory. Laser treatments in some forms have actually been used in medicine for many years.

Now, lasers are everywhere, everything from CD Players, printers and measuring devices to military weapons. I’m sure you may even have seen a few of your own! These ultra focused light beams can be used at high intensity to seal tissue, aid surgeons dentists and dermatologists in their daily work with patients. And at lower intensity, they have had applications in pain and neuropathy treatment for some time too.

So what does laser have to do with neuropathy and pain treatment? Well, it could be that laser treatments are the “missing link” in some forms of neuropathy and pain treatment! One of our basic attempts in neuropathy and pain treatment is to do whatever can help safely and effectively boost our cells use of “energy”. Well, along with proper nutrition and electrotherapy, laser may aid energy production in damaged nerves. The way this may happen is fascinating, but way beyond the scope of this column.

No treatment works 100 percent of the time. And that is a key point to remember. Nowhere is this more apparent than in laser treatments for neuropathy. Even amongst laser treatment experts there’s often disagreement as to what makes good neuropathy and pain treatment. But some techniques and equipment are proving very effective while others are a complete waste! And this is exactly why we now have so many types of laser treatments available.

This even includes an home laser treatments you can actually sleep with to improve your laser treatment results for pain and perhaps wound healing as well.

The good news is more experience and research including our own is helping us find even better laser treatments than we have available today!

Always remember though, our team members go to great lengths every day to be sure we are up to date in the latest, and best forms of laser treatment for you and your family!

Join our conversation today on Facebook by clicking HERE!

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Treatment System

One of the most frustrating things for patients and doctors alike is not having adequate treatment plans for patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain. We find most of the time with our new patients there has never been a real treatment system put into place.

When a piecemeal approach is taken both by patients and their professionals early on, and the net result is failure, or possibly worsening of the underlying neuropathy and chronic pain. Commonly this is the result of a number of factors and too often it’s failure to follow up on early milder issues.

But the good news is when specific formulas are followed, you know what to expect, and we then can know how to measure your progress.

For example, most patients who suffer from diabetic neuropathy know when they keep their blood sugars within a healthy range, their neuropathy and chronic pain improves.

Conversely, when blood sugars are out of control, most often due to poor diet the net result is poor.

And the same holds true for other many other health issues. For example having a personal treatment system including scheduled exercise, a firm diet plan (Get Yours HERE) as well as daily stretching and rest can make a profound difference.

The timing of dietary supplements, and even medications can make a big difference. We know for example that regularity, in terms of time of day and spacing of dosages can make a huge difference for many patients.

We also know that when treating with the NDGen treatment system at specific times makes a huge difference and leads to bigger improvements in quality of life.

So if you find yourself not progressing as much as you would like, let us help you develop a real treatment system or “game plan” for yourself.

Remember no two patients are the same. Some trial and error is necessary to find out what works best for you.

But the good news is having a treatment system to follow provides for more measurable results!

Join our conversation on Facebook today by clicking HERE!

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Taking Charge of Your Health

Is Your Neuropathy Making You Feel Like You’ve Lost Control?

Neuropathy symptoms can make you feel like your health has spun out of control. But regardless of the particulars of your situation, there’s one thing for sure—anxiety and disappointment about the state of your personal healthcare are likely exacerbating your symptoms.

The number one reason to step in and take charge of your own wellness is that feeling in control will make you feel better. Anxiety can compound existing symptoms (such as trouble sleeping) and create new ones by putting the focus on what’s not working. But it’s important to remember that you DO have control over many of the factors that can positively influence your health in a big way.

Many people come to us looking for a “magic bullet,” one simple pill or procedure that will cure neuropathy overnight and permanently. They want a neuropathy treatment formula in a bottle like a one-a-day supplement.

Of course, there are many medically-based aspects to our treatment program, but there are also several significant components of the program that are completely in your control as beneficial lifestyle changes to impact neuropathy. Here are just two simple examples of things that YOU can control in your healthcare, starting today.

First, begin making small, gradual improvements in your diet. Start by weaning away from sodas and processed foods. Notice that you don’t have to go cold turkey or give them up “forever.” Just switch to thinking of them as occasional treats. Choose organic and local produce and other foods whenever you can. Seek out natural and healthy alternatives to your usual meal routine.

Second, get moving. Many people shudder at the thought of doing “exercise”. Forget all that and just start moving more than usual—a walk around the block twice a day, slow-dancing to the oldies in your living room, or even vigorous housework or gardening are all candidates for healthy and fun exercise. Make sure you check with your doctor first to find out what’s appropriate for you.

The key is to think of “diet and exercise” not as unreachable fitness goals but as things you already incorporate into your everyday life. Just introduce a small shift in the WAY you do these things, and let a tiny pebble of intention turn into an avalanche of increased health!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Be Your Own Best Neuropathy Advocate

“I’m not sure I have neuropathy, nor is my doctor…”

Unfortunately, this is something we hear all too often at our neuropathy and chronic pain clinic. This is why it is so important to get the knowledge out there in the hands of more competent and caring neuropathy treatment specialists. Being your own neuropathy advocate can also go a long way to ensuring you receive the treatment that you need to ease your symptoms and improve the quality of your life.

One of the worst things we can do for our symptoms is fail to try to treat the sleep disturbance and life disruption that oftentimes accompanies so many illnesses, including the various forms of peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain. This is where you can step in and become your own best neuropathy advocate.

Communicate with your providers. Some of our lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise or lack thereof, alcohol consumption, can exacerbate our symptoms. Be honest with your providers about these issues. And ask them what treatment options are available to you.

At our clinic we strongly recommend drug therapy only as a second, not first, resort!

The good news is there are now effective treatments, including the usage of portable devices like the NDGen, packaged in all our home care kits, which can be used by you or a loved one even at bedtime, which can make a huge difference in the resolution of your neuropathy and pain symptoms.

It’s also important to note that treating early and aggressively like this during the process of neuropathy and pain diagnosis has no negative side effects!

In fact, improving quality of life immediately is one of the reasons for our great NeuropathyDR® treatment success.

But this will require two things:

First, shifting your own mindset. Second, becoming your own neuropathy advocate.

The good news is, when neuropathy and chronic pain treatments are not harmful, and likely to be helpful in the short-term, most physicians and therapists are open-minded, and will go out of their way to help their patients.

But sometimes, it’s not enough to do your own homework. This is where NeuropathyDR® comes in.

One of the things we do all day long is field questions from patients and health care providers regarding our neuropathy treatment program success.

Often times, simply getting the knowledge out there in the hands of more competent and caring neuropathy treatment specialists is all that is needed.

Always remember, we are ready to begin help when you are!

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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Autonomic Neuropathy – When Neuropathy Changes Critical Body Functions

Autonomic Neuropathy: More Dangerous Than You Think

If you read our articles often, you know that we usually talk about peripheral neuropathy in terms of pain and inconvenience.  We usually write about quality of life, but it’s also important to know about a much more serious element: the dangers of autonomic neuropathy.

Autonomic neuropathy is the term that means damage has been done to the nerves that control the automatic functions of your body.  These functions include blood pressure, heart rate, bowel and bladder emptying, and digestion.  When the nerves are damaged, these functions can start to behave incorrectly.  It can be dangerous and even life-threatening when this happens.

If you have symptoms of nerve damage such as:

• Numbness or tingling
• Loss of motor control
• Sexual dysfunction
• Dizziness and sweating
• Loss of hot and cold sensation

You may also have more serious damage to the nerves controlling your organs.  If you think you might, see a NeuropathyDR® clinician right away!  Many cases of autonomic neuropathy accompany cases of peripheral neuropathy that have more easily-noticed symptoms.  With autonomic neuropathy, your body can have trouble controlling your blood pressure, might not digest food correctly, or could have problems regulating your body temperature.  These conditions are dangerous!

Don’t Be Confused!

Autonomic neuropathy isn’t a disease of its own, and it’s not caused by any one thing.  You can be at risk of developing nerve damage if you suffer from injuries, if you’ve had an amputation, or even if you spend long amounts of time sitting still.  Most commonly, autonomic neuropathy goes along with a disease or condition, such as:

• Alcoholism
• Diabetes
• Cancer (specifically, chemotherapy)
• HIV or AIDS
• Lupus

If you have any of these, you are at risk.  Don’t wait until you develop symptoms; see your NeuropathyDR® clinician before symptoms start.  You could have damage threatening your organs that you can’t detect yourself, but your doctor can discover.  If your NeuropathyDR® doctor catches neuropathy early, it can save your life and even keep you from having troubling and dangerous symptoms.

How Will Your Doctor Know If Your Organs Are In Danger?

Well, the first source of information is you.  Make sure you answer your doctor’s questions about your lifestyle, exercise, diet, habits, and so on.  Be honest!  NeuropathyDR® clinicians are here to help, not to judge.  Volunteer any information the doctor might not know, like medication you’re taking and any symptoms like the ones above you might have.

Your doctor will take your blood pressure and inspect your extremities (especially your feet) for signs of sores, infections, or sensation problems.  It is possible he will conduct an ultrasound to inspect your organs in greater detail, or run tests on specific organs, such as your bladder.  These are all perfectly routine, and do not necessarily mean there is a serious problem.  Don’t forget: we want to catch any problems as soon as we can!

If There Is A Problem Threatening Your Organs, Your NeuropathyDR® Treatment Center Can Help!

Your doctor will make sure you’re taken care of the best way possible.  For autonomic neuropathy, this can mean a couple of different treatments used together to keep you healthy.  Several kinds of medications are available which will help slow the effects of nerve damage and reduce the symptoms.

Your doctor will also instruct you on ways to make your everyday routine more conducive for living with neuropathy.  You may have to adjust your diet, and certain kinds of exercise may be more dangerous to people with neuropathy.  Don’t worry, though!  There are still lots of great foods you’ll be encouraged to eat, and you’ll be able to keep in shape the right way with the plan you and your NeuropathyDR® clinician develop together.

There’s no absolute cure for neuropathy, but NeuropathyDR® doctors and physical therapists are trained experts when it comes to the best ways to treat its different forms and keep you safe.  If you have symptoms of neuropathy, or if you suffer from one of the conditions that contribute to it, don’t wait!  The earlier we catch neuropathy, the safer and happier you will be.  If you aren’t already in touch with a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area, contact us and we will be happy to help you find one.

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

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/autonomic-neuropathy/DS00544

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000776.htm

http://www.ccjm.org/content/68/11/928.full.pdf+html

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