What Do YOU Need To Know About Metabolic Syndrome

Increased blood pressure…

Higher than normal insulin or blood sugar levels…

Excess body fat, particularly around your waist…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post What Do YOU Need To Know About Metabolic Syndrome appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Neuropathy and the Dairy Connection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post Neuropathy and the Dairy Connection appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Quick Guide to the Best Neuropathy Diet

This Guide Describes What to Eat Throughout the Day for a Healthy Diet!

You have no doubt heard that changes to your diet and lifestyle can have a tremendous impact on your health as far as neuropathy and chronic pain is concerned.

But what is a neuropathy diet? Exactly what you should be eating, and what should you avoid?

Here is a breakdown of a typical day’s worth of snacks and meals on the neuropathy diet to give you an idea of what kind of adjustments you should be making on your own.

Of course, you may need to modify this general outline for your own symptoms or pain level under the supervision of your NeuropathyDR Clinician.

First, be sure to have breakfast every morning. Ideally, eat a small amount of protein within a few minutes of waking up, which helps to jump-start your mental state as well as your metabolism.

You could have a protein shake made with vegetable protein powder (dairy-free) and coconut milk or almond milk. Or if you prefer not to drink your breakfast, try granola (gluten-free) or steel cut oats.

Next, you’ll want to have a small low-carb snack about three hours after breakfast. Half an apple or banana would do the trick or a small amount of nuts, such as almonds. Be careful when consuming packaged snacks, such as protein bars, as many of them contain a great deal of sugar.

For lunch, you’ll want more protein and veggies. The easiest way to do this is make a salad featuring your favorite kinds of greens—spinach is great. Add a small amount of chicken, tuna, turkey, or salmon for a lean protein, or use tofu if you’re vegan. Throw in a few walnuts or almonds and a drizzle of olive oil.

Have another snack in mid-afternoon, something small and low-carb like your morning snack.

For dinner, emphasize vegetables like asparagus, beets, squash, sweet potatoes, or cooked spinach. Avoid starchy veggies like white potatoes or rice. For a protein, try locally sourced hormone-free beef or fresh fish.

In the evening, have one more small snack. This time it can be a treat, such as one square of dark chocolate or a SMALL serving of gluten-free low-carb cookies.

You’ll also want to have lots of water throughout the day, and limited amounts of tea or coffee are okay.

You’ll notice that this diet is dairy-free, very low in sugar, and contains no bread products or junk food.

Try making a gradual shift into the NeuropathyDR diet over a period of a few days. You won’t believe how much better it makes you feel!

For more information on the neuropathy diet and other neuropathy basics, see our guide I Beat Neuropathy!

Quick Guide to the Best Neuropathy Diet is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post Quick Guide to the Best Neuropathy Diet appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Neuropathy Symptoms and Vitamin D

With Neuropathy Symptoms, Vitamin D can Make a Big Difference in Quality of Life.

We’re still learning about the powers of vitamin D, but we do know for sure based on research that this vitamin has a significant effect on building a strong immune system. Vitamin D is also important for helping to maintain bone mass.

These are two aspects of vitamin D’s role in the body that makes it an important nutrient for people struggling with neuropathy symptoms.

But even more important is vitamin D’s role is manufacturing substances called neutropins that help repair damaged nerves and grow new ones.

If you have neuropathy symptoms, you can help to support your own body’s production of neutropins, first by following a diet that includes vitamin D along with other essential neuropathy nutrients, and secondly by using appropriate neuropathy therapies such as neurostimulation.

The research strongly supports that neurostimulator therapies are appropriate and effective for many, if not most, patients suffering from neuropathy symptoms.

When paired with the right diet including vitamin D, these therapies can be incredibly effective in reducing neuropathy symptoms and neuropathic pain.

You may be wondering about the right daily amount of vitamin D that neuropathy patients should take.

It definitely depends on who you ask!

The official United States stance on vitamin D dosage is that you should have up to 600 IU (international units) every day. But other countries recommend higher levels, up to even 10,000 IU a day. This is based on the idea that most people just do not get much vitamin D from diet or sun exposure and so will need supplementation.

It’s not really possible to get enough vitamin D from plant sources. Fish oil is the best available form of supplement containing vitamin D.

I highly recommend to all new patients in our clinics to get their vitamin D levels checked. Then they can work together with their NeuropathyDR® clinicians to decide on the best daily dosage for supplementation.

Looking for more advice on dietary supplements to reduce neuropathy symptoms? Take a look at our Neuropathy Owners Manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

Neuropathy Symptoms and Vitamin D is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post Neuropathy Symptoms and Vitamin D appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

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.

Neuropathy Basics: Distinguishing Sensory Neuropathy from Motor Neuropathy is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post Neuropathy Basics: Distinguishing Sensory Neuropathy from Motor Neuropathy appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Neuropathy Treatment: The True First Step

In neuropathy treatment, the first step to getting good care is probably not what you think.

The real first step in obtaining effective neuropathy treatment may surprise you.

It isn’t finding a good clinician who is well trained in neuropathy treatment options, although that’s vital for your well being right now and over time.

It isn’t making lifestyle changes in exercise, diet, and self care, although these kinds of shifts can have significant positive impacts on your health after a neuropathy diagnosis.

Truly, the first step to neuropathy treatment that works is to adjust your mindset.

To thrive despite a neuropathy diagnosis, you must be willing to see yourself as the primary expert on your own health and the most important part of your medical team.

That’s because a passive approach, in which you simply do what doctors tell you and accept whatever teaching they may provide, is the worst possible attitude for a patient undergoing neuropathy treatment.

The most successful neuropathy patients are the ones who are able to:

  • Identify their own specific neuropathy issues and needs.
  • Implement changes at home that support neuropathy treatment in the doctor’s office.
  • Ask questions about the neuropathy treatment plan of care.
  • Advocate for themselves when doctors are not meeting their needs.

For your neuropathy treatment to be most effective, it is essential for you to take action. Sometimes the first action that is needed is to ask a question. Sometimes it’s doing research to find out about alternative and complementary medicine that can help you. Sometimes it’s making a needed change in your daily routine, whether that’s giving up smoking or transitioning to a healthy neuropathy diet with vital nutrients.

Your journey to effective neuropathy treatment begins with a single step: identifying the next thing that needs to be done.

What’s your essential next step? If you’re not sure, take a look at our Neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

Neuropathy Treatment: The True First Step is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post Neuropathy Treatment: The True First Step appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

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!

Peripheral Neuropathy from Chemotherapy: What Can You Do? is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post Peripheral Neuropathy from Chemotherapy: What Can You Do? appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

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.

Neuropathy Diet for Cancer Treatment? What to Eat for Effective Immune Support is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post Neuropathy Diet for Cancer Treatment? What to Eat for Effective Immune Support appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

Just Diagnosed? The Next Step After Your Neuropathy Diagnosis

A Neuropathy Diagnosis Can Be Frightening and Confusing. Here’s What To Do Next.

Finding out about your neuropathy diagnosis can be a confusing and even frightening time. You may be feeling overwhelmed with information and choices. Or you may be uncertain whether you are correctly understanding what your doctor has said.

Often, newly diagnosed neuropathy patients have been living with increasingly painful symptoms for a while. It may be stunning to discover that nerve damage is responsible for those symptoms.

You may also be adjusting to the diagnosis or treatment of a systemic condition that has led to neuropathy symptoms, such as lupus, cancer, or diabetes.

It’s a lot to get used to, and it may be hard to know what you should do next.

Let me share some of the most basic steps that should happen right after a neuropathy diagnosis.

The immediate step is to address any acute symptom flare-ups that may be happening. That may mean being hospitalized to get control of an episode related to an autoimmune disease or diabetic crisis. Or it may mean seeking appropriate medication to reduce inflammation or pain.

When this immediate crisis has settled, the next step for you is to address your daily health habits that can positively or negative affect the long-term outcome of your neuropathy diagnosis. If you are more than 20 pounds overweight, work with your doctor on a plan to drop those extra pounds in a safe way. Reduce or remove sugar and processed foods from your diet. Stop smoking as quickly as possible.

You can also take other steps such as filtering the water in your home, using only “green” cleaning agents, and building moderate exercise into your daily routine.

Perhaps the most important step is to identify a trained neuropathy doctor in your area who can provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive treatment plan for your neuropathy diagnosis. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR® specialist near you.

Just Diagnosed? The Next Step After Your Neuropathy Diagnosis is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post Just Diagnosed? The Next Step After Your Neuropathy Diagnosis appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

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!

Neuropathy Foot Care is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

The post Neuropathy Foot Care appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.