Neuropathy and Dairy: Your Body Will Thank You For This New Year’s Resolution

If You’re Thinking of Making a Fresh Start This New Year, You Should Know that Neuropathy and Dairy Don’t Go Well Together.

For years, you’ve been getting the message that milk and other dairy products are good for your body.

But for people struggling with neuropathy symptoms (as well as for most other people), dairy could be doing significant harm to your health.

Cow’s milk was never intended for human consumption. It was meant to nourish baby cows as a way to transmit bovine hormones they need to grow. It certainly is not an appropriate food for people. Even human breastmilk is only useful to infants for about two years.

Then why do we all think of milk as being so good for us? It’s only because the dairy industry is powerful in this country. Everything you hear on TV or see in magazines about dairy consumption is truly just propaganda.

So here’s what you do need to know about beating neuropathy and dairy in your diet.

It’s true that you need vitamin D and calcium for bone health to avoid osteoporosis. The thing is, you don’t need to consume milk or dairy products in order to get these nutrients.

And if you are wrestling with the question of neuropathy and dairy, the most important thing you need to know is that dairy can actually cause inflammation in your body or make existing inflammation worse. That can include neuropathy symptoms, too.

In other words, neuropathy and dairy make a terrible pair. If you consume dairy on a regular basis, chances are, you are making your neuropathic pain and discomfort worse than it has to be.

If you can’t imagine a life without milk, cheese, or other dairy products, take some time to explore the alternatives. There are many options out there made from rice, almonds, coconut, and other sources.
When it comes to neuropathy and dairy, less is more. See what you can do to reduce or eliminate dairy. Your body will thank you.

Looking for more insight into a healthy neuropathy diet? I encourage you to make nutrition your ally in treating neuropathy by reading I Beat Neuropathy: Getting Your Life Back on Track.

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Why Self Care is a Vital Piece of Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan

You Are the Missing Link In Your Neuropathy Treatment If You Are Not Implementing This Self Care Component!

The best neuropathy treatment plan is a simple one. In part, that’s because the simplest plan is the one you are likely to follow… and you are the person most responsible for your health, even (or especially) when it comes to chronic pain and neuropathy.

When you become accountable for your own successful neuropathy treatment, you will empower yourself to make significant and beneficial lifestyle changes that are the foundation of good nerve health.

One example is the NeuropathyDR Diet, which is so straightforward that you’ll not only feel much better as you follow it, you’ll even save money on groceries! This diet supports other self care protocols that you can do at home, from neurostim to stretching and other gentle exercises.

The key is to make improvements every week that lead to a gradual but significant change in how you feel so that chronic pain and neuropathy symptoms are reduced over time.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get off the self care track, especially this time of year. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll go back to the neuropathy treatment plan (diet, hydration, exercises) right after that party, or on New Year’s Day. It’s tempting to think that just a little cheat here and there won’t make a difference. You might even decide that taking a break from your self care protocol is being “kind” to yourself and that you “deserve” it.

The truth is, you deserve a life free from chronic pain and neuropathy symptoms.

What would you do to be rid of the numbness, tingling, and pain forever? What wouldn’t you do?

Ultimately, the state of your health is up to you. It probably took you years to enter a gradual health decline, and it takes time to significantly improve your health through an effective neuropathy treatment plan. Every act of self care, every single day, is what will get you there.

For more information about what you can do at home to supplement professional neuropathy treatment, take a look at our Self-Guided Care page.

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The First Steps You Should Take After You Learn That You Have Neuropathy

Unsure What To Do Next After a Neuropathy Diagnosis? The First Steps Are Simple But Effective in Managing This Condition.

Finally, after a lot of confusion and misdiagnosis, your doctor has said that your symptoms are caused by neuropathy. It may be a relief to have a diagnosis and a name for the pain, tingling, or numbness you’ve been experiencing. Then again, you may simply feel discouraged and have no idea what to do next.

By far, the number one question I get from patients is, “Now what?” After a neuropathy diagnosis, what should a patient do next?

In particular, the doctor who diagnosed you may not have been able to offer much guidance. Most doctors just don’t have the training or knowledge in this area.

But there are specialists out there who can collaborate with you on a customized neuropathy treatment plan, one that is tailored to your specific needs—because neuropathy is not a cookie-cutter condition.

My advice to you as a newly diagnosed neuropathy patient is to follow these steps:

  1. Immediately put in place an effective management plan for any urgent or underlying medical conditions that you may have, including cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.
  2. Locate a neuropathy treatment specialist who can aid you in forming a treatment plan specific to your needs. If there is not a trained neuropathy doctor local to you—one who is willing to advise real corrective action rather than simply masking symptoms with medication—then there may be a NeuropathyDR® specialist who can consult from a distance with your medical team.
  3. Look closely at the everyday habits that are impacting your health. Do you smoke? Are you physically inactive? These are things that you can, and should, change so that your overall health will improve both short-term and long-term. Willingness to shift your eating habits toward a supportive neuropathy diet will also have a huge impact on your symptoms and well-being.

There is much that you can do on your own to benefit your health and reduce neuropathy symptoms. Working hand in hand with your NeuropathyDR® clinician, your health WILL improve.

Take a look at our patient’s guide to neuropathy and how to navigate your neuropathy treatment: I Beat Neuropathy! Getting Your Life Back on Track.

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The One Neuropathy Treatment Component You Shouldn’t Overlook

The Most Important Neuropathy Treatment Is Something That Is Totally Within Your Control: Your Daily Routine.

More than anything else that you can do in terms of neuropathy treatment, your daily routines are the foundation of your well-being. That’s true not only in the short term but looking at your long-term health prospects as well.

Have you ever truly considered the powerful impact of daily habits on your physical and emotional health?

What you do every day can strengthen your overall health in a systemic way. Or, with different choices, it can be at odds with your health goals and may possibly undermine any neuropathy treatment plan developed for you.

It comes as no surprise that your daily health choices include things like what you eat and drink, whether you use tobacco, and how much exercise you’re getting.

In addition, take a careful look at how you use your mind over the course of a day. Are you engaging in lots of passive activities, like watching TV? Or do you choose actively stimulating options such as meditation, reading, or creative acts such as knitting or woodworking?

In effective neuropathy treatment, these choices are extremely important—especially as you advance in age and face more health challenges.

And it’s not just what choices you make, but how regularly you implement them, that matters most. Healthy habits to support your neuropathy treatment plan need to be scheduled in as a regular part of your daily routine.

Here are some great neuropathy treatment components that can and should be scheduled into your daily routine:

  • Non-strenuous movement activities
  • Small, frequent meals and snacks to support a neuropathy diet
  • Supplements recommended by your NeuropathyDR® clinician
  • Other basic health supports like sufficient sleep and hydration

Sometimes, timing is everything. That’s why consulting with a trained neuropathy treatment professional is key to your long-term health.

Interested in a consultation with a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area? Click here to find a trained neuropathy professional near you.

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Peripheral Neuropathy Can Be Managed with More Frequent Meals

Contrary to Popular Thinking About Metabolism and Weight Management, Eating More Often Can Benefit Those with Peripheral Neuropathy.

We all like to blame obesity and excessive/unhealthy eating habits for the development of metabolic problems. In a way, it really is that simple: when you consume more calories at one meal than your body needs, and when what you’re eating is also laden with fats and carbohydrates, then you probably will gain too much weight—which can affect your body systems negatively.

On the other hand, changing HOW OFTEN you eat can have a positive impact and can even assist you in managing your peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

By eating more frequent meals, you will be training your metabolism to operate differently, teaching your body to burn fat rather than store it. Your blood sugar with also even out, and you’ll stay warmer overall—two bonuses for those dealing with neuropathy related to diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

However, there’s a catch. You’ll need to eat smaller and more frequent meals and/or snacks that contain fewer carbohydrates and some type of protein. Ideally, you’ll be eating something every three hours.

An example of the kinds of meals I’m talking about would be a breakfast of steel-cut oats with berries, or perhaps a protein shake. For a substantial snack, you could have a small handful of almonds (which contain healthy fats).

Of course, if you suffer from diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy, you’ll need to be very careful about sugar intake. This just underscores the importance of working with a neuropathy treatment clinician such as one of our NeuropathyDR® professionals, who can create a customized dietary and treatment plan based on your peripheral neuropathy symptoms and individual health needs.

Looking for a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area? To work with one of our specially trained peripheral neuropathy professionals, click here.

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What Are the Key Elements of a Beneficial Neuropathy Diet?

Nutrition Plays a Big Role in Healing Neuropathy—and Poor Nutrition Can Make Your Symptoms Worse.

Neuropathy symptoms resulting from conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, lupus, diabetes, or shingles can make life pretty miserable. Unfortunately, a medical treatment program focused on managing neuropathy only through injections or other medication may ultimately provide you with little relief.
That’s because so many symptoms of neuropathy are caused or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. Only by addressing those key elements missing in your diet can you see substantial and long-term improvement in neuropathy pain.

A beneficial neuropathy diet is especially important for you if you’re also dealing with gastritis, Crohn’s disease, or similar types of digestive issues. In that case, your body is simply not able to absorb the needed nutrients from the foods you eat, leading to chronic vitamin deficiency that over time can encourage neuropathy symptoms. As you can see, your body’s ability to process nutrients properly can have systemic effects that go beyond your digestive system to alter your quality of life.

Fortunately, what this means is that you can take charge of your neuropathy symptoms by making dietary changes. Following a neuropathy diet, along with other supportive treatments recommended by your NeuropathyDR® clinician, is likely to manifest noticeable differences in your symptoms.

Key Elements of a Neuropathy Diet

A nutritional plan for neuropathy should include the following:

Lots of veges, beans and peas otherwise known as legumes and with any grains always going gluten free; these can be a great source of B vitamins to support nerve health.

  • Eggs and fish, which contain additional B vitamins including B1 and B12.
  • Fruits and vegetables with a yellow or orange color, including yellow bell peppers, squash, oranges, and carrots, which contain vitamin C and vitamin A for an immune system boost.
  • Kale, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables that offer magnesium and calcium for your immune system and nerve health.
  • Foods rich in vitamin E (avocado, almonds, unsalted peanuts, tomatoes, unsalted sunflower seeds, fish).

If there are any nutrient gaps in your neuropathy diet due to an inability to eat some of the foods listed above, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you to provide an appropriate supplement.

Remember, one key way that you can take charge of your health starting today is to implement beneficial dietary changes. Your neuropathy diet can make all the difference in the world.

For more information about neuropathy diet components and other ways to take control of your neuropathy symptoms, take a look at these resources for Self-Guided Care.

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Diabetic Neuropathy: What’s Dairy Got To Do With It?

Most people probably shouldn’t be consuming dairy… and that’s doubly true for those with diabetic neuropathy. Here’s why.

It has long been known that there is a scientifically proven link between type 1 diabetes and the consumption of dairy products. Of course, we also know that many diabetes patients suffer from neuropathy as a side effect of the disease.

You may not realize that dairy products contain a growth factor similar to insulin. This substance has been recognized as a catalyst for certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer and breast cancer. What’s more, ovarian cancer has been linked in part to a certain type of milk sugar known as galactose.

And milk, for most people (more than half of the population), is just plain difficult to digest. Dairy consumption is the cause of several common maladies, from indigestion to food allergies. Dairy also contains high-cholesterol components—what we’ve been told are the “bad” fats that we should reduce or avoid.

All of these factors taken together, is it any wonder that we frequently recommend a dairy-free diet for people with diabetic neuropathy? We’ve seen again and again that this type of diet (as well as cutting out gluten) can lead to significantly less inflammation and pain for our diabetic neuropathy patients.
It’s not always easy to make this kind of significant dietary shift, but it can be done—and you’ll be grateful that you’ve chose to do without dairy. It’s best to make a gradual shift, first by reducing your dairy intake, and then by beginning to explore dairy alternatives.

There are many great products out there made with coconut, almonds, and rice. Do take a look at the labels, of course, since some products have added sugars or thickeners (such as carrageenan) that can irritate your digestive tract.

A few small changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a tremendous difference in your health, especially for those with diabetic neuropathy.

Need more information about nutrition for healing neuropathic pain? See our guide to Beating Neuropathy.

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Neuropathy Diet Supplements: Are You Getting Enough Calcium?

A Supportive Neuropathy Diet Must Include Calcium. Here is the Truth About the Best Way to Get the Calcium You Need for Nerve Health.

Whether you are following a neuropathy diet to treat symptoms of pain and tingling, or simply choosing to eat more healthfully for overall functioning, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right amount of calcium.

We all need proper calcium levels in the bloodstream to maintain nerve function and regular heartbeat. If your calcium levels are off, it can even cause heart arrhythmia that can be fatal. Calcium is so important for your body’s everyday functioning that your body will self-adjust if calcium levels in the blood are too low. Unfortunately, the body’s way of doing this is by leaching calcium directly from your bones!

Often, we’ve heard the message that it’s important to get enough calcium through dairy products to avoid osteoporosis. We might have also been told that supplements of calcium and other key nutrients are necessary for a successful neuropathy diet. However, many cultures that prioritize physical activity along with a plant-based diet (and NO dairy) have almost no incidence of osteoporosis. Instead of dairy, people in these cultures eat nuts, vegetables, and fish or other lean proteins, with sparing use of animal products and little to no fat or sugar. This is the Neuropathy DR diet in a nutshell!

There are cases in which supplementing calcium and other nutrients can be a good thing, but it’s best done under the close supervision of a Neuropathy DR clinician or other knowledgeable medical professional. That’s because inappropriate supplementation can be dangerous. Your calcium level is too important to be addressed simply on guesswork, and sometimes overdosing on calcium supplements can contribute to the formation of other diseases or disorders.

If you do take a calcium supplement under the guidance of your doctor, keep in mind that calcium is best delivered alongside magnesium, as these elements work together for your health.

For a balanced formulation of nutrients to support a neuropathy diet, take a look at our NDGen Metabolic Support Formula.

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Warning Signs of Diabetic Foot Neuropathy

Do You Have These Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Neuropathy?

Did you know that around 20 percent of people with diabetes have serious foot problems that require hospitalization? Unfortunately, diabetic foot neuropathy is all too common. That’s because one side effect of diabetes is reduced blood flow to the feet, as well as numbness or tingling, which can make it hard for you to notice that there are problems in your feet.

For this reason, if you’re diabetic, it’s absolutely essential to your overall health for you to take excellent care of your feet. Untreated foot problems resulting from diabetes can cause serious health issues. In the worst-case scenario, some diabetics have had to face lifesaving foot amputations because of foot problems that became serious quickly.

Be aware of these key warning signs of diabetic foot neuropathy:

  • A “pins and needles” sensation in your feet, or any kind of ongoing pain or numbness
  • Wounds or sores on the feet, especially ones that don’t seem to heal
  • Cracked skin between your toes
  • Dark or black areas of skin on or around your feet
  • Swelling or redness of the feet
  • Hammer toes, bunions, or ingrown toenails

You can also help to prevent serious side effects of diabetic foot neuropathy by taking the following precautions in caring for your feet.

First, make foot care a daily part of your hygiene routine. Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day to prevent fungus and bacteria growth. Follow this with a lotion to prevent your skin from drying and cracking, but don’t use lotion between your toes, where it will act as a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep your toenails trimmed straight across and filed, but don’t trim them too short.

Next, every day take a good look at your feet to check for any swelling, blisters, or sores. Make sure to look at the soles of your feet, not just the tops. If it’s hard to see the bottom of your foot, ask for help or use a mirror. When you bathe, avoid putting your feet in very hot water. Check the water temperature with your elbow before you get into the bathtub.

You can also help to prevent diabetic foot neuropathy damage by always wearing socks and shoes throughout the day, even when you’re in your own home. This helps to avoid accidental damage to your feet by stepping or tripping on something, or stubbing a toe. You might not notice an injury right away until it has caused an infection or other serious problems. You should be wearing specially designed shoes to support diabetic foot neuropathy.

And remember that the best way to avoid problems with diabetic foot neuropathy is to effectively manage your diabetes as a whole. Regular appropriate exercise, blood sugar monitoring, quitting smoking, and eating a healthy diet are keys to diabetes management that will improve your issues with diabetic foot neuropathy.

For more about how to treat foot neuropathy at home safely, take a look at our Home Care page.

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Nerve Health and Vitamin E: A Key Supplement for Neuropathic Pain

Did You Know That It’s Nearly Impossible to Get Enough Vitamin E from Food Sources? Read More About This Essential Supplement for Nerve Health.

Vitamin E plays such an important role in nerve health that a variety of serious health problems can be caused by a deficiency of this vitamin. What’s more, vitamin E is known to be very beneficial for people who are dealing with peripheral neuropathy and certain other types of neuropathic pain or dysfunction.

It’s true that you can get certain types of vitamin E, or tocopherols, from a small number of whole foods. For example, avocados and asparagus both contain reasonably significant levels of vitamin E. Corn and soybean oil also have some tocopherols in them. But you’d be hard-pressed to eat just the right combinations of tocopherol-containing foods in the right amounts—and on a nearly day by day basis, too!

For most people, and particularly those with neuropathic issues, it’s a good idea to supplement your vitamin E levels. Somewhere between 100 and 400 international units, or IUs, is a typical recommended dose of alpha tocopherol for bolstering nerve health. (We recommend doing this under the close care of a NeuropathyDR® clinician, however, as too much vitamin E—like certain other vitamins and minerals—can actually be dangerous.)

Here’s why vitamin E is so important. For optimum nerve health, your nerves need to create a certain amount of myelin—the insulation around nerves that acts as a conductor to pass their signals along. The tocopherols are a big help in supporting the manufacture of myelin. If you’re not getting enough vitamin E, your nerve health may be at risk. And for those experiencing neuropathy, vitamin E is an absolute must in rebuilding healthy nerve function.

The NDGen Metabolic Support Formula contains vitamin E in addition to other key vitamins and trace minerals that your body needs for nerve health and self-healing. Click here to learn more about Metabolic Support Formula.

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