Eating Better to Help Neuropathy

Do you remember why we eat? It’s to provide fuel and “building blocks” so our bodies can function smoothly, and repair themselves. Eating Better to Help Neuropathy can help you improve your neuropathy treatment!

In our last few posts I’ve talked about how simple a neuropathy diet can, and should be most of the time

Do you remember though, why we eat? It’s to provide fuel and “building blocks” so our bodies can function smoothly, and repair themselves. Thinking very consciously about this really can help you change your neuropathy treatment!

One of the biggest things I find that helps us is always having a powerful image of how we want to feel, and function! Think about it. Would you rather be building your body with empty calories from highly refined foods or from fresh, “live” foods such as vegetables, fruits and so on.

As part of good neuropathy treatment we are trying to stop or reduce “Inflammation”, the cause of much pain and suffering.

Neuropathy patients especially, need to be able to repair their bodies better, maintain an even blood sugar, and also provide things like magnesium, and vitamins.

In neuropathy, magnesium can help ease pain and restore better sleep. In our neuropathy diet, this would be from eating our leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts and as part of our supplementations.

The B Vitamins especially help our nerve cells work better. A key neuropathy vitamin is B1 or Thiamine. This one is crucial in neuropathy and diabetes as it helps your body “burn” starches and sugars, commonly called carbs now a days.

Plant food sources of thiamine include  nuts, oats, oranges, seeds, legumes, peas and yeast. Cereals are limited in the neuropathy diet, but small portions of things like whole oats: (hint: always measure) can help your belly work better and help keep cholesterol levels in check.

One of my favorite ways to start the day is with ¼ cup gluten free granola with almonds, then, add 1 tablespoon of our pea protein powder, and finally a splash of soy or almond milk. You’ll be keeping your carbs around 15-20 grams and be getting a head start on vitamins if you do this right.

A final word about neuropathy treatment supplements. Neuropathy treatment supplements are often advised in the NeuropathyDR clinics, always under supervision, and knowing what medicines you may be taking.

But always remember, the foundation of your best  treatment at home should be eating better to help your neuropathy and prescribed activity, with co-treatments directed by your NeuropathyDR clinician.

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

Patients and Doctors are invited to call us at 781-659-7989 at 12:30 EST Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to talk with the next available senior clinician.

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Calcium and Your Health

Calcium is an element which is essential to life and health. Like potassium and chloride, too much or too little of this key element can literally kill us! Your body has some aging mechanisms built in to keep calcium levels in our blood nearly constant. So much so that, if we consume too little, our parathyroid glands send hormone messengers that break down bone to release more usable calcium.

Calcium is necessary for proper heartbeat and normal nerve function. A disturbance in blood calcium can cause fatal arrhythmia of our heart, and “tetany”, which is a severe disabling contraction of our muscles!

Now you probably have been lead to believe that dairy consumption is the only way to get adequate calcium. You might even have been told that calcium consumption alone can prevent or treat osteoporosis.

Neither of these assumptions, by themselves, are true.

For example, John Robbins was one of the first to point out in the ’90s that in cultures where daily physical activity and plant-based diets are the norm, osteoporosis was virtually non-existent. These cultures do NOT consume any dairy at all.

Instead, they eat lots of vegetables, nuts, and lean protein like fish, using animal products sparingly. This diet, which we recommend to our clients, is far healthier than the typical sugar, fat, and soda consumption of the average modern diet!

These cultures also have higher levels of active Vitamin D, secondary to sunlight exposure. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium in our gut, and among many other things, helps us build stronger bones, ward off infections, and a whole host of diseases.

Calcium is a key player in your health! Unless you have a disease which requires careful monitoring, eating healthy and getting enough vitamin D and exercise are probably all we need.

Most of the time, large amounts of calcium supplementation may actually be dangerous, and could actually contribute to other disease risks.

In nature, calcium often occurs with magnesium. Effective supplementation delivers calcium and magnesium in near-equal concentrations.

Magnesium is another crucial nutrient—in fact, the most commonly deficient in the so-called modern diet. We’ll discuss more about that, and other supplements, in upcoming blogs.

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

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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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Do You Know Your Neuropathy Treatment Numbers?

There are many basic numbers that can affect your neuropathy treatment.

One of the most important things we get to do in the neuropathy treatment clinic is to teach patients about their most important neuropathy treatment numbers.

For example, if you suffer from diabetes or metabolic syndrome do you know what your blood sugar numbers are in the morning, and after meals? Are you rechecking them 3 to 4 times per day and recording these on excel sheet or graph paper?

Likewise, do you know your blood pressure, your height and weight, your BMI or body mass index?

These numbers along with critical laboratory values such as total Vitamin D and total Cholesterol levels are important to know, and monitor. These neuropathy treatment numbers also give you a benchmark.

For example, many times when treating neuropathy patients we find vitamin D levels are too low and cholesterol levels are too high. We start treatment programs to affect both of these. Unless you have your baseline numbers, you won’t know how effective your treatment is!

In neuropathy treatment there are some other things you need to keep an eye on. Your weight is an obvious one. This is something you should check the same time each week.

Another neuropathy treatment number to know is your blood pressure, taken first seated and then immediately upon standing. Your blood pressure normally should rise a little bit (10 points) upon standing. If not, it could indicate overmedication, dehydration, or possibly the development of autonomic neuropathy.

So what I would recommend you do is to keep a safe place for all these pieces of information. It’s easier now than ever with mobile devices.

Make sure you have the capability of sharing this information with your healthcare providers. Then, you’ll be able to work together on a more effective neuropathy treatment program.

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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Best Treatments for Common Neuropathy Forms

There is good potential for improvement, and even recovery, in common neuropathy forms in many patients. You need to make sure you are doing your part, but also that your treating clinician is doing everything they can for you as well!

If you are reading this, you already know something about peripheral neuropathy. You probably know millions are afflicted.

But you may not know there are many types: the most common ones are due to chemotherapy drugs, diabetes, and pre-diabetes, or metabolic syndrome.

In fact, metabolic syndrome may very well be responsible for the majority of cases that are now labeled “Idiopathic”. The Idiopathic means we just aren’t sure what the cause is.

Nevertheless, there is good potential for improvement, and even recovery, in these common neuropathy forms in many patients.

But recovery depends upon stimulating your healing capacity.

And there are several good tools which can help do just that. For example, we know a low-carb diet (I also prefer gluten and dairy-free), stopping smoking, and losing weight is key. Exercise and rehab under supervision often make a big difference too.

Research tells us our body produces substances that help nerves heal. These are called neurotropins.

So, what are the best ways to help your body along?

Well, in addition to the things we just mentioned, maintaining good mental health is key. In fact, one study showed significantly higher levels of neurotropins in people who “were in love”!

The same study also looked at electric stimulation. The results were somewhat surprising. Indications are: less is often more!

In this study, neuropathy treatment electrotherapies that are too powerful, administered for too long, or too high a frequency produced less than favorable results.

We also know that accommodation to treatment is a factor. This occurs when our bodies “get used to” any one therapy, or even a drug. It also helps explain why patient progress can seemingly plateau.

All of this highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to neuropathy treatment.

You need to make sure you are doing your part, but also that your treating clinician is doing everything they can for you 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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Good Habits Are Powerful Neuropathy Treatment Weapons

Effective neuropathy treatment plans are easier to implement with patients who have good habits and schedules.

What does your daily routine consist of?

It is a well-known fact that our daily habits contribute more to our long-term well-being than any other single activity.

Of course, this includes things like exercise, drinking soda, tobacco usage, drug usage etc.

It also includes our mental activity. We have a choice to regularly have active mental stimulation such as reading, meditation and prayer, versus passive activities such as long periods of watching television.

Unfortunately, most of us never take a hard look at our daily activities, and the impact they’re having upon our health.

Now when you’re young, these are relatively easy to ignore. But throw in advancing age, and some health challenges and it becomes a different ball game!

With chronic pain and neuropathy, sticking to good daily health habits becomes a much more difficult task.

Nonetheless what I can tell you after taking care of hundreds of patients is that those who have routines and habits fair far better.

More effective neuropathy treatment plans are easier to implement with patients who have good habits and schedules.

Scheduling and timing of daily things such as meals, light activity, supplements, and even your own self-care goes along way.

One of the reasons this is true is because your body has its own biorhythms.

Timing of certain supplements, and even self-treatment throughout the day, can make a BIG difference in your outcome!

And these are all things your specialist is able to assist you with.

Just make sure you engage us and ask for guidance with regard to the most effective neuropathy and chronic pain treatments and activities.

But most importantly ask and learn about the best scheduling, and timing.

Make a DAILY schedule for yourself, then stick to it!

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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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It Can’t Be My Diet!

”Why do I feel so lousy all the time?”

Unfortunately we hear this often at our NeuropathyDR clinics. You see, there is a tendency now for people not to prepare or consume fresh foods, especially vegetables. Too often, fast food works its way into our diets.

As for people with peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain, this is like pouring gasoline on fire!

The reason for this is that poor food choices raise blood fats and blood sugars. When blood sugar is increased, some of the sugar molecules tend to attach to proteins; proteins like those that help make up our muscles and skin.

This then leads to aches, stiffness, and quite possibly inflammation. For the peripheral neuropathy sufferer, regardless of the cause, this typically poor diet seems to make it worse.

Increased sugar consumption in addition to aggravating your underlying neuropathy, will cause you to gain weight, lose energy and sleep more poorly.

The good news is however when you make deliberate changes to when and how you are eating, you often times will find yourself feeling better than ever!

So, how do we do this without becoming overwhelmed?

The simplest way to do this is to keep a food diary or record for a week. Keep track of everything you consume. You may be shocked at how much sugar is in things like soda, ice cream, and other things that may have become a staple for your diet.

Like most neuropathy patients, you probably know you should be eating better.

When neuropathy patients write all of this down, changes are much easier for us to help you with.

Always remember, neuropathy is oftentimes a manifestation, or made worse by poor metabolism, secondary to poor diet and lack of enough activity.

Improving both of these can often improve most forms of peripheral neuropathy!

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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