Peripheral Neuropathy and Lyme Disease

Could Your Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms Be Related to Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a significant problem in some areas of the U.S., especially those with a lot of densely wooded areas. Unfortunately, many doctors these days are not up to date on their knowledge of this disease enough to accurately diagnose it.

In part, that’s because Lyme disease can be complicated in how it presents itself. Sometimes it can cause arthritis or a variety of neuropathic pain symptoms. It’s so important to be able to distinguish between peripheral neuropathy and Lyme disease.

Patients with Lyme disease leading to neurological damage can sometimes experience symptoms like burning, numbness, or tingling. Lyme disease can even lead to a type of nerve paralysis in the face called Bell’s palsy.

We don’t know exactly why Lyme disease can cause these types of peripheral neuropathy symptoms. But what is known about Lyme disease based on more recent case histories is that it can be chronic. A typical dosage of a month’s worth of antibiotics may not be enough to prevent or reduce neurological symptoms from occurring.

One of the classically recognizable symptoms of Lyme disease is a bulls-eye shaped rash stemming from the site of a tick bite.

But, according to Columbia University Medical Center, about 18 percent of Lyme disease cases don’t feature the classic symptoms. If you don’t have the textbook symptoms of Lyme disease, including a bulls-eye rash and a known tick bite, you may not be given an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes Lyme disease simply mimics the flu, with fatigue and fever along with headache.

An early accurate diagnosis of Lyme disease is vital in order to prevent the development of peripheral neuropathy symptoms and/or symptoms of arthritis.

As always, if you are having peripheral neuropathy symptoms, I urge you to seek an experienced and highly trained neuropathy clinician who can make a differential diagnosis and help you reduce symptoms as quickly as possible. Click here to locate a NeuropathyDR® clinician near you.

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What Is a Healthy Neuropathy Diet?

Improve Your Quality of Life By Adopting a Truly Healthy Neuropathy Diet and Nutrition Plan.

Regardless of what type of neuropathy you’ve been diagnosed with, I promise you that there are things within your control that can dramatically lessen your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

The number one thing you can do is to adopt a way of eating that can truly sustain your health and give your body the healing power that it needs to fight neuropathy. When we talk about a healthy neuropathy diet, we are not necessarily talking about weight loss—although for some individuals, weight loss will be an added benefit to a change in nutrition. The main goal here is to provide your body with the basics it needs for excellent systemic functioning as a baseline for improving your neuropathy symptoms over time.

Aim to eat several small meals and snacks each day, featuring proteins and low glycemic index foods. Ideally, you shouldn’t go more than two or three hours without eating something. Keep packaged and processed foods to an absolute minimum; your body needs the best possible fuel to produce the best health.

Don’t forget about the importance of staying hydrated when planning your neuropathy diet. Water helps to flush toxins from your body and keeps everything well-oiled. Be sure to drink filtered water. You should be consuming (in ounces) about half of your own body weight every 24 hours.

Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t jump into a significantly different neuropathy diet without your doctor’s approval. This is especially true for certain individuals whose food or water intake can have dramatic or dangerous effects on their immediate health. For example, diabetics who are dependent on insulin will need to continue carefully matching their sugar intake to their insulin use, and people with heart disease or kidney disease may be advised to avoid excessive fluid intake.

It’s so important to work with a doctor who is well-trained in using nutrition as a key component of neuropathy treatment. To find a neuropathy diet expert near you, click here.

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Compressive Neuropathy: What Are My Treatment Options?

Chronic Back Pain Related to A Herniated Disc Often Leads to Compressive Neuropathy Symptoms.

If you have back pain related to a herniated, ruptured, or slipped disc, you are most likely also suffering from compressive neuropathy. And that means chronic pain, because it’s almost impossible to get comfortable when your back always hurts.

Even though compressive neuropathy symptoms are caused by your back problems, the first place this new chronic pain will show up is in your legs and feet.

Pain from compressive neuropathy can include symptoms like:

  • A sense of deep cold or burning in your legs or feet
  • Continual tingling, weakness, or numbness in your legs and feet
  • Spasms in the muscles of your legs
  • Pain that radiates from legs down into feet
  • Sharp, shooting pain like an electric shock

This kind of pain can be crippling. It affects your entire life, from your everyday moods to your ability to sleep or even perform normal activities. Many people with compressive neuropathy also suffer from anxiety or depression.

A doctor who is well-trained in compressive neuropathy will focus first of all on managing your pain, and then begin treating numbness or weakness in your back, legs, and feet. Preventing any additional injuries will also be a high priority in your treatment.

It is possible to recover from compressive neuropathy without surgery within just a few months, if appropriate treatment is sought.

The key is to seek out a trained neuropathy clinician who will do a thorough assessment and evaluation in order to give you an accurate diagnosis. He or she will then prescribe a combination of in-office treatments, medications, lifestyle adjustments, and integrative stress-reducing activities in order to reduce your compressive neuropathy symptoms as quickly as possible.

It all begins with the right treatment team. To find a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area, click here.

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Does Your Neuropathy Treatment Include Exercise and Movement?

No Neuropathy Treatment Plan is Complete Without a Strategy for Physical Activity to Enhance Health.

You already know that physical exercise is good for everyone.

It’s easy to think that this general advice about movement for good health just doesn’t apply to someone like you who is struggling with neuropathy pain or numbness.

After all, many people undergoing neuropathy treatment have a hard time with mobility. It might seem absurd to think of yourself “exercising” when it’s hard to even reliably walk without falling, or when neuropathy pain makes it uncomfortable to be very active.

However, the fact is that your health is on a downhill decline as long as you are living a sedentary lifestyle. Inactivity contributes to problems with metabolism, which can lead in turn to diabetes and other global health problems. It can also make your neuropathy symptoms worse.

And there ARE safe and effective ways for people in neuropathy treatment to become more active on a day to day basis.

For example, people who struggle with walking because of neuropathic pain in the legs or feet can have good success with low-impact exercise equipment, such as a stationary bike. You might also consider exercises done in a heated pool. Chair yoga and stretching are also appropriate ways to incorporate gentle movement into your day.

The best part of incorporating more movement into your daily routine is that it’s simple to add just a little exercise here and there. Even making sure that five minutes out of every hour contains some kind of physical activity will make an impact on your long-term health.

Be sure to talk with your neuropathy treatment clinician about the best kind, frequency, and duration of exercise for you and your unique health situation. Remember, in neuropathy treatment, there is no “one size fits all” prescription.

For more information about ways to enhance your neuropathy treatment through diet and exercise, take a look at our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

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Neuropathy Treatment Includes Treating Anxiety and Depression

Does Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan Address Underlying Anxiety and Depression?

Most patients in neuropathy treatment are dealing with more than just physical symptoms. Depression and anxiety are extremely common among those struggling with the various forms of neuropathy. That’s because neuropathy is a global condition that affects your nervous system in addition to the emotional stress brought on by any major medical condition.

Whether you are newly diagnosed and not sure where to turn, or already in the care of a highly trained neuropathy treatment clinician, it’s not unusual for anxiety or depression to be a daily part of your life.

But there is help. In addition to talking honestly with your doctor about these difficulties, you can take action right away to help yourself heal from the anxiety and depression that comes with neuropathy treatment.

The first step is to identify what you can’t control in the course of your neuropathy treatment, as well as what you CAN control. Make an effort to let go of those things that are out of your reach and trust your neuropathy doctor to competently follow the neuropathy treatment plan you have outlined together.

Make a list of the things you do have control over. Most likely this includes all the things you can do at home:

  • Nutrition
  • Movement and appropriate exercise
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Reducing stress in your environment
  • Spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer
  • Bringing joy into your life through family and friend relationships, pets, new hobbies, etc.
  • Prioritizing your physical and emotional needs first, especially if you are in a caregiver role

Although self care at home for anxiety and depression is a vital part of neuropathy treatment, make sure you aren’t trying to go it alone. Talk with your doctor today about getting the support you need for depression or anxiety symptoms.

If your current doctor is not trained in current approaches to neuropathy treatment including complementary therapies, click here to locate a NeuropathyDR® specialist near you.

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Neuropathy Treatments and Too Many Choices

Choosing Your Neuropathy Treatments Specialist is the Most Important Step Back to Wellness.

The first step to choosing effective neuropathy treatments is the hardest. That’s because it may feel that the path of treatment is entirely up to you.

Unfortunately, many general practitioners, oncologists, and other doctors are just not trained with a specialty background in neuropathy—leaving patients to research on their own to try to understand their treatment options.

This is a confusing process that is made worse by the fact that neuropathy isn’t just a single disease. It’s a condition with many individual factors. Your experience of neuropathy is unique in the context of your entire medical history and specific symptoms.

And that is why there are so-called neuropathy treatments or “cures” out there that just will not work for most people…. because they are a blanket approach to a very individual problem.

When it comes to neuropathy treatments, the most effective path is one that uses multiple effective treatment components in a way that is uniquely tailored to your needs.

For that reason, the first step and the very most important step, before looking at any specific neuropathy treatments for your symptoms, is to find a highly trained neuropathy specialist who will do a thorough assessment in order to create YOUR unique treatment plan.

This plan will probably involve addressing any underlying conditions that aggravate neuropathy, such as diabetes, as well as components of lifestyle and diet changes, appropriate medications, and state of the art therapies like laser light therapy.

Note that medication was not the first item on that neuropathy treatments list. That’s because neuropathy specialists understand that medication is not a cure-all for neuropathy symptoms, and sometimes can actually impair your quality of life due to side effects.

The most important thing you can do for your health today is to talk with a NeuropathyDR® clinician. Click here to find a neuropathy specialist in your area.

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Is Lipoic Acid a Miracle Drug for Neuropathy Treatment?

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True that Lipoic Acid Could Be the Only Neuropathy Treatment You Need… You Might Be Right. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Recent studies on the use of lipoic acid supplements for neuropathic pain have led to a frenzy of interest in using this nutrient for neuropathy treatment.

In fact, it’s been touted as some kind of magic bullet that can make your neuropathy just disappear.

While lipoic acid is found in many types of foods naturally, such as spinach and broccoli, it occurs in small amounts. Preliminary studies have shown that lipoic acid may potentially improve the way that your nerve cells function, which seems like good news for neuropathy treatment.

Let’s remember, though, that there is truly no known cure for neuropathy!

As with anything else in life, something that sounds too good to be true…. probably is.

So proceed with caution if you encounter these “miracle” lipoic acid supplements at your health food store, or even if your doctor suggests lipoic acid for you.

Our neuropathy treatment principles are built around the idea that nutritional supplements can be helpful in neuropathy treatment, IF they are custom prescribed for your specific medical condition and IF they are taken in conjunction with other beneficial nutrients. That means not relying on the idea that large doses of lipoic acid, or indeed mega doses of any single nutrient, could make your neuropathy treatment worries disappear.

It’s also important to note that lipoic acid appears to work best for patients whose blood sugar is under control via careful dietary choices and regular exercise.

So, the bottom line when it comes to lipoic acid?

It may be beneficial, for SOME patients, when taken in appropriate doses in conjunction with other nutrients and a comprehensive neuropathy treatment plan.

The real first step for your neuropathy treatment should never focus on one “miracle” approach. We always recommend a thorough assessment by a clinician who is highly trained in state of the art neuropathy treatment options. Find a NeuropathyDR® clinician near you.

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What’s The Prognosis for Hereditary Neuropathy?

Diagnosed with a Hereditary Form of Neuropathy? Here’s How to Treat Longstanding and Progressive Nerve Symptoms.

If you have hereditary neuropathy, you may have received your diagnosis years ago in your 20s or 30s, or even in your teens. You’re probably already familiar with terms like these: HNPP (Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsies), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, DSD (Dejerine-Sottas Disease), or HMN (Hereditary Motor Neuropathy).

You probably also already know the kinds of symptoms that these hereditary neuropathies can cause:

  • Pain in the hands and feet
  • Tingling or numbness, especially in extremities
  • Weak and emaciated muscles in the legs and feet
  • Problems sweating
  • Deformities of the foot (such as hammer toes) or spine (such as scoliosis)

But what you may not know is the vast advancements in treating hereditary neuropathy that have been made over the past few years. Though your condition is not curable, it is in many cases highly treatable.

Here are the general types of hereditary neuropathy that we usually see in our clinics. People with sensory neuropathy have limited input from touch and the other “six senses” that we normally gather information about the world. People with motor neuropathies have limited mobility or range of motion. People with autonomic neuropathy have trouble with their bodies’ ability to efficiently regulate things like their heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and other body systems that normally take care of themselves without any input from us. And some folks have mixed neuropathies that affect more than one body system.

Genetic testing is the primary way to diagnose hereditary neuropathy, along with nerve biopsies and nerve conduction studies. All of these elements are needed for an accurate diagnosis. Your neuropathy specialist should also interview you for information about your family’s health going back two to three generations. It’s important to note that you might have a hereditary form of neuropathy even if you don’t know of anyone in your family with similar symptoms.

When it comes to formulating a treatment plan, keep in mind that hereditary neuropathy can’t be cured, but treatments are available to help you heal as much as possible and significantly improve your quality of life. Typically, your treatment plan should include several elements, including:

  • Addressing any underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • Beneficial lifestyle changes, including nutrition and appropriate exercise
  • Medication (in some cases)
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Other high-tech treatment options, such as laser light therapy

It’s vital to seek a diagnosis and treatment planning from a highly trained neuropathy specialist who can customize your treatment for your specific needs. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR® specialist near you.

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Is There a Peripheral Neuropathy Cure?

It’s The First Question On Your Mind When You Are Diagnosed: Is There A Cure For Peripheral Neuropathy?

It’s the big question. When you’re just been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, there’s only one thing you want to know: Is it going to get better? Is there a cure?

I wish I could say a resounding YES in answer to this question. Maybe a more honest answer would be, “Not yet.” Unfortunately, depending on how your specific case of neuropathy originated, many cases of nerve damage are permanent.

But don’t stop reading there! What you need to know about peripheral neuropathy is that there ARE steps you can take to treat your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Yes, peripheral neuropathy is a chronic condition, but we have learned so much over the years about how to effectively manage symptoms.

One of the areas that can be greatly improved for anyone with peripheral neuropathy is increased mobility. You may be experiencing mobility-related symptoms such as motor neuropathy, which decreases the strength of your limbs; decreased fine motor skills and dexterity in your fingertips;or trouble walking because of stiff joints and painful feet.

All of these problems can be frustrating and can severely impact your daily life, when even the simplest tasks have become incredibly difficult. This can lead to mood disorders like depression, a secondary effect of peripheral neuropathy for many people.

That’s why the best approach to peripheral neuropathy treatment is multi-faceted. The closest thing we have to a “cure” is a flexible treatment approach that incorporates at-home nutrition and exercise adjustments, along with state-of-the-art options like laser therapy, based on a customized assessment from a trained NeuropathyDR® clinician. You’ll be able to take symptom management into your own hands and return to living the life YOU want to lead.

To start improving your quality of life right away and take charge of peripheral neuropathy, click here to locate a NeuropathyDR® clinician near you.

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Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms After Surgery

If You Are Experiencing Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms Following a Major Surgery, You Are Not Alone. Keep Reading to Learn Why This Happens and What You Can Do About It.

Recovering from surgery is always a bit of an ordeal. It can feel like a huge triumph just to avoid infection, wean off those post-surgery medications, and start feeling somewhat normal again.

Unfortunately, surgery can sometimes cause brand-new neuropathy problems, including:

  • Nerve pain
  • Extreme sensations of warmth or cold in the skin of extremities
  • Inability to sense vibration or touch
  • Burning or tingling in feet and hands

There are a lot of reasons why you could be experience neuropathy pain after surgery. Let’s take a look at three of the most common reasons.

First of all, the use of general anesthetic, especially prolonged use in lengthy surgeries, can cause hypoxia. This is a condition in which the anesthetic prevents certain types of nerves in your body from getting the right amount of oxygen, leading to damage.

In addition, nerve compression, leading to neuropathic pain, can be caused by conditions like carpel tunnel syndrome and sciatica. Experiencing neuropathy symptoms after a surgery that intended to alleviate these conditions could simply be a new awareness of existing symptoms that were not adequately addressed by the surgery.

The question is, now that you know you have neuropathy—a real condition, not something that’s “all in your head”—what can you do about it?

There are several steps you can take right now to alleviate your neuropathy pain.

First, make an appointment for a consultation with a trained neuropathy doctor who can accurately diagnose your nerve damage issues along with any global health problems (such as diabetes) that can exacerbate your symptoms. Trained NeuropathyDR® clinicians are knowledgeable in customizing available treatments to address your unique neuropathy symptoms and health needs.

Next, begin to educate yourself so that you can be your own most effective healthcare advocate. Learn all you can about neuropathy treatment, including home treatment options and beneficial lifestyle changes that can keep your symptoms at bay.

Be sure to check out our Self-Guided Care page to learn more about at-home peripheral neuropathy treatment options, including the FDA-approved NDGen Home Care Kit.

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