Zinc and Your Health

As you know, zinc is a metal. It is used in a process applied to preserve metals from corrosion, especially in salt water. This of course is called galvanization. But what you may not know is that zinc also plays a large role in your health, especially neurologic and immune system-related issues.

Zinc and Your Health

Like so many nutrients, balance is everything. Too much zinc will suppress the immune system and cause difficulties with copper levels. Too little zinc can create problems ranging from memory impairment to prostate disease.

Yes, neurologic dysfunction can result when zinc is deficient. According to Hambridge et al in 2007 in “Zinc deficiency a special challenge”, it is stated that zinc is an element with “profound biologic significance”. In fact, zinc deficiencies worldwide are responsible for many disease states.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that zinc imbalances are relatively common. This is due both to low levels in foods of modern agriculture as well as elevated levels of copper due to plumbing and environmental sources.

In the clinic, we will measure hair and blood levels of these crucial elements when assessing nutrition status.

In our bodies, zinc can actually act as an antioxidant. This protects us against damage from environmental assaults, as well as natural aging. The presence of zinc is essential for normal nerve function.

It is well-known that zinc can speed the healing process and, in essential amounts, will help stimulate the immune system and possibly prevent prostate disease.

When zinc is used in shampoos and skin lotions, it can act as a sunscreen, a soothing dressing, and also help prevent dandruff.

The reason that zinc is so important is that it participates in many chemical reactions, especially in enzymes.

The recommended dietary allowance for zinc is around 15 mg per day. However modern diets alone sometimes fall short of this.

The good news is, the neuropathy diet that we recommend is high in nuts and seeds which provide relatively good zinc levels. Seafood, shellfish in particular, can be great sources of dietary zinc.

For most patients, safe zinc supplementation level is probably not more than 25 mg per day. More than 50 mg a day could be detrimental. Like so many nutrients, this is one area where working with your neuropathy healthcare professionals is essential if there are any questions at all about appropriate zinc dosages.

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 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.

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Diabetic Neuropathy: Advice for the Newly Diagnosed

If You Have Just Been Diagnosed with Diabetic Neuropathy, It’s Important to Seek Expert Treatment Right Away. Here’s Why.

In short, the term “diabetic neuropathy” refers to peripheral neuropathy symptoms in people who have the chronic illness known as diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy happens when your blood sugar becomes elevated and there is not enough blood flowing to your body’s nerve centers.

This leads to neuropathic pain symptoms, such as numbness, insensitivity to hot or cold, weakness or cramping of muscles, or burning/tingling in extremities. You may also experience problems with bladder control, nausea, or diarrhea.

Unfortunately, diabetic neuropathy has severe long-term health consequences. The longer you postpone treatment, the higher the chance of irreversible nerve damage and lifelong symptoms that hinder your quality of life.

On the other hand, seeking immediate help from a trained neuropathy specialist is likely to allow you to reduce your neuropathy symptoms right away and prevent serious health problems.

Your neuropathy treatment specialist will collaborate with you to create a treatment plan. The immediate focus will be getting your diabetes in control to avoid additional nerve damage.

Along with any prescribed medications to maintain blood sugar levels, you will be asked to follow a neuropathy diet for controlling diabetes. Typically, this diet eliminates processed foods and refined sugars while focusing on lean proteins, fiber, and lots of fresh vegetables.

Your diabetic neuropathy treatment plan may also include therapies to reduce your neuropathic pain symptoms and aid your nervous system in self-repair. Your neuropathy treatment specialist may recommend specific types of manual therapies, such as chiropractic or physical therapy, or certain technologies like laser light therapy or nerve stimulation devices.

A neuropathy treatment plan could include the addition of oral or topical nutrients to aid in healing. Many neuropathy treatment specialists will recommend a custom blend of nutrients for your specific health challenges.

To find a diabetic neuropathy treatment specialist in your area, click here.

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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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Why You Need Folic Acid to Combat Peripheral Neuropathy

Vitamin B9, AKA Folic Acid, is a Key Supplement for Maintaining and Improving Nerve Health When Dealing with Peripheral Neuropathy.

You may know that folic acid helps to prevent birth defects, which is why it’s one of the key ingredients in prenatal vitamins.

What you may not know, however, is that folic acid is a vital nutrient for people with neuropathy and chronic pain. That’s because a folic acid deficiency can directly influence the development of peripheral neuropathy.

Why is folic acid so important for those with neuropathy?

It has to do with the role of folic acid in the body. This supplement, which is also known as vitamin B9, is essential for repairing damaged cells in the body. It feeds DNA synthesis, and it’s needed for preventing anemia (a condition involving a lower than normal quantity of red blood cells).

An abnormally low level of folic acid in the body can also cause fatigue, depression, and mouth sores.

For all of these reasons, folic acid is one of the essential nutrients that should be checked by your neuropathy specialist in a routine evaluation, along with vitamins D and B12, especially if you’re over 50 years old.

Also, don’t rely on self-diagnosis for folic acid deficiency. This is important to understand because if you took a folic acid supplement without first testing for B12 deficiency, you could be masking one problem while trying to provide self treatment for another. The other reason to avoid self-diagnosing is that some vitamin deficiencies can have serious consequences for your nervous system, and it’s best to begin your neuropathy treatment with a thorough examination by a trained neuropathy specialist.

Be aware that you’re unlikely to experience a folic acid deficiency if you are following our recommended neuropathy diet. That’s because the diet includes an abundance of foods that are natural sources of the B vitamins, such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, and fresh fruits. However, it’s vital to store and prepare your food appropriately in order to avoid breakdown of key vitamins before the food is even ingested.

You can find neuropathy nutritional supplements such as our Neuropathy DR Metabolic Support Formula at the Self-Guided Care Store.

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Is Your Neuropathy Treatment Addressing These Vital Concerns?

Any Competent Neuropathy Treatment Specialist Knows That These Three Areas of Your Health Need To Be Examined Together For The Best Long-Term Prognosis.

Too often, physicians without specialty training in neuropathy treatment tend to look at neuropathy symptoms one by one, as if they are separate problems.

They might also have outdated ideas about neuropathy—such as the belief that when nerves stop functioning correctly, it’s because the nerves are dead and can’t be restored. (These days, we know so much more about how to nurture damaged nerves back to health! But not every doctor has this up-to-date training.)

In truth, neuropathy is truly a global health problem affecting many of your major systems. And in many cases, impaired nerve function CAN be restored to some degree.

The most effective neuropathy treatment will involve methodically examining your core health in three areas.

First of all, good neuropathy treatment will closely evaluate your metabolic function to make sure that your body is being as energy-efficient as possible. We do this through dietary changes and supplements, in addition to addressing any underlying issues with diabetes, thyroid problems, or other serious medical conditions. Without this baseline, attempting surface-level neuropathy treatment just won’t be very effective in the long-term.

Next, we will look at how the biomechanics of your body—essentially, how well your skeleton is functioning. That’s because things like disc problems, arthritis, or old injuries from your athletic youth can interfere with circulation to your nerves. For this reason, restoring joint and muscle function as much as possible is a priority in helping to reduce your neuropathy symptoms.

Finally, we’ll also use specific neuropathy treatment protocols that have been shown to positively impact symptoms. Components like LED light therapy, laser therapy, massage, and nerve stimulation can be done in the neuropathy treatment specialist’s office. There are also home kits available that you can use to continue gaining relief on your own.

Click here to read more about at-home neuropathy treatment using our FDA-approved home care kit.

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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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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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Neuropathy Treatments: What’s Just a Scam and What’s Effective?

Neuropathy is a growing problem worldwide. Inevitably, that means there are plenty of products out there being marketed as effective neuropathy treatments.

From pill-based supplements to creams, elixirs, and various types of gadgets, the marketplace is filled with things you can buy that are supposed to help reduce your neuropathy symptoms or even make them go away completely. This glut of products is directly related to the growing numbers of people suffering from systemic illnesses, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which tend to include neuropathy as a side effect.

The good news is that health conditions like these can be directly impacted through your own lifestyle choices, including reducing sugar and carbohydrates, reducing dairy, and being physically active. The best neuropathy treatments turn out to be the ones you have the most control over!

You’ve probably already experienced the fact that doctors today tend to offer medication as a first line of defense. Just take this pill, they seem to say, and your problem will be solved. Unfortunately, medications often come with their own set of side effects.

What are the lessons learned here?

One, use good common sense when you’re evaluating at-home neuropathy treatments. Is there information available about the science behind that supplement or device? Have others used it with good results? Talk with your clinician about the efficacy of the device or supplement you’re considering.

Two, there is plenty you can do to positively impact your health just through nutrition, exercise, and good self-care practices. These choices can be a great supplement to neuropathy treatments in your clinician’s office. When you combine a healthy lifestyle with scientifically based home care tools, you’ll be in great shape for beating your neuropathy.

Have you read about our NDGen Home Care Kit? This exclusive FDA-approved package bundles together everything you need for excellent home care, and we offer an unbeatable value in 24/7 support. Hands down, this kit is the best among self-care neuropathy treatments. Check out the NDGen Home Care Kit here.

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Better Sleep Better Neuropathy

When suffering from neuropathy sleep can be difficult so let us help improve your quality of sleep!

Fotolia 36770769 S 300x199 Better Sleep Better NeuropathyAnybody who suffers from neuropathy or really any form of pain understands how difficult sleep can be. So often in neuropathy like so many pain conditions, sleep is never perfect. But there are often things you can do that will improve the quality of your sleep.

But before we talk about this let’s discuss why sleep is so very important.

During sleep, our body normalizes our body “cycles”. This includes everything from temperature, hormone levels, and yes even the circulation through our lungs.

These things are so very important to vital functions including our appetite and metabolism. In fact at least one study has shown by simply improving sleep quality patients lost significant weight. With neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and many forms of chronic pain, here is what we find works the best:

Number one, using your NDGen twice daily and again within two hours before bedtime helps many patients. As you improve, you’ll need to do this less often.

If you awaken during the night, simply apply the NDGen again and fall back to sleep!

In the absence of kidney disease taking some supplemental magnesium daily (not just any form but combinations like in our dose packs) and using topical magnesium like taking Epsom salts baths can really help.

*Just be very cautious not to burn yourself.

Lastly, many of our patients are now finding great improvements with our combination Metabolic Dose Packs. We designed this dietary dose pack to enhance all critical body functions, but most especially those critical to nerve function.

These key ingredients also foster good sleep and less pain.

Remember, there are no miracle neuropathy treatment formulas but when the NDGen, Metabolic dose packs, and other tools we offer are used together, this system is providing many patients with less pain, far better function, and improved sleep!

You can see and try out all of these fine products at your local NeuropathyDR your Treatment Center or HERE!

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