NeuropathyDr Clinics Advise Exercise With Caution – Part 3

If you have any of these conditions:

·           Diabetic neuropathy

·           Peripheral neuropathy

·           Diabetes

·           Post-chemotherapy neuropathy

·           Autonomic neuropathy

You’ll want to keep this information handy when you’re starting an exercise program and adhere to these guidelines to make sure you don’t do more harm than good for your health:

Study This Checklist

Keep this “quick and dirty” checklist of things to think about when you’re ready to start exercising with you and refer to it often to make sure you’ve done what you need to do to have a successful exercise program:

–       Talk to your doctor and get a medical clearance from him before you start any kind of exercise program –    regardless of how “light” you think the exercise is.

–       If you’re a diabetic, always test your blood glucose level before, during and after you exercise.

–       General guidelines for exercising with caution:

·           Always warm up and cool down

·           Stretch and warm up your muscles before you start

·           Know your target heart rate and stick to it – don’t exceed what you know it  is safe for you to do

·           Drink lots of water (regardless of the outside temperature)

·           Get a good pair of exercise shoes and make sure they are properly fitted

·           Keep a snack with you, protein and low glycemic carbs like maltodextrin

·           Wear some kind of medical identification tag that tells people what your  medical conditions are

 

Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ doctor or physical therapist to find out how ready you really are for exercise and enlist their specialized knowledge in designing a safe exercise program before you start.  You’ll get so much more out of it and you won’t hurt yourself and start the new year with a painful sports injury that could have been avoided with a little proper planning.

NeuropathyDR Clinics Advise Exercise With Caution – Part 2

In our last few posts we’ve talked at length about the virtues of regular exercise for helping with the symptoms of

·           Diabetic neuropathy

·           Peripheral neuropathy

·           Diabetes

·           Post-chemotherapy neuropathy

·           Autonomic neuropathy

But what we haven’t addressed is that, depending upon what part of your you’re your neuropathy affects, you may need to modify your exercise routine to keep from developing some more serious problems.

Here’s something else to consider when designing your exercise routine:

Think About Your Heart and Circulatory System

If your neuropathy affects your heart or any part of your circulatory system, your exercise options could be limited.   Discuss your options with your doctor before you start exercising.  There are many options for exercise that will have a dramatic positive effect on your health but not push your heart beyond its limits.

Watch Out For Temperature Extremes

Neuropathy, specifically autonomic neuropathy, can have an adverse effect on how well your body regulates its temperature.  If you don’t sweat like a normal person (you either sweat too much or not enough) your body is not regulating its temperature as it should. Also, avoid exercise in extreme temperatures (i.e., don’t do “hot” yoga or go for a walk when it’s freezing outside).   Your neuropathy is going to limit how well your body can actually adjust to those temperature extremes.

And drink lots of water.  A well-hydrated body is better equipped to control its temperature.

Next time, we’ll talk about a checklist of things you need to keep at the front of your mind as you design your exercise program for the new year.

NeuropathyDR™ Clinics Advise Exercising With Caution – Part 1

In our last few posts we’ve talked at length about the virtues of regular exercise for helping with the symptoms of

·           Diabetic neuropathy

·           Peripheral neuropathy

·           Diabetes

·           Post-chemotherapy neuropathy

·           Autonomic neuropathy

But what we haven’t addressed is that, depending upon what part of your you’re your neuropathy affects, you may need to modify your exercise routine to keep from developing some more serious problems.

Here are a few things to consider when designing your exercise routine:

First, ALWAYS talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise program. Ask him or her to do a complete examination of your feet and lets to make sure that you don’t have serious problems lurking that exercise may aggravate.  If you do, get those under control before you start.

Precautions for Your Feet When Exercising

Make sure that your shoes are fitted properly to protect you from injury.

If your feet have nerve damage, don’t do any type of exercise that requires repetitive weight bearing – like jogging or step aerobics.  That type of activity can cause ulcers or even fractures if you suffer from neuropathy in your feet and/or legs.

Always wear polyester or poly/cotton blend socks to keep your feet dry when you exercise.  Invest in some good socks that will wick the moisture away from the skin.  And even better- the new microfibers.

Handling the Holiday Stress-a-Thon – Part 6

For our final installment on doing what you can to reduce the harmful effects of holiday stress on your body, here is an easy stress management tool.   When you come in from shopping, put away your packages, lie down for a few minutes and stretch the kinks out.

Stretching

 

You can stretch while lying in bed.  This is a good stretching program that will give you a good total body stretch without ever getting on your feet. Do each of these small stretches 6 or 8 times:

•      Start with your fingers and toes and gently stretch and contract them

•      Next, move to your wrists and ankles and make circles with the joints

•      Bend your elbows, bring your hands in to your shoulders

•      Bend your knees, one at a time, toward your chest

•      Bring your arms up to your ears and down, gently stretching your shoulder muscles

•      Raise each leg, keep it straight, and raise it as far as you can.

None of these stretches requires a broad range of motion but will increase the circulation in your arms and legs and work your joints.

Remember, you don’t have to over exert yourself to stretch your muscles and improve your circulation.  When you deal with debilitating pain, just doing those two things can lead to great improvement in your overall health condition.

Handling the Holiday Stress-a-Thon – Part 5

 

 

 

 

In our last post, we talked about the importance of learning to relax.  Here are a couple of things you can do to help you relax your body and improve your mindset.  Neither of them takes much time.  You can easily fit them into your schedule and you’ll quickly reap the rewards from relaxation:

Yoga

Yoga will keep you limber and stretches the muscles in slow, easy, fluid movements.  You can do it as slowly as you like.  You don’t have to qualify as a Cirque Du Soleil acrobat to get the benefits of a good yoga practice.  Just do the postures to the best of your ability.  If it has been awhile since you’ve exercised, don’t expect to be limber overnight.  Give yourself time.

Tai Chi

 

Tai Chi is a very slow moving martial art.  Each and every movement is done slowly and through a complete cycle, works every muscle group in the body.  Even though it is not a strenuous exercise program, the health benefits for your bones and muscles are undeniable.

Handling the Holiday Stress-a-Thon – Part 4

Of all the tips we’ve shared so far to help you make it through the holidays without a total meltdown, this may be the most important…

1. Relax…

One of the most useful things you will ever learn (diabetic or not) is to relax.  For many, the ability to relax is not natural but it can be learned.  Some ways to help yourself relax are:

o   Breathing Exercises

Sit down or lie down without your arms or legs crossed.  Inhale deeply.  Push as much of the air as possible out of your lungs.  Repeat the process but this time, relax your muscles while you exhale.  Start with this exercise for 5 minutes at a time and increase your time until you’re practicing breathing at least 20 minutes at a time, once a day.

o   Progressive Relaxation Therapy

Tense your muscles then relax them.  Lie still and repeat the process for 5 minutes at a time, at least once a day.

o   Exercise

We can’t say enough about the benefits of exercise.  As we’ve said before, you don’t have to run a marathon to get the stress reducing benefits of exercise.  You can walk or stretch and get the stress reducing benefit of exercise.

o   Watch Your Mindset

 

When it comes to reducing stress, a lot can be said for the power of positive thinking.  It’s really easy to let your mind overwhelm you this time of year…

“I’ll never get it all done…”

“What if they don’t like what I give them?”

“Oh man, I have to spend time with my brother again this year…”

Just watch your mindset and you can eliminate much of the stress of the holiday season.  Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  Say a prayer or recite a poem or a quote that makes you feel good.  Think of something that makes you happy.  It may sound trite, but go to your happy place.

Next time, we’ll talk more about specific steps to take and exercises that will help you make it to the new year.

Handling the Holiday Stress-a-Thon – Part 3

This time of year, pay particular attention to how you handle stress. Think about:

How Do You Cope?

Everyone has a coping style.  Some people are the take charge type and takes steps immediately to solve their problems.  Other people just accept the problem, recognize that they can’t fix it, acknowledge that it’s probably not as bad as it could be, and go their merry way.  Still others are hand wringers and feel perpetually out of control.

*The take-chargers and accepters have less problems with stress both at the holidays and on a daily basis and, as a result, their blood glucose levels don’t become elevated.

 

Have a great weekend, and start working on Your Habits Of Health, Today!

John

Handling the Holiday Stress-a-Thon – Part 2

If you know the holiday season is going to really stress you out, try handling it a little differently:

Do What You Can To Reduce Mental Stress

Many of the things that stress us at the holidays are easy to manage or control.  Make your life as easy as possible during this trying time.

If traffic really works your nerves, leave home a little earlier or try getting to work by a different route and avoid the areas that are particularly congested.

If your boss is a nightmare, plan to take vacation around the holidays if at all possible and give yourself a mental break.

Volunteer to help with the holiday activities of a local charity.  Doing something good for someone else is a wonderful way to make someone else’s life better and make yourself feel good at the same time.

Resolve to start a new exercise program or learn a new skill or start a hobby as soon as the holidays are over.  Enlist a friend to do it with you so you can encourage each other.  Giving yourself a goal and something to look forward to after the grind of the holidays is over will do wonders for your state of mind.

Handling the Holiday “Stress-a-Thon” – Part 1


 

Even for the healthy, the holidays can be incredibly stressful…

Some surveys have even found that people are more stressed by the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than by asking the boss for a raise…

But when you have

•      Diabetes

•      Diabetic neuropathy

•      Peripheral neuropathy

•      Post Chemotherapy neuropathy

And now you have the stress of the holidays to deal with as well, your health could take a serious beating that will take you months to recover from.

Here are some steps you can take to make the holidays (and the months following them) a little easier to deal with:

1. Understand How Stress Affects Your Body

 

Stress (both mental and physical) causes the body to release hormones that prompt the liver to secrete glucose.  That can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels if you suffer from diabetes.  In Type 2 diabetics, stress can also block the release of insulin from the pancreas and leave that extra insulin floating around in the blood stream.  In Type 1 diabetes, the effects are a little different.  Some Type 1 diabetics say that stress drives their glucose up, others maintain that stress drives their glucose down.  Either way, your energy levels are wrecked.  On a good day, that can be difficult to deal with.  At the holidays, it can be pure misery.

If you are feeling stressed and your energy is especially low, you are less likely to pay attention to your glucose levels or eat as you know you should. Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays and take the extra time you need to take care of yourself.

Stay tuned for tips on handling the stress of the holiday season – both physically and mentally.

Managing Your Nerve Pain – Part 3 About Those Supplements

So…

You’re walking…

Getting more exercise…

Paying special attention to the condition of your feet…

Here are a few more things to do to help you manage your nerve pain and ensure a good outcome from your course of treatment  for neuropathy:

About Taking Targeted Supplements

Vitamins B-1, B-12, B-6 and folic acid are all vital to healthy nerves. We have found certain combinations in professionally tailored packages for each case often works best.  If you eat a healthy diet, you may still not be getting the recommended daily amount of some vitamins and other nutrients. Talk to your doctor first, though, before you take any supplements to make sure they won’t interact badly with the medications you’re taking.

You can easily check for drug-nutrient interactions.

Special caution is advised in thyroid disease and cancer therapies during neuropathy care.

Control Your Alcohol Intake

High intake of alcohol is a toxin to your nerves.  And if the nerves are already damaged, it’s even worse.  Some people think that a drink a day is good for your health. I respectfully disagree. If you have nerve damage, that’s a chance you don’t need to take.  Don’t drink more than four alcoholic beverages a week if you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, and none would be even better

That’s Why NeuropathyDR™ Doctors and Physical Therapists are trained

Before you begin any self-care regimen or add supplements, herbs or vitamins to your healthcare regimen, always talk to your professional first.  Virtually everything has some side effects so make sure that what you’re planning to take won’t cause you more harm than good.

And Above All Else…

Don’t give up.  Self-care is vital to managing your neuropathy.  While you may need a combination of these self-care tips and medication, sorting out yourself is not always wise.

Contact a local NeuropathyDR™ doctor or physical therapist to explore treatment options in addition to taking care of yourself.

And if you can’t find one in your area yet, contact my team at 781-754-0599 24/7

More Clinics are being added every week!