Choosing Your Best Neuropathy Treatments

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.

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Laser and LED therapies are just one of the many modalities our clinics employ.

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”.

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 nerve 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!

Join the conversation on our Facebook: Beating Neuropathy!

Choosing Your Best Neuropathy Treatments is a post from: Neuropathy Doctors and Physical Therapists| Neuropathy | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Are All the Peripheral Neuropathies the Same?

No. All the peripheral neuropathies are not the same. We find, though, that the patients who present with peripheral neuropathy, regardless of the cause, do have remarkably similar symptoms.

The good news with our treatment program has been that even in the presence of similar symptoms from different etiologies (causes), the corrective care for is often remarkably effective regardless of the primary cause. That is the beauty of the treatment system that we have been able to employ.

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Corrective care for is often remarkably effective regardless of the primary cause.

In order to find out what components of peripheral neuropathy you have, your doctor will conduct a very thorough evaluation. This will include things such as your vital signs, body mass index, the mobility and range of motion of your lower back and hips, and the overall health of your feet, skin, nails and hair, blood vessels and circulation. This might include Doppler ultrasound, a simple painless test to check for blood flow or blockages.

As the doctor performs her clinical examination, she’ll also perform a very thorough neurological examination including reflexes, muscle-testing, and sensation to touch using a device as simple as a pin, a brush or perhaps even a pinwheel. Doctors commonly will also check your vibration sensation, which very often is disturbed in peripheral neuropathy. This is done painlessly and very easily through the use of simple tuning forks. Your balance will be assessed.

Laboratory tests may very well be performed. These would include things such as a chemistry panel, kidney and liver function. Your doctor will also want to double check your blood sugar levels and more than likely perform a hemoglobin A1c.

This particular test is very good at identifying patients who may be borderline diabetic. I have found many patients who present with neuropathy symptoms have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes but may very well suffer from what’s called metabolic syndrome. This is when your body abnormally handles blood sugar, which may unfortunately lead to the development of neuropathy and other diabetic complications well before the formal diagnosis is made.

Join the conversation with us today on our Facebook Page, Beating Neuropathy!

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“My blood sugar is just a little off–that can’t cause Neuropathy.”

Aggressive treatment of both metabolic syndrome and diabetes can lessen the progression and the severity of one of the most common forms of peripheral neuropathy.

Unfortunately, the reverse is probably true.

diabeticmeter 300x116 “My blood sugar is just a little off  that can’t cause Neuropathy.”

Excess amounts of circulating fats and sugar interfere with your delicate nerves’ ability to take in critical nutrients, including oxygen.

Last time, we spoke extensively about diabetes and metabolic syndrome. We spoke about how carrying excess body fat impairs our body’s ability to process blood fats and blood sugars.

There’s also really good evidence and multiple clinical studies that show even borderline elevations in the blood sugar over long periods of time make patients more likely to develop peripheral neuropathy.

So how does this slight elevation of blood sugar and blood fats or triglycerides cause neuropathy? Unfortunately, nobody is 100% sure. But there are several good theories.

The most likely explanation is that excess amounts of circulating fats and sugar interfere with your delicate nerves’ ability to take in critical nutrients, including oxygen.

Over a long period time, these can eventually manifest as the tingling, numbness, and burning so commonly found in peripheral neuropathy.

Because it is a well-known fact that patients with metabolic syndrome can likely develop a number of diseases, including heart disease and high blood pressure–as well as peripheral neuropathy—it is critical to attempt to reverse the changes wherever possible.

If frank diabetes develops, it is necessary to treat it as aggressively as possible with minimal side effects. We do know that aggressive treatment of both metabolic syndrome and diabetes can lessen the progression and the severity of one of the most common forms of peripheral neuropathy. But what happens if you’ve done all the right things and your neuropathy persists?
This is the most common presentation we now see in our clinics.

This is because so many more enlightened patients are taking charge of their health by improving their diet and starting to exercise on a regular basis.

Our next article will talk about why this is so, and what you can do to help reverse the potentially devastating impact of peripheral neuropathy on your life.

Join the conversation today on Facebook by clicking here!

“My blood sugar is just a little off–that can’t cause Neuropathy.” is a post from: Neuropathy Doctors and Physical Therapists| Neuropathy | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Worse than Diabetic Neuropathy?

Carrying around excess body fat creates a number of health issues, not the least of which is higher amounts of circulating blood fats and sugar, which can displace oxygen, leading to the development of neuropathy and other disorders.

One of the things I write about, and we see quite often in the neuropathy and chronic pain clinic, is patients with metabolic syndrome. Now, metabolic syndrome is something I’ve written about and speak about all the time. Once upon a time, this was called pre-diabetes. Now it’s called Syndrome X.

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Unfortunately, metabolic syndrome is probably the most dangerous affliction of modern man.

So why can metabolic syndrome be potentially more dangerous and more devastating than a diagnosis of diabetes?

The real reason, as we find, is that most patients once diagnosed with diabetes tend to take better care of themselves. But metabolic syndrome is like a smoldering fire that, too often, does not get serious attention until damage has been occurring for years.

Unfortunately, metabolic syndrome is probably the most dangerous affliction of modern man. Being just 20 pounds overweight is a major risk factor not only for things like heart disease, but other conditions too, not the least of which is peripheral neuropathy.

Metabolic syndrome can present in a number of ways, commonly years before the diagnosis of diabetes. It is marked by borderline changes in blood sugar and blood fats, possibly increasing blood pressure, and always an increase in waist size.

Carrying around excess body fat creates a number of health issues, not the least of which is higher amounts of circulating blood fats and sugar, which can displace oxygen, leading to the development of neuropathy and other disorders.

So how does metabolic syndrome develop? Usually very slowly and over many years. We’ve seen patients present with neuropathy for sometimes 10 years or more, before being diagnosed as frankly diabetic.

It is a sad fact, but even modern medicine accepts an ever-expanding waistline as simply normal.

In our next series of articles, what we will do is highlight the simple (but also very effective) things you can do to not only minimize your risk of metabolic syndrome, but to better manage it, as well as diabetes.

Join the conversation on Facebook at Beating Neuropathy.

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Working Together For Better Pain Management

Unfortunately, no one medication or therapy is usually the answer once chronic pain has set in. With narcotics, each successive dose becomes less effective than the previous, setting up the pathway for overdose and abuse.

I read a rather frightening statistic this morning that stated that deaths due to narcotic medications are at an all time high.

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It is vital with any new condition or injury to reduce pain quickly, and much it as much as possible with non-drug methods.

Unfortunately, this trend will not be reversed unless different steps are taken to manage the vast numbers of chronic pain and neuropathy patients in the world who suffer.

We’ve spoken extensively in the past about the two most common forms of pain. Most of us are very familiar with acute pain that is the pain of a cut, bruise, or even childbirth.

Fortunately, acute pain is relatively short-lived, and not imprinted firmly upon our nervous systems.

Chronic pain however has a way of becoming deeply embedded and tripped very easily, setting up deep circuits within the brain and nervous system, which can be difficult to change.

Unfortunately, no one medication or therapy is usually the answer once chronic pain has set in. With narcotics, each successive dose becomes less effective than the previous, setting up the pathway for overdose and abuse.

The best alternative is to first jump on any new injury or illness with pain as soon as possible. It is vital with any new condition or injury to reduce pain quickly, and as much as possible with non-drug methods.

This is why seeking therapy soon after injury or onset of a condition like shingles or neuropathy–or even headaches and back pain–can produce much better long-term treatment results!

This is also the time to use powerful non-drug treatment methods, including physical therapy modalities such as massage and manual therapy, and various forms of electric neurostimulation–and even laser therapy.

The most important take away from this discussion is to use every non-drug tool available as soon after the onset of injury or illness as possible.

This helps explain why our NeuropathyDR home care kits can be so very powerful in helping avoid drug dependence.

In summary, anything you can learn to do to better manage your neuropathy and chronic pain with non-drug methods will lead to a far better long term outcome!

Join the conversation on our Beating Neuropathy Facebook Page!

Working Together For Better Pain Management is a post from: Neuropathy Doctors and Physical Therapists| Neuropathy | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Healing Times for Neuropathy Patients

There are several things the neuropathy patient should introduce into their lifestyle.

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Set aside time for yourself!

One of the most critical things we find with neuropathy treatment success is making sure that patients have dedicated times for appropriate self-care.

Initially, this comes as somewhat of a shock. It is unfortunate, but many of us do not have regular scheduled times for our own self-care, learning, and exercise.

Unfortunately, when struck by an illness like neuropathy, unless dedicated time is set aside every day to care for you progress is unlikely to be successful.

So what exactly, should neuropathy-healing times consist of?

In reality, there are several things the neuropathy patient should introduce into their lifestyle. One is rest and relaxation. This could include periods of meditation and prayer.

Also, time set aside to read, learn about lifestyle improvements, and the changes that we must make to help ourselves deal with the effects of neuropathy.

Most especially, one of the most profound discoveries is appropriate home care consisting of light exercise, stretching, massage, and also regular neurostimulation can help produce amazing improvements.

The reason for this is actually quite simple. You see, when our bodies are given all the necessary building blocks like rest and appropriate nutrition, healing can take place in many conditions.

Now it’s quite likely this will not be 100%. This is especially true in cases of genetic neuropathy, or underlying diseases that cannot be completely corrected.

Nonetheless, the most important thing to you and your NeuropathyDR clinician is to strive for, and then maintain, the highest quality of life that is possible for you!

This might be one of the most difficult things you have ever done– however, the rewards can be enormous!

To that end, we are here to support you with all the tools and lifestyle advice along your journey!

Join our conversation today on Facebook by clicking Here!

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Your Best Neuropathy Treatment Success Story?

Managing peripheral neuropathy and most forms of chronic pain is not easy

 

One of the most amazing things about what we do here at NeuropathyDR® is interact with so many wonderful neuropathy and chronic pain patients every single day.

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What’s your Neuropathy success story?

Not only by telephone from our various offices, but the sheer numbers of patients like yourself who have engaged us on Facebook and the social media, and are taking charge of their own health, and asking questions.

And as a doctor, I can’t tell you how gratifying this is.

You are asking good questions repeatedly, always looking for solutions. Sometimes, the neuropathy questions you ask or more profound than those we have received from clinicians!

Now I will never pretend to have all the answers. I certainly don’t.

But what I do have is a wealth of knowledge and experience accumulated from taking care of many patients with peripheral neuropathy, and various forms of chronic pain.

And we are learning new ways and new answers both in the neuropathy clinic and for home usage all the time!

There is one key element that makes a big difference in real progress for patients like you every single day.

And that is the understanding that symptom only treatment in most illnesses is largely ineffective. The reason for this should be fairly obvious.

Let’s say for example, you whacked your thumb with a hammer accidentally. You wouldn’t continue to whack your thumb with a hammer repeatedly and expect it to ever recover.

And so it is with the rest of your body. But amazingly, this is what we sometimes expect of our bodies.

The reality is that managing peripheral neuropathy and most forms of chronic pain are not easy. On the contrary, it can be quite the challenge.

But the rewards are immense.

Every day you can live with less pain and function better is a day worth looking forward to.

To that end, I am grateful for the opportunity to help YOU along your journey in anyway I can!

Tell us your success story today on Facebook by clicking HERE!

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