Lupus

 

When we hear that someone has lupus, we tend to think of it as one illness…

One illness with a very specific set of symptoms…

In both cases, we would be wrong.

Lupus is a very complex group of illnesses that not only vary by type but also in how they affect individual patients.  No two lupus patients and their symptoms are alike.

The fact is there are several types of lupus:

–          Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) – the most common type of lupus and what most people are thinking of when they say someone has lupus.

–          Life Threatening Lupus – a form of SLE that affects one or more of the patient’s vital organs such as their heart, lungs, kidneys or liver.

–          Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus (CLE) – only affects the skin.

–          Drug Induced Lupus – caused by medications.  The symptoms are like the symptoms of SLE but will go away once the patient stops taking the particular medication that caused it.

–          Lupus in Overlap with other Connective Tissue Diseases – this is a type of lupus in which the patient has some other disease that affects the joints and tendons as well like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Sjogren’s Syndrome or Vasculitis.

All of these forms of lupus are serious and incurable.  Once you have any of these forms of lupus, you have it for life.  Granted, you will have flares (episodes of active lupus symptoms) and remissions (when you’re symptoms aren’t present or are really mild), but you’re not cured.  The symptoms come and go but the illness always remains.

With all these variables, it can be tough to know if you have lupus or something else.

If have at least four of these symptoms, you need professional care immediately for testing and diagnosis.

∙           Chest pain when you take a deep breath or if you cough up blood

∙           Fatigue

∙           Headaches

∙           Numbness, tingling, vision problems

∙           Seizures

∙           Vision problems

∙           Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting

∙           Abnormal heart rhythms

∙           Fever for no apparent reason

∙           A general feeling of discomfort and ill feeling

∙           Hair loss

∙           Sores in your mouth

∙           Sensitivity to sunlight

∙           A rash over your cheeks and nose

∙           Swollen lymph nodes

Many of these symptoms may be caused by the damage lupus does to the peripheral nervous system or peripheral neuropathy.

Exactly Why Are Lupus and Peripheral Neuropathy So Serious?

Because the peripheral nervous system can be affected by lupus, every system of the body that is regulated by the peripheral nervous system can be damaged.

That means the nerves that control involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and perspiration.  Your body many not be able to regulate your heart rate or your blood pressure, you might not be able to properly digest your food, or your kidneys can be damaged and you could develop urinary problems.  A little less than 5% of lupus patients develop cranial neuropathy (damage to the nerves in the brain) leading to headaches, vision problems, depression, and even personality disorders.

As if that weren’t enough, lupus can cause serious problems with inflammation.  That can lead to:

–          Inflammation of the sac around the heart

–          Diseases of the heart valves

–          Inflammation of the actual heart muscle

–          Inflammation of the tissue around the lungs or pleurisy

Now, imagine having any of these issues and having peripheral neuropathy, too…

Your peripheral nerves aren’t functioning properly and can’t send the proper signals to your brain to let you know you have a problem.

You can see why this could be very serious.

Early intervention is one of the best ways to minimize the damage caused by lupus and peripheral neuropathy.   While your lupus isn’t curable, a combination of treatments and specialized protocols are available here to help and can make your challenges more manageable.

A combined treatment protocol including lifestyle, nutrition and advanced treatment protocols go a long way to make lupus much more manageable.


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Infectious Disease & Nerve Pain

If you have had nerve pain, Lyme Disease, Varicella Zoster (aka Shingles), HIV/AIDS, or even Legionnaire’s Disease, you’re probably dealing with some combination of

•     Nerve Pain (Neuropathy)

•     Headaches

•     Painful, swollen joints

•     Anemia

•     Fever and chills

•     Swelling in your feet, legs or hands

•     Pleurisy

•     Rashes

•     Hair loss

These are all symptoms we’re familiar with when we hear about infectious disease and nerve pain.

But what you may not realize is that any of these diseases can cause nerve pain (or neuropathy).

The pain, swelling or even loss of sensation usually won’t go away on its own.  And more than just causing pain, it can be deadly if the wrong nerves are affected.

How Can An Infectious Disease Cause Nerve Pain?

Infectious diseases are caused by viruses or bacteria.  Viruses and bacteria can attack nerve tissue and severely damage sensory nerves. If those nerves are damaged, you’re going to feel the pain, quickly.

The virus that causes HIV, in particular, can cause extensive damage to the peripheral nerves.  Often, the progression of the disease can actually be tracked according to the specific type of neuropathy the patient develops.  Painful polyneuropathy affecting the feet and hands can be one of first clinical signs of HIV infection.

Any of these viral or bacterial disorders can cause indirect nerve damage and bring on conditions that we refer to as autoimmune disorders.  Autoimmune disorders cause the body’s immune system to go on the offensive and attack its own tissues.  These assaults by the body on the body damage the nerve’s protective covering.  Think of it as “internal friendly fire” – misdirected but potentially serious.

Aside From Nerve Pain, What Other Problems Could I Have?

 

You could have serious problems.

If your peripheral neuropathy affects the autonomic nervous system, you could develop

•     Blood pressure problems

•     Heart rate issues

•     Bladder or bowel control issues

•     Difficulty swallowing because your esophagus doesn’t function properly

•     Bloating

•     Heart burn

•     Inability to feel sensation in your hands and feet

 

Beyond being uncomfortable, any of these conditions can cause serious health issues; some can even be fatal.

 

How Can You Protect Yourself?

 

If you suspect you have infectious disease and nerve pain, call us immediately.  The earlier you start appropriate courses of treatment, the less likely you’ll be to develop peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage.

One of the smartest things you can do for yourself to head off potential problems is to consult a specialist who treats neuropathy and will recognize problems quickly and act to resolve them.

In addition to excellent treatment protocols and specific drug therapies designed for your particular condition, there are a few things you can do to help yourself[2]:

•     Get plenty of rest

•     Pace yourself and limit your activities

•     Exercise regularly – walking and swimming are good exercises for neuropathy patients

•     Take care of your skin and limit your exposure to the sun

•     If you smoke, stop

•     Eat a healthy, well balanced diet

•     If you’re a woman, pay particular attention to birth control issues.  Any of these infectious diseases can cause serious problems during pregnancy.

Be sure also to let our clinicians work with you on a diet and exercise plan that will help you fight back against these infectious diseases and the long term problems they can cause.

Contact us today for more information on the best course of treatment to make sure that once your infectious disease is cured or under control, you won’t carry the burden of nerve pain from peripheral neuropathy.


Need Comprehensive Help With Your Health? Give Our Practice A Call 24/7   781-659-7989

Gastric Bypass Complications

So…

You or someone you love finally bit the bullet and had gastric bypass surgery…

Or maybe you opted for the lap band…

Everything went really well with the surgery and now you’re back home and on your way to your new life and brand new you.

You started to lose weight almost immediately and you couldn’t be happier with the results.

You knew you’d have some side effects[1] but you really didn’t expect anything you couldn’t handle.

But you never expected these Gastric Bypass Complications:

•      Heartburn

•      Bloating

•      Nausea and/or vomiting

•      Difficulty in swallowing because your esophagus no longer functions properly

•      Inability to empty your stomach

•      Diarrhea

•      Constipation

None of these symptoms is pleasant.  And what’s even worse is that they can last from days to weeks on end.

You knew you needed to take off the weight but it’s beginning to feel like it might not have been worth it.

They warned you about possible side effects but one they may not have mentioned could be causing one or several of your symptoms.

Your problems could be a result of Gastrointestinal or G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy.

Exactly What Does That Mean?

It means that your body is suffering from nutritional deficiencies caused by the lack of certain nutrients and vitamins.  The bypass surgery or lap band procedure may have stopped your body from taking in too much food, but it also substantially reduced the amount of nutrients and vitamins you’re getting from your food.

You no longer take in enough food with the nutrition your body needs[2].  When that happens, the body begins to break down.  One of the many issues you can develop due to what is basically malnutrition is G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy.  The nerves, specifically the Vagus Nerve is damaged by the lack of nutrition and it begins to malfunction.  That means difficulty in digesting food, difficulty in swallowing, an inability to eliminate waste properly…

Basically an inability of the digestive system to do anything it was designed to do.

Before the advent of gastric bypass surgery and lap band procedures, most people who developed G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy or other types of neuropathy were diabetics, alcoholics or they live in countries where malnutrition was common.

Now gastric bypass surgery has brought on a whole new subset of patients who suffer from Gastric Bypass Complications.

 

The Nutrients You Probably Lack

 

G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy is usually caused by deficiencies in:

•           Vitamin B1 or Thiamine

•          Vitamin B3

•          Vitamin B6

•          Vitamin B12

•          Vitamin E

 

Many of the symptoms caused by your G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy can be lessened by comprehensive supplementation after testing and helped by a healthy diet and management of whatever underlying condition you have that could be contributing to your neuropathy.

 

What If You’re Not a Gastric Bypass Patient But You Have These Symptoms

 

What if you haven’t had gastric bypass or lap band surgery but you still have the symptoms we talked about above?  If you have

•     A history of alcohol abuse

•     Hepatitis C

•     Crohn’s Disease

•     Celiac Disease

And you’re having the problems we discussed above contact your doctor immediately.  Ask him to test to make sure that you are indeed suffering from nerve damage that could be linked to any of these causes.  Once that diagnosis has been made, ask us to help with treatment options.

 

Treatment Components May Include

 

•      Treatment for any underlying problems

•      Nutrition diagnostic tests, education and diet planning

•      A step by step exercise regimen

•      Medications and supplements as needed or necessary

 

If you have a confirmed diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Autonomic Neuropathy or think you may have it, you don’t have to just live with it.  In fact, just living with it could be downright dangerous due to intestinal blockages, continued malnutrition, etc.  Contact us today for more information.


[1] www.mayoclinic.com/health/autonomic-neuropathy/DS00544/DSECTION=symptoms

 

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