Peripheral Neuropathy Can Be Managed with More Frequent Meals

Contrary to Popular Thinking About Metabolism and Weight Management, Eating More Often Can Benefit Those with Peripheral Neuropathy.

We all like to blame obesity and excessive/unhealthy eating habits for the development of metabolic problems. In a way, it really is that simple: when you consume more calories at one meal than your body needs, and when what you’re eating is also laden with fats and carbohydrates, then you probably will gain too much weight—which can affect your body systems negatively.

On the other hand, changing HOW OFTEN you eat can have a positive impact and can even assist you in managing your peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

By eating more frequent meals, you will be training your metabolism to operate differently, teaching your body to burn fat rather than store it. Your blood sugar with also even out, and you’ll stay warmer overall—two bonuses for those dealing with neuropathy related to diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

However, there’s a catch. You’ll need to eat smaller and more frequent meals and/or snacks that contain fewer carbohydrates and some type of protein. Ideally, you’ll be eating something every three hours.

An example of the kinds of meals I’m talking about would be a breakfast of steel-cut oats with berries, or perhaps a protein shake. For a substantial snack, you could have a small handful of almonds (which contain healthy fats).

Of course, if you suffer from diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy, you’ll need to be very careful about sugar intake. This just underscores the importance of working with a neuropathy treatment clinician such as one of our NeuropathyDR® professionals, who can create a customized dietary and treatment plan based on your peripheral neuropathy symptoms and individual health needs.

Looking for a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area? To work with one of our specially trained peripheral neuropathy professionals, click here.

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Neuropathy Diet Essentials: What You Need to Know About Inositol

Don’t Overlook This Key Nutrient’s Impact on Your Neuropathy Diet!

Would you believe that 20 years ago, I was treating diabetic neuropathy with a specialized neuropathy diet? Then and now, one of the components of a therapeutic diet for neuropathy includes inositol.

Unlike vitamins (which have to be absorbed from dietary sources), inositol is one of a few substances that our own bodies can produce. We naturally synthesize inositol, a type of carbohydrate, from glucose.

The thing is, we don’t really make high enough amounts to be considered a therapeutic dose, so we have to supplement through dietary intake.

Why is inositol so important? In particular, why is it vital for people with neuropathic pain who need a healing neuropathy diet?

In short, this substance helps your body to lower cholesterol and break down fats. Inositol also has a positive effect on the way that insulin interacts with certain types of cells—which is why diabetic neuropathy sufferers need to know about this important supplement. If you’re dealing with diabetes and its side effects, you already know that insulin is a pancreatic hormone that has several vital roles in the body, including fat storage and control of blood sugar.

Other patients who have been helped by inositol include women with polycystic ovary disease (PCOD), as well as those with non-standard lipid profiles like those found in metabolic syndrome. In addition, mental health challenges like bipolar disorder and depression have sometimes been treated with inositol due to its known capacity to positively support brain function and nerve health.

For your neuropathy diet, some of the best sources of inositol include fruits, nuts, and several types of vegetables. Naturally, if you are struggling with neuropathy related to diabetes, you will need to limit fruit intake because of its sugar content.

Looking for more information about the effectiveness and format of the ideal neuropathy diet? Click here for I Beat Neuropathy, a comprehensive guide to self-treatment through diet and lifestyle changes.

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Are You Incorporating LED As Part of Your Neuropathy Treatment?

LED Use is Growing as a Neuropathy Treatment—Here’s Why.

LED stands for “light emitting diodes,” and it’s a modality that has been around for many years now. We have evolved from treating wounds and diseases with simple exposure to sunlight beginning centuries ago, to providing targeted light energy to heal specific types of pain and illness by penetrating the body’s tissues with light particles.

In terms of neuropathy treatment, LED technology is capable of stimulating greater efficiency of the body’s processes at a cellular level. In short, this means improving metabolism.

Our main focus from 2008 has been treating peripheral neuropathy through metabolic stimulation. We’ve used electrotherapy and LED therapy to accomplish this.

The NeuropathyDR approach combines many different neuropathy treatment modalities that have been shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating neuropathic pain and discomfort, particularly for those who suffer from complications of wound healing due to diabetes.

Your NeuropathyDR clinician will tailor your neuropathy treatment for your specific health challenges, due to the unique nature of neuropathic pain for each individual. Some of the key components of NeuropathyDR treatment often include:

  • Nutrition and supplementation
  • Exercise and physical therapy
  • LED therapy
  • Hands-on, injection-free therapy modalities
  • Neurostimulation techniques
  • Relaxation and stress management

Your NeuropathyDR clinician will create a custom treatment plan just for you, based on your medical history and symptoms as well as a thorough physical examination to provide additional data about your health condition.

It’s so important in neuropathy treatment to follow a strategic, detailed wellness plan based on your individual needs. With trained NeuropathyDR clinicians throughout the U.S. and beyond, you are likely to find a clinician near you who can provide this hands-on, injection-free care. You can also take a look at our NDGen kit for at-home neuropathy treatment.

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What Are the Key Elements of a Beneficial Neuropathy Diet?

Nutrition Plays a Big Role in Healing Neuropathy—and Poor Nutrition Can Make Your Symptoms Worse.

Neuropathy symptoms resulting from conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, lupus, diabetes, or shingles can make life pretty miserable. Unfortunately, a medical treatment program focused on managing neuropathy only through injections or other medication may ultimately provide you with little relief.
That’s because so many symptoms of neuropathy are caused or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. Only by addressing those key elements missing in your diet can you see substantial and long-term improvement in neuropathy pain.

A beneficial neuropathy diet is especially important for you if you’re also dealing with gastritis, Crohn’s disease, or similar types of digestive issues. In that case, your body is simply not able to absorb the needed nutrients from the foods you eat, leading to chronic vitamin deficiency that over time can encourage neuropathy symptoms. As you can see, your body’s ability to process nutrients properly can have systemic effects that go beyond your digestive system to alter your quality of life.

Fortunately, what this means is that you can take charge of your neuropathy symptoms by making dietary changes. Following a neuropathy diet, along with other supportive treatments recommended by your NeuropathyDR® clinician, is likely to manifest noticeable differences in your symptoms.

Key Elements of a Neuropathy Diet

A nutritional plan for neuropathy needs to include the following:

  • Legumes and whole grains, which are a great source of B vitamins to support nerve health.
  • Eggs and fish, which contain additional B vitamins including B1 and B12.
  • Fruits and vegetables with a yellow or orange color, including yellow bell peppers, squash, oranges, and carrots, which contain vitamin C and vitamin A for an immune system boost.
  • Kale, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables that offer magnesium and calcium for your immune system and nerve health.
  • Foods rich in vitamin E (avocado, almonds, unsalted peanuts, tomatoes, unsalted sunflower seeds, fish).

If there are any nutrient gaps in your neuropathy diet due to an inability to eat some of the foods listed above, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you to provide an appropriate supplement.

Remember, one key way that you can take charge of your health starting today is to implement beneficial dietary changes. Your neuropathy diet can make all the difference in the world.

For more information about neuropathy diet components and other ways to take control of your neuropathy symptoms, take a look at these resources for Self-Guided Care.

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Neuropathy and the Holidays: Ways to Reduce Damaging Holiday Stress

Holiday stress can contribute to worsening of neuropathy symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about how to effectively cope at this time of year.

Hands down, the holidays are one of the most stressful events we encounter in our lives… and they come every year, just like clockwork!

That’s true for anyone, but it’s also true that people with neuropathy related to diabetes or chemotherapy cancer treatment may have higher stress levels than most. In this situation, without a strategic self-care in place, you may be feeling far from thankful or joyful. Holiday stress can add a physical burden to your already overburdened body.

But there’s good news. Holiday stress can be significantly reduced with just a little advance planning. Here’s how you can reduce the impact of the holidays on your neuropathy symptoms.

First, begin by understanding the physical toll that stress takes on your body’s systems. Whether it’s mentally or physically based, stress activates the release of hormones that tell your liver to create glucose, which can wreck your blood sugar levels if you’re diabetic. What’s more, people who are stressed and tired are more likely to ignore their glucose levels or stick to a diabetes-friendly diet.

The second strategy for reducing neuropathy aggravating stress during the holidays is to know yourself and what is most stressful for you. Do what you can to control and minimize your exposure to stressful situations. For example, if driving during rush hour frays your nerves, try to vary your route to work to avoid some of that traffic or leave home at a different time than usual. Or consider alternatives, such as public transportation or carpooling. If you hate to cook but feel obligated to provide a lavish Thanksgiving meal, think of a different way to accomplish the same goal, such as ordering an already prepared turkey or asking a family member to share the cooking responsibilities this year.

Third, it’s a great idea from a neuropathy treatment standpoint to teach yourself a couple of simple relaxation exercises now so that they are easily accessed in your memory when you really need them. Start by reconnecting with your breathing—not by trying to change the pattern of your breath, but simple noticing how it feels to breathe. Spend at least twenty seconds relaxing into your breathing pattern. Progressive relaxation, in which you tense the muscles of each part of your body and then relax them, can also be an effective way to deal with holiday stress.

Be sure to talk with your NeuropathyDR® clinician about the best ways for you personally to minimize holiday stress. He or she will be able to prescribe specific types of exercise, supplements, and healthy eating that can support you best during the stress of the holiday season.

If you need help connecting with a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area who can effectively monitor and treat your neuropathy, click here.

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Diabetic Neuropathy: What’s Dairy Got To Do With It?

Most people probably shouldn’t be consuming dairy… and that’s doubly true for those with diabetic neuropathy. Here’s why.

It has long been known that there is a scientifically proven link between type 1 diabetes and the consumption of dairy products. Of course, we also know that many diabetes patients suffer from neuropathy as a side effect of the disease.

You may not realize that dairy products contain a growth factor similar to insulin. This substance has been recognized as a catalyst for certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer and breast cancer. What’s more, ovarian cancer has been linked in part to a certain type of milk sugar known as galactose.

And milk, for most people (more than half of the population), is just plain difficult to digest. Dairy consumption is the cause of several common maladies, from indigestion to food allergies. Dairy also contains high-cholesterol components—what we’ve been told are the “bad” fats that we should reduce or avoid.

All of these factors taken together, is it any wonder that we frequently recommend a dairy-free diet for people with diabetic neuropathy? We’ve seen again and again that this type of diet (as well as cutting out gluten) can lead to significantly less inflammation and pain for our diabetic neuropathy patients.
It’s not always easy to make this kind of significant dietary shift, but it can be done—and you’ll be grateful that you’ve chose to do without dairy. It’s best to make a gradual shift, first by reducing your dairy intake, and then by beginning to explore dairy alternatives.

There are many great products out there made with coconut, almonds, and rice. Do take a look at the labels, of course, since some products have added sugars or thickeners (such as carrageenan) that can irritate your digestive tract.

A few small changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a tremendous difference in your health, especially for those with diabetic neuropathy.

Need more information about nutrition for healing neuropathic pain? See our guide to Beating Neuropathy.

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Warning Signs of Diabetic Foot Neuropathy

Do You Have These Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Neuropathy?

Did you know that around 20 percent of people with diabetes have serious foot problems that require hospitalization? Unfortunately, diabetic foot neuropathy is all too common. That’s because one side effect of diabetes is reduced blood flow to the feet, as well as numbness or tingling, which can make it hard for you to notice that there are problems in your feet.

For this reason, if you’re diabetic, it’s absolutely essential to your overall health for you to take excellent care of your feet. Untreated foot problems resulting from diabetes can cause serious health issues. In the worst-case scenario, some diabetics have had to face lifesaving foot amputations because of foot problems that became serious quickly.

Be aware of these key warning signs of diabetic foot neuropathy:

  • A “pins and needles” sensation in your feet, or any kind of ongoing pain or numbness
  • Wounds or sores on the feet, especially ones that don’t seem to heal
  • Cracked skin between your toes
  • Dark or black areas of skin on or around your feet
  • Swelling or redness of the feet
  • Hammer toes, bunions, or ingrown toenails

You can also help to prevent serious side effects of diabetic foot neuropathy by taking the following precautions in caring for your feet.

First, make foot care a daily part of your hygiene routine. Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day to prevent fungus and bacteria growth. Follow this with a lotion to prevent your skin from drying and cracking, but don’t use lotion between your toes, where it will act as a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep your toenails trimmed straight across and filed, but don’t trim them too short.

Next, every day take a good look at your feet to check for any swelling, blisters, or sores. Make sure to look at the soles of your feet, not just the tops. If it’s hard to see the bottom of your foot, ask for help or use a mirror. When you bathe, avoid putting your feet in very hot water. Check the water temperature with your elbow before you get into the bathtub.

You can also help to prevent diabetic foot neuropathy damage by always wearing socks and shoes throughout the day, even when you’re in your own home. This helps to avoid accidental damage to your feet by stepping or tripping on something, or stubbing a toe. You might not notice an injury right away until it has caused an infection or other serious problems. You should be wearing specially designed shoes to support diabetic foot neuropathy.

And remember that the best way to avoid problems with diabetic foot neuropathy is to effectively manage your diabetes as a whole. Regular appropriate exercise, blood sugar monitoring, quitting smoking, and eating a healthy diet are keys to diabetes management that will improve your issues with diabetic foot neuropathy.

For more about how to treat foot neuropathy at home safely, take a look at our Home Care page.

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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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2 Essential Components in the Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy

Does Your Treatment Plan Include Manual Therapy and Nutrition Therapy? Read More About This Non-Invasive and Cost-Effective Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy.

It’s our experience that the best results in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy are able to happen when we include two specific non-invasive components along with neurostim treatments and general lifestyle changes. These components appear simple, but they can be very powerful and have nearly immediate results, with improvements compounding over time as the therapies are continued long-term.

The first component is manual therapy. This modality can include many specific approaches, such as stretching, massage, mobilization, and spinal manipulation. These are time-tested methods that have been extremely well researched for many medical conditions, from diabetes to cancer-related neuropathy. Best of all, manual therapy utilizes cost-effective techniques that are minimally invasive, meaning that they are gentle and not intrusive to your body’s own internal healing processes. I believe, like any good doctor will tell you, that you should always try a simpler and less invasive treatment of peripheral neuropathy before resorting to more strenuous methods, such as medication and surgery, that can have serious long-term side effects and impact your quality of life.

The second component in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy is nutrition therapy, which ideally will be customized to address the needs of a specific patient. Our approach includes an extensive patient evaluation done in our office, taking into account your medical history and up-to-date lab work, so that you can be confident you are taking the supplements that are optimum in supporting the medical challenges you are facing. With clinical monitoring, we’ll work together on achieving and maintaining the nutrient levels you need to feel and perform your best in your day-to-day functioning.

Did you know that a nutritional supplement doesn’t even have to come in pill form? Sometimes we recommend that patients use a topical creme to administer certain nutrients through the skin as part of a comprehensive plan for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy. Take a look at our ND ReGen Soothing Topical Supplement Creme.

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Should People with Neuropathy Pain Get a Flu Shot?

If You Have Neuropathy Pain from Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP, There Are Special Considerations When Choosing Whether to Have a Flu Shot. Keep Reading for Details On How to Weigh the Risks and Benefits.

Flu season will be here before we know it. Most healthy adults will choose to get a flu shot to help stop the spread of this sometimes incapacitating illness, which can be responsible for thousands of deaths every year. And finding a place to get immunized is easy, with availability at nearly any drugstore, pharmacy, and walk-in clinic. Your insurance may even cover the cost.

But for some, deciding whether to get a flu shot isn’t an easy decision. People with neuropathy pain face a tough dilemma due to potential reactions to the vaccine. The list of folks who may be wary of the flu vaccine due to possible side effects includes people with peripheral neuropathy caused by cancer treatments, immune disorders such as AIDS and HIV, celiac disease, liver or kidney disease, shingles, and diabetes.

It’s important for people with neuropathy pain to realize that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) actually recommends getting a flu shot due to the serious complications that can arise from flu exposure with certain underlying illnesses.

However, if you have neuropathy pain caused by some illnesses, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome and CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy), you will need to discuss this issue in detail with their doctors. That’s because the immune system stimulation from a flu shot can sometimes trigger a relapse of these illnesses. Many doctors will recommend waiting a year after symptoms cease before receiving a flu shot.

Who is most at risk of catching and transmitting the flu virus? The CDC says you may want to consider getting a flu shot if any of these apply to you:

• You’re at least 50 years old. (Children under 19 are also at higher risk.)
• You are dealing with a chronic serious medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease.
• You are a resident of a long-term care facility or nursing home.
• You are living with someone who is in a high-risk category, such as a child who is below the recommended age for vaccination.

Ultimately, whether to be vaccinated for the flu is your decision. People with neuropathy pain should speak with their doctors or NeuropathyDR clinicians about this issue before taking action.

Looking for more discussion about special topics on neuropathy pain? Come talk with us at our Facebook page.

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