Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy—Which is it?

Very often we see patients who present with multiple health issues. Now, as you might expect in any chronic pain treatment center, this is not at all uncommon. But our treatment centers are different; we look at patients differently. Rather than simply attempting to calm pain, we look deeply for underlying causes. So a common scenario in a patient with chronic pain is sometimes Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy—Which is it?

One of the most interesting things is how deeply rooted lifestyle and personal habits are linked to many health problems. Fibromyalgia and neuropathy are no exception.

In both fibromyalgia and in many cases of neuropathy, patients are frequently overweight and in poor physical condition. Often times this “deconditioning” has been present for years. Contributing factors to this include things such as poor diet, and, yes, even health problems like underlying thyroid disease.

In both fibromyalgia and in neuropathy, patients often experience tingling, numbness, and significant amounts of pain. This is not at all surprising, since recent research suggests that some 30% plus fibromyalgia patients actually have small-fiber neuropathy.

Only time will tell how true this is in fact. I have long suspected this, however, since one of our observations many years ago was that many fibromyalgia patients responded very well to our neuropathy treatment programs, with some specific modifications. That’s why, right now, effective treatment depends so much upon the skill as well as the time and interest of the clinician.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to find this in a public healthcare setting any longer. Most publically-employed doctors are simply under too much time pressure, with little financial benefit to treat patients who need the diligent care they so deserve.

This is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

At NeuropathyDR, we train our clinicians to be exceptional and diligent in the diagnosis of neuropathy and chronic pain. This includes fibromyalgia. And the reason for this should be very obvious. Once we understand as much as we possibly can about what may be underneath your symptoms, then we can begin the most effective neuropathy treatment plan possible.

And this goes double for those patients who suffer fibromyalgia-related chronic pain conditions!

Enjoy your day. Let our team help!

Please join us for Q&A here on Facebook!

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Fibromyalgia

If you suffer from pain, chances are good you’ve heard of fibromyalgia.  Nearly 4% of people suffer from fibromyalgia, making it one of the most common pain syndromes in the world!  Although women are 70% more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia than men, the condition hits everyone.  Like neuropathy, fibromyalgia can profoundly impact your quality of life, from mobility and strength to living with chronic pain.  Fibromyalgia actually presents as SFN (Small Fiber Neuropathy) at least 30% of the time, so misdiagnosis may be more common than once thought.

Symptoms

The most common indicator of fibromyalgia is pain and sensitivity to pressure on the skin.  Most sufferers describe the pain as stabbing and shooting, and it can occur all over the body.  Fibromyalgia pain is often worse in the mornings, and can vary based on restlessness and even temperature/humidity.

Neuropathic symptoms very frequently accompany fibromyalgia.  If you suffer from the condition, you may also be experiencing tingling in your extremities, numbness, the sensation of clothing running over your skin when none is there, and difficulty determining hot and cold in addition to the telltale pressure-sensitivity.  Of course, these symptoms can themselves contribute to other problems, such as sleep disturbance, disruption of appetite, and bladder-control problems.

Causes

A single cause of fibromyalgia is a point of considerable debate, and has never been decisively established; some researchers even point to the lack of physical abnormalities (although there are definitive nervous system changes) as evidence that it’s a distinct condition.  There are commonly-held theories, though, which include:

  • Dopamine dysfunction- one of the most common theories explains why fibromyalgia is so frequently found in cases where someone suffers from restless leg syndrome and sleeplessness.  These are conditions which result in part from insufficient dopamine in a certain part of the body.
  • Stress- Fibromyalgia frequently exists in  people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, fatigue, and depression.  This has led many researchers to conclude that there is a distinct link between stress and developing fibromyalgia.
  • Genetic predisposition- Recent research has suggested fibromyalgia may have a genetic component. The disorder is often seen in families, among siblings or mothers and their children.
  • Physical trauma- Physical trauma can act as a trigger for fibromyalgia, research suggests, since it tends to show up for the first time in many cases where a person is suffering from an acute illness or injury.


Treatment

Fibromyalgia is traditionally treated with a variety of medications ranging from simple pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and even dopamine agonists.  Since the root cause of fibromyalgia is not entirely understood, treatment with pharmaceuticals is usually  trial and error at best.  Understandably, this has led many doctors and researchers over the past decade to advocate alternative, non-pharmaceutical treatments.

Some of the more modern methods for fibromyalgia treatment include exercise, cognitive behavior therapy, adjustments to diet and lifestyle, electrotherapy, and even massage therapy.  Extensive research over the past few years even points to chiropractic and other manual therapies and acupuncture as potential routes for effective treatment.

Our practices promote newer methodologies for treatment, and discourages care that could be ineffective, provide temporary fixes, or even lead to additional complications.

Because everyone who has fibromyalgia experiences different symptoms, it’s very important to have a one-on-one evaluation with someone who really knows the condition. Let our clinicians help!

 

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Healing Chronic Disease with the Power of Positive Attitude

How to Transform Negative Self-Talk into Positivity for Healing Chronic Disease

The bad news: Negative self-talk can be very damaging to your health.

The good news: You can easily learn to transform negative self-talk into positive thinking that can actively help you in healing chronic disease, from diabetes to cancer.

What is negative self-talk? This is the term for the kind of demeaning, insulting, or belittling internal messages that we give ourselves when we are frustrated by our perceived failings. “I’m so stupid.” “I always mess up.” “Nobody could ever love me.”

These messages are so hurtful because they are based on labeling and judgment. They tell you that there is something wrong with you as a person. When your goal is healing chronic disease, negative self-talk tells you that instead of getting better, you ought to BE a better person.

You wouldn’t allow your best friend to talk this way to herself. It’s time to become your own best friend and intervene in negative self-talk. All you have to do is learn to break the pattern and replace negativity with truly healing actions that support you in healing chronic disease. Remember that healing begins from within, and you have total control over the mindset that is either helping or hurting your chance at optimum health.

Begin by simply noticing during the day when you use negative self-talk. Write down what the circumstances were, what you said or thought to yourself that was negative, and how those thoughts made you feel. Then, pick one recurring negative thought and decide how you will turn it around into a healing action.

For example, if you have noticed that you think to yourself “I’m such a klutz,” use this thought as a cue to notice what you need. The next time you catch yourself thinking about being a klutz, stop and say, “What do I need right now?” Maybe it’s a rest break, some water to rehydrate you, or a kind word from a good friend. Then take that healing action.

We think of negative self-talk as “automatic thoughts,” but the truth is that you can break the negative cycle and turn the negative into a positive. Let your negative thoughts be a signal that it’s time for a wellness check-in to find what your body needs right now. Soon, every moment will become a healing moment on the path to healing chronic disease.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com

The post Healing Chronic Disease with the Power of Positive Attitude appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

Healing Chronic Disease with the Power of Positive Attitude

How to Transform Negative Self-Talk into Positivity for Healing Chronic Disease

The bad news: Negative self-talk can be very damaging to your health.

The good news: You can easily learn to transform negative self-talk into positive thinking that can actively help you in healing chronic disease, from diabetes to cancer.

What is negative self-talk? This is the term for the kind of demeaning, insulting, or belittling internal messages that we give ourselves when we are frustrated by our perceived failings. “I’m so stupid.” “I always mess up.” “Nobody could ever love me.”

These messages are so hurtful because they are based on labeling and judgment. They tell you that there is something wrong with you as a person. When your goal is healing chronic disease, negative self-talk tells you that instead of getting better, you ought to BE a better person.

You wouldn’t allow your best friend to talk this way to herself. It’s time to become your own best friend and intervene in negative self-talk. All you have to do is learn to break the pattern and replace negativity with truly healing actions that support you in healing chronic disease. Remember that healing begins from within, and you have total control over the mindset that is either helping or hurting your chance at optimum health.

Begin by simply noticing during the day when you use negative self-talk. Write down what the circumstances were, what you said or thought to yourself that was negative, and how those thoughts made you feel. Then, pick one recurring negative thought and decide how you will turn it around into a healing action.

For example, if you have noticed that you think to yourself “I’m such a klutz,” use this thought as a cue to notice what you need. The next time you catch yourself thinking about being a klutz, stop and say, “What do I need right now?” Maybe it’s a rest break, some water to rehydrate you, or a kind word from a good friend. Then take that healing action.

We think of negative self-talk as “automatic thoughts,” but the truth is that you can break the negative cycle and turn the negative into a positive. Let your negative thoughts be a signal that it’s time for a wellness check-in to find what your body needs right now. Soon, every moment will become a healing moment on the path to healing chronic disease.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com

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Looking for a Home Treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain? Reasons to Give Meditation a Try

Could Meditation be an Effective Home Treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain?

Meditation is a free wellness tool that you can use anytime and anywhere. And it’s not as complicated as you might think.

It might surprise you to hear that meditation can be an effective home treatment for chronic neuropathic pain. Maybe it doesn’t seem like something that would be an accepted neuropathy treatment, like medications or other traditional approaches to chronic pain.

In fact, there is a type of meditation that is actually considered to be evidence-based. In other words, multiple studies have looked at this method and seen positive results for chronic pain. A program called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has been used in many renowned hospitals and medical centers, incorporating a type of mindfulness meditation that focuses on noticing thoughts and sensations without judgment.

There are books and tapes available about this program, but you don’t even need that kind of specialized training to begin using meditation for wellness on your own. All you need is to understand why mindfulness meditation works with chronic pain.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed this evidence-based program, says that when we have chronic pain, there are two things that make us suffer: the physical pain itself, and our thoughts and emotions about the pain that intensify what we are feeling. Our story about the awfulness or unbearableness of the pain builds a layer of tension around it, like wearing a shirt with a collar that’s too tight.

Meditation lets us change the way we feel ABOUT the pain, so that we can be more relaxed and accepting of it. That way, we can experience peacefulness even when physical pain is present.

Those are the reasons why meditation can be an effective home treatment for chronic neuropathic pain. Soon, we’ll discuss some different ways to meditate and how you can find the method that works best for you.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com

The post Looking for a Home Treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain? Reasons to Give Meditation a Try appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

Looking for a Home Treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain? Reasons to Give Meditation a Try

Could Meditation be an Effective Home Treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain?

Meditation is a free wellness tool that you can use anytime and anywhere. And it’s not as complicated as you might think.

It might surprise you to hear that meditation can be an effective home treatment for chronic neuropathic pain. Maybe it doesn’t seem like something that would be an accepted neuropathy treatment, like medications or other traditional approaches to chronic pain.

In fact, there is a type of meditation that is actually considered to be evidence-based. In other words, multiple studies have looked at this method and seen positive results for chronic pain. A program called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has been used in many renowned hospitals and medical centers, incorporating a type of mindfulness meditation that focuses on noticing thoughts and sensations without judgment.

There are books and tapes available about this program, but you don’t even need that kind of specialized training to begin using meditation for wellness on your own. All you need is to understand why mindfulness meditation works with chronic pain.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed this evidence-based program, says that when we have chronic pain, there are two things that make us suffer: the physical pain itself, and our thoughts and emotions about the pain that intensify what we are feeling. Our story about the awfulness or unbearableness of the pain builds a layer of tension around it, like wearing a shirt with a collar that’s too tight.

Meditation lets us change the way we feel ABOUT the pain, so that we can be more relaxed and accepting of it. That way, we can experience peacefulness even when physical pain is present.

Those are the reasons why meditation can be an effective home treatment for chronic neuropathic pain. Soon, we’ll discuss some different ways to meditate and how you can find the method that works best for you.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com

The post Looking for a Home Treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain? Reasons to Give Meditation a Try appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need)

Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.

Although it may be a shocking idea, your personal support network may be equally as important to your health as your medical treatment team—or any kind of supplemental therapies.

Why? Because the bottom line is that a positive outlook is the best medicine for good health outcomes. If you are feeling contented and supported in your personal relationships, you’ll be much better equipped to cope with pain when it arises.

Unfortunately, many people find it hard to ask for help from their family and friends. We may have heard the message that it was weak or shameful to be dependent on others.

The truth is that when we are able to accept love and support, we’re better equipped to be as independent as possible in our daily lives.

Make a list of people in your life who have helped you in big and small ways in the past, as well as people that would probably be willing to help now if you were to ask.

Now, think about the things that are making your life the most difficult or stressful right now. This list could be anything from a leaky faucet in your kitchen to a pile of medical bills. Just get it all down on paper.

Finally, begin matching the list of stress points with the list of helpers in your life. Who could come over and fix that leaky faucet for you? Who could help you make phone calls to arrange a payment plan for those bills?

You will find that most of the people on your list are grateful for a chance to help you—they just didn’t know what to do that would be truly helpful. And when your stress level decreases (now that the leaky faucet or pile of bills is a thing of the past), your overall health will be optimized. That means chronic pain becomes less of a burden because you’re better able to cope with it.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com

The post Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need) appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need)

Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.

Although it may be a shocking idea, your personal support network may be equally as important to your health as your medical treatment team—or any kind of supplemental therapies.

Why? Because the bottom line is that a positive outlook is the best medicine for good health outcomes. If you are feeling contented and supported in your personal relationships, you’ll be much better equipped to cope with pain when it arises.

Unfortunately, many people find it hard to ask for help from their family and friends. We may have heard the message that it was weak or shameful to be dependent on others.

The truth is that when we are able to accept love and support, we’re better equipped to be as independent as possible in our daily lives.

Make a list of people in your life who have helped you in big and small ways in the past, as well as people that would probably be willing to help now if you were to ask.

Now, think about the things that are making your life the most difficult or stressful right now. This list could be anything from a leaky faucet in your kitchen to a pile of medical bills. Just get it all down on paper.

Finally, begin matching the list of stress points with the list of helpers in your life. Who could come over and fix that leaky faucet for you? Who could help you make phone calls to arrange a payment plan for those bills?

You will find that most of the people on your list are grateful for a chance to help you—they just didn’t know what to do that would be truly helpful. And when your stress level decreases (now that the leaky faucet or pile of bills is a thing of the past), your overall health will be optimized. That means chronic pain becomes less of a burden because you’re better able to cope with it.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com

The post Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need) appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

Neuropathy and Fructose

Neuropathy and Fructose

Much has been written about consuming processed foods and drinks laced with the sugar known as fructose.  But why is this simple product, which is often times billed as all natural food or sweetner such a troublemaker?

Mainly because fructose does not “burn” like other sugars. In fact fructose is only about 60% efficient in converting to simpler molecules. So this means 40% or so fructose gets converted to fat!

Yikes!

This also explains why those who consume the excess amounts of fructose common to modern diets have a very difficult time managing their weight.

The biggest offender of course is soda.

As we’ve written about before there is no reason that anybody with their eye on health or disease prevention should ever be consuming soda. This also includes artificial and calorie free sweeteners in soda, other drinks and foods.

Even a zero calorie soda that tastes sweet to your body WILL still create a weight gain situation!

Fructose can also be found in high amounts in fruits. This is why many people who go on the so called “fruit” diets or drink a lot of fruit juices have a very difficult time controlling blood sugar and losing weight or keeping weight off.

It’s also why our diet plan is carbohydrate controlled and this includes limiting serving sizes of fruits.

Typically, a serving size of fruit would be one half banana, one half or one small apple, pear etc. Generally, berries unless overripe are not so much a problem. Melon, again when consumed in moderation are usually not a problem either.

Remember we are having this conversation about fructose and neuropathy treatment because it is obesity, metabolic syndrome and prediabetes which are at the cause of over 50% of idiopathic cases of neuropathy and these also complicate many forms of chronic pain.

Taming your fructose consumption is just one thing but big thing you can do right now to improve the quality of your life both short and long term!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.co

 

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The Best Pain Control

For the best pain control, first your clinician must make an accurate assessment of the type of pain and likely causes.

Anybody who suffers from neuropathy and it’s related forms of chronic pain such as shingles, pinched nerves in the spine, or even spinal stenosis understands what a challenge finding the best pain control can be.

But what too many physicians and patients very often fail to understand is that early and active intervention to make a dramatic difference in patient outcome.

Let’s take for example back pain. It is been known for years that under-treated acute back pain can lead to prolonged episodes of pain and disability.

Neuropathy is often times the same because of early on the symptoms are minimized or blown off by both patients and doctors alike.

One thing that even too many physicians fail to understand is that different body parts generate different pain signals and this requires often times multiple and even separate forms of treatment.

For example the pain that is produced when a nerve is damaged is distinctly different from the pain from Norcott scraper, even a surgical scar.

Because these are two different problems, they often times need to be treated differently.

One of the key things to understand about neuropathic pain is that it does often respond well to various forms of electric nerve stimulation. This is why so many find relief with our NDGen at home and in the clinic.

By contrast, pain due to bruises, scars, and cuts etc. Do not always respond to direct neurostim (nerve stimulation) and other treatment modalities, such as ultrasound and laser maybe much more effective.

So this is why it’s very important that your clinician make an accurate assessment as to the type of pain you may have and what the likely causes actually are for best pain control.

As we said before the longer a pain pattern sets in the more difficult it becomes to treat.

This is why we strongly recommend active and early intervention especially in painful disorders like neuropathy, shingles and even acute back pain.

The longer you wait or put off the appropriate treatment the more difficult it will become to manage and find the best pain control.

In reality, far more difficult than it needs to be.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.co

 

 

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