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

“Doctor, my blood sugar is just a little off–that can’t cause Neuropathy…”

Unfortunately, the reverse is probably true.

Here is reality: 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. 

We have written extensively about diabetes and metabolic syndrome. We talk often about 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.

And this is how we should all first approach patients with neuropathy and chronic nerve pain.

Let our team help you too.

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The Connection Between Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetic Neuropathy

Years ago, we called it pre-diabetes. Lately, the common term is Syndrome X. No matter what name we give it, metabolic syndrome is a potentially devastating diagnosis.

I would go so far as to say that metabolic syndrome is the number one most dangerous medical condition challenging our society today.

That’s because so many people start to take care of their diet, exercise, and other self care only AFTER they have been diagnosed with diabetes or diabetic neuropathy. And by then, for so many, it’s a major health crisis!

Metabolic syndrome lies hidden for years, causing damage to multiple major body systems. At our clinics, we see so many patients with diabetic neuropathy and chronic pain related to metabolic syndrome. In fact, it’s the likely cause of most cases of “idiopathic” (cause unknown) neuropathy.

Typically, metabolic syndrome tends to show up as a collection of subtle symptoms many years before a diabetes diagnosis. People with metabolic syndrome will notice a weight increase and thickening of the waist, along with small changes in their blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

The first thing you can do to protect yourself from the ravages of metabolic syndrome is to accept that a 20+ pound weight gain and spreading waistline is not a normal part of aging, and in fact can lead to very dangerous health complications. Being overweight is a risk factor for peripheral neuropathy in addition to many serious conditions, like heart disease.

Your next line of defense is to begin working with a medical specialist who is well trained in diagnosing and teaching you how to treat metabolic syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, and other disorders.

Remember that only you can be an effective health advocate for yourself.

Finally, let us help! There is lot’s of  of information here in our library and videos.

Next, be sure to share with your doctor the crucial lifestyle changes you are making that can have a significant  impact on your health related to metabolic syndrome and diabetic neuropathy.

Get your copy of our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

 

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The NeuropathyDR Diet and Chronic Pain Reduction Guide

How Do You Keep What You’re Eating From Eating You?

 

The key is beginning and staying with the NeuropathyDR diet program!
The most common nutrition question we get when patients begin to understand the impact their diet has on overall health is
“What do I eat, and when?”

So, what I’m doing today is to describe a typical day of meals and snacks for a patient who is following the NeuropathyDR Diet, which is simple, easy to modify and add variety to on a regular basis. Controlling body weight and blood sugar levels by diet, exercise and lifestyle has a profound effect on your ability to heal and stay as healthy as possible in so many diseases, neuropathy and other forms of chronic pain.

YOU NEED TO KNOW: More and more research says avoiding or minimizing animal products is crucial to health and longevity but you MUST be sure key blood nutrient levels are monitored!!! At a minimum, before starting care we urge you to let us check your blood count, (CBC), HbA1C, complete urine with microscopic exam, liver, kidney and thyroid function tests, Vitamin D, Folate, B-12, Iron and often B6 and homocysteine levels. DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE & TREAT without expert guidance. Most of us may also require some supervised daily dietary supplementation.

Let’s start with Breakfast

It is very important to consume some protein within one half hour of arising. The reason for this is that it helps stimulate metabolism, protein synthesis, and mental alertness. It also helps us burn fuel more efficiently. My favorite breakfast is a vegetable protein shake, using a dairy-free protein powder with almond or coconut milk. Another good breakfast is a measured serving of gluten-free granola, taking care to keep carbohydrates between 15 and 20g maximum. You could also use a measured serving of gluten-free steel-cut oatmeal.

No more than three hours later, have a snack again, not exceeding 15g of carbs. This could include one half apple or banana, seven or eight almonds for other nuts, etc… Some packaged protein or nut bars can be fine if the carb content is low.

Lunch should universally be some form of salad or cooked vegetables with protein. 

You can mix this up with your favorite greens. You could use baby spinach or mixed greens. Microwaved organic broccoli is high in protein and can be mixed with a few vegan “meatballs”. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, some almonds or walnuts, You can use tofu or tempeh or other pant based protein from vegetarian sources.

No more than three hours later, have an additional snack, along the same lines as your mid-morning.

When dinnertime comes, this is the time to emphasize non-starchy vegetables

Some of the best are cooked spinach, broiled or sautéed asparagus, cabbage, beets, squashes, yams, and sweet potatoes, and so on. Keep starches, such as rice and white potatoes, to a minimum.

Be sure to get in a high-quality source of protein. Again, you could use one of the better vegan alternatives, just be careful of gluten and carb content.

Three hours after dinner, have another small healthy snack. This time, try a few gluten-free crackers with some almond or cashew butter. There are also low carbohydrate gluten-free cookies—just be careful not to eat the entire bag, which is easy to do! Another really good choice to satisfy your evening cravings is a small square or two of unsweetened dark chocolate.

So, what’s NOT here?

Well there is no dairy, cheese, or cows milk yogurt. There is no regular consumption of bread; there are no snack foods, soda, or chips. There are no ice creams or pies for dessert. There are no fruit juices, candy, or other sweets. Plant diets are best!

Consider periodic fasts with your doctors help and consent.

More and more research is showing value in periodic fasts of 8-12 hours and sometimes longer. But you CAN get into serious trouble if you are diabetic or on certain medications.

Do you see where we are going here? The fact of the matter is, poor choice of foods is probably responsible for more ill health and disease than any other single factor in the modern developed world.

The key is beginning and staying with the program. Don’t worry about the very rare weekend, or party. Just always stay trying not to go berserk. Be especially careful during holiday periods.

Most of us should consume half our body weight in ounces of clear liquids, most especially (filtered) water, during any 24-hour period.

Be especially careful not to overdo coffee and tea. Limit alcohol consumption to occasional low sugar wine or beer, and very rarely stronger adult beverages.

Once you make a shift, you will realize how simple, easy, and inexpensive this approach to eating–for all of us. 

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

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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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Neuropathy Treatment Challenge

Neuropathy Treatment Challenge

As you probably know actually working with and effectively treating neuropathy can be extraordinarily challenging. Neuropathy is almost never an isolated symptom. Very rarely does it occur just by itself. It is so often the result of many different causes and other conditions.

Fortunately, the most common cause is correctable. As you have read here before the most common cause of neuropathy is prediabetes also known as metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X. This is a lifestyle disorder often caused by years of weight gain, aggravated by cigarette smoking, and inactivity.

The underlying conditions related to other forms of neuropathy such as genetic types can by very challenging!

But there are some truths that are common to all of these types of neuropathy in many forms of chronic pain.

And that is drug only therapy serves to simply mask the symptoms and not treat the underlying illness.
Too often patients who suffer from #neuropathy, #fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain can go on this pattern for many years before effective treatment is actually implemented.

This neuropathy and chronic pain treatment of course centers around improving our overall level of health and well being! Physically, mentally, and spiritually. Cleaning up our diets, getting on appropriate exercise programs and minimizing medications is better long term approach.

You must at all costs avoid prolonged self-treatment for pain or other annoying symptoms!

It is not unusual now that we see patients taking large amounts of self-prescribed over-the-counter drugs ending up with liver kidney damage and sometimes organ failure.

Don’t let this be you! Yes of course some medications are necessary to help with pain but using them only to the exclusion of other good self-care is a sure path down the road to disaster.

It’s very important that you take the most appropriate steps to actually improve your underlying health and function as quickly as possible.

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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Neuropathy Lab Tests

There is No Single Neuropathy Lab Test as Neuropathy is often a “Symptom” of Many Conditions.

One of the things that surprises many patients new to peripheral neuropathy and many other forms of chronic pain, is that is there is no single neuropathy or pain causing lab test to identify their problem.

In fact there is no single laboratory tests by itself, which is hundred percent accurate for so many disorders.

This of course is difficult not only for patients, but their families AND the physicians and therapists like ourseslves who treat peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain.

As we talk about often, neuropathy is most often a “symptom” of other conditions and as in the case of chemotherapy, toxic, or drug related neuropathy possibly caused by treatment. It is not necessarily a primary diagnosis.

So what this means is that very careful attention needs to be paid to multiple factors at the same time. This also often includes multiple laboratory tests.

For the patient new to neuropathy or chronic pain, this will oftentimes include blood tests. If it’s possibly related to a structural or spinal condition then MRIs, x-rays, CAT scans, and other tests may also be necessary.

One of the most important things your clinician will do is to conduct a very detailed physical examination.

Only after ALL of these things are done and then put together by an expert, can you most accurately identify what maybe going on.

This is NOT a one step or simple process!

So realize that in order to maximize your recovery, EARLY good care must still be administered ESPECIALLY when an accurate diagnosis is not possible! As we spoke about last time, waiting to act on correctable factors while obtaining a “perfect” assessment is the worst thing you can do.

And many times neuropathy and chronic pain patients are frustrated with negative or nearly normal tests. But as I tell my patients all the time, this is often the sign of a much better prognosis!

So of course you should work with your doctors and therapists in establishing an accurate diagnosis.

But don’t be surprised if this is not possible.

Often times there are several different conditions and lifestyle factors that work together to cause neuropathy and chronic pain. Typically these are stress, obesity, smoking and poor physical conditioning.

This is why it is so important that you address ALL these things together with your NeuropathyDR Clinician to give your body the best shot at any possible improvement or recovery!

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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Why Carb Control Can Help Neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, and Many Forms of Chronic Pain

Carrying excess body fat can elevate blood sugars and triglycerides over time. Even mildly elevated blood sugars can cause some of these sugars to attach to protein molecules, causing chronic pain.

As a regular reader of these posts, you understand—in part, at least—the importance of controlling carbohydrates in our diets.

There are two forms of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include things like refined sugar, which is commonly contained in cookies, cakes, sodas, ice cream, etc. You probably also know that these items are forbidden on the NeuropathyDR Diet Plan!

There are also complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are manly starches like those found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.

The most dangerous part of high carbohydrate consumption is that it simply causes us to gain weight unnecessarily. The mechanism by which this happens is relatively complex.

In a nutshell, high carbohydrate consumption causes our bodies to produce excess insulin. Production of extra insulin actually causes a number of things to occur, but the most important is lowering of blood sugar by driving excess calories into fat cells.

This is how excess carbohydrates in our diet causes us to gain weight, seemingly very rapidly.

Another factor which many patients are unaware of is carrying excess body fat can elevate blood sugars and triglycerides over time. Even mildly elevated blood sugars can cause some of these sugars to attach to protein molecules. This is responsible for making us feel very stiff and sore.

This also makes it more difficult for our bodies to regulate insulin levels.

Of course, this response is dramatically altered in patients who are diabetic, creating all types of dangerous health effects, including eye disease, kidney disease, and of course peripheral neuropathy and other forms of chronic pain.

The good news is, pre-diabetes and borderline diabetes can often be controlled—and sometimes reversed—by improving the quality of diet.

The sooner we spring into action, the better our chances of impacting our current and future health.

There are, however, two circumstances in which higher carbohydrate consumption maybe needed.

Number one, is if you take insulin. If you take insulin, you need to know that changing your diet, and certain dietary supplementation, especially with thiamine or vitamin B1, can influence your blood sugar and insulin requirements. That’s why need to work very carefully with prescribing healthcare professionals.

Also, if you are an athlete in training, you will need to consume more carbohydrates than average. To avoid excess weight gain, avoid overeating, and emphasize the complex carbohydrates, such as those contained in fruit and vegetables, as opposed to simple sugars.

Also try to confine higher carbohydrate consumption to within one hour before, and perhaps after, strenuous physical activity.

 

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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Diabetes, Neuropathy and Dairy

Diabetes and neuropathy nutrition should include a dairy free diet

There is a long-reported link between dairy consumption and the development of type 1 diabetes. Significant numbers of patients with type 1 diabetes can, and do, develop neuropathy.

In one of our recent articles, we spent some substantial time talking about dairy consumption, and its negative effects on human health. As I said previously, these are not popular statements—but so be it.

The fact of the matter is, the scientific evidence is overwhelming. Human beings are probably far better without dairy consumption than with it.

What you may not be aware of is there is a long-reported link between dairy consumption and the development of type 1 diabetes. You may know, significant numbers of patients with type 1 diabetes can, and do, develop neuropathy.

Also, dairy contains insulin-like growth factor which is a promoter of several different cancers, including breast and prostate cancer. Even stronger is the connection between a particular milk sugar called galactose and the development of ovarian cancer.

But more than this, 50% or more of the population has difficulty digesting milk. It is responsible for allergies, indigestion, as well as elevation in cholesterol and so-called “bad” fats.

All politics aside, let’s help the consumer understand the link between milk consumption and health. We often find that patients who do a dairy and gluten-free diet have significant reductions in both pain and inflammation.

Of course, this influences many patients with neuropathy, and, indeed, many forms of chronic pain.

The simplest way to make a dietary shift is to do so gradually. Give yourself time to explore alternatives such as almond, coconut, and rice-based products.

Like everything else, some are far better than others. Be careful of any product with added sugars. Also, many patients find thickeners such as carrageenan to be very irritating to the G.I. tract.

Of course, I encourage you to do your own research—do your homework. Unfortunately, the influence of the dairy industry is very wide. The spillover into classic nutrition, in which I was trained, is also great.

Keep in mind: in a short period of time, you could know more about dairy and human health than your doctor.

So what’s the answer? Share with them. Provide them a copy of The China Study.

Above all, remain diligent to other dietary assaults. They have a tremendous impact upon your health, well-being—and, yes, your neuropathy!

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

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Is A Neuropathy Cure Possible?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that Neuropathy is just one disorder.

Nothing, and I mean nothing could be further from the truth.

You see, there are so many different things that can induce the various forms of peripheral neuropathy.

The most common form of neuropathy is related to lifestyle and obesity.

This is called metabolic syndrome. As a society we have become larger and less mobile so were seeing many more patients with this affliction.

But that still leaves 50% with neuropathy from other disorders some, indeed very serious and possibly life threatening.

The reality is neuropathy can and does develop from simple things such as a nutrient deficiency like vitamin B12, vitamin D or even cancer.

They’re also significant numbers of patients who have toxic exposures and who develop neuropathy. These toxic exposures could include anything from certain medications to cigarette smoking to occupational exposures.

This of course means your most important first task is to have a thorough evaluation by a professional who truly knows the depth of neuropathy and it’s causes. Unfortunately, too many physicians and therapists are ill informed, in our opinion often not nearly thorough enough.

So is a neuropathy cure possible?

The answer is yes but that of course depends upon what caused it. This also means identifying correctable causes early on is key.

Despite this fact however there are issues that are equally common amongst many forms of neuropathy.

The most important thing that you need to understand is the better care you take of yourself, the better your prognosis.

For most patients this means cleaning up their diets, oftentimes losing a significant amount of weight, eliminating potential neuropathy irritants such as artificial sweeteners and highly refined foods. It also means eating more vegetables and limiting all forms of sugar and sweeteners.

Wherever possible adding exercise, physical therapy, and using the tried-and-true methods of treatment including specialized neural stem and other therapy where available.

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

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Vitamin C is a Key Neuropathy Nutrient

Vitamin C is important to neuropathy patients as is it does help our bodies rid themselves of toxic substances.

Vitamin C is another key player in health and nutrition. In fact, just like Vitamin A which we discussed a few days ago this vitamin is absolutely essential to cell health, replication, and repair.

Perhaps you are already familiar with some of the key functions of vitamin C. You probably know you can shorten recovery times from infections like the flu and colds.

Like vitamin A, this vitamin also has a significant role in bolstering our bodies immune system.

But more than this, Vitamin C takes part in many key biochemical reactions throughout the entire body. If we consume less than we need on a daily basis, our blood vessels can become fragile and our body will begin to break down very quickly.

This was the lessons learned at sea many years ago when sailors developed scurvy, the Vitamin C deficiency disease.

Vitamin C is absolutely essential for collagen and tissue repair-collagen, is the substance that binds together our skin, and ligaments, muscles, joints etc. This is one of the key reasons that this vitamin applied to the skin can help improve its tone, texture, and resistance to environmental factors.

Just like all nutrients however too much of a good thing is not necessarily better. The maximum amount of vitamin C that should be taken on a daily basis is probably around 2000 mg. and this amount should probably only be continued for a relatively short periods of time. There are of course exceptions, and each patient is different.

This is why you should work with your clinician when formulating your precise nutrition plan.

If you’re following the NeuropathyDR Diet and Lifestyle Plan, it is unlikely that you’ll be deficient vitamin C. The simple reason for this is that you’ll be consuming a fair amount of fresh vegetables and small to moderate amounts of fruits. Many of these are naturally high in vitamin C. The better quality food, the higher the vitamin content.

This is why you must learn to shop wisely and store your food carefully.

Perhaps one of the key reasons that vitamin C is important to neuropathy patients is it does help our bodies rid themselves of toxic substances. These could be anything from natural breakdown products in the body to substances we encounter in our environments.

The net result however is adequate amounts of vitamin C ensure that these critical functions happen, and will help to keep you not only feeling, healing well but also looking your very best!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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