Laser Therapy and Neuropathy

It could be that laser therapy is the “missing link” in some forms of neuropathy treatment!

Laser therapy has been used in medicine for many years. They’ve been around since about 1960 or so when a now famous scientist produced these “focused light beams” in the laboratory.

These ultra focused light beams can be used at high intensity to seal tissue and aid surgeons, dentists, and dermatologists in their daily work with patients. At lower intensity, they have had applications in physical therapy and neuropathy treatment for some time too.

Now, lasers are everywhere, everything from CD Players, printers and measuring devices to military weapons. I’m sure you may even have seen a few of your own!

So what does laser have to do with neuropathy treatment?

Well, it could be that laser therapy is the “missing link” in some forms of neuropathy treatment!

As we discuss together frequently, no neuropathy treatment works 100 percent of the time. And that is a key point to remember. We also have talked about effective neuropathy treatment being the result of working only with highly trained neuropathy treatment professionals.

And nowhere is this more apparent than in laser treatments for neuropathy. Even amongst laser neuropathy treatment experts there’s often disagreement as to what makes good neuropathy treatment.

But some techniques in laser neuropathy treatment equipment are looking very promising!

One of our basic attempts when treating neuropathy is to do whatever can help safely and effectively boost your nerve cells use of “energy”.

Along with proper nutrition and electrotherapy, laser may aid energy production in damaged nerves.

The way this may happen is fascinating, but way beyond the scope of this column.

But the good news is more experience and research including our own will help us find even better neuropathy treatments than we have available today!

Always remember though, we go to great lengths every day to be sure our highly trained neuropathy treatment professionals are up to date in the latest, and best forms of neuropathy treatment for you and your family!

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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Understanding Shotgun Therapy

Patients who become the most proactive in their personalized neuropathy treatment programs always do the best.

Shotgun therapy is a term applied in medicine when multiple therapies that are sometimes not exactly complimentary are presented to patients. Don’t get me wrong; sometimes in health crises this can be lifesaving!

But too often, it is we as patients who are guilty of this.

A big example of shotgun therapy is the widespread usage of over the counter cold and pain medications. This has long been a concern of pharmacists and healthcare professionals alike.

Due to a wide degree of variability in patient responses, there are many OTC drug and dietary supplement combinations out there that are probably not beneficial.

Too often herbal based dietary supplements, yes even sometimes those prescribed for neuropathy patients, fall into this category. Far too many of these “neuropathy” treatment formulas have multiple ingredients that can interact in unknown ways.

And unbeknownst to you as a patient, this shotgun therapy approach may actually be more harmful and not helpful.

As I’m sure you are aware, peripheral neuropathy can be a very frustrating condition to treat.

But one of the most frustrating things for both doctors and patients alike is where no clear neuropathy treatment plan is identified.

Every therapy and every medication you take must be part of an overall neuropathy treatment strategy. Even if that strategy is a trial to see what works best for you!

This is why those patients who become the most proactive in their personalized neuropathy treatment programs always do the best.

So as frustrating as it may be at times, I encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and neuropathy treatment options as possible, but do your best to avoid shotgun therapy.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause of your peripheral neuropathy is, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of peripheral neuropathy.

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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Good Habits Are Powerful Neuropathy Treatment Weapons

Effective neuropathy treatment plans are easier to implement with patients who have good habits and schedules.

What does your daily routine consist of?

It is a well-known fact that our daily habits contribute more to our long-term well-being than any other single activity.

Of course, this includes things like exercise, drinking soda, tobacco usage, drug usage etc.

It also includes our mental activity. We have a choice to regularly have active mental stimulation such as reading, meditation and prayer, versus passive activities such as long periods of watching television.

Unfortunately, most of us never take a hard look at our daily activities, and the impact they’re having upon our health.

Now when you’re young, these are relatively easy to ignore. But throw in advancing age, and some health challenges and it becomes a different ball game!

With chronic pain and neuropathy, sticking to good daily health habits becomes a much more difficult task.

Nonetheless what I can tell you after taking care of hundreds of patients is that those who have routines and habits fair far better.

More effective neuropathy treatment plans are easier to implement with patients who have good habits and schedules.

Scheduling and timing of daily things such as meals, light activity, supplements, and even your own self-care goes along way.

One of the reasons this is true is because your body has its own biorhythms.

Timing of certain supplements, and even self-treatment throughout the day, can make a BIG difference in your outcome!

And these are all things your specialist is able to assist you with.

Just make sure you engage us and ask for guidance with regard to the most effective neuropathy and chronic pain treatments and activities.

But most importantly ask and learn about the best scheduling, and timing.

Make a DAILY schedule for yourself, then stick to it!

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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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The Benefits of a Carbohydrate-Controlled Diet

Many forms of peripheral neuropathy respond to carbohydrate-controlled diets.

We recently spoke about the impact of diet selection, especially carbohydrate consumption, on diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In our clinic, we’ve found that most neuropathy patients benefit greatly when they follow a carbohydrate-controlled diet plan.

Now the reality is, because many forms of peripheral neuropathy respond to carbohydrate-controlled diets, that maintaining body weight and overall body composition is critically important to beating neuropathy.

But sometimes simple dietary changes are not enough, and a more radical approach is necessary. This is where professionally supervised weight loss programs and dietary retraining can be incredibly powerful.

A healthy diet should include[1]:

• Whole grains and legumes to provide B vitamins to promote nerve health.  Whole grains promote the production of serotonin in the brain and will increase your feeling of well-being.
• Plant based proteins or lean meats,fish and eggs.
• Green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and other greens) for calcium and magnesium. Both of these nutrients are vital to healthy nerve endings and health nerve impulse transmission and, as an added bonus, they give your immune system a boost.
• Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (such as squash, carrots, yellow and orange bell peppers, apricots, oranges, etc.) for vitamins A and C to help repair your skin and boost your immune system.
• Sunflower seeds (unsalted), avocados, broccoli, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts (unsalted), tomatoes and tomato products, sweet potatoes and fish for vitamin E to promote skin health and ease the pain of nutritional neuropathy.
• Ask your us for recommendations on a good multivitamin and mineral supplement to fill in any gaps in your nutrition plan.

Foods you should avoid:

• Coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
• Fried foods and all other fatty foods. Fatty foods suppress the immune system and that’s the last thing you need when you’re fighting nutritional neuropathy.
• Control the amount of animal protein you eat. High-protein foods elevate the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine which are both tied to high levels of anxiety and stress.
• Restrict intake of starchy vegetables, as they are high in carbohydrates: potatoes, peas, corn, yucca, parsnips, beans, and yams.
• Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption limits the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body and can make a bad situation worse.

If you’re suffering from neuropathy, it is vital that you gain control of your diet, understand carbohydrate and calorie restriction, opt for healthier food selections, and plan mealtimes so you don’t eat too late at night.

If you continue to struggle with your weight, or body composition, you should explore a carbohydrate-controlled diet plan as a viable treatment option.

A carbohydrate-controlled diet has proven extraordinarily beneficial for our neuropathy patients.

Keep in mind, getting your metabolism, that is your weight and body composition, under control is a key step forward.

It goes without saying that you will look better, and feel and function better mentally, physically, and usually spiritually as well.

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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[1] http://www.nutritionmd.org/health_care_providers/endocrinology/diabetes_complications_neuro.html

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Be Your Own Best Neuropathy Advocate

“I’m not sure I have neuropathy, nor is my doctor…”

Unfortunately, this is something we hear all too often at our neuropathy and chronic pain clinic. This is why it is so important to get the knowledge out there in the hands of more competent and caring neuropathy treatment specialists. Being your own neuropathy advocate can also go a long way to ensuring you receive the treatment that you need to ease your symptoms and improve the quality of your life.

One of the worst things we can do for our symptoms is fail to try to treat the sleep disturbance and life disruption that oftentimes accompanies so many illnesses, including the various forms of peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain. This is where you can step in and become your own best neuropathy advocate.

Communicate with your providers. Some of our lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise or lack thereof, alcohol consumption, can exacerbate our symptoms. Be honest with your providers about these issues. And ask them what treatment options are available to you.

At our clinic we strongly recommend drug therapy only as a second, not first, resort!

The good news is there are now effective treatments, including the usage of portable devices like the NDGen, packaged in all our home care kits, which can be used by you or a loved one even at bedtime, which can make a huge difference in the resolution of your neuropathy and pain symptoms.

It’s also important to note that treating early and aggressively like this during the process of neuropathy and pain diagnosis has no negative side effects!

In fact, improving quality of life immediately is one of the reasons for our great NeuropathyDR® treatment success.

But this will require two things:

First, shifting your own mindset. Second, becoming your own neuropathy advocate.

The good news is, when neuropathy and chronic pain treatments are not harmful, and likely to be helpful in the short-term, most physicians and therapists are open-minded, and will go out of their way to help their patients.

But sometimes, it’s not enough to do your own homework. This is where NeuropathyDR® comes in.

One of the things we do all day long is field questions from patients and health care providers regarding our neuropathy treatment program success.

Often times, simply getting the knowledge out there in the hands of more competent and caring neuropathy treatment specialists is all that is needed.

Always remember, we are ready to begin help when you are!

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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My Neuropathy Symptoms Aren’t That Bad!

One thing that we see fairly frequently in our clinics is when patients present with the early onset of neuropathy symptoms.

If you’re experiencing neuropathy symptoms, such as pain, tingling, numbness, or burning, this could be due to things such as chemotherapy, statin medications, or perhaps even “pre-diabetes” now called metabolic syndrome.

Now there are cases of course where neuropathy is not long-term.

This usually occurs in younger patients, who have been exposed to poisons or medications that eventually are stopped.

Unfortunately, for many adults neuropathy it is a very different situation. For most of us, saying “I have a little neuropathy” is just like saying “I’m a little bit pregnant”.

In order to have effective neuropathy treatment it is critical to identify correctable factors causing your neuropathy symptoms early on. This would include things such as obesity, certain medications, and lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking. Likewise, it is also very important to begin the most appropriate neuropathy treatment as soon as possible.

You see one of the things we know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that when patients begin neuropathy treatment early and seriously the long-term results are far better.

In our clinic we find that patients who treat their neuropathy early are less debilitated, and return to better function much more easily.

So what can you do?

First of all, do not be a “minimizer”. When you experience neuropathy symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, or burning, have them thoroughly checked out as soon as possible by a licensed healthcare professional.

Next, help your clinicians help you by fully revealing your family history, medication usage, and other factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, et cetera.

Lastly, learn the importance of good homecare programs. Our NeuropathyDR homecare programs can speed your progress as well as improve your neuropathy treatment results, often times dramatically.

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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It Can’t Be My Diet!

”Why do I feel so lousy all the time?”

Unfortunately we hear this often at our NeuropathyDR clinics. You see, there is a tendency now for people not to prepare or consume fresh foods, especially vegetables. Too often, fast food works its way into our diets.

As for people with peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain, this is like pouring gasoline on fire!

The reason for this is that poor food choices raise blood fats and blood sugars. When blood sugar is increased, some of the sugar molecules tend to attach to proteins; proteins like those that help make up our muscles and skin.

This then leads to aches, stiffness, and quite possibly inflammation. For the peripheral neuropathy sufferer, regardless of the cause, this typically poor diet seems to make it worse.

Increased sugar consumption in addition to aggravating your underlying neuropathy, will cause you to gain weight, lose energy and sleep more poorly.

The good news is however when you make deliberate changes to when and how you are eating, you often times will find yourself feeling better than ever!

So, how do we do this without becoming overwhelmed?

The simplest way to do this is to keep a food diary or record for a week. Keep track of everything you consume. You may be shocked at how much sugar is in things like soda, ice cream, and other things that may have become a staple for your diet.

Like most neuropathy patients, you probably know you should be eating better.

When neuropathy patients write all of this down, changes are much easier for us to help you with.

Always remember, neuropathy is oftentimes a manifestation, or made worse by poor metabolism, secondary to poor diet and lack of enough activity.

Improving both of these can often improve most forms of peripheral neuropathy!

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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How Footwear Affects Neuropathy

The shape of your feet changes with age, swelling, as well as peripheral neuropathy.

One of the issues we see very frequently in the neuropathy patient is whether their footwear fits comfortably.

It is very easy to take for granted the role that proper footwear has on your level of comfort. That is of course unless you suffer from peripheral neuropathy.

There are all a whole host of other conditions that occur with neuropathy that can slow down or complicate recovery. This includes common things such as flatfoot or having conditions like plantar fasciitis.

There are however some very simple things you can do. Number one, visit a traditional foot and shoe store and have your feet properly measured.

The reason for this is the shape of your feet changes with age, swelling, as well as peripheral neuropathy. Muscle changes, which accompany neuropathy, are responsible for this.

The neuropathy patient should take advantage of the expertise of their clinician too. Ask questions about the most appropriate footwear for you. Learn some basics about proper shoe construction such as the shape of the last and the strength of the heel counter.

Sometimes, “diabetic” shoes better holds inserts, which your clinician may prescribe. These may also allow for better circulation and less neuropathy pain.

We find that many neuropathy patients have excellent relief by wearing running shoes most of the time. The reason for this is the combination of shock absorption and breathability is helpful for many patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy.

This is one area where consulting the properly trained neuropathy treatment specialist can be of huge benefit!

Do not ignore your shoes!

These are in fact the foundation of your daily recovery homecare programs and are very important in getting you active again, back on your feet!

Recover faster with your neuropathy treatment by wearing the very best shoes you can find!

Let us know how your feet are affected by your neuropathy in the comment section below.

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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Common Sense Approach to Neuropathy Treatment

Would you hit a Fly with a Sledgehammer?

Of course not. It’s just common sense!

Then why are clinicians prescribing invasive methods of treatment for any condition before more simple and often times old fashioned common sense methods?

Why has so much about modern healthcare, for what were once relatively simple to manage conditions, become just like this?

One relatively recent example was highlighted by the deaths and serious infections due to contamination of steroids and drugs administered for back pain and spinal injections.

Of course I’m not saying these don’t have a place. They do.

What I have issue with is when invasive methods of treatment for any condition are prescribed before more simple and often times old fashioned common sense methods of management for spine pain including modified rest, exercise, traction, physical therapy, spinal manipulation, and noninvasive therapy modalities.

The same could also be said for many of the other conditions that we now treat with drugs instead of lifestyle and behaviors FIRST.  This includes GERD, minor depression, sleep disturbance, fibromyalgia, and other forms of chronic pain.

Furthermore, third-party payers and insurance companies do not help the situation because often reimbursement is provided for invasive and expensive procedures while these modalities are simply considered “not medically necessary”. There is no common sense in any of this!

I’m old enough to remember when this was never the case. Unfortunately, it’s also been very difficult to change. However there are some things you can do.

First of all, always inquire about inexpensive and noninvasive procedures when considering any healthcare choice. This is especially true in spine pain and peripheral neuropathy.

For example, too often patients with peripheral neuropathy are treated with expensive medications with significant side effects before exploring possible underlying causes that are easily correctable such as obesity and metabolic syndrome.

And very often patients tell us the side effects from the treatment with medications and invasive injections for pain are worse than the disorder itself!

But there are some things you can do, and one of them you’re doing right now.

And that is to learn everything you can to become your own health care advocate.

Now this is a situation that also has significant ties to politics and government, I’ll let you have those discussions on your own.

However if you like my input, I’m more than happy to contribute!

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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Personal Choices in Obesity Related Neuropathy

Food supply is a doubled edged sword. As little as 50 years ago, foods in some areas of the modern world were in short supply. Modern food processing and even food “manufacturing” has changed all that.

Food itself is far more plentiful for most people than at any time in our history. And that unfortunately has created lots of problems.

Obesity, diabetes and a very common form of peripheral neuropathy are very closely linked. Neuropathy and diabetes are both much more common now a days, and showing up in younger ages than ever before in our modern world.

Along with supply, has come a huge increase in the “density” of calories. A calorie is a simple measure of energy potential in what we eat and drink. An average healthy person may only need around 2000 calories per day. But the problem is, its possible to eat (very easily) way more than that, even in 1 meal! Yikes!

So, this means that a cup of a processed food for example can have 3 times the calories and fewer nutrients than a cup of say steamed vegetables, or even lean protein.

And consume these foods long enough before you know it you’ve packed on 20, 40, 60 or more pounds and neuropathy, diabetes and heart disease can and often do result.

Recently, there has been a wave of politicians attempting to legislate better health habits. What a theft of personal choice that is!

Just consider the proposals made by Mayor Bloomberg, and others who wanted to ban sales of certain foods! Quite frankly I’m appalled.

Aren’t we big boys and girls any more? Can we still teach our kids right from wrong? Behavior has consequences!

Real empowerment in neuropathy or any disease comes from the choices you and I make every day. The good news is progress from food companies is being made. Slow, but real.

I’m rather about adults learning what’s best and teaching our children better personal choices every day!

How about you?

I once had the opportunity to interview the famous Hank Cardello, a former food executive and the author of “Stuffed”.

Listen in as Hank and I discuss the Obesity Epidemic and The Food Industry…

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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