Even Healthy People Can Develop Neuropathy


Diabetes…

Lupus…

Cancer and chemotherapy…

Any of these conditions can lead to peripheral neuropathy…

But what you might not realize is that you can develop peripheral neuropathy even if you’re perfectly healthy.

Athletes who take part in sports that require consistent overhead movement of the arms (like tennis, baseball, kayaking, volleyball) place a lot of strain on their shoulders.  That places them at a much higher risk of overuse injuries.

And that can lead to a very specific type of neuropathy – suprascapular neuropathy.

What is Suprascapular Neuropathy[1]?

Suprascapular neuropathy- that’s a real mouthful isn’t it?  It may sound complicated but it really isn’t.

Suprascalupar neuropathy is nerve damage to the suprascapular nerve – the nerve that runs from the brachial plexus (a group of nerves in the neck and shoulders) to nerves that help the body fully rotate the arms.  Suprascapular neuropathy causes shoulder pain and weakness and can lead to career ending pain for professional athletes or stop weekend warriors from doing what they love.

The most common symptoms of suprascapular neuropathy are[2]:

–   Deep, dull aching pain in the shoulder

–   Weakness or muscle pain

–   Frozen shoulder (inability to move the shoulder)

–  Numbness and tingling

If any of these symptoms are keeping you sidelined, talk to your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today.

Exactly What Causes Suprascapular Neuropathy?

As the suprascapular nerve passes over the shoulder blade, it can be compressed and stretched.  When that happens repeatedly over a period of time, the nerve can become damaged and neuropathy develops. The first symptoms are usually pain and weakness when you try to rotate the shoulder.  More than just being uncomfortable, the pain can disrupt your life on a daily basis.

Imagine trying to put on a t-shirt or reach for a can on the top shelf of your pantry with a frozen or extremely painful shoulder…

If your experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician immediately to determine if you have nerve damage.  You’ll need to start treatment immediately to prevent permanent damage.

What You Can Expect From Treatment

Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will start with nerve conduction studies to find out exactly where the nerves are damaged.  Electromyography will show exactly how severe the damage is.

Once you know for sure you have suprascapular neuropathy, the first step will be stop participating in the sport that caused the injury (until the damage is repaired).

Next, you’ll start a course of physical therapy and prescribed exercise.  Therapy will concentrate on maintaining your full range of motion and strengthening your shoulder muscles.

Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will employ a very specific treatment protocol depending on

–          The location of your injury and how severe it is

–          Your age, general health and typical activities

–          How long you’ve had your symptoms and whether or not they was caused by overuse or a specific injury

If your shoulder pain is keeping you on the bench and stopping you from participating in the sports you love or even from living a normal life, call your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today.   Early intervention is one of the best ways to minimize the damage caused by suprascapular neuropathy and repair any nerve damage you may have suffered.

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

Lupus – Not a Cookie Cutter Illness

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

One illness with a very specific set of symptoms…

In both cases, we would be wrong.

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

The fact is there are several types of lupus[1]:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If have at least four of these symptoms, you need to see a doctor immediately for testing and diagnosis:[2]

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

∙           Fatigue

∙           Headaches

∙           Numbness, tingling, vision problems

∙           Seizures

∙           Vision problems

∙           Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting

∙           Abnormal heart rhythms

∙           Fever for no apparent reason

∙           A general feeling of discomfort and ill feeling

∙           Hair loss

∙           Sores in your mouth

∙           Sensitivity to sunlight

∙           A rash over your cheeks and nose

∙           Swollen lymph nodes

Many of these symptoms may be caused by the damage lupus does to the peripheral nervous system or peripheral neuropathy.  Because of the effects of lupus on the nervous system, a good place to start for diagnosis and treatment would be a physician well versed in diagnosing and treating nerve diseases and damage, like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.

Exactly Why Are Lupus and Peripheral Neuropathy So Serious?

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

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

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

–          Inflammation of the sac around the heart

–          Diseases of the heart valves

–          Inflammation of the actual heart muscle

–          Inflammation of the tissue around the lungs or pleurisy

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

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

You can see why this could be very serious.

If you have at least four of the above symptoms, call your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today.   Early intervention is one of the best ways to minimize the damage caused by lupus and peripheral neuropathy.   While your lupus isn’t curable, a combination of medication and the highly specialized treatment protocol available to you through your NeuropathyDR® clinician to minimize nerve damage can make your life bearable and your symptoms manageable.

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

 

 

 

 

Could Your Digestive Problems Be Caused by Autonomic Neuropathy?


 

So…

You finally bit the bullet and had gastric bypass surgery…

Or maybe you opted for the lap band…

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

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

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

But you never expected:

•      Heartburn

•      Bloating

•      Nausea and/or vomiting

•      Difficulty in swallowing because your esophagus no longer functions properly

•      Inability to empty your stomach

•      Diarrhea

•      Constipation

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

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

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

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

Exactly What Does That Mean?

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

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

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

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

Now gastric bypass surgery has brought on a whole new subset of patients who suffer from G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy.

The Nutrients You Probably Lack

 

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

•           Vitamin B1 or Thiamine

•          Vitamin B3

•          Vitamin B6

•          Vitamin B12

•          Vitamin E

 

Many of the symptoms caused by your G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy can be lessened and possibly even controlled by a healthy diet and management of whatever underlying condition you have that could be contributing to your neuropathy.

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

 

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

•     A history of alcohol abuse

•     Hepatitis C

•     Crohn’s Disease

•     Celiac Disease

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

Treatment Options

 

A highly skilled medical professional well versed in diagnosing and treating nerve damage is your best place to start for treatment of your G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy.  An excellent place to start is with a NeuropathyDr clinician.  They have had great success in treating patients with your symptoms using a multipronged approach that includes:

•      Care and correction for your muscular and skeletal systems

•      Treatment for any underlying medical problems

•      Nutrition education and diet planning

•      A step by step exercise regimen

•      Medication as needed or necessary

If you have a confirmed diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Autonomic Neuropathy or think you may have it, you don’t have to just live with it.  In fact, just living with it could be downright dangerous due to intestinal blockages, continued malnutrition, etc.  Contact us today for information on how G.I. Autonomic Neuropathy can be treated, your suffering lessened and exactly how to find a NeuropathyDR in your area.


Autonomic Neuropathy – Silent and Serious


 

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

∙           Dizziness and fainting when you stand up

∙           Difficulty digesting food and feeling really full when you’ve barely eaten anything

∙           Abnormal perspiration – either sweating excessively or barely at all

∙           Intolerance for exercise – no, not that you just hate it but your heart rate doesn’t adjust as it should

∙           Slow pupil reaction so that your eyes don’t adjust quickly to changes in light

∙           Urinary problems like difficulty starting or inability to completely empty your bladder

If they do, you could have autonomic neuropathy. Especially if you have diabetes, your immune system is compromised by chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, lupus, Guillian-Barre or any other chronic medical condition.

You need to see a doctor immediately.  A good place to start would be a physician well versed in diagnosing and treating nerve disease and damage, like your local NeuropathyDR® clinician.

What Is Autonomic Neuropathy?

Autonomic neuropathy in itself is not a disease[1].  It’s a type of peripheral neuropathy that affects the nerves that control involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and perspiration.  The nerves are damaged and don’t function properly leading to a break down of the signals between the brain and the parts of the body affected by the autonomic nervous system like the heart, blood vessels, digestive system and sweat glands.

That can lead to your body being unable to regulate your heart rate or your blood pressure, an inability to properly digest your food, urinary problems, even being unable to sweat in order to cool your body down when you exercise.

Often, autonomic neuropathy is caused by other diseases or medical conditions so if you suffer from

∙           Diabetes

∙           Alcoholism

∙           Cancer

∙           Systemic lupus

∙           Parkinson’s disease

∙           HIV/AIDS

Or any number of other chronic illnesses, you stand a much higher risk of developing autonomic neuropathy.[2] Your best course of action is not to wait until you develop symptoms.  Begin a course of preventative treatment and monitoring with a NeuropathyDR® clinician to lessen your chances of developing autonomic neuropathy.

How Will My NeuropathyDR® Diagnose My Autonomic Neuropathy?

If you have diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDs or any of the other diseases or chronic conditions that can cause autonomic neuropathy, it’s much easier to diagnose autonomic neuropathy.  After all, as a specialist in nerve damage and treatment, your NeuropathyDR®  is very familiar with your symptoms and the best course of treatment.

If you have symptoms of autonomic neuropathy and don’t have any of the underlying conditions, your diagnosis will be a little tougher but not impossible.

Either way, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will take a very thorough history and physical.  Make sure you have a list of all your symptoms, when they began, how severe they are, what helps your symptoms or makes them worse, and any and all medications your currently take (including over the counter medications, herbal supplements or vitamins).

Be honest with your NeuropathyDR® clinician about your diet, alcohol intake, frequency of exercise, history of drug use and smoking.  If you don’t tell the truth, you’re not giving your NeuropathyDR® clinician a clear picture of your physical condition.  That’s like asking them to drive you from Montreal to Mexico City without a map or a GPS.  You may eventually get to where you want to be, but it’s highly unlikely.

Once your history and physical are completed, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will order some tests. Depending upon your actual symptoms and which systems seem to be affected, these tests might include:

∙           Ultrasound

∙           Urinalysis and bladder function tests

∙           Thermoregulatory and/or QSART sweat tests

∙           Gastrointestinal tests

∙           Breathing tests

∙           Tilt-table tests (to test your heart rate and blood pressure regulation)

Once your tests are completed and your NeuropathyDR® clinician determines you have autonomic neuropathy, it’s time for treatment.

Treatment and Prognosis

NeuropathyDR® clinicians are well versed in treating all types of peripheral neuropathy, including autonomic neuropathy.  They adhere to a very specialized treatment protocol that was developed specifically for patients suffering from neuropathy.  That’s why their treatments have been so successful – neuropathy in all its forms is what they do.

Autonomic neuropathy is a chronic condition but it can be treated and you can do things to help relieve your symptoms.

Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you and your other physicians to treat your neuropathy and manage your underlying condition.  They do this through:

∙           Diet Planning and Nutritional Support

You need to give your body the nutrition it needs to heal.

If you have gastrointestinal issues caused by autonomic neuropathy, you need to make  sure you’re getting enough fiber and fluids to help your body function properly.

If you have diabetes, you need to follow a diet specifically designed for diabetics and  to control your blood sugar.

If your autonomic neuropathy affects your urinary system, you need to retrain your bladder.  You can do this by following a schedule of when to drink and when to empty your bladder to slowly increase your bladder’s capacity.

∙          Individually Designed Exercise Programs

If you experience exercise intolerance or blood pressure problems resulting from  autonomic neuropathy, you have to be every careful with your exercise program.  Make sure that you don’t overexert yourself, take it slowly.  Your NeuropathyDR® clinician  can design an exercise program specifically for you that will allow you to exercise but             won’t push you beyond what your body is capable of.  And, even more importantly, they will continually monitor your progress and adjust your program as needed.

∙           Lifestyle Modifications

If your autonomic neuropathy causes dizziness when you stand up, then do it slowly and in stages.  Flex your feet or grip your hands several times before you attempt to stand to  increase the flow of blood to your hands and feet.  Try just sitting on the side of your bed in the morning for a few minutes before you try to stand.

Change the amount and frequency of your meals if you have digestive problems.

Don’t try to do everything all at once.  Decide what really needs to be done each day and do what you can.  Autonomic neuropathy is a chronic disorder and living with any chronic condition requires adaptations.  Your NeuropathyDR® clinician knows this all too well and will work with you to manage your level of stress and change your daily routines to help you manage your condition and your life.

All of these changes in conjunction with medications, where needed, will make it easier to live with autonomic neuropathy and lessen the chances of serious complications.  Early intervention with a NeuropathyDR® clinician is still the best policy if you have any of the underlying conditions that can cause autonomic neuropathy.  But if you already have symptoms, start treatment immediately.

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.