Acidophilus Can Make or Break Your Health

Making a statement like acidophilus can make or break your health may sound like a pretty powerful declaration, but it’s a true one. Many of you may wonder, “what in the world do you mean by that?” Here’s the answer.

Our bodies are so dependent on hidden functions that we learn to take them for granted. The stomach or gut, as it is often called, is a hidden wonderland of protective mechanisms. The lining of the gut contains millions of neurons (nerve cells). As one of the powerhouse neuronal organs of the body it’s no wonder so much is affected when it gets out of whack. When this portion of the body gets out of sync, chaos can ensue.

For instance, the common lifestyle of this day and age is all about stress and hurry. We eat poorly, don’t rest enough and always think we must be doing more, more, more. This type of lifestyle eventually takes a harsh toll on the body. Once this degradation begins, the next step is problems begin to ensue.

Specifically, when the enteric nervous system (gut neurons) gets messed up due to our bad habits, here are just a few things that can begin to be affected.

  • Poor moods, depression, anxiety
  • Poor bowel functions – leads to increased toxins and build up. This then leads to malfunctions of just about every part of the body.
  • Immune problems and increased susceptibility to other invaders

So, what can we do about it?

How Can Acidophilus Help Gut Health?

In the last couple of decades, stories of probiotics of varying types have been used and abused by the popular markets. The premise is good on which they stand, but the message and the why are not always as forthcoming.

Probiotics, of which acidophilus is one, are not magic pills. Though they can have great impact when taken for specific repair, they can’t fix everything.

The most commonly studied and tested probiotics are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. FOS or fructooligosaccharides, are also used in probiotic to promote fermentation. Now finding supplements that can provide all these benefits is what makes research fun.

Instead of searching the world over, our team here at NeuropathyDR decided to create an acidophilus combination that is second to none. With our acidophilus/bifidobacter/FOS combination, you can rest assured you are getting the right probiotics in the correct doses to help reestablish a healthy gut flora. This results in a happy gut and a happy gut is a happy you.

You can check out our acidophilus supplement here.

Also, please join us over on Facebook and let us know how it helps. We can’t wait to hear!

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Disuse Syndrome

In our last post, we discussed how exercise can help control the symptoms of your underlying illness (whatever caused your autonomic neuropathy). Today we’re going to discuss the effects of not exercising, which are called disuse syndrome.

Use Vs. Disuse

When you’re thinking about starting an exercise program and you’re thinking about how dangerous it can be, you also need to consider the effects of not starting an exercise program.

The effects of not exercising are called disuse syndrome.  If your level of activity seriously out of sync with your level of inactivity, you can develop:

• Decreased physical work capacity

• Muscle atrophy

• Negative nitrogen and protein balance

• Cardiovascular deconditioning

• Pulmonary restrictions

• Depression

The effects of any of these symptoms of disuse syndrome in combination with your autonomic neuropathy symptoms can make a bad situation even worse.

The very nature of your autonomic neuropathy can affect the systems that are most sensitive to the effects of exercise.  Any exercise program you begin should be designed and monitored by a medical professional well versed in the effects of autonomic neuropathy, like your NeuropathyDR® clinician.

Autonomic neuropathy can have a serious effect on the very systems in the body that are directly affected by exercise.  Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider before you start an exercise program and let them monitor your progress.

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

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Overcome Anxiety and Depression with Good Neuropathy Treatment

One of the things that is perhaps universal among patients who suffer from chronic pain and neuropathy is the manifestation of both anxiety and depression. But good neuropathy treatment can go a long way towards helping patients overcome these feelings.

Unfortunately, these feelings often don’t receive the attention they deserve. What you may not know is that part of the development of anxiety and depression is the result of nervous system reactions. A solid neuropathy treatment plan often helps patients get back those feelings of well-being that can sometimes seem only a distant memory.

I’m firmly convinced that part of this development is simply sensitization of the nervous system to all the changes that peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain can bring. This is also why I am convinced EVERY neuropathy and chronic pain patient should own a home self-treatment kit as part of their neuropathy treatment plan.

These feelings of anxiety and depression are very common, and suffered by most neuropathy patients. But seldom are they talked about honestly and openly with family or clinicians.

Yes, quite frankly, this is a mistake.

There ARE a couple simple things you can do immediately that will help.

First of all, realize there’s often lots you can control about your health—and some things you can’t. Resign yourself to that fact once and for all. Meditate or pray on this one if need be, as it really helps! It’s one of the great paradoxes of life—however, once accepted as fact, it can make a tremendous difference in your level of mental health and well-being.

And for everything you can change, such as your diet, lifestyle, mental health habits, attitude, etc… accept one hundred percent responsibility right now! Each of these factors can make or break your neuropathy treatment plan!

Along these lines, there are several other things I suggest you explore to get the most out of your neuropathy treatment. Number one, make sure you have as simple and low stress a lifestyle as you possibly can.

I have seen many patients make extensive progress on the road back to health by simply practicing everything we’ve said in the last few paragraphs.

I have written extensively about designating enough “Me” time. It’s a mistake to neglect yourself above others—and this includes parents, relatives, and children.

Number two: with severe depression including thoughts of suicide, you need professional guidance immediately!

Ask for help, and make sure you get it. Today!

Where these are unavailable, a trusted friend, clergy member, or advisor may be the next best thing.

And as always, discuss the best neuropathy treatment options available to you with your treating clinician. The sooner you get on the road to wellness, the better you will find that you feel.

Above all, recognize you are not alone.

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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“Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”

The minute you injured you back, your life changed forever…

The constant pain…

The loss of mobility…

The inability to live a normal life.

You wanted so desperately to feel normal again you agreed to back surgery.

And your pain is worse than ever.

If you’ve undergone back surgery and you’re still suffering from

Dull, aching pain in your back and/or legs

Abnormal sensitivity including sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain in your arms or legs

Peripheral neuropathy and the symptoms that go with it – numbness, tingling, loss of sensation or even burning in your arms and legs

You could have “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome” or “FBSS”.

You’re not alone.  Back surgeries fail so often now they actually have a name for the condition patients develop when it happens.  As back pain experts, NeuropathyDR® clinicians see patients like you almost every day.

What Exactly Is “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”?

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome[1] is what the medical community calls the chronic pain in the back and/or legs that happens after a patient undergoes back surgery.

Several things can contribute to the development of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.  It can be caused by a herniated disc not corrected by the surgery, swelling or a “mechanical” neuropathy that causes pressure on the spinal nerves, a change in the way your joints move, even depression or anxiety.

If you smoke, have diabetes or any autoimmune or vascular disease, you have a much higher chance of developing Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

If you do have any of these conditions, think long and hard before you agree to back surgery.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

You know you don’t want another surgery and who could blame you? You’ve already been through the pain of surgery and recovery only to be in worse shape than you were before the surgery.

The good news is that there are some excellent alternatives to surgery.  One of the best places to start is with your local NeuropathyDr® specialist.

NeuropathyDR® clinicians have a treatment protocol is often perfect for treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

Hallmarks of for the chronic back pain associated with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome are:

Therapeutic massage to manipulate the soft tissues of the body to relax the muscles and eliminate “knots” in the muscles that can cause or contribute to your back pain and other symptoms.

Manual therapy to restore motion to the vertebrae, alleviate pressure and get your spine and muscular system back into proper alignment.

Yoga and other low impact exercises to aid in relaxation, pain management and alleviating stress and depression.

Proper nutrition to help your body heal itself.  This is especially important if you have diabetes or some other underlying illness that could be contributing to your peripheral neuropathy.

All of these are components of the NeuropathyDR® treatment protocol.

The right combination of these treatment approaches in the hands of a knowledgeable health care provider, well versed in the treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, can be an excellent alternative to yet another surgery.

If you’re tired of living with the pain and don’t want to go under the knife again, contact your local NeuropathyDR® specialist to see if their exclusive protocol for treating chronic back pain, peripheral neuropathy and Failed Back Surgery Syndrome will work for you.

You’ll leave us wishing you had made the call sooner.

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Neuropathy and Sleep Problems

Sleep Problems are Common among Neuropathy Patients. Here’s What You Can Do to Make It Better.

Sleep disturbances aren’t unusual for most people during times of stress or illness. But people with neuropathy tend to experience sleep problems more often, and in a more severe way, than the general population.

You may have already experienced how a lack of sufficient restful sleep can negatively impact your daily function. It can also be detrimental to your long-term health and quality of life.

If you’re not getting enough restful sleep, your body’s major systems just aren’t able to recharge like they need to in order to combat neuropathy symptoms. You’ll be noticing more and more weight gain, fatigue, depression, and chronic pain over time as you continue losing sleep.

It’s so important to share information about your sleep problems with your neuropathy specialist, who can build sleep adjustment into your overall treatment plan.

You can also make lifestyle changes starting right away to help improve your sleep quality and reduce neuropathy symptoms. Daily movement or exercise, preferably outdoors for the addition of vitamin D from sunlight, is very important for neuropathy sufferers with insomnia. Stress reduction is another key to healthy sleep to supplement your neuropathy treatment. Make sure to also get enough water and eat foods from a healthy neuropathy diet. Some patients (those without kidney disease) may want to ask their doctors about magnesium supplements.

Another option is the daily use of our home care kit featuring an FDA-approved electrotherapy neurostimulator. By reducing tingling and other symptoms that can distract you from sleep, this daily care program can get help you get more Z’s on a regular basis. The NDGen Home Care Kit also offers automatic shut-off and a timer so that you can safely use it while drifting off to sleep. Take a look at our NDGen neuropathy home care kit.

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4 Gentle Exercises for Reducing Neuropathy Symptoms

You Can Reduce Neuropathy Symptoms Through Appropriate Movement, Even If Exercise Usually Tends to Be Painful.

Even if your neuropathy symptoms leave you feeling like it’s impossible to exercise…

There ARE ways to get moving and stay active while supporting your neuropathy treatment needs.

Your doctor will tell you that gentle, appropriate exercise will help you maintain a healthier weight, improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your bones, manage your blood sugar levels, and even help to ward off depression and anxiety.

The best exercise for reducing neuropathy symptoms is focused on gentle, fluid movement that isn’t jarring or overly taxing. Here are a few types of gentle exercise that you may want to consider as part of an overall treatment plan for neuropathy symptoms.

  • Stretching is a basic but essential way to keep your body limber despite neuropathy symptoms. Try to develop a self-directed program of stretches that you do each day before getting out of bed as well as a few stretches to help you unwind before bed.
  • Tai Chi is a type of martial art that involves very slowly and deliberately working each of the muscle groups in your body. It is considered a very gentle form of exercise that can also improve your circulation and improve mood.
  • Some types of yoga are appropriate for people with neuropathy symptoms. Look for a class or video that is called “gentle” or “restorative” yoga. You don’t need to be particularly flexible or limber to participate in yoga and can move at your own pace.
  • Swimming or a gentle version of water aerobics are both great movement choices for anyone who has difficulty or pain from walking. The support of warm water can help to loosen up your body and support your joints, as well as reducing pressure on your feet.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before undergoing any change in your activity level.

For more tips on reducing neuropathy symptoms, see our neuropathy owners manual: I Beat Neuropathy!

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Neuropathy Treatment Includes Treating Anxiety and Depression

Does Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan Address Underlying Anxiety and Depression?

Most patients in neuropathy treatment are dealing with more than just physical symptoms. Depression and anxiety are extremely common among those struggling with the various forms of neuropathy. That’s because neuropathy is a global condition that affects your nervous system in addition to the emotional stress brought on by any major medical condition.

Whether you are newly diagnosed and not sure where to turn, or already in the care of a highly trained neuropathy treatment clinician, it’s not unusual for anxiety or depression to be a daily part of your life.

But there is help. In addition to talking honestly with your doctor about these difficulties, you can take action right away to help yourself heal from the anxiety and depression that comes with neuropathy treatment.

The first step is to identify what you can’t control in the course of your neuropathy treatment, as well as what you CAN control. Make an effort to let go of those things that are out of your reach and trust your neuropathy doctor to competently follow the neuropathy treatment plan you have outlined together.

Make a list of the things you do have control over. Most likely this includes all the things you can do at home:

  • Nutrition
  • Movement and appropriate exercise
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Reducing stress in your environment
  • Spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer
  • Bringing joy into your life through family and friend relationships, pets, new hobbies, etc.
  • Prioritizing your physical and emotional needs first, especially if you are in a caregiver role

Although self care at home for anxiety and depression is a vital part of neuropathy treatment, make sure you aren’t trying to go it alone. Talk with your doctor today about getting the support you need for depression or anxiety symptoms.

If your current doctor is not trained in current approaches to neuropathy treatment including complementary therapies, click here to locate a NeuropathyDR® specialist near you.

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Neuropathy Treatment Doesn’t Have to Be Invasive and Expensive

Do You Know Your Neuropathy Treatment Options? Keep Reading to Find Out What You Might Be Missing.

We recommend that patients think twice before agreeing to invasive neuropathy treatment options.

That’s because there are effective treatments for neuropathy that are simple, common sense, and noninvasive to support your healing rather than disrupt it.

Unfortunately, many doctors today are too quick to prescribe drugs or surgery for neuropathy treatment—before other neuropathy treatments that are equally (or more) effective have even been tried.

It doesn’t make sense to immediately jump to medications with serious side effects, or surgery that requires its own period of recovery afterward. Why not start with treatments for neuropathy that are gentle, supportive, and build your health over time? These can include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Appropriate exercise, modified to your needs
  • Dietary changes to supplement the nutrients that help you heal
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Laser therapy

In fact, this philosophy also could apply to many of the secondary conditions experienced by patients with neuropathy. Treatment for depression, insomnia, and chronic pain related to neuropathy can and should be supportive, not destructive.

The fact is, you will have to be your own best health care advocate in order to receive appropriate neuropathy treatment. That’s because your insurance company may not recognize some of the basic noninvasive modalities as “medically necessary.” However, you may be able to argue in favor of saving money, as medications and surgeries are certainly more expensive over time than the kind of neuropathy treatment options I’m suggesting.

Of course there is a place for medication and surgery. I’m simply suggesting that neuropathy treatment should first and foremost address your everyday lifestyle and overall health needs, and consider more radical interventions only when they are clearly needed—not as a default response. This is why it’s so important in your neuropathy treatment to rely on a highly trained neuropathy specialist who can customize your neuropathy treatment for your specific needs.

Click here to find a NeuropathyDR® specialist in your area.

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Why You Need Folic Acid to Combat Peripheral Neuropathy

Vitamin B9, AKA Folic Acid, is a Key Supplement for Maintaining and Improving Nerve Health When Dealing with Peripheral Neuropathy.

You may know that folic acid helps to prevent birth defects, which is why it’s one of the key ingredients in prenatal vitamins.

What you may not know, however, is that folic acid is a vital nutrient for people with neuropathy and chronic pain. That’s because a folic acid deficiency can directly influence the development of peripheral neuropathy.

Why is folic acid so important for those with neuropathy?

It has to do with the role of folic acid in the body. This supplement, which is also known as vitamin B9, is essential for repairing damaged cells in the body. It feeds DNA synthesis, and it’s needed for preventing anemia (a condition involving a lower than normal quantity of red blood cells).

An abnormally low level of folic acid in the body can also cause fatigue, depression, and mouth sores.

For all of these reasons, folic acid is one of the essential nutrients that should be checked by your neuropathy specialist in a routine evaluation, along with vitamins D and B12, especially if you’re over 50 years old.

Also, don’t rely on self-diagnosis for folic acid deficiency. This is important to understand because if you took a folic acid supplement without first testing for B12 deficiency, you could be masking one problem while trying to provide self treatment for another. The other reason to avoid self-diagnosing is that some vitamin deficiencies can have serious consequences for your nervous system, and it’s best to begin your neuropathy treatment with a thorough examination by a trained neuropathy specialist.

Be aware that you’re unlikely to experience a folic acid deficiency if you are following our recommended neuropathy diet. That’s because the diet includes an abundance of foods that are natural sources of the B vitamins, such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, and fresh fruits. However, it’s vital to store and prepare your food appropriately in order to avoid breakdown of key vitamins before the food is even ingested.

You can find neuropathy nutritional supplements such as our Neuropathy DR Metabolic Support Formula at the Self-Guided Care Store.

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