Hypoxia and Neuropathy (Part 1)

The common link in all of these peripheral neuropathies, regardless of the cause, appears to be hypoxia.

Hypoxia is simply a word that describes loss of oxygen. This occurs at what are called the neuronal junctions: the areas in the human body where one nerve cell communicates to another.

At a simplistic level, nerve cells communicate electrochemically across a gap. In neuropathy caused by hypoxia, this neuronal gap widens, which is theorized to be responsible for the symptoms that include not only the burning and the tingling but the shooting pains as well.

Neuropathy and chronic pain is characterized by pain, numbness, loss of tactile feedback, and poor tissue perfusion. These symptoms may indicate that oxygen is not getting to all the cells causing dysfunction.

Because the patient’s quality of life is decreased, these results are often devastating.  Pain medications do not cure the condition; it only helps mask it and, eventually, leads to complications with adverse side effects such as mental confusion and intestinal problems.

As a result of conducting our own research and reviewing published studies from around the world, we have been led to new models concerning the causes of neuropathy and chronic pain.  We have concluded that it is not reasonable to merely label neuropathy and chronic pain symptoms as diabetic, peripheral, vascular, or “idiopathic”. What is needed is a more full understanding of the etiology of the condition so new technology can be brought to bear with both ameliorative and therapeutic benefits.

We’ll discuss hypoxia, neuropathy, and chronic pain further in our next post.

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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Questioning The Status Quo

One of the things that we find very challenging, and gets in the way of patient progress many times, is the patient’s unwillingness to question the status quo.

Now, if you suffer from neuropathy or indeed many forms of chronic pain, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, etc. know that often times the only answers presented to you are drugs and more drugs.

By and large, our system does a terrible job of educating patients the impact that their lifestyles, diet, and fitness have on the progression and wherever possible reversal of their underlying diseases.

Question the status quo.

One of the fundamental reasons for this is that very little time in professional education is spent in these critical areas.

Furthermore, the constant barrage in all forms of media with drug-only solutions does tend to brainwash people. Also, it’s a sad fact that these tools are made available to patients with little or no cost out-of-pocket before potentially less harmful, less invasive alternatives.

Thanks to patients like you, however, all of this is changing.

Social networks like this continue to grow and bring alternative solutions to patients literally around the world.

Oftentimes though YOU need to carry this a step further when dealing with your healthcare professionals.

Ask more questions.

Be sure you fully engage your doctors and therapists!

You have every right to. After all, this is the only body you’ll ever get.

Talk neuropathy and pain treatment side effects. Talk risks versus benefits. Talk about trying alternative solutions FIRST!

Above all do something more every day to improve the quality of your health.

You’ll be glad you did!

Your body will thank you day after day!

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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Copper: Another Key Neuropathy Nutrient

Most people don’t think about copper as a key nutrient. Or in any way related to peripheral neuropathy or chronic pain. But as you’ll see, a small daily amount is necessary and essential to normal health and well-being.

Only the tiniest amounts are necessary for normal health. But like so many nutrients, lack this tiny amount, and we cannot survive.

In the human body, copper serves several roles. Perhaps the most important are our body’s ability to process oxygen, and absorb iron. Both of these functions are of course essential to life.

We only need approximately 3 mg or so per day to remain healthy. Unfortunately, excess copper more than our bodies can normally dispose of can cause a whole host of health problems, and must be avoided.

The most common source of excess copper in humans is likely from copper plumbing.

Copper levels can be measured in the blood and in the hair.

As we discussed recently, excess zinc supplementation will deplete copper, creating a mineral imbalance and the health problems that go with it. So, excess zinc supplementation will cause a copper deficiency.

This can lead to a host of health problems. There is a syndrome called myeloneuropathy in which copper deficiency causes a B12 deficiency like illness, with damage to the nerves and spinal cord.

Likewise, copper deficiency due to excess zinc, either due to supplements or poisonings like denture cream, can lead to the development of neuropathy too.

One of the key functions of copper is maintenance of normal joint and soft tissue proteins. There is no scientific evidence that copper bracelets and copper socks and the like work for arthritis, even though this was once suggested as a possible cure.

Our NeuropathyDR diet is adequate for normal intake of copper because it is high in nuts and seeds. Additional good sources include olives and avocados. Paleo sources include shellfish, beef, and lamb.

Because copper is essential for normal cellular energy and respiration, a deficiency could aggravate many underlying conditions yes including chronic pain and neuropathy.

Now you know more about this pretty metal!

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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Hydration is Crucial to Feeling Our Best

Maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain and yes less neuropathy pain too!

Almost invariably when we see a new chronic pain patients in our practice, we discuss health habits and we find that more often than not, failure to drink adequate amount of water is almost universal.

So why is that?

Why would not drinking enough water tend to cause more widespread pains? There are several reasons and the answers are not complicated.

You see the vast majority of our body is made of water. Blood and all the critical fluids keep us functioning like well-oiled machines.

Our kidneys, brain, and all our other vital organs use these fluids to communicate and also perform daily purifications.

Yet most of us don’t pay nearly enough attention to this key fact.

So rather than going through our days drinking fluids, most especially water that will keep our blood and fluid volumes high, we tend to over consume caffeine, or worse yet soft drinks, and perhaps even alcohol which depletes our water reserves even further.

If we don’t drink enough water we can suffer an impaired ability of our vital organs like kidneys and liver that help rid our bodies of toxic wastes. These toxic wastes can make us stiff sore and uncomfortable.

If you already suffer from neuropathy or chronic pain, becoming even slightly dehydrated will make you feel a whole lot worse.

So how much water do you need to drink?

In the absence of kidney or heart disease, the proverbial eight glasses a day is about right.

A more accurate consumption is approximately half your body weight in ounces in a 24-hour period. This is not 100 percent accurate but it’s a darn good approximation.

There are of course other factors which may require more or less water consumption.

This of course includes how much you perspire, the outside air temperature, and yes even the humidity.

So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you’d be consuming approximately 100 ounces of water during the course of the daily 24-hour period. That may sound like a lot, but it’s under a gallon in 24 hours.

As always you need to work with your doctors on your own personal medical issues that you may have questions or concerns about.

You may want to ask for the simple blood tests which measure your electrolytes and relative hydration.

Working together maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain and yes less neuropathy pain too!

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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Zinc and Your Health

As you know, zinc is a metal. It is used in a process applied to preserve metals from corrosion, especially in salt water. This of course is called galvanization. But what you may not know is that zinc also plays a large role in your health, especially neurologic and immune system-related issues.

Zinc and Your Health

Like so many nutrients, balance is everything. Too much zinc will suppress the immune system and cause difficulties with copper levels. Too little zinc can create problems ranging from memory impairment to prostate disease.

Yes, neurologic dysfunction can result when zinc is deficient. According to Hambridge et al in 2007 in “Zinc deficiency a special challenge”, it is stated that zinc is an element with “profound biologic significance”. In fact, zinc deficiencies worldwide are responsible for many disease states.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that zinc imbalances are relatively common. This is due both to low levels in foods of modern agriculture as well as elevated levels of copper due to plumbing and environmental sources.

In the clinic, we will measure hair and blood levels of these crucial elements when assessing nutrition status.

In our bodies, zinc can actually act as an antioxidant. This protects us against damage from environmental assaults, as well as natural aging. The presence of zinc is essential for normal nerve function.

It is well-known that zinc can speed the healing process and, in essential amounts, will help stimulate the immune system and possibly prevent prostate disease.

When zinc is used in shampoos and skin lotions, it can act as a sunscreen, a soothing dressing, and also help prevent dandruff.

The reason that zinc is so important is that it participates in many chemical reactions, especially in enzymes.

The recommended dietary allowance for zinc is around 15 mg per day. However modern diets alone sometimes fall short of this.

The good news is, the neuropathy diet that we recommend is high in nuts and seeds which provide relatively good zinc levels. Seafood, shellfish in particular, can be great sources of dietary zinc.

For most patients, safe zinc supplementation level is probably not more than 25 mg per day. More than 50 mg a day could be detrimental. Like so many nutrients, this is one area where working with your neuropathy healthcare professionals is essential if there are any questions at all about appropriate zinc dosages.

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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Neuropathy Myths Busted!

Having neuropathy and chronic pain requires incredible attention to your lifestyle. It’s important to separate the facts from the myths!

One of the things that frustrates patients and doctors alike in our clinic is the idea that once neuropathy or chronic pain has set in, all the patient needs to do is take this pill or that.

This treatment or that, this miracle supplement, or creme, or that…

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

Worse yet is thinking that just because chemotherapy has stopped, or diabetes is better controlled, that neuropathy, along with the burning pain, numbness, and sleepless nights will somehow miraculously disappear.

Of course, sometimes this does happen. But that is actually relatively rare.

The reality is, whatever has caused your neuropathy, recovery is often complex and requires multiple steps and components!

The reason for this is that once nerve damage has set in, some might be permanent—or reversible, but very slowly.

This means your body needs a healing push in the right direction.

This “push” includes all the good things you can do for yourself, including specific home-care tools, like neurostim.

This is also where complementing your nutrition support, including very complete and unfragmented oral and topical programs, can go a long way.

These actually target cell energy, efficiency, and recovery potential—not simply masking neuropathy symptoms.

You see, the more you can do to stimulate a healing response in particular, the better your results will be. And the better your chances of having a more complete recovery.

Delay, or simply mask your symptoms and you will not be as fortunate.

This also requires incredible attention to your lifestyle, in detail. Is this difficult? You bet! But think of it this way: What are the alternatives to really having a lasting and best result?

Just as if you had major surgery, even something such as a heart transplant, you need to give your body every chance you can!

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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Eating More Often Can Manage Neuropathy and Weight

Eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn versus store fat, keep your blood sugar even, and help keep you warmer. Eating more frequently can also help patients who are dealing with neuropathy and weight issues that can arise from their medical condition(s).

On the surface, a statement like that might seem wrong. After all, isn’t eating at the root of weight gain, obesity, and its complications? To a point, yes. This is especially true when we consume far more calories in one sitting then we need, and load our meals with carbohydrates and poor-quality fats.

But a little-known fact is that when we eat less frequently, we become much more efficient at storing fat rather than burning it.

So what does this have to do with managing peripheral neuropathy?

Neuropathy and Weight

The bottom line is, eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn fat versus store fat, keep your blood sugar more even, and actually help keep you warmer. For patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy, all of these improvements are crucial.

But this does not mean you can eat anything you want. What we do know is that by consuming relatively low amounts of carbohydrates in our meals, along with periodic snacks, we become much more efficient metabolically.

What I tell all my neuropathy patients—and, indeed, every patient—is to try to eat something not more than three hours apart. For example, you will start your breakfast with something like a protein shake, or a small serving of steel-cut oatmeal with a little added fat, perhaps some berries. Approximately two hours later, you’ll have six to 10 almonds, or perhaps another lean, low-carbohydrate snack if allergies are a problem.

Now, if you are insulin-dependent diabetic, some of what I say here will not apply, so please be careful here.

Again, this points out the need to work with well-trained neuropathy treatment professionals to truly manage your peripheral neuropathy and weight issues, indeed, your health in general.

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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Don’t Fall for Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures

The one most important thing you can do as a neuropathy patient or family member is to do your homework, very carefully! Don’t Fall for Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures.

You know what I’m talking about

You have seen these ads for miracle cures as often as I have. ”Take this one miraculous supplement and your neuropathy will disappear.” Sometimes it’s just, “put this into your shoes and watch the miracles begin.”

Unfortunately, as you well know, neuropathy and most forms of chronic pain (like fibromyalgia and arthritis) need a multi-pronged approach in order for patients to improve—or, whenever possible, recover!

You also understand that quality-of-life is the most important objective for any neuropathy or chronic pain patient.

Now, I’d be the last to want to discount the value of good marketing… just as long as the solutions are ethical and viable.

But I will repeatedly tell you that the one most important thing you can do as a neuropathy patient or family member is to do your homework, very carefully!

This is exactly why at our centers we advocate a multi-pronged approach to treatment. There is no one magic nutrient, therapy, or technique that by itself is going to restore your health immediately.

This is a fact. What is most important, however, is that you keep yourself on track, making incremental—but definite—progress, on a daily basis!

You know I write about this extensively: things such as maintaining a carbohydrate controlled, dairy and gluten-free diet, getting as much physical activity as your condition allows, and really taking the time to understand the impact that a high-sugar and carbohydrate diet has on your health—and how destructive this can be. Understand that sitting for as little as 90 minutes at a time can slow your metabolism dramatically.

All of these things we have written or spoken about on our radio shows and articles during the last 90 days.

Above all, it is critical to be working with healthcare professionals, who are on your side and encourage you to improve your health—not just calm your neuropathy symptoms with medication.

This is what we do all day long—train chronic pain health care professionals to be their very best for you!

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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What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome can occur alongside peripheral neuropathy, or in patients who suffer from spinal stenosis. Patients with degenerative disc disease may also have RLS-like symptoms.

Very commonly, peripheral neuropathy is associated with profound sleep disturbance. In fact, sometimes this is what alerts the patient and the physicians that something is seriously wrong.

Perhaps, you may have heard of RLS, or Restless Leg Syndrome. RLS is a condition that is very common, and just like peripheral neuropathy, is often associated with other disorders.

Most commonly, patients will feel the sensation of crampiness, or an urgent need to move their legs about. This occurs during or at the hour of sleep.

We do know that RLS can occur alongside peripheral neuropathy. Another place where RLS like symptoms occur in the clinic, is in patients who suffer from a condition called spinal stenosis. Likewise, patients with degenerative disc disease may also have RLS-like symptoms.

We do know that just like neuropathy, patients that suffer from kidney disease, diabetes, may be predisposed towards developing RLS. Patients who consume caffeine, or take calcium-channel blockers may also suffer from RLS.

Just like in peripheral neuropathy, RLS is not always confined to the feet.

People can experience RLS-like symptoms in the upper thighs, or even the arms. Often, it is only movement, such as walking around, that stops the symptoms.

Although medication provides relief for some, it is important to pay attention to the factors that cause or worsen RLS and peripheral neuropathy.

And one of the biggest things that aggravate both of these conditions is emotional stress and upset.

Here’s the kicker, sleep disturbance is the major negative health impact of RLS. You may also be aware that sleep disturbance is one of the surest ways to aggravate almost any underlying health condition.

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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Best Treatments for Common Neuropathy Forms

There is good potential for improvement, and even recovery, in common neuropathy forms in many patients. You need to make sure you are doing your part, but also that your treating clinician is doing everything they can for you as well!

If you are reading this, you already know something about peripheral neuropathy. You probably know millions are afflicted.

But you may not know there are many types: the most common ones are due to chemotherapy drugs, diabetes, and pre-diabetes, or metabolic syndrome.

In fact, metabolic syndrome may very well be responsible for the majority of cases that are now labeled “Idiopathic”. The Idiopathic means we just aren’t sure what the cause is.

Nevertheless, there is good potential for improvement, and even recovery, in these common neuropathy forms in many patients.

But recovery depends upon stimulating your healing capacity.

And there are several good tools which can help do just that. For example, we know a low-carb diet (I also prefer gluten and dairy-free), stopping smoking, and losing weight is key. Exercise and rehab under supervision often make a big difference too.

Research tells us our body produces substances that help nerves heal. These are called neurotropins.

So, what are the best ways to help your body along?

Well, in addition to the things we just mentioned, maintaining good mental health is key. In fact, one study showed significantly higher levels of neurotropins in people who “were in love”!

The same study also looked at electric stimulation. The results were somewhat surprising. Indications are: less is often more!

In this study, neuropathy treatment electrotherapies that are too powerful, administered for too long, or too high a frequency produced less than favorable results.

We also know that accommodation to treatment is a factor. This occurs when our bodies “get used to” any one therapy, or even a drug. It also helps explain why patient progress can seemingly plateau.

All of this highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to neuropathy treatment.

You need to make sure you are doing your part, but also that your treating clinician is doing everything they can for you 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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