Which neuropathy treatments may really work? Well, that so often depends upon what’s going on “underneath”. Which is why it is SO important to have a very comprehensive diagnostic work up FIRST. Guess work and internet “magic” fads are just plain dangerous.
Peripheral Neuropathy is the term used for the group of conditions that affect those nerves outside the brain and spinal cord.
Along with other forms of long standing pain, neuropathy is a major source of aggravation and loss of work. Billions of dollars a year are spent dealing with the devastation it can bring.
Twenty million plus people suffer from this condition, with several thousand new patients every year. And if we count the people who suffer from daily pain, that number well exceeds one hundred million.
There are many causes. The most common is in fact lifestyle related due to lack of fitness, obesity and metabolic syndrome.These also bring along the complications of their causes like diabetes or cancer. The most serious are genetic diseases.
And here lies the secret answer to better helping our neuropathy patients! The best treatments target the underlying problems whenever that is possible! And where it’s not, looking at legitimate studies and evidence to support a rational plan of care for you.
I know you understand how miserable life with neuropathy can be because you are reading this article. Maybe it’s for yourself, maybe it’s for someone you love very much.
You have seen just how miserable it can be! For some, its loss of sleep and being able to do the things they love. For others, the prospect of facing yet another day or sleepless night of pain, tingling numbness and burning is terrifying.
You just don’t know what to do!
Recently, even major medication trials have been stopped because of poor neuropathy treatment results.
That is just why we publish our series of articles talking in detail about some real solutions to this huge problem.
But most importantly, always touching base with the real simple things you can do to help take charge of your health and improve the quality of your life no matter where you are right now.
If we can help you in any way, please post your comments or visit our growing Facebook family of friends where we’ll be sharing every day.
If you suffer from pain, chances are good you’ve heard of fibromyalgia. Nearly 4% of people suffer from fibromyalgia, making it one of the most common pain syndromes in the world! Although women are 70% more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia than men, the condition hits everyone. Like neuropathy, fibromyalgia can profoundly impact your quality of life, from mobility and strength to living with chronic pain. Fibromyalgia actually presents as SFN (Small Fiber Neuropathy) at least 30% of the time, so misdiagnosis may be more common than once thought.
The most common indicator of fibromyalgia is pain and sensitivity to pressure on the skin. Most sufferers describe the pain as stabbing and shooting, and it can occur all over the body. Fibromyalgia pain is often worse in the mornings, and can vary based on restlessness and even temperature/humidity.
Neuropathic symptoms very frequently accompany fibromyalgia. If you suffer from the condition, you may also be experiencing tingling in your extremities, numbness, the sensation of clothing running over your skin when none is there, and difficulty determining hot and cold in addition to the telltale pressure-sensitivity. Of course, these symptoms can themselves contribute to other problems, such as sleep disturbance, disruption of appetite, and bladder-control problems.
A single cause of fibromyalgia is a point of considerable debate, and has never been decisively established; some researchers even point to the lack of physical abnormalities (although there are definitive nervous system changes) as evidence that it’s a distinct condition. There are commonly-held theories, though, which include:
- Dopamine dysfunction- one of the most common theories explains why fibromyalgia is so frequently found in cases where someone suffers from restless leg syndrome and sleeplessness. These are conditions which result in part from insufficient dopamine in a certain part of the body.
- Stress- Fibromyalgia frequently exists in people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, fatigue, and depression. This has led many researchers to conclude that there is a distinct link between stress and developing fibromyalgia.
- Genetic predisposition- Recent research has suggested fibromyalgia may have a genetic component. The disorder is often seen in families, among siblings or mothers and their children.
- Physical trauma- Physical trauma can act as a trigger for fibromyalgia, research suggests, since it tends to show up for the first time in many cases where a person is suffering from an acute illness or injury.
Fibromyalgia is traditionally treated with a variety of medications ranging from simple pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and even dopamine agonists. Since the root cause of fibromyalgia is not entirely understood, treatment with pharmaceuticals is usually trial and error at best. Understandably, this has led many doctors and researchers over the past decade to advocate alternative, non-pharmaceutical treatments.
Some of the more modern methods for fibromyalgia treatment include exercise, cognitive behavior therapy, adjustments to diet and lifestyle, electrotherapy, and even massage therapy. Extensive research over the past few years even points to chiropractic and other manual therapies and acupuncture as potential routes for effective treatment.
Our practices promote newer methodologies for treatment, and discourages care that could be ineffective, provide temporary fixes, or even lead to additional complications.
Because everyone who has fibromyalgia experiences different symptoms, it’s very important to have a one-on-one evaluation with someone who really knows the condition. Let our clinicians help!
Ever heard the phrase “The man who represents himself has a fool for a client?” The dangers of self diagnosis and treatment of conditions like neuropathy could cost you your life.
While the old adage above is applied to the legal profession, the same can be said about patients who attempt to diagnose and treat their own illnesses and injuries. Especially when their symptoms indicate they’re dealing with something that could be serious.
The internet has made it easy for us to research our own health issues and become educated patients but it has also made it easy to misdiagnose and inaccurately treat those medical conditions. Often from very unqualified information.
Now this may not be dangerous with a common cold, but if you have (or think you have):
– Diabetic neuropathy
– Post-chemotherapy neuropathy
– Guillian-Barre Syndrome
– Peripheral neuropathy
You could be doing your body irreparable harm by not consulting a highly trained clinician, for proper diagnosis and treatment.
By researching and treating on your own, you’re wasting valuable time and when you’re dealing with neuropathy or any condition that involves nerve damage, because so often you don’t have time to waste.
The delay in obtaining medical treatment could make a small problem much, much worse. Once that window for early treatment is gone, you can never get it back. Treating on your own is an excellent example of being penny wise and pound foolish.
Here are just a few of the things that can happen when you diagnose and treat on your own:
– You could be wrong about the diagnosis and taking medications that you don’t need. That not only means that you’re not “curing” yourself, you could be making matters worse.
– You could be right about the diagnosis but taking the wrong medications.
– You could be right about the diagnosis but need prescription medication in the appropriate strength to address your symptoms.
– You could be putting yourself at risk for serious drug interactions with other medicines you’re taking (especially if you’re taking over the counter medicines and supplements without medical supervision).
– You could be fixing one problem with over the counter medications but making another problem worse or even creating a new problem.
– You could be missing the root cause of the problem – particularly in cases of neuropathy.
– Finally, you could be putting yourself at risk for life theatening damage.
You Need to Seek Professional Care
Treating on your own is a classic example of being penny wise and pound foolish. You may save a little money up front but it’s going to cost you more in the long run when your health care provider has to play catch up and try to fix the harm done by delaying proper treatment.
If you have symptoms of any of the illnesses we talked about above (especially diabetes), it is vital that you seek professional medical care.
Early treatment provided by a specialist familiar and specifically trained with peripheral neuropathy will make it much easier for your body to repair itself and lessen your chance of developing permanent nerve damage as a result of peripheral neuropathy.
Don’t be afraid to ask for our guidance.
Before you try to diagnose and treat yourself, we hope you’ll consider the potential harm you could doing to your body. And make the right choice – seek professional diagnosis and treatment.
Time is of the essence.
For more information on neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.
Patients and Doctors are invited to call us at 781-659-7989 at 12:30 EST Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to talk with the next available senior clinician.
What makes for good neuropathy treatment? It all comes down to efficiency and energy improvements of your nerves.
We spoke previously about the theory behind good neuropathy treatments and systems. In fact, our company NeuropathyDR has been a pioneer in this area.
But what makes for good neuropathy treatment?
It all comes down to efficiency and energy improvements of your nerves. You see, many forms of peripheral neuropathy develop when our nerve cells no longer function properly. We used to think the nerve cells simply die.
In some cases, like genetic disease, toxic chemicals, or severe injury, this is true. In these cases, neuropathy recovery is minimal or impossible. But the good news is, for many patients, nerve cells are not dead, but simply damaged, and may be nursed back to health.
But how do we do this?
After very careful evaluation and oversight, and by treating using three simultaneous neuropathy treatment methods.
The first is improving energy efficiency (metabolism) with special diets, supplements, and correcting any underlying thyroid, diabetic, or other medical issues. These alone, in many cases, can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your neuropathy treatment. Likewise, if these are left uncorrected, any neuropathy treatment is likely to fail.
The second part is improving biomechanics or skeletal function.
Many times, adults suffer from conditions like arthritis, disc injuries and even old athletic injuries that impair motion, ultimately limiting circulation to vital tissues, including nerves. Improving overall circulation and muscle and joint function is critical to patients that suffer from peripheral neuropathy.
The third part is the direct application of energy-stimulating treatments. In the clinic, these can include laser therapy, LED light therapy, as well as various forms of manipulation, massage, nerve stimulation, and possibly even acupuncture.
But the key to good neuropathy treatment is making sure that everything that needs to be done is taken care of in precisely the right order, and time. It is also critical that home care treatment takes place and supports everything that takes place in the clinic.
As you can see, these treatment programs require considerable attention to detail.
In mild cases of peripheral neuropathy, lifestyle and dietary shifts with appropriate home care alone may facilitate recovery.
But in many cases, good neuropathy treatment is only possible with the assistance of a dedicated healthcare professional.
That is after all, why we are here.
For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.
It’s four in the morning and you’re still awake. You’ve been in bed, and you should have been asleep ages ago. Your alarm will go off in only a few hours, and you’re dreading the long day ahead that you’ll have to spend completely exhausted.
If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, this scenario is probably all too familiar. Insomnia (lack of sleep) affects almost half of the overall population, but among neuropathy sufferers, that ratio jumps to over seventy percent. Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep for most adults, regardless of their age or gender, an intimidating goal if you’re someone whose chronic pain keeps them up at night.
Neuropathic pain can intensify in the evening hours, both in reality and in perception (fewer distractions of the day can cause a sufferer to focus more on their pain the closer they get to bedtime).
There Is No Substitute For A Caring NeuropathyDR Professional To Guide You…
Research suggests that sleep apnea, a common cause of insomnia, can actually cause peripheral neuropathy, as well. Beyond a mere relationship, studies have shown that apnea is a high-risk condition among the insulin-resistant, which could likely be affecting incidents of neuropathy among diabetics in very direct ways.
Insomnia from neuropathy can perpetuate its own problem, too. Not only is neuropathic pain prodigious when it comes to nighttime restlessness, but the resulting lack of sleep can make the pain even worse! Rest is essential to recovery and treatment, and lack of sleep can lower your pain threshold drastically. You need that sleep, so what can you do?
There are several steps you can take if your neuropathy is keeping you awake at night. Your NeuropathyDR® clinician can work with you to best help your specific situation, but here are some guidelines to get you started:
- Do your best to keep a regular sleeping schedule. Be persistent! Getting to bed and getting up at the same times each day is one of the best ways to train your body to sleep correctly.
- Limit your intake of caffeine and any medication that incorporates a stimulant (non-drowsy), especially in the evening hours.
- Avoid heavy foods in the evening. Our bodies metabolize food for hours after we eat, giving us a boost of energy! Energy is great when we need it, but can be a pain when we don’t. Many cultures eat their biggest meal of the day in the morning and only a small snack at dinnertime for this reason. Try it out!
- Try turning off the TV and computer a few hours before bed. Mileage varies from person to person, but electronics tend to stimulate the senses. Try a book or quiet conversation, instead.
- Adjust your environment to be ideal for sleeping. Layer your covers to ensure you stay warm but not hot, and minimize light and noise.
There are a number of herbal and natural sleep aids as well, which may help you fall asleep quickly. Sleep expert Elizabeth Shannon recommends entertaining a number of stress-relief methods, psychological conditioning, and homeopathic solutions for insomnia before resorting to pharmaceutical sleep aids, which can often form dependencies and, over time, exacerbate the problems associated with restlessness. Always be cautious with medications, and consult your NeuropathyDR® clinician or other doctor before medicating.
Always remember, altering your sleep pattern won’t happen overnight (so to speak)! It could be three to four weeks before any changes you make to your routine begin to have meaningful impact on your success getting to and staying asleep, and don’t be surprised if your restlessness gets worse before it gets better.
Contact us at NeuropathyDR and we can help you find a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area and give you even more information about how to get the rest you need while suffering from neuropathy.
Neuropathy & Pain Treatment Risks vs Benefits
Here is a proven fact. All of healthcare in fact you could argue most of life our “decisions” are made pitting risks versus benefits. As adults we ask ourselves and teach our children, do our actions today set us up for a healthier and better future or not?
What if we take no action at all? Is that better than doing something?
All of these are decisions that you need to make along with your healthcare providers on a regular basis. You see everything we do is risks versus benefits. This is so important to understand. Make no mistake about modern science and medicine have developed amazing treatments.This also includes what we do here. We are continually working on treatments to help neuropathy and chronic pain patients.
Do YOU Always ASK your clinicians Is the cure is worse than the problem?
So, what if instead, we as both doctors and patients took a very strong look at the underlying causes of so much of illness and treated those first?
You know, all those things just get us into trouble. Poor dietary habits especially over the long haul, inactivity, cigarette smoking, not paying attention to stress and emotional health. I’m sure you get the picture.
What if we did all of those things before we prescribed for patients neuropathy and chronic pain treatment drugs, or surgical procedures that could cause significant harm.
For example, if doctors and patients paid more careful attention and worked together just like we do in NeuropathyDR Treatment Centers on weight loss and lifestyle, far less patients would be placed on statin medication.
Statin medications as you probably know are one major cause of neuropathy..
What if instead of injecting patients, and suggesting invasive procedures early on what if we both make sure as doctors and patients that all conservative treatment options were exhausted first?
You already know the answer…
You understand, as your NeuropathyDR clinician does, that’s all good neuropathy and chronic pain treatment is risks vs benefits!
So why not learn more today? Why not take actions that will help you live much more fully, without devastating side effects.
Make all your decisions about your neuropathy and chronic pain treatment very carefully!
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