In neuropathy, fatigue can be the result of pain, and emotional stress.
One of the things many neuropathy patients tell us is how tired they can feel form day to day. Now, fatigue is common in many health conditions and should never be taken lightly.
For example, profound fatigue with weight loss can be a sign of several diseases, including cancer.
Diabetics often report fatigue, as do those patients with anemia and simple over work and inadequate sleep.
In neuropathy, fatigue can be the result of pain, and emotional stress.
Sometimes it’s from the diseases that may have caused your neuropathy.
But one of the things we observed a few years back on is that when treating neuropathy patients who suffer from the most common types we see (sensory, due to diabetes, metabolic syndrome and chemotherapy) is that when good neuropathy treatment begins, fatigue starts to vanish too!
And we even find patients with more serious forms of neuropathy improved as well, though more slowly and not as completely.
You see, we know that in the most common forms of neuropathy, energy production by the body in general, and the nerve cells in particular is poor. I theorized early on that therapies that can boost metabolism or how our bodies efficiently “burn” fuel will very often help neuropathy patients regain function.
These therapies include some food compounds, supplements and exercise, as well as therapies like laser and microcurrent which help individual cells produce ATP, which is the energy powerhouse behind every living cell!
And as a side benefit, we see our diabetic and obese patients losing significant weight, and some dropping their blood sugars significantly and thus need for medications.
So here is the best news of all: When patients engage in neuropathy treatment programs that handle all the key pieces they can, fatigue fades away and energy and a profound sense of wellbeing return to many neuropathy patients!
For more information visit us at NeuropathyDR.com
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Chemotherapy Neuropathy is One of the Least Well-Known Side Effects of Cancer Treatment, But You Can Take Action to Minimize Its Effects.
We’ve all heard about the classic side effects of chemotherapy for cancer treatment: hair loss, nausea, disrupted digestion. But did you know that a common side effect, which is rarely discussed, is tingling or numbness in the extremities?
This condition, known as peripheral neuropathy or Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN), can be unpredictable, and it can severely impact your quality of life. What’s more, sometimes chemotherapy neuropathy will subside and eventually disappear months or years after your treatment is over, but sometimes the nerve damage lingers well after you are believed to be cancer free.
Some of the typical symptoms of chemotherapy neuropathy in the hands or feet include:
- Burning sensation
- Shooting or “electric” pains
For many patients, chemotherapy neuropathy is so bad that it keeps them from functioning normally during the day or even sleeping at night.
So, what can you do to combat chemotherapy neuropathy?
Your oncologist or other physician may have prescribed medications to help manage the symptoms of your CIPN. But there’s so much more that you can do beyond simply taking drugs and hoping for the best.
Complementary and integrative therapies have been shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating chemotherapy neuropathy for many people. You might have heard of these as a broad category called CAM, for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
If chemotherapy neuropathy is an issue for you, some of the complementary therapies you might consider are:
- Supplements like alpha lipoic acid (B12) that can ease symptoms
- Acupuncture and Chinese medicine
- Specific herbal supplements to strengthen nerve health
- Massage therapy aimed at cancer patients
- Gentle exercise, as recommended by your physician
Be sure that you talk with your oncologist before beginning to use any kind of supplement or alternative treatment, to make sure that it will not interfere with your primary cancer treatment.
For more information about nerve health and chemotherapy neuropathy, we recommend the “neuropathy owners manual,” I Beat Neuropathy!
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Chemotherapy’s Side Effects are No Picnic, Including Chemo-Induced Neuropathy Pain. Massage Therapy is One of Several Treatment Modalities That Can Help.
Chances are, you were hoping that when your chemotherapy cancer treatment was over, you’d be done with medications entirely.
Unfortunately, neuropathy is a common side effect of some chemotherapy treatments. In some cases, the neuropathy symptoms end within weeks or months of the end of chemotherapy. In other cases, neuropathy induced by chemotherapy drugs may be permanent.
But it’s important to understand that even if your neuropathy symptoms aren’t curable, that doesn’t mean that the current level of pain and impairment is a permanent fixture in your life. That’s because there are ways to treat chemotherapy neuropathy that can significantly reduce pain and discomfort. For many patients, massage therapy is a key aspect of treatment.
Peripheral neuropathy induced by chemotherapy may have any of these qualities:
- Numbness, burning, or tingling in your feet, toes, hands, or fingers
- Shooting nerve pains
- Insomnia because of pain and discomfort
Here’s how massage therapy can help to reduce those problems.
In short, massage therapy means manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. One of the key features of massage therapy is its ability to improve blood circulation, which can reduce nerve damage in addition to relieving pain.
Massage therapy also helps you to relax, not just while you’re on the massage table but for days afterward. Relaxation is so important for neuropathy patients, because tension tends to make pain seem even worse. Being able to relax will also significantly improve your ability to sleep at night—which affects your quality of life significantly.
Massage therapy is just one form of the “complementary or alternative therapies” that we recommend for many patients with peripheral neuropathy. The best neuropathy treatment plans will often complementary therapies like massage, in addition to lifestyle changes, high-tech treatments like laser therapy, and appropriate medications.
To understand more about custom neuropathy treatment plans, please take a look at the “neuropathy owner’s manual,” I Beat Neuropathy!
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Have You Fallen For These Neuropathy Myths? Find the Real Facts Here.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there concerning neuropathy—what it is, what causes it, and most of all, what you can do about it.
In some cases, these neuropathy myths arise from confusion due to outdated information, misleading claims, and rumors perpetuated by neuropathy sufferers looking for a cure.
Take a look at the following neuropathy myths and the real facts known by current medical science, and decide for yourself.
Myth #1: Neuropathy pain happens naturally with age.
Neuropathy can happen to people of any age; it’s just a little more common in the senior population. And neuropathic pain is not inevitable with advanced age. Instead, it’s correlated with certain problems that can happen to older people, such as drug complications and metabolic issues. In fact, there’s plenty you can do to help prevent neuropathic pain from negatively impacting your quality of life as you get older.
Myth #2: My friend with neuropathic pain says that my symptoms can’t be neuropathy, because my pain is nothing like my friend’s pain.
Neuropathy can present with a variety of specific symptoms. These can include sharp pain, lack of normal sensation, unpleasant tingling, or inability to retain control over motor functions. Some individuals will have only one symptom, while others have multiple indicators of nerve damage. In the most severe cases, there can even be organ damage that impairs normal function. One person’s neuropathy may not look anything like another person’s neuropathic pain. That’s why it’s so important to get a diagnosis from a trained clinician with a background in treating neuropathy.
Myth #3: Only people with diabetes develop neuropathy symptoms.
It’s true that neuropathy is one of the symptoms commonly associated with diabetes. However, there are many other patients who are affected by neuropathy—including people in chemotherapy cancer treatment, people with minor physical problems like carpel tunnel syndrome, and those who have undergone an illness or injury.
Myth #4: There is a simple cure for neuropathy.
Unfortunately, although there are many websites and books out there claiming that they alone can provide a “cure” for neuropathic pain, the truth is that there’s no real cure. It’s also important to keep in mind that neuropathy looks different for every individual sufferer, so how could a website or book possibly offer a miracle cure for YOU and your individual pain? Any cookie cutter solution is likely to be a scam or just plain ineffective. Always talk with your physician before beginning any type of neuropathy treatment program.
Myth #5: If there’s no cure for neuropathy, then there’s no point in trying to treat my symptoms.
Actually, many neuropathy sufferers have been able to significantly improve their quality of life and even reduce the severity of their symptoms. There’s no “cure,” but there is a proven effective treatment regimen that blends home care and lifestyle changes with clinical treatment protocols to ease neuropathy pain.
You’ve already taken the first step by reading this article. An informed patient is a powerful patient! For more concrete, practical information about neuropathy and how you can turn your symptoms around, take a look at the neuropathy owner’s manual: I Beat Neuropathy!
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Nutrition Plays a Big Role in Healing Neuropathy—and Poor Nutrition Can Make Your Symptoms Worse.
Neuropathy symptoms resulting from conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, lupus, diabetes, or shingles can make life pretty miserable. Unfortunately, a medical treatment program focused on managing neuropathy only through injections or other medication may ultimately provide you with little relief.
That’s because so many symptoms of neuropathy are caused or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. Only by addressing those key elements missing in your diet can you see substantial and long-term improvement in neuropathy pain.
A beneficial neuropathy diet is especially important for you if you’re also dealing with gastritis, Crohn’s disease, or similar types of digestive issues. In that case, your body is simply not able to absorb the needed nutrients from the foods you eat, leading to chronic vitamin deficiency that over time can encourage neuropathy symptoms. As you can see, your body’s ability to process nutrients properly can have systemic effects that go beyond your digestive system to alter your quality of life.
Fortunately, what this means is that you can take charge of your neuropathy symptoms by making dietary changes. Following a neuropathy diet, along with other supportive treatments recommended by your NeuropathyDR® clinician, is likely to manifest noticeable differences in your symptoms.
Key Elements of a Neuropathy Diet
A nutritional plan for neuropathy should include the following:
Lots of veges, beans and peas otherwise known as legumes and with any grains always going gluten free; these can be a great source of B vitamins to support nerve health.
- Eggs and fish, which contain additional B vitamins including B1 and B12.
- Fruits and vegetables with a yellow or orange color, including yellow bell peppers, squash, oranges, and carrots, which contain vitamin C and vitamin A for an immune system boost.
- Kale, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables that offer magnesium and calcium for your immune system and nerve health.
- Foods rich in vitamin E (avocado, almonds, unsalted peanuts, tomatoes, unsalted sunflower seeds, fish).
If there are any nutrient gaps in your neuropathy diet due to an inability to eat some of the foods listed above, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you to provide an appropriate supplement.
Remember, one key way that you can take charge of your health starting today is to implement beneficial dietary changes. Your neuropathy diet can make all the difference in the world.
For more information about neuropathy diet components and other ways to take control of your neuropathy symptoms, take a look at these resources for Self-Guided Care.
What Are the Key Elements of a Beneficial Neuropathy Diet? is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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