One main factor in many cases of peripheral neuropathy is diet. You probably know that neuropathy is linked to diabetes and other conditions where daily intake of sugars and nutrients is important, but your diet can also influence the condition of nerves in more direct ways, such as in cases where a nutritional deficiency is causing neuropathic damage. We call this Neuropathy Nutrition.
Perhaps the most common links between neuropathy and nutrition is a deficiency in B vitamins, particularly vitamin B-12. Fight neuropathy by eating foods that are all high in B vitamins. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, don’t worry! There are plant foods that contain substantial amounts of B-12 (GREAT Reference HERE).
Vegetables are high in nutrients that have been shown to be effective treating neuropathy. Additionally, if you suffer from diabetes, fresh produce can mellow your blood sugar levels. If numbness or pain in your extremities is severe, keep pre-cut vegetables and limited fruits at the ready, so you don’t have to worry about the stress involved with preparing them! Just be careful of too much fruit sugars. This means a serving is 1/2 apple, banana, etc. Most non-starchy vegetables like greens and asparagus especially are great for most of us.
Foods that are high in Vitamin E are also good for neuropathy nutrition, according to neurology.com. A deficiency of Vitamin E can happen in cases where malabsorption or malnutrition are taking place, such as the case with alcoholic neuropathy. Whole grains and nuts are all excellent sources of vitamin E.
Lean proteins are also an important part of a healthy diet for people with neuropathy. Saturated fats and fried foods increase risk of diabetes and heart disease, in addition to aggravating nerve decay from lack of nutrients. If you suffer from diabetes, lean proteins also help to regulate blood sugar levels.
For some types of neuropathy, research shows that specific antioxidants may help slow or even reverse nerve damage that has not existed for too long a time. For HIV sensory neuropathy, Acetyl-L-Carnitine has demonstrated good results, and Alpha lipoic acid is being studied for its effects on diabetic nerve damage. But PLEASE, do not self treat! Get an accurate diagnosis and work with a professional armed with the latest research before beginning any supplementation or treatment, even with antioxidants. Let our team help.
Use Tools Like Journaling and Blood Sugar Monitoring Every Day…
So what are the best ways to monitor what you are neuropathy nutrition? The easiest way is to make lasting changes it to keep a food journal. Record everything you eat at meals, for snacks, and any vitamin supplements you might be taking. Your journal will help you and your NeuropathyDR® clinician determine if your diet could be a factor in your neuropathy symptoms! As a bonus, food journaling is a great way to be accountable for your overall nutrition, as well as to help avoid dietary-related conditions other than neuropathy. If you have a goal for weight loss, weight gain, or better overall energy, those are other areas in which keeping a food journal can help! Other ways to monitor what you eat include cooking at home as opposed to going out to restaurants, keeping a shopping list instead of deciding what groceries to buy at the store, and consulting a qualified NeuropathyDR® clinician about the best ways to meet your specific needs.
Dietary supplements (when properly prescribed and monitored by blood testing) may also help manage neuropathic symptoms and nerve degeneration. Supplementing with only the highest quality, liquid distilled fish oil can help supply Omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for brain and neurologic help. Many other types of supplements can be beneficial if you suffer from neuropathy; consult us directly for specific recommendations.
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.
You Won’t Hear This Advice From Many Doctors, But This One Factor May Change the Effectiveness of Your Neuropathy Diet.
The consumption of dairy products has always been a highly charged topic in nutrition. Here is the hard truth about dairy.
On the one hand, there is a sizable lobby advocating for the U.S. dairy industry. On the other hand, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that regular consumption of dairy products is a pretty bad idea for human beings.
In short, if you are wrestling with whether to include milk and other dairy products in your neuropathy diet, any contemplation of this question leads to a straightforward conclusion.
More than half of the human population has trouble digesting milk, leading to digestion problems, allergic reactions, and eventually elevated levels of “bad fats” in your body. What’s worse, there is a hormonal growth factor contained in most dairy products that is known to instigate several different types of cancer, including prostate and breast cancer. One specific kind of milk sugar called galactose is linked to ovarian cancer.
And the regular consumption of dairy is additionally linked to the likelihood of developing type 1 diabetes, which is a major risk factor for neuropathic pain.
All of this means that a neuropathy diet that eliminates dairy (as well as gluten) is one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation and pain associated with neuropathy and chronic pain.
It’s best to make a gradual shift in your diet so that the changes you instill can be permanent. There are many dairy alternatives out there, including products made from coconut, rice, and almonds. Just watch out for any added sugar or thickening agents like carrageenan.
As always, I urge you to become your own best health advocate. HERE is a copy of our NeuropathyDR Diet Plan!
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.
If you have neuropathy, you know you need to take insulin to keep your blood sugar under control…
You’ve probably also been told to exercise…
And you’ve definitely been told to watch your diet – especially when it comes to sugar…
What you might not realize is that there are nutritional supplements and vitamins you can take to help control your blood sugar as well.
And many of these supplements can also help with the effects of diabetic neuropathy – one of the chief contributors to amputations in diabetic patients.
The number of clinical studies that show adding key nutrients to the health care regimen of neuropathy patients is growing constantly.
Granted, these nutritional supplements will not take the place of proper diet, controlling your blood sugar and a sound exercise plan, but they can definitely improve the effectiveness of all of these pieces of the diabetic neuropathy puzzle.
What You Should Look For in Nutritional Supplements
As a patient with diabetic neuropathy, your requirements in nutritional supplements are different than those of other people. While many companies use the convenience of their once-a-day multivitamin as a selling point, a pill you take only once a day is only going to be really effective for the two hours after take it.
You need more than that for the symptoms of your neuropathy.
To get the full effect for treating your diabetic and most forms of neuropathy, you need to maintain a steady therapeutic level of these vitamins and nutrients throughout the day to help keep your blood sugar under control.
Choose supplements that you take at last three times a day to keep the levels steady in your blood stream.
And look for nutritional supplements that come from an FDA approved manufacturer to ensure that what you’re taking is pharmaceutical grade.
Which Vitamin Supplements You Should Take
There is so much information on the market now about nutritional supplements and vitamins. Don’t go out there and buy vitamins without being prepared. Do your research and talk to a specialist like your NeuropathyDR® clinician to make sure you’re taking the right vitamins for your specific diabetic neuropathy symptoms. *We have a very specific protocol in our clinics you can learn about below.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet of the Top 12 vitamins and nutrients for diabetic neuropathy treatment to help you identify some of the essential supplements that can help your diabetic neuropathy and exactly what they do:
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – helps maintain healthy oxygen levels in the blood stream which means that you less chance of nerve damage due to poor oxygen levels reaching the nerves. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of thiamine for the average person is 1.0 to 2.4 mg per day but diabetic neuropathy patients should take in the range of 60 mg per day in equally divided doses.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – works in combination with Vitamin B6 to help your body use glucose properly. The RDA is 1.2 to 1.6 mg per day but therapeutic levels should be around 60 mg per day.
Vitamin B6 – along with folic acid and B12, it helps prevent nerve damage and heart attacks. It can also help prevent diabetic blindness and/or vision loss. Therapeutic levels should be at least 60 mg per day but be very careful with your dosage. Some toxicity has been reported with extremely high levels of B6.
Vitamin B12 – works with folic acid to help prevent stroke and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy. It also helps relieve neuropathy pain.
Biotin – when taken in combination with chromium, biotin (a B vitamin) helps insulin work more effectively, keeps the pancreas working well, and lowers blood sugar levels.
Chromium – when taken with biotin, helps insulin work better, keeps the pancreas working well and lowers blood sugar levels.
Copper – helps protect the cells in the pancreas that make insulin healthy, helps prevent diabetes related damage to blood vessels and nerves and lowers blood sugar levels.
Folic Acid – works with B12 to help prevent strokes and loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy.
Magnesium – helps relieve diabetic neuropathy pain and helps insulin work more effectively.
Manganese – helps prevent damage to blood vessels and nerves.
Selenium – sometimes called an insulin imitator, selenium helps take blood sugar into the cells. Selenium protects against blood vessel and nerve damage from elevated blood sugar levels, two of the contributing factors in diabetic neuropathy.
Zinc – helps blood sugar get into the cells and insulin work more efficiently.
These supplements, when used properly and under the care and supervision of your NeuropathyDR® clinician, can help improve your diabetic neuropathy symptoms and lessen the chances of permanent nerve damage and eventual amputation.
But take note – these supplements will not take the place of eating properly and exercising. They work in combination with a healthier lifestyle, not in place of it.
To Learn More about *The Metabolic Support Formula, visit your local NeuropathyDR Treatment Center or get yours 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
Gluten free bakeries…
Gluten free cereals…
Totally gluten free diets…
You can’t look through a magazine or turn on the TV these days without seeing something about the benefits of going gluten free in your diet.
Going gluten-free is more than just the latest fad diet.
Especially for the growing number of people with celiac disease (aka gluten sensitivity).
If you’re one of those people, you’re probably all too familiar with the symptoms of celiac disease:
- Change in weight
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation (or both)
- General weakness
- Oily, foul-smelling stools
- Stomach problems, cramping, gas, distention, bloating, vomiting
Those symptoms all make sense when you understand exactly what celiac disease is.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that damages the lining of the small intestine. If you have celiac disease, eating foods that contain gluten – a protein found in wheat and other grains – starts a reaction in your autoimmune system that directly affects the small intestine. Without treatment, celiac disease can lead to cancer, anemia, seizures, osteoporosis – any of these can be fatal.
Since celiac disease directly affects the small intestine, digestive issues make perfect sense. But what about these symptoms:
- Burning, tingling and numbness in hands and feet
- Loss of feeling in hands and feet
- Numbness, tingling or reduced sensation in the face and body
The Celiac Disease – Peripheral Neuropathy Connection
At first glance, it’s hard to make the connection between gluten sensitivity and peripheral neuropathy. A recent study discovered that about 10% of people with celiac disease had peripheral neuropathy symptoms before their digestive system issues appeared. For that reason, many people who have peripheral neuropathy symptoms with no other indicators for neuropathy, should be checked for celiac disease as a possible cause of their peripheral neuropathy.
The best thing you can do for yourself is contact a neuropathy specialist, like your local NeuropathyDr® clinician, to undergo the appropriate testing to find out if celiac disease is causing your peripheral neuropathy.
Testing and Evaluation
If you have peripheral neuropathy and/or celiac disease symptoms and haven’t been tested for one or both of these conditions, this is what you can expect.
To determine if you have peripheral neuropathy, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will conduct a thorough neurological examination, electromyography and nerve conduction tests.
If you determine that you have neuropathy and you don’t have any other underlying potential cause, the next step will be to test you for celiac disease. Those tests will include blood tests and possibly a biopsy of the lining of your small intestine.
Living with Celiac Disease and Peripheral Neuropathy
Once your testing is completed, if you have celiac disease your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you to manage your condition. In order to manage your celiac disease symptoms you will need to:
- Follow a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life
- Avoid all foods containing wheat
- Avoid other grains that contain gluten (rye, barley and oats – that means no pasta, grains, cereals and many processed foods).
To help cope with your peripheral neuropathy symptoms caused by your celiac disease, you should:
- Stop taking any medications that cause peripheral neuropathy (like statins to lower cholesterol)
- Modify your lifestyle to reduce your pain – like avoiding standing or walking for extended periods of time
- Wear looser shoes
- Soak your feet in ice water
- Take pain medications prescribed by your NeuropathyDR® clinician
- Take safety precautions to compensate for your inability to feel sensation in your feet and hands
- Ask your NeuropathyDr® clinician about special therapeutic shoes that may be covered by insurance or Medicare
Celiac disease and peripheral neuropathy can wreak havoc on your body. Talk to your local NeuropathyDR® clinician to take steps to minimize the ill effects of both your conditions.
For more information on coping with celiac disease and peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com
Eat like the NeuropathyDR Diet says to—lots of vegetables, nuts, and lean protein like fish, using animal products sparingly.
Calcium is an element which is essential to life and health. Like potassium and chloride, too much or too little of this key element can literally kill us! Your body has some aging mechanisms built in to keep calcium levels in our blood nearly constant. So much so that, if we consume too little, our parathyroid glands send hormone messengers that break down bone to release more usable calcium.
Calcium is necessary for proper heartbeat and normal nerve function. A disturbance in blood calcium can cause fatal arrhythmia of our heart, and “tetany”, which is a severe disabling contraction of our muscles!
Now, if you live in the USA, you probably have been lead to believe that dairy consumption is the only way to get adequate calcium. You might even have been told that calcium consumption alone can prevent or treat osteoporosis.
Neither of these assumptions, by themselves, are true.
For example, John Robbins was one of the first to point out in the ’90s that in cultures where daily physical activity and plant-based diets are the norm, osteoporosis was virtually non-existent. These cultures do NOT consume any dairy at all.
Instead, they eat like the NeuropathyDR Diet says to—lots of vegetables, nuts, and lean protein like fish, using animal products sparingly. This diet is far healthier than the typical sugar, fat, and soda consumption of the average modern diet!
These cultures also have higher levels of active Vitamin D, secondary to sunlight exposure. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium in our gut, and among many other things, helps us build stronger bones, ward off infections, and a whole host of diseases.
Calcium is a key player in your health! Unless you have a disease which requires careful monitoring, eating healthy and getting enough vitamin D and exercise are probably all we need.
Most of the time, large amounts of calcium supplementation may actually be dangerous, and could actually contribute to other disease risks.
In nature, calcium often occurs with magnesium. Effective supplementation delivers calcium and magnesium in near-equal concentrations.
Magnesium is another crucial nutrient—in fact, the most commonly deficient in the so-called modern diet.
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