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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Here’s What You Need to Know About How Dairy Impacts Your Health.
A lot of people in the American food industry simply don’t want you to know about the real impact of diary on your health, especially for people with diabetic neuropathy.
But there’s more and more scientific evidence than adult humans just weren’t meant to consume milk, and when they do, negative health impacts can happen. The most common issue is the number of adult digestive and allergy disturbances that disappear when dairy is stopped.
And there are other, more serious issues including possible inflammatory and cancer connections.
And what we see in our offices is that eradicating gluten and dairy from your diet may lead to significant relief from inflammation and pain related to diabetic neuropathy.
We always recommend gradual shifts in dietary choices. It’s okay to replace milk with similar products like coconut milk, rice milk, or almond milk. Many people find that soy milk has a distinctive flavor that may not make it everyone’s favorite milk alternative. No matter, what, try to avoid products with added sugar and thickeners or preservatives. Carrageenan is one that is known to be detrimental to the digestive tract.
There are also alternatives to cheese, mainstream yogurt, and other products made from cows milk. We highly recommend doing the research on your own in order to tailor your dietary changes to your own life. This will give you a greater sense of control over your own health and wellness. Be sure to share with your doctor what you are doing and plan to do.
Remember, too, that no one “magic bullet” is going to be the one to reduce 100% of your diabetic neuropathy problems. Instead, look at a dietary shift as one of several gradual changes for better wellness, including exercise, at-home neurostimulation protocols recommended by your doctor, and any medications he or she feels is needed at least at first to get your diabetic neuropathy symptoms under control.
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Many People Don’t Know About Vitamin B7, One of the Important Neuropathy Supplements.
If you’ve heard about the B vitamin known as biotin, you might have only seen references to it in terms of cosmetics. Recently there’s been a surge of beauty products that include biotin as an ingredient, supposedly to strengthen or enhance nails, skin, and hair.
The truth is, using personal products with added biotin probably will not have any impact on your hair or make your nails stronger. There’s very little hard evidence of this.
And in the general population, most people don’t have a biotin deficiency, because it’s generated by our normal gut bacteria. (The exception is when someone is taking long-term antibiotics, which can harm those intestinal bacteria and lead to low biotin levels.)
But in terms of neuropathy supplements, biotin or vitamin B7 can be a powerhouse. Here’s what neuropathy patients and especially those struggling with diabetes need to know about supplementing with biotin.
If you have a genuine deficiency in biotin, similar to the other B vitamins, you might be experiencing symptoms like fatigue, skin rashes, depression, and peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetics may have a higher than average need for supplementing with biotin. Neuropathy supplements like biotin can aid in regulating blood sugar and lipids for diabetics.
Biotin is naturally present in a broad range of foods, although the amount of biotin in a single serving tends to be very small. The key to getting enough biotin in your diet without supplementation is to stick with a regimen of plenty of leafy green veggies, eggs, and other healthy whole food sources.
For most people with neuropathic pain, biotin can help. Consult with your neuropathy specialist about whether neuropathy supplements like biotin are needed to bolster your symptom-busting neuropathy diet.
For more information about what to eat for a neuropathy diet, take a look at our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!
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If You’re Thinking of Making a Fresh Start This New Year, You Should Know that Neuropathy and Dairy Don’t Go Well Together.
For years, you’ve been getting the message that milk and other dairy products are good for your body.
But for people struggling with neuropathy symptoms (as well as for most other people), dairy could be doing significant harm to your health.
Cow’s milk was never intended for human consumption. It was meant to nourish baby cows as a way to transmit bovine hormones they need to grow. It certainly is not an appropriate food for people. Even human breastmilk is only useful to infants for about two years.
Then why do we all think of milk as being so good for us? It’s only because the dairy industry is powerful in this country. Everything you hear on TV or see in magazines about dairy consumption is truly just propaganda.
So here’s what you do need to know about beating neuropathy and dairy in your diet.
It’s true that you need vitamin D and calcium for bone health to avoid osteoporosis. The thing is, you don’t need to consume milk or dairy products in order to get these nutrients.
And if you are wrestling with the question of neuropathy and dairy, the most important thing you need to know is that dairy can actually cause inflammation in your body or make existing inflammation worse. That can include neuropathy symptoms, too.
In other words, neuropathy and dairy make a terrible pair. If you consume dairy on a regular basis, chances are, you are making your neuropathic pain and discomfort worse than it has to be.
If you can’t imagine a life without milk, cheese, or other dairy products, take some time to explore the alternatives. There are many options out there made from rice, almonds, coconut, and other sources.
When it comes to neuropathy and dairy, less is more. See what you can do to reduce or eliminate dairy. Your body will thank you.
Looking for more insight into a healthy neuropathy diet? I encourage you to make nutrition your ally in treating neuropathy by reading I Beat Neuropathy: Getting Your Life Back on Track.
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Most people probably shouldn’t be consuming dairy… and that’s doubly true for those with diabetic neuropathy. Here’s why.
It has long been known that there is a scientifically proven link between type 1 diabetes and the consumption of dairy products. Of course, we also know that many diabetes patients suffer from neuropathy as a side effect of the disease.
You may not realize that dairy products contain a growth factor similar to insulin. This substance has been recognized as a catalyst for certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer and breast cancer. What’s more, ovarian cancer has been linked in part to a certain type of milk sugar known as galactose.
And milk, for most people (more than half of the population), is just plain difficult to digest. Dairy consumption is the cause of several common maladies, from indigestion to food allergies. Dairy also contains high-cholesterol components—what we’ve been told are the “bad” fats that we should reduce or avoid.
All of these factors taken together, is it any wonder that we frequently recommend a dairy-free diet for people with diabetic neuropathy? We’ve seen again and again that this type of diet (as well as cutting out gluten) can lead to significantly less inflammation and pain for our diabetic neuropathy patients.
It’s not always easy to make this kind of significant dietary shift, but it can be done—and you’ll be grateful that you’ve chose to do without dairy. It’s best to make a gradual shift, first by reducing your dairy intake, and then by beginning to explore dairy alternatives.
There are many great products out there made with coconut, almonds, and rice. Do take a look at the labels, of course, since some products have added sugars or thickeners (such as carrageenan) that can irritate your digestive tract.
A few small changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a tremendous difference in your health, especially for those with diabetic neuropathy.
Need more information about nutrition for healing neuropathic pain? See our guide to Beating Neuropathy.
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