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Chemotherapy given for cancer–or other conditions, such as autoimmune diseases–can, unfortunately, cause nerve damage (neuropathy). Patients may or may not develop neuropathy based on which medications they are taking. Platinum-based chemotherapies in particular will usually cause neuropathy. Patients who undergo hormone or radiation therapy in addition to chemotherapy also have a high chance of developing peripheral neuropathy.
Tonight on Beating Neuropathy & Chronic Pain, we’ll talk about autonomic neuropathy. Autonomic neuropathy is neuropathy that affects the “automatic” functions of the body, such as the heart, breathing, sweating, and digestion. Most cases of autonomic neuropathy is caused by diabetes, but it can also happen with injuries and inflammatory conditions.
There is a screening you can do at home to test for autonomic neuropathy. Take your blood pressure while in a seated position, then stand and immediately take it again. Your blood pressure should rise by 10 points both systolic and diastolic. Though it is possible to get a false positive while doing this, it can be an indicator that autonomic neuropathy is happening.
Making sure you are well-hydrated is important for everyone, but especially in autonomic neuropathy. Add a bit of salt to your water for electrolytes. Diet is important as well. Consuming enough water and fiber will help your digestive system stay healthy. Eat small, frequent meals instead of two or three large ones.
Autonomic neuropathy requires careful evaluation and close supervision. We do not know if there is a significant or long-term cure for it right now. However, the types of treatment we advocate for peripheral neuropathy can also be useful.
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This week on Beating Neuropathy and Chronic Pain, we'll talk a bit about how neuropathy can be diagnosed. Unfortunately, nowadays, due to insurance hurdles, proper laboratory tests are often not administered in time to make an early diagnosis. Neuropathy-causing conditions such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be diagnosed by observing trends in blood tests. Patients with metabolic syndrome that develop peripheral neuropathy are often diagnosed with "idiopathic" (of unknown origin) neuropathy because doctors may overlook all the evidence.
One of the things NeuropathyDR clinicians do is observe all laboratory tests for the past five years to try and observe trends other physicians may have missed. One problem that can arise when diagnosing neuropathy is when not enough tests are performed and conditions can slip under the radar.
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One thing that some patients have been told over the years that is not necessarily true is that they have to be diabetic to have neuropathy.
Some common causes of neuropathy are diabetes , metabolic syndrome and chemotherapy.
Many patients and physicians are not familiar with metabolic syndrome. A quick definition of metabolic syndrome is a problem in your body that causes issues with the way your body handles blood sugar and blood fats. When you take in too much sugar and do not exercise enough your body begins to store more fat. Fat serves as fuel for your body. Your body burns this fat to keep you energized throughout the day. When you being to eat more but you do not increase your exercise, you begin to store too much fat for your body to burn.
This is becoming a big problem in our world because people are starting to get less fit and larger instead of more fit and smaller. This leads to people developing more conditions, including neuropathy, because of their metabolic syndrome. Neuropathy can be actually be diagnosed as the condition that is causing the patient to feel uncomfortable sometimes YEARS before being diagnosed as Diabetic.
Many people with neuropathy can have normal tests when they are tested for nerve problems. In the beginning stages of neuropathy these test results are normal. This makes it extremely hard for a doctor to be able to test for neuropathy. A better way to diagnose the neuropathy is for us to look deep into the patients personal history.
In the patient’s history, we may find past habits that triggered neuropathy.
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This week on Beating Neuropathy and Chronic Pain, we'll again be discussing the benefits of exercise for patients for patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy. A new exercise program should only be performed with approval of your treating medical professional. If you have difficulty with balance, or experience numbness in your feet, please perform exercise only under the guidance of a personal trainer or physical therapist. Good, proper-fitting footwear is important as well, both to
One thing that some patients have been told over the years that is not necessarily true is that they have to be diabetic to have neuropathy. Some common causes of neuropathy are diabetes , metabolic syndrome and chemotherapy. Many patients and physicians are not familiar with metabolic syndrome. A quick definition of metabolic syndrome is a problem in your body that causes issues with the way your body handles blood sugar and blood fats. When you take in too much sugar and do not
This week on Beating Neuropathy & Chronic Pain, we will once again be talking about the ideal diet for someone suffering from peripheral neuropathy. This diet is primarily plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. Dr. Hayes recommends a “paleo” type diet, which is free of processed foods and does contain periodic consumption of lean meats such as salmon. Nutrients such as Acetyl L-Carnitine, found in large quantities in meat, can improve neuropathy and other health conditions. O
This week on Beating Neuropathy and Chronic Pain, we're talking about Sensory vs. Motor Neuropathies. There are actually many different kinds of neuropathy. Because everyone is biochemically and genetically different, people who develop neuropathy may develop it in different ways. Neuropathy can be the result of genetics, disease, or injury. Sensory neuropathies affect the ability to perceive with any of the senses. Most commonly, this presents as tingling or numbness. Motor neuropathies involve muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone. Sensory neuropathies, which can often be the result of the effects of diabetes or chemotherapy, are more easily treatable. Motor neuropathies are generally much more difficult to treat and can be the result of a genetic condition such as Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT). CMT symptoms include weakness in the legs and feet. There are several types of CMT, and they can vary in severity and age of onset. CMT can be diagnosed with EMGs and CMVs; genetic testing can be extremely expensive and not covered by insurance. However, even if a diagnosis is definitively made, treatment can be difficult. Nutritional supplements and energy-enhancing treatments, however, have shown promise for CMT patients. What other topics would you like us to cover? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, Beating Neuropathy!
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