• Peripheral Neuropathy


  • Neuropathy

    Image of Feet Highlighted Illustrating Peripheral NeuropathyDo you have peripheral neuropathy?  This is a disorder of the peripheral nerves–the motor, sensory and autonomic nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles, skin and internal organs. It usually affects the hands and feet, causing weakness, numbness, tingling, pain, and most debilitating, balance problems.  You probably are or have taken gabapentin, neurotin, cymbalta, and have been told by your doctor you just have to live with the pain. This is not the truth. Peripheral neuropathy’s course is variable; it can come and go, slowly progressing over many years, or it can become severe and debilitating. However, if diagnosed early, peripheral neuropathy can often be controlled and corrected.

    Peripheral neuropathy is common. It is estimated that upwards of 24 million Americans suffer from this illness. It can occur at any age, but is more common among older adults. A 1999 survey found that 8-9% of Medicare recipients have peripheral neuropathy as their primary or secondary diagnosis. The annual cost to Medicare exceeds $3.5 billion.

     

    Peripheral neuropathy has always been present, but has not received much attention. Its extent and importance have not yet been adequately recognized. It is common to be misdiagnosed, or thought to be merely a side effect of another disease like diabetes or cancer or kidney failure.  New cutting-edge technology and protocols are available and have been proven to work.

    What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?

    There are many causes of neuropathy. Approximately 30% of neuropathies are “idiopathic,” or of an unknown cause. In another 30% of cases, the cause is diabetes. Other neuropathy causes include autoimmune disorders, tumors, heredity, nutritional imbalances, infections or toxins including chemo therapy.

    Thousands of people suffer from neuropathy. This condition is a collection of disorders that occurs when nerves of the part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord, known as the peripheral nervous system are damaged. Generally referred to as peripheral neuropathy.  This happens due to damage to nerve axons, and usually causes pain and numbness in the hands and feet.

    Neuropathy affects both the motor nerves that control muscle movement, and the sensory nerves that detect sensations such as coldness or pain. It is also possible for autonomic neuropathy to affect internal organs including the heart, bladder, blood vessels and intestines.

    Peripheral neuropathy gives off a pain described as a burning/tingling sensation. While neuropathy is typically associated with poor nutrition, diabetes and other diseases, and pressure or trauma, there have been many cases of idiopathic neuropathy, which has no known cause.

    In the United States, about 20 million people, including more than half of all diabetics, suffer from neuropathy.

    Symptom Management

    You have two basic choices for the pain and problems associated with neuropathy.

    First is the medical model – control the symptoms:  Medications that are used for chronic neuropathic pain fall under several classes of drugs: anti-depressants, anti-convulsant medications, pain patches and pain pills including opiod pain killers.  Commonly used medications are Lyrica, Cymbalta, gabapentine and Neurontin.

    This approach may make you more comfortable and help you tolerate the pain easier but you may not like the side effects.  While these meds do lessen the symptoms, really what they are doing is masking and covering up the pain while the nerve damage continues to get worse with time.

     

    The second approach requires you to think differently.  If you have been to medical doctors or neurologists they will tell you that there is “nothing you can do” and you will have to “learn to live with the pain.”  In order to think differently we can start by asking what can we do to heal the nerves and address the root cause of neuropathy?  First, we have to do something different, right?   It sounds overly simplistic but we can’t do the same therapies as other doctors and expect different results.  That is what is unique about our program.

    Our Neuropathy program includes innovative and systematic approach to treating neuropathy and getting you back to happy living. If you have already tried other medical therapies such as medications and physical therapy there is a very good chance our system is a good fit for you. Our techniques that address the neurological, metabolic, and nutritional challenges allow us to improve chronic symptoms no matter how long they have been there.

    We look forward to hearing from you and getting your health back. Be Well.