Peripheral Neuropathy Part 2 – Managing Pain…Naturally

In the November issue, the first part of this article included an overview of peripheral neuropathy, its symptoms, risk factors and how it can be diagnosed. This article will focus primarily on natural ways to manage pain related to nerve damage, with particular emphasis on diabetic neuropathy, since it is the most common cause of nerve damage in the United States.

There is no medical cure for PN. Medications are used to try to control the nerve pain, but none of them treat the actual nerve damage. When the drugs are stopped, the pain returns because the underlying problem is still there. Unfortunately, side effects from some of these medications include drowsiness, fatigue and poor thinking ability.
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Diabetic Neuropathy – Part 1 “The Agony of Da-feet”

One of my earliest memories is of my great grandmother. I was playing with some toy trucks on the floor beside her and she was in a wheelchair. I didn’t know it at the time, but she couldn’t see me and was probably in a fair amount of pain. Years later I found out that diabetes had taken her sight and also her ability to walk. Diabetes was once a less common disease, but is now considered by some to be “America’s largest healthcare epidemic.” Unfortunately, it only looks to get worse as 57 million Americans are currently thought to have “pre-diabetes”.

While my great grandmother died many years ago, I now see and treat patients with neuropathic pain on a daily basis. Since November is American Diabetes Month, and diabetes happens to be the most common cause of neuropathy in the US, this article will focus primarily on diabetic neuropathy; what is it? what causes it? how is it diagnosed? Part two of this article will focus on natural ways to manage the pain associated with neuropathy.

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I Think I’m Going To Be Sick

These words are never good to hear… especially when they come from the back seat of your car as you drive down the highway. With the summer season approaching, this scenario will play out in more than just a few minivans as they migrate down the road to family vacation spots.

Motion sickness is a relatively common complaint that results from sensory mismatch, a situation when the brain receives conflicting information about where we are in space. Our ability to feel “oriented” is dependant on our brain’s ability to process simultaneous messages from our inner ear, our vision and the muscles and joints in our body – especially our neck. Our inner ear detects changes in head movement and tells our brain where our head is. Our muscles and joints tell our brain where our body is, and our vision lets us know where we are in relationship to the external world.

These different signals are all sent to a common processor in our brain, where ideally, the three messages complement each other and our brain can cross-triangulate our position in space like a GPS, making us feel oriented. The bottom line is that our brain’s ability to know where we are is only as good as the quality and amount of the information it receives from these systems.

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