Hey, this is Dr. Emil Tompkins with the Beyond Pain Relief podcast and today we’re going to talk about natural neuropathy treatments of the future. Let’s jump in.
Guys, when I think of neuropathy I initially have thoughts of my grandfather. I don’t have any pictures of him, but if I did, one look at his nose and you would know that we were related. You see poppy to me was larger than life, but one of the things that I remember about him was his diabetes. It really was the overarching theme when we would speak to him or about him, and on the rare occasion that I was able to see him, we were across the country. I grew up in Oklahoma. He was in Massachusetts. When I was able to see him, it was so few and far between that we saw the decline fairly quickly to us.
One year we had visited and he had lost one of his legs, and the only answer I heard because I was a small child was that his diabetes caused him to lose his leg. Another year we had visited and he had lost the other leg, same story, the diabetes took his other leg, and now he was confined to a wheelchair permanently for the rest of his life. And my next visit was his funeral. His life isn’t the most common neuropathy story. It really is kind of a worse case scenario, but it happens all too often that we go through our lives not knowing what to do or how to combat our neuropathy and we experience this steady decline. Actually 80,000 people every year have amputations because of neuropathy. It’s the most common reason why people have amputations.
Now they say diabetes skips a generation. There were times that I remember my family or someone in my family, or who knows, I was a kid, maybe it was just me thinking about it that I was going to be next. But I was committed to not be the next person to experience this horrible condition, and now we are happy that we can help others to improve their health, to improve their neuropathy, whether you’re diabetic or not. Now my grandfather didn’t have the opportunity to experience this amazing work that we’ve been able to do over the years so he became kind of a worse case scenario. But guys, it doesn’t have to be you. You don’t have to get there because we have ways to help you achieve better health for a lifetime. We can show you how to actually promote healing in those peripheral nerves and get your life back. We’re going to talk about that in just a moment.
Now as we go through this, we’re going to talk about kind of how to treat neuropathy, how to treat diabetic pain in natural ways. Diabetes itself is incredibly common. One in three adults have diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most likely complications to develop as a side effect because of the blood sugar levels will affect the nerve fibers throughout the body. Neuropathy is a pathological condition. It encompasses more than 100 different forms and manifestations of the nerve damage, both in people with diabetes and people without diabetes.
Peripheral neuropathy is the term for the damage that’s caused by high blood sugar, or medication, or chemotherapy, or traumatic effects. There are a lot of different things that cause neuropathy. It can form anywhere but it’s most likely affecting nerves that are running through the limbs, typically the feet and many times the hands. Now not every person with diabetes develops neuropathy, but many do. In fact up to 60 to 70% of all diabetics experience some form of neuropathy. For some people the symptoms are only mild and they develop from nerve damage such as a tingling or numbness in the limbs. But for others neuropathy can cause a good amount of pain, digestive issues, problems with the heart and major blood vessels, and the inability to go about life normally, and even death if major organs are affected badly enough.
Neuropathy can trigger a cascade of events that lead to serious complications. Now there’s no known official cure for neuropathy. In many ways there are ways to manage the neuropathy. However, it has been shown recent, research shows that peripheral nerves can regenerate. It’s very important to realize that. Sometimes nerves can be injured in a way where the area is hypoxic, maybe it’s not receiving enough oxygen and that nerve not receiving enough oxygen is going to start functioning poorly. It’s not going to function as well as it could. However, if that nerve has some function, then you generally can improve its function. Now if that nerve has ischemia, which is no blood flow at all, that nerve can completely die, and a completely dead nerve doesn’t tend to come back, and in that way, yeah, there’s no cure. What you want to do is we want to catch this before we start hitting that 90%, 95%, 100% nerve function loss so that we have a chance to make some change.
Let’s talk about now natural remedies to help with diabetic neuropathy. Number one, you want to make sure that you’re managing your blood sugar. The very best thing you can do to help control neuropathy is to make sure that your blood sugar is normal, because in so many people poor blood sugar, high blood sugar causes damage to those peripheral nerves. If you manage your blood sugar, you’re going to have less damage, your body is going to function better. You want to make sure that you’re eating a healthy diet. You want to make sure you’re testing your blood sugar. You want to make sure that you’re exercising and working with your doctor to make sure that you’re keeping your blood sugar low. We have a neuropathy protocol that we use here in our office that gives a very specific diet and over the course of however long the program is you get every day recipes, meal plans, exactly what to do, what to eat, to keep your blood sugar the way it needs to be. So manage your blood sugar levels.
Number two, follow a healthy diet, which we mentioned. We can go into a couple of very clear ideas. Number one, focus your diet around unprocessed whole foods, limit your intake of refined carbs, added sugars, and sugary drinks. That will help stabilize your blood sugar. Some simple ways to do this is drink water and herbal tea over soda, juice, and other sweetened drinks. Eat plenty of fats, lean proteins, instead of refined carbohydrates. Buying less packaged foods and always check labels for added ingredients or sugars when you do. And manage your weight more easily by cooking at home, using techniques like roasting, baking, steaming, boiling, or frying. Just a couple of ideas that you can do, lots of things when it comes to managing your blood sugar.
Next exercise. Exercising is vitally important because exercise helps your body to control your blood sugar levels, exercise helps to control your blood pressure. Because if your blood pressure is high also, then when those blood vessels get weaker, higher blood pressure causes more damage too. So you do want to try to make sure that you’re doing regular exercise. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Complications found that regular exercise caused significant reductions in pain and neuropathic symptoms in diabetics and increased intraepidermal nerve fiber branching. So exercise caused those nerve fibers to branch out more.
One of the things that we talk about is what happens to the nerve when we have neuropathy and that nerve gets damaged. I mentioned that a little bit earlier. But we have to do things to help, one, increase blood flow out to that nerve, and two, stimulate the nerve. So right here we just talk about regular exercise increases that nerve fiber branching. If your nerve fibers can increase in their branching, that is just one example of how you can regenerate nerves, how those nerves can heal, how you can see changes, and how things are functioning. So you definitely want to exercise.
Now reduce exposure to toxins, the next area. People with neuropathy are more likely to develop kidney stone issues or other kidney problems. You want to take stress off of your kidneys by making sure that you have a very low toxic load in the body. So lower your exposure to pesticides, other chemicals sprayed on non-organic crops, chemical household cleaners, beauty products, unnecessary prescriptions or antibiotics, too much alcohol, cigarettes, recreational drugs, smoking. Quit smoking as soon as possible because if you have diabetes and you smoke, you’re much more likely to develop significant nerve damage and even have heart attacks or strokes.
Manage stress. Stress makes inflammation worse. And if you have more inflammation, you’re going to have more chance of developing neuropathy and a lesser chance of improving it. You want to decrease your stress definitely. You want to lower pain naturally. There certain supplements that help to decrease pain and decrease inflammation naturally. We have a few other podcasts that talk about that, but here are a couple of examples. Vitamin B12, many diabetics are low in this nutrient. If you are low in B12, supplementing with that can improve the function of the nerves. That’s a big one. Fish oil 1,000 milligrams daily can help. Turmeric can make a difference, magnesium and a few others. Definitely want to do that.
Number seven, protect your skin and feet. Make sure you monitor your symptoms and look for signs of any new nerve damage on the skin, the feet, the legs, or the hands. Look for new signs of injury such as blisters or sores or ulcers. Foot care and skin care are important parts of treatment and prevention of neuropathy. Take good care of your skin and your feet.
We had just recently a blog post that talked about the three supplements or three different supplements that help with neuropathy, and so we’re going to talk about that. Lipoic acid, acetyl-l-carnitine, and B12. We talked about B12, so that’s good. Alpha lipoic acid. There are several studies that show that ALA decreases pain for people with neuropathy and helps to improve their nerve function. ALA is found in food, so things like broccoli, spinach, yeast. It’s an antioxidant that fights oxidative stress. It’s completely safe, but if you have a thiamine deficiency or you consume lots of alcohol, which we’ve already talked about, you want to avoid. But if for some reason you do that, then you want to avoid ALA because it has some weird side effects with heavy alcohol consumption. Acetyl-l-carnitine … But let’s go back to that. If the choice is have alpha lipoic acid or continue your heavy alcohol consumption, I think we know which one we need to drop and which one we need to add.
Acetyl-l-carnitine it’s a compound that’s naturally found in the liver and in the kidneys. It lowers oxidative stress, which this is a common, common thing for a lot of these, is lowering that stress. It contributes to nerve cell regeneration and function. So acetyl-l-carnitine, we want it, definitely. Research has shown that people with diabetic neuropathy have reduction of pain, reduction of sensory problems, and nerve function tests improve. If you’re on heavy blood thinners though, you don’t want to take acetyl-l-carnitine because it has a mild, very mild blood thinning effect, but if you’re taking heavy blood thinners, you don’t want to add that.
Vitamin B12. You can get vitamin B12 by eating fish or lean red meats. If you’re diabetic and vegetarian, let’s see taking medications like metformin, you are likely to have a B12 deficiency. So if this is the case, supplement with B12.
Now supplements can make a difference in people with neuropathy. Supplements alone can be one very important step in the large treatment protocol to create the stimulation, create the blood flow, create the anti-inflammatory properties that are needed to generate complete healing.
We have a seven step process in our office that is designed to help our patients to be free from the health problems associated with neuropathy. Now is it simple? Is it an automatic cure? Is it easy? The answer to each of those questions is no. But if you take these certain steps, we can see some really amazing changes and have seen really amazing changes in a short time. So we’re going to talk about some of these.
One is light therapy. We use a very specific wavelength of UV light that has been shown in imaging studies to increase blood vessel growth around the peripheral nerves. This means that those peripheral nerves have the proper blood flow and the proper oxygenation be able to function better and to heal.
Next we have electrotherapy. 7.83 Hertz wavelength of electricity that we use. It’s completely different than something than a typical T.E.N.S. unit. It uses the same frequency that’s been shown to stimulate improvements in nerve function, that’s been shown and proven to decrease pain in 90% to 95% of people with neuropathy. This is a study done in the cancer centers of America. They have all of their patients who have neuropathy after doing chemo because unfortunately that’s a very common thing. All our patients use the exact same electrotherapy device that we use in our office and that we provide for some of our patients to use at home, use the same thing 90% to 95% of people show improvement which is awesome.
Different nutritional protocol. One, we need to improve nitric oxide production. There are two natural products. One’s a cream and one’s a powder that you take that increase nitric oxide production, which increases dilation of your blood vessels, which then will increase healing throughout the body and very specifically in the areas that have neuropathy. Then we start looking at diet modification, and we kind of mentioned some of that before, but very specific nutrition protocols that will help you to manage your blood sugar and will help that neuropathy to heal.
We make sure that we provide balance in your nervous system, that’s the next step. Chiropractic adjustments to balance and correct pressure on the spinal nerve roots, joint mobilization to improve the motion and function of your joints along the legs, the feet, and the hands, improve nerve function so that you can perform every day activities at 100%.
Personal communication. In this protocol you have the opportunity to communicate directly with me, to ask questions, to address concerns, receive support throughout this process. Actually there’s an app that we work with that allows you to receive information and details of your program every single day through this app. You can communicate with me 24 hours a day, seven days a week through this app. That is something that’s really unheard of. How often have you had access to your doctor where you can communicate with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
Now when I am in bed sleeping with my family, I don’t tend to answer that text, the 24 hours a day, but it does get to me and it does get answered and it gets answered quickly, and that’s something that we’re committed to, is making sure that we’re providing a service that is unlike any other service that you have.
Those are the steps in our neuropathy program. I invite you to experience that. I invite you to experience that with me. I invite you to experience that here at Tompkins Family Chiropractic. There is going to be a link in our show notes for you to schedule a consultation in our office. You can schedule a consultation or you can check out our webinar. We have a webinar online that goes into even more detail on how the issue that we have, the problems there, and then the steps that we can take to move you and your health in the right direction. I invite you to take advantage of that.
Click the link in the show notes and get more information and make a difference in your neuropathy today. Hey guys, I’m Dr. Emil Tompkins. I thank you so much for joining me on this podcast and I hope you have an amazing and fantastic day.