Neuropathy Supplements: What You Need to Know About Biotin

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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Self-Treatment for Neuropathy Symptoms: A Supplement, Not a Substitute

There’s A Lot Neuropathy Patients Can Do At Home to Supplement Their Doctor’s Treatment Plan, But Don’t Think You Can Handle It All On Your Own.

We talk a lot about self-treatment for neuropathy and chronic neuropathic pain. But I want you to understand the difference between effective home treatment and dangerous stalling that can make your neuropathy worse.

I’ll be straightforward: if you are experiencing neuropathy symptoms like tingling, numbness, chronic pain, fatigue, and balance or movement problems, you absolutely need to be under the care of a trained neuropathy clinician. Neuropathy is often a degenerative condition that will get worse over time when not treated adequately.

The worst thing you could do for your neuropathy symptoms is to try to handle it all on your own through self-care based on what you’ve read on the Internet.

I am all for complementary forms of treatment like yoga, massage, and so on—but be aware that “complementary” means that you should use them in conjunction with effective medical treatments, not instead of medical treatment. That goes for vitamin supplementation as well.

If there is only one thing I can convey about self-treatment, it is this message: When it comes to neuropathy, it is absolutely vital to get early treatment in order to reduce or minimize your neuropathic pain. Ignoring it, self-medicating, or attempting to handle it on your own is NOT a good long-term health strategy.

Remember, home care and self-treatment strategies (like a health neuropathy diet, moderate exercise, and supplements) are intended to work WITH your neuropathy clinician’s treatment plan. The idea is to build a holistic treatment plan for neuropathy so that everything you do, in the doctor’s office and at home, is supporting your long-term health goals and improving your quality of life right away.

Read more about how to treat neuropathic pain in our neuropathy “owner’s manual”: I Beat Neuropathy!

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Neuropathy and Sleep Problems

Sleep Problems are Common among Neuropathy Patients. Here’s What You Can Do to Make It Better.

Sleep disturbances aren’t unusual for most people during times of stress or illness. But people with neuropathy tend to experience sleep problems more often, and in a more severe way, than the general population.

You may have already experienced how a lack of sufficient restful sleep can negatively impact your daily function. It can also be detrimental to your long-term health and quality of life.

If you’re not getting enough restful sleep, your body’s major systems just aren’t able to recharge like they need to in order to combat neuropathy symptoms. You’ll be noticing more and more weight gain, fatigue, depression, and chronic pain over time as you continue losing sleep.

It’s so important to share information about your sleep problems with your neuropathy specialist, who can build sleep adjustment into your overall treatment plan.

You can also make lifestyle changes starting right away to help improve your sleep quality and reduce neuropathy symptoms. Daily movement or exercise, preferably outdoors for the addition of vitamin D from sunlight, is very important for neuropathy sufferers with insomnia. Stress reduction is another key to healthy sleep to supplement your neuropathy treatment. Make sure to also get enough water and eat foods from a healthy neuropathy diet. Some patients (those without kidney disease) may want to ask their doctors about magnesium supplements.

Another option is the daily use of our home care kit featuring an FDA-approved electrotherapy neurostimulator. By reducing tingling and other symptoms that can distract you from sleep, this daily care program can get help you get more Z’s on a regular basis. The NDGen Home Care Kit also offers automatic shut-off and a timer so that you can safely use it while drifting off to sleep. Take a look at our NDGen neuropathy home care kit.

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What Is a Healthy Neuropathy Diet?

Improve Your Quality of Life By Adopting a Truly Healthy Neuropathy Diet and Nutrition Plan.

Regardless of what type of neuropathy you’ve been diagnosed with, I promise you that there are things within your control that can dramatically lessen your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

The number one thing you can do is to adopt a way of eating that can truly sustain your health and give your body the healing power that it needs to fight neuropathy. When we talk about a healthy neuropathy diet, we are not necessarily talking about weight loss—although for some individuals, weight loss will be an added benefit to a change in nutrition. The main goal here is to provide your body with the basics it needs for excellent systemic functioning as a baseline for improving your neuropathy symptoms over time.

Aim to eat several small meals and snacks each day, featuring proteins and low glycemic index foods. Ideally, you shouldn’t go more than two or three hours without eating something. Keep packaged and processed foods to an absolute minimum; your body needs the best possible fuel to produce the best health.

Don’t forget about the importance of staying hydrated when planning your neuropathy diet. Water helps to flush toxins from your body and keeps everything well-oiled. Be sure to drink filtered water. You should be consuming (in ounces) about half of your own body weight every 24 hours.

Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t jump into a significantly different neuropathy diet without your doctor’s approval. This is especially true for certain individuals whose food or water intake can have dramatic or dangerous effects on their immediate health. For example, diabetics who are dependent on insulin will need to continue carefully matching their sugar intake to their insulin use, and people with heart disease or kidney disease may be advised to avoid excessive fluid intake.

It’s so important to work with a doctor who is well-trained in using nutrition as a key component of neuropathy treatment. To find a neuropathy diet expert near you, click here.

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Peripheral Neuropathy 101: The Basics of Nerve Pain

Now That You’ve Been Diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy, How Can You Treat and Manage Your Nerve Pain?

There are so many causes of peripheral neuropathy. Chemotherapy drugs, diabetes, shingles, injuries, even hereditary conditions can lead to nerve pain and numbness.

Unfortunately, there are almost as many ways to treat peripheral neuropathy as there are causes. When you have just received a peripheral neuropathy diagnosis, how can you know what to do next?

Many doctors will prescribe medications, or surgery.

But there are other options, too, and one of them might be a lifesaver for you. What I mean is that your quality of life can be as high as possible, despite peripheral neuropathy.

Consider some of these complementary therapies that can make a tremendous difference for many neuropathy patients:

Walk, Swim, or Cycle as Often As You Can

Moving the biggest muscles of your legs on a regular basis can result in positive changes to your circulation and improved blood flow. That’s good news for people with peripheral neuropathy.

Getting Blood Sugar Under Control

It’s almost unbelievable, but when you’re dealing with diabetic neuropathy, controlling your blood sugar can sometimes reverse nerve damage.

Be Sure To Take Excellent Care of Your Feet

Peripheral neuropathy can cause foot numbness, which means you may not immediately notice a small injury that could become infected—a very dangerous condition for diabetics and others with foot neuropathy. You should wear comfortable shoes with socks (even at home) to avoid injuries, and inspect your feet thoroughly each and every day.

Take the Right Supplements for Nerve Health

For reducing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, a combination of folic acid, vitamin B12, B6, and B1 is ideal. Even the healthiest diet may not provide enough of the nutrients you need to heal nerve damage. Of course, always talk with your doctor before changing your vitamin regimen or taking any new supplement.

Looking for reliable supplements for peripheral neuropathy? Take a look at our FDA-approved neuropathy supplements.

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Compressive Neuropathy: What Are My Treatment Options?

Chronic Back Pain Related to A Herniated Disc Often Leads to Compressive Neuropathy Symptoms.

If you have back pain related to a herniated, ruptured, or slipped disc, you are most likely also suffering from compressive neuropathy. And that means chronic pain, because it’s almost impossible to get comfortable when your back always hurts.

Even though compressive neuropathy symptoms are caused by your back problems, the first place this new chronic pain will show up is in your legs and feet.

Pain from compressive neuropathy can include symptoms like:

  • A sense of deep cold or burning in your legs or feet
  • Continual tingling, weakness, or numbness in your legs and feet
  • Spasms in the muscles of your legs
  • Pain that radiates from legs down into feet
  • Sharp, shooting pain like an electric shock

This kind of pain can be crippling. It affects your entire life, from your everyday moods to your ability to sleep or even perform normal activities. Many people with compressive neuropathy also suffer from anxiety or depression.

A doctor who is well-trained in compressive neuropathy will focus first of all on managing your pain, and then begin treating numbness or weakness in your back, legs, and feet. Preventing any additional injuries will also be a high priority in your treatment.

It is possible to recover from compressive neuropathy without surgery within just a few months, if appropriate treatment is sought.

The key is to seek out a trained neuropathy clinician who will do a thorough assessment and evaluation in order to give you an accurate diagnosis. He or she will then prescribe a combination of in-office treatments, medications, lifestyle adjustments, and integrative stress-reducing activities in order to reduce your compressive neuropathy symptoms as quickly as possible.

It all begins with the right treatment team. To find a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area, click here.

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4 Gentle Exercises for Reducing Neuropathy Symptoms

You Can Reduce Neuropathy Symptoms Through Appropriate Movement, Even If Exercise Usually Tends to Be Painful.

Even if your neuropathy symptoms leave you feeling like it’s impossible to exercise…

There ARE ways to get moving and stay active while supporting your neuropathy treatment needs.

Your doctor will tell you that gentle, appropriate exercise will help you maintain a healthier weight, improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your bones, manage your blood sugar levels, and even help to ward off depression and anxiety.

The best exercise for reducing neuropathy symptoms is focused on gentle, fluid movement that isn’t jarring or overly taxing. Here are a few types of gentle exercise that you may want to consider as part of an overall treatment plan for neuropathy symptoms.

  • Stretching is a basic but essential way to keep your body limber despite neuropathy symptoms. Try to develop a self-directed program of stretches that you do each day before getting out of bed as well as a few stretches to help you unwind before bed.
  • Tai Chi is a type of martial art that involves very slowly and deliberately working each of the muscle groups in your body. It is considered a very gentle form of exercise that can also improve your circulation and improve mood.
  • Some types of yoga are appropriate for people with neuropathy symptoms. Look for a class or video that is called “gentle” or “restorative” yoga. You don’t need to be particularly flexible or limber to participate in yoga and can move at your own pace.
  • Swimming or a gentle version of water aerobics are both great movement choices for anyone who has difficulty or pain from walking. The support of warm water can help to loosen up your body and support your joints, as well as reducing pressure on your feet.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before undergoing any change in your activity level.

For more tips on reducing neuropathy symptoms, see our neuropathy owners manual: I Beat Neuropathy!

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Diabetic Neuropathy May Not Respond to Traditional Treatment Approaches!

A General Doctor or Nutritionist May Be Giving You Outdated Diet Information When It Comes to Managing Diabetic Neuropathy.

You’ll see that I have been mentioning diabetes frequently on this blog. That’s because it is unfortunately such a common precursor to developing symptoms of neuropathy.

And diabetic neuropathy can be painful and difficult to treat. It is frustrating for both doctors and patients!

What seems to be the case is that in general, diabetic neuropathy is not being treated aggressively. Diabetes patients are being told that they should lose some weight and get some exercise. But “some” isn’t good enough when it comes to diabetic neuropathy.

What’s worse, you may have been given specifics about a diabetes diet from a nutritionist, but if you look closely, that diet still contains too many grains and fruits.

With diabetic neuropathy, you will need to keep carbohydrates at an absolute minimum—even “healthy” carbs. Most people with diabetic neuropathy should be restricting carbs to 15 g at one meal.

Of course, talk with your doctor before undergoing any significant health lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. These changes will require you to adjust any medications you are taking for diabetes control, especially insulin. It is dangerous to change your diet or activity level without consulting your doctor.

It’s also important, of course, to be your own best health advocate. Management of your diabetic neuropathy is within your control. The ideal is to work with a trained neuropathy specialist who can tailor your diabetic neuropathy treatment to your own specific health needs and lifestyle. A neuropathy clinician will be interested not only in your lab numbers but in the details of your quality of life and be looking to help you improve on that drastically.

To find a diabetic neuropathy expert in your area, click here.

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Peripheral Neuropathy Common Symptoms: Loss of Balance

Gait Change or Loss of Balance is One of the Most Common Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy—Yet Many Doctors Miss This Connection.

Peripheral neuropathy can have a variety of symptoms—and some of them can be confusing or misleading. That’s why doctors who don’t have specialized training in neuropathy symptoms may not know peripheral neuropathy when they see it!

Commonly, a leading indicator of peripheral neuropathy is a significant change in gait (the way you walk) or your overall sense of balance. But this is also a feature of several neurological disorders.

Peripheral neuropathy causes changes in balance and gait because of the way that your feet begin to lose sensation.

If you are experiencing this problem, I urge you to seek the opinion of a qualified neuropathy clinician right away. The longer your peripheral neuropathy in feet is left untreated, the more severe the consequences. In time, you’ll be forced not only to treat the peripheral neuropathy at its source but also to undergo rehabilitation in order to regain some of your original sense of coordination and balance.

Worst of all, your peripheral neuropathy symptoms are putting you in danger of being a fall risk. An unexpected fall can have long-lasting repercussions and could even be fatal.

Fortunately, there are things you can do right away to help prevent serious accidents related to your peripheral neuropathy.

First, get fitted for good quality shoes and wear them whenever you are not in bed. (Be sure to also check your feet regularly for sores that could get infected and cause serious problems if not detected quickly.)

Next, reduce the slip and fall hazards in your home. Put non-slip backings on all area rugs. Don’t leave any object on your stairs or near a doorway. Bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas without carpeting are an area of special concern.

To learn more about how to improve your quality of life with peripheral neuropathy, check out our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

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Is it Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy?

Knowing Whether You Have Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy Can Be Tricky, But These Distinctions Are Important.

Every neuropathy doctor has heard these words many times: “Is it fibromyalgia, or neuropathy?”

Unfortunately, the symptoms overlap a great deal.

That’s why it’s essential to seek a diagnosis from a trained neuropathy expert who can differentiate between the two and tell you for sure whether it’s fibromyalgia or neuropathy in your case.

Both conditions can involve tingling or numbness and elements of chronic pain.

The good news is that both conditions can be helped with lifestyle changes that support the in-office treatment you are getting from your doctor. Like many other serious health conditions, whether it’s fibromyalgia or neuropathy, your day to day experience can be improved with diet and exercise.

Eating non-processed foods that are rich in key nutrients is one way to improve your health when dealing with fibromyalgia or neuropathy.

We also know that gentle daily movement protocols can greatly aid your recovery from fibromyalgia or neuropathy. Your doctor can help you identify which types of exercise are most appropriate for your specific health condition and fitness level.

But the most important piece of the puzzle is your relationship with your doctor. Does he or she spend considerable time with you in evaluating your unique health needs? Has your doctor been able to effectively distinguish whether you are suffering from fibromyalgia or neuropathy?

Ideally, you will want to work with a trained neuropathy clinician who can tailor a treatment plan to YOUR needs. Whether you’re dealing with fibromyalgia or neuropathy, a cookie-cutter approach will not improve your health!

The most important first step is in connecting with an expert who can provide an in-depth assessment to correctly diagnose your fibromyalgia or neuropathy.

To find a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area, click here.

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