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Responding to Weather Changes When Caring for Neuropathy Patients

Responding to Weather Changes When Caring for Neuropathy Patients

September 11, 2019 by Ezekiel Lim In Columns, Rumination and Response – a Column by Ezekiel Lim.

Patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy may find that changes in seasons increase discomfort. Colder temperatures require layers of clothing that may bother someone with peripheral neuropathy symptoms. A change to hotter temperatures may cause increased discomfort to someone already experiencing burning sensations due to nerve damage.
Caregivers can take steps to help manage the impact of weather changes on neuropathy patients.

Cold weather and neuropathy
Patients with peripheral neuropathy symptoms experience a slowing of blood flow to nerve endings, causing numbness and tingling. Colder temperatures may make it difficult for patients to measure their bodies’ response to the climate.
My family lives in an area known for weather extremes. When spending time with my mother-in-law during the winter months, it is important for us not only to make sure she has adequate layers of clothing, but also to know when the bundled clothing is causing her discomfort.
Following are some tips for caregivers who are managing the daily care of a loved one during a change to colder weather:

Make sure the patient is wearing warm, comfortable clothing that isn’t too heavy.
Protect the patient’s hands and feet with warm gloves and neuropathy socks.
Massage areas where circulation may be lacking.
Limit the time spent outside in the cold.
Limit caffeine and alcohol intake as they may respectively narrow blood cells and cause vitamin deficiency.
Managing symptoms in heat
Hotter temperatures may exacerbate the tingling and burning sensations that neuropathy patients experience. During a transition from cold winters to mild or hot months, caregivers must gauge their loved one’s peripheral symptoms. Just as in winter months, patients may have difficulty measuring their bodily responses to temperature.
For caregivers managing responses to hotter temperatures, following are some tips for ensuring patient comfort:
Keep time spent outside to a minimum and, if needed, stay indoors all day.
Make sure air conditioning is adjusted to a comfortable level to avoid interacting with symptoms of numbness.
Make sure your loved one is adequately fed and hydrated.
Understand the patient’s comfort level and make sure they are wearing lighter layers of clothing.
Try using topical treatments and cooling products when the patient begins to feel too hot.
The pain caused by humidity and summer heat may cause increased discomfort in those suffering from peripheral neuropathy symptoms. By ensuring the patient has a comfortable indoor environment, the change in temperature will not exacerbate chronic pain.

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Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.

Article Provided By: fapnewstoday

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Diabetic Neuropathy, Pain Relief, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Idiopathic Neuropathy

Idiopathic Neuropathy

What is idiopathic neuropathy?
Neuropathy is when nerve damage interferes with the functioning of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). When the cause can’t be determined, it’s called idiopathic neuropathy.
The PNS carries information from the central nervous system (CNS), or brain and spinal cord, to the rest of the body.
There are three kinds of nerves within the PNS. Sensory nerves relay messages from the senses to the brain. This allows sensations of temperature and touch. Motor nerves transmit signals from the brain to the muscles. This helps the brain control the muscles. Autonomic nerves control body functions like heart rate, breathing, and digestion.
Damage to nerve cells can affect how the PNS communicates with the rest of the body. Symptoms can include numbness, pain, and balance issues.
It’s called acute neuropathy when symptoms develop suddenly. Alternately, it’s called chronic neuropathy when symptoms start slowly and increase over time.
Diagnosis involves physical examination and review of medical history. Diagnostic testing may include blood tests, nerve testing, and imaging tests.
There is no cure for idiopathic neuropathy. Treatments including medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications can help you function and feel better.
What are the symptoms of neuropathy?
Symptoms can be vague at onset and are similar to those of other conditions. Symptoms vary depending on which nerves are damaged.
Symptoms of sensory neuropathy may include:
numbness, tingling, and burning sensation, particularly in hands and feet
vague or strange sensations (paresthesias)
pain, or inability to feel pain, touch, or temperature
lack of coordination or loss of reflexes
Symptoms of motor neuropathy may include:
muscle weakness or loss of muscle control
trouble with balance and coordination
muscle twitching, cramping, or spasms
difficulty walking or moving limbs
Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy may include:
dizziness, or fainting
sweating abnormalities
nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
abnormal heart rate or blood pressure
sexual dysfunction
Symptoms may progress quickly and then slowly get better over time in some forms of acute neuropathy. Some chronic neuropathies cause periods of relapse followed by periods of remission.
What are the causes of neuropathy?
Some conditions that cause neuropathy are hereditary. Other things that can cause it include:
injury or infection
nutritional or hormonal imbalances
chemotherapy or exposure to toxic substances
autoimmune diseases such as Lyme disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
systemic diseases like diabetes, kidney disorders, and certain cancers
vascular disorders
tumors
Approximately 30 percent of neuropathy cases are due to diabetes, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Between 30 and 40 percent of the remaining cases are idiopathic.

Who is at risk for neuropathy?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates that approximately 20 million Americans have peripheral neuropathy. Anyone can develop neuropathy, but risk increases with age.

How is neuropathy diagnosed?
There is no one definitive test for neuropathy. Testing begins with a physical examination and a complete medical history. Tell your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing. Be sure to let them know about over-the-counter and prescription medications you’re taking. It’s also important to mention if you’ve been exposed to toxins on the job or at home.
Diagnostic testing may include:
blood work
urinalysis
nerve conduction studies (NCS)
electromyography (EMG)
skin, nerve, and muscle biopsies
Imaging tests may include a CT scan, X-rays, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

How is neuropathy treated?
Peripheral neuropathy can cause permanent damage to nerves if untreated. Treatment will target the cause if it can be determined.
Treatment of idiopathic neuropathy revolves around symptom management. Options include over-the-counter and prescription medications, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Mobility aids can help you move around safely if you’re having trouble with balance or walking. These may include special shoes, braces, and canes.
Lifestyle choices can help to improve day-to-day functioning. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. It’s also important to get plenty of rest and exercise to tone and strengthen your muscles. Quitting smoking and keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum is healthy and may also help with your neuropathy.
Living with a chronic illness can lead to anxiety and stress. It can be helpful to talk with someone who lives with the same condition. Your doctor can refer you to a local neuropathy support group for additional support.

What is the long-term outlook for neuropathy?
The general prognosis for idiopathic neuropathy is good, even if your symptoms are permanent. There are many effective treatments available for keeping your symptoms in check and helping you lead a comfortable, happy life. Working with your doctor to treat any underlying condition you may have, along with your symptoms, is the ticket to your best outcome in the short and long term.

Article Provided By: Healthline
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Allodynia

What to know about allodynia

Someone who has allodynia feels pain from non-painful stimuli. For example, a person may feel pain from a light touch or when brushing their hair.
Allodynia can be a symptom of several different nerve conditions, or it can occur on its own.
Allodynia is not the same thing as an increased response to painful stimuli.
Some people feel extreme pain from something minor, such as a paper cut. Feeling increased pain or being hypersensitive to mild pain is called hyperalgesia.
Individuals with allodynia, however, feel pain when something is ordinarily painless.

Symptoms

Allodynia is characterized by intense feelings of pain with no clear cause.
Pain is one of the body’s protective mechanisms. It tells a person to stop doing something that is harmful.
For instance, a pain response causes a person to pull their hand away from a hot stove, preventing a severe burn. But people with allodynia perceive pain even though there is nothing harmful causing the pain.
The main symptom of allodynia is pain from non-painful stimuli.
Some people with allodynia may experience severe pain even from a few hairs brushing against their skin.
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Some people may feel a burning sensation while others feel an ache or squeezing pain.
Allodynia can limit the activities a person is able to do and decrease their quality of life. Common complications of allodynia include:
depression
anxiety
sleep disturbances
fatigue

Types of allodynia
There are three main types of allodynia, which are classified according to what causes the pain.
Regardless of the type of allodynia, pain is still the main symptom. Some people may only have one type of allodynia. Others may have all three types of the condition.
Types of allodynia include:
Thermal allodynia: Thermal allodynia causes temperature-related pain. Pain occurs due to a mild change of temperature on the skin. For example, a few drops of cold water on the skin may be painful.
Mechanical allodynia: Movement across the skin causes mechanical allodynia. For instance, bedsheets pulled across a person’s skin may be painful.
Tactile allodynia: Tactile allodynia, also called static allodynia, occurs due to light touch or pressure on the skin. For example, a tap on the shoulder may cause pain for someone with tactile allodynia.

Causes and risk factors

Something as simple as hair being brushed may cause intense pain to someone with allodynia.
The exact cause of allodynia is not known.
Allodynia may occur due to increased responsiveness or malfunction of nociceptors, which are a particular type of nerve.
Having one of the following medical conditions may also increase a person’s risk of developing allodynia.
Migraines: Migraines can cause debilitating head pain, but a headache is often not the only symptom. Migraines can also cause additional symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. According to the American Migraine Foundation, up to 80 percent of people experience symptoms of allodynia during a migraine.
Postherpetic neuralgia: Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles, which is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Shingles can cause damage to the nerve fibers, which leads to persistent nerve pain and is associated with allodynia.
Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes widespread pain in the body. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but there does appear to be a genetic link in some instances. There also seems to be a connection between allodynia and fibromyalgia.
Diabetes: Over time, diabetes can cause damage to nerves, increasing the likelihood that a person will develop allodynia. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is essential to the nervous system, and some experts have suggested that diabetes can lower NGF levels. A recent study in rodents showed that low levels of NGF led to both hyperalgesia and allodynia.
Complex regional pain syndrome: Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a long-term pain condition that tends to affect one limb, typically after the person injures the area. People believe CRPS occurs due to problems with the nervous systems.

Diagnosis and when to see a doctor
There is not one specific medical test to diagnose allodynia. Instead, a doctor will perform a physical exam, take a medical history, and review a person’s symptoms.
Many common conditions can cause chronic pain, so doctors may need to rule out certain medical conditions before they can make a diagnosis of allodynia.
Various nerve sensitivity tests may also be performed to help make a diagnosis.
Anyone who experiences pain from non-painful stimuli, such as light touch, should see their doctor.
Dealing with chronic pain that develops after even the mildest touch can be frustrating and upsetting. Receiving an accurate diagnosis can help someone start the treatment and management process.

Treatment

Topical creams may help to treat the symptoms of allodynia. Recommended treatment will be based on the cause of the condition.
Currently, there is no cure for allodynia. Treatment is aimed at decreasing pain, using medications and lifestyle changes.
Pregabalin is a medication used to treat nerve pain associated with conditions, such as spinal cord injuries, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and shingles. It may also decrease pain in some people with allodynia.
Topical pain medications, such as creams and ointments containing lidocaine, may be helpful in some cases. Over-the-counter, non-steroidal medicines may also be effective.
Complementary approaches to pain management, such as acupuncture and massage, may not be tolerated as they involve touch and can lead to discomfort for a person with allodynia.
Treating an underlying condition that is causing allodynia may also help. For example, preventing migraines or treating migraines straightaway can help reduce the risk of allodynia symptoms. Getting diabetes under good control can also be helpful.
Some people might find that lifestyle changes, such as light exercise, a healthful diet, and getting enough sleep might help.
Research shows that smokers experience more chronic pain than nonsmokers. Quitting smoking can be beneficial on many levels, from improving circulation to decreasing inflammation.
Although living a healthful lifestyle will not cure allodynia, it can enhance overall health and help people with the condition cope more efficiently.
Identifying and decreasing pain triggers as much as possible may also reduce symptoms. It may not be possible to limit all the things that cause discomfort, but some changes may help.
For example, it might not be reasonable for someone to shave their head if brushing their hair hurts. But switching to a different type of brush or brushing it less frequently may be possible.
Similarly, if certain fabrics hurt the skin, a person can try clothing made of a different, less irritating material.
Stress may make the pain worse in some people. So, learning stress management techniques may also help.
Although stress reduction may not improve allodynia in every case, developing better stress management techniques can help a person cope with their condition.

Outlook
Allodynia is not life-threatening, but it can make daily life difficult and cause frustrating limitations. It can also lead to anxiety and other mental health conditions.
The outlook for people with allodynia varies depending on the severity of the condition. Taking a comprehensive approach to treatment can improve the outlook.
Using a combination of pain management techniques along with lifestyle changes may decrease symptoms of allodynia.
A holistic approach can also help someone feel more in control of their condition and improve their overall quality of life.

Last medically reviewed on August 10, 2017

Article Provided By: Medical News Today

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Paresthesia

What Is Paresthesia?

If you’ve ever felt as though your skin was crawling, or had numbness or itching for no apparent reason, you may have experienced paresthesia.
Almost everyone has experienced paresthesia on occasion. One of the most common times people get that familiar feeling of pins and needles is when their arms or legs “fall asleep.” This sensation usually occurs because you’ve inadvertently put pressure on a nerve. It resolves once you change your position to remove the pressure from the affected nerve. This type of paresthesia is temporary and usually resolves without treatment. If the paresthesia persists, you may have an underlying medical disorder that requires treatment.
What are the symptoms of paresthesia?
Paresthesia can affect any part of the body, but it commonly affects the:
hands
arms
legs
feet
It can be temporary or chronic. The symptoms can include feelings of:
numbness
weakness
tingling
burning
cold
Chronic paresthesia may cause a stabbing pain. That may lead to clumsiness of the affected limb. When paresthesia occurs in your legs and feet, it can make it difficult to walk.
See your doctor if you have symptoms of paresthesia that persist or affect with your quality of life. It could be a sign that you have an underlying medical condition that needs treatment.

What causes paresthesia?
It’s not always possible to determine the cause of paresthesia. Temporary paresthesia is often due to pressure on a nerve or brief periods of poor circulation. This can happen when you fall asleep on your hand or sit with your legs crossed for too long. Chronic paresthesia may be a sign of nerve damage. Two types of nerve damage are radiculopathy and neuropathy.
Radiculopathy
Radiculopathy is a condition in which nerve roots become compressed, irritated, or inflamed. This can occur when you have:
a herniated disk that presses on a nerve
a narrowing of the canal that transmits the nerve from your spinal cord to your extremity
any mass that compresses the nerve as it exits the spinal column
Radiculopathy that affects your lower back is called lumbar radiculopathy. Lumbar radiculopathy can cause paresthesia in your leg or foot. In more severe cases, compression of the sciatic nerve can occur and may lead to weakness in your legs. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that starts in your lower spinal cord.
Cervical radiculopathy involves the nerves that provide sensation and strength to your arms. If you have cervical radiculopathy, you may experience:
chronic neck pain
paresthesia of the upper extremities
arm weakness
hand weakness
Neuropathy
Neuropathy occurs due to chronic nerve damage. The most common cause of neuropathy is hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.
Other possible causes of neuropathy include:
trauma
repetitive movement injuries
autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
neurological diseases, such as MS
kidney diseases
liver diseases
stroke
tumors in the brain or near nerves
bone marrow or connective tissue disorders
hypothyroidism
deficiencies in vitamin B-1, B-6, B-12, E, or niacin
getting too much vitamin D
infections, such as Lyme disease, shingles, or HIV
certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs
exposure to toxic substances, such as chemicals or heavy metals
Nerve damage can eventually lead to permanent numbness or paralysis.

Who is at risk for paresthesia?
Anyone can experience temporary paresthesia. Your risk of radiculopathy increases with age. You also may be more prone to it if you:
perform repetitive movements that repeatedly compress your nerves, such as typing, playing an instrument, or playing a sport such as tennis
drink heavily and eat a poor diet that leads to vitamin deficiencies, specifically vitamin B-12 and folate
have type 1 or 2 diabetes
have an autoimmune condition
have a neurological condition, such as MS

 

How is paresthesia diagnosed?
See your doctor if you have persistent paresthesia with no obvious cause.
Be prepared to give your medical history. Mention any activities you participate in that involve repetitive movement. You should also list any over-the-counter or prescription medications that you take.
Your doctor will consider your known health conditions to help them make a diagnosis. If you have diabetes, for example, your doctor will want to determine if you have nerve damage, or neuropathy.
Your doctor will probably perform a full physical exam. This will likely include a neurological exam as well. Blood work and other laboratory tests, such as a spinal tap, may help them rule out certain diseases.
If your doctor suspects there’s a problem with your neck or spine, they may recommend imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans.
Depending on the results, they may refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist, orthopedist, or endocrinologist.

What is the treatment for paresthesia?
Treatment depends on the cause of your paresthesia. It may be possible to treat your condition by eliminating the cause in some cases. For example, if you have a repetitive movement injury, a few lifestyle adjustments or physical therapy may solve the problem.
If your paresthesia is due to an underlying disease, getting treatment for that disease can potentially ease the symptoms of paresthesia.
Your individual circumstances will determine whether your symptoms will improve. Some types of nerve damage are irreversible.

What is the outlook for people with paresthesia?
Temporary paresthesia usually resolves within a few minutes.
You may have a case of chronic paresthesia if those strange sensations don’t go away or they come back far too often. It can complicate your daily life if the symptoms are severe. That’s why it’s so important to try to find the cause. Don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion or see a specialist if necessary.
The severity of chronic paresthesia and how long it will last largely depends on the cause. In some cases, treating the underlying condition solves the problem.
Be sure to tell your doctor if your treatment isn’t working so they can adjust your treatment plan.
How can you prevent paresthesia?
Paresthesia isn’t always preventable. For instance, you probably can’t help it if you tend to fall asleep on your arms. You can take steps to reduce the occurrence or severity of paresthesia, though. For example, using wrist splints at night may alleviate the compression of the nerves of your hand and help resolve the symptoms of paresthesia you experience at night.
Follow these tips for preventing chronic paresthesia:
Avoid repetitive movement if possible.
Rest often if you need to perform repetitive movements.
Get up and move around as often as possible if you have to sit for long periods.
If you have diabetes or any other chronic disease, careful monitoring and disease management will help lower your chances of having paresthesia.

Article Provided By: healthline

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CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Causes of CRPS

What is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), is a type of chronic pain condition. It typically occurs after an injury or medical condition and affects one limb (arm, leg, hand or foot).

What are the causes of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?

Though complex regional pain syndrome is not yet completely understood, it is believed that CRPS develops when the central or peripheral nervous system is damaged or malfunctions. When the nerves are damaged, they are not able to properly control blood flow, sensation and temperature in the affected area; this leads to the symptoms of CRPS, including pain and skin changes.

CRPS can be triggered by an injury or a medical condition. Triggers for CRPS include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sprain or strain
  • Soft tissue or nerve injury
  • Surgical injury
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Infection
  • Immobilization of a limb (such as using a splint or cast)

In addition to nerve damage, CRPS may also be caused by pain receptors in the injured part of the body becoming receptive to different nervous system messages. It may be caused by dysfunction between the central and peripheral nervous system.

The immune system may also play a role in the development of CRPS. After an injury, an immune response is triggered. This leads to inflammatory symptoms, such as redness and swelling in the affected area. In the case of CRPS, this immune system response may malfunction and continue after the original injury has healed.

It is likely that a combination of these different factors leads to the development of complex regional pain syndrome .

Article Provided By: PainScale

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Neuropathic Pain, Chronic Pain, Pain Relief, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

How Does Neuropathic Pain Develop?

What is Neuropathic Pain?

If you are involved in an accident and an injury occurs, under normal circumstance, your nerves will send messages to the brain, signaling pain at the site of trauma. Neuropathic pain is coming directly from the nerves without the occurrence of trauma or accident. In other words, there is no reason the nerves should be sending pain signals.

How Does Neuropathic Pain Develop?

A damaged nerve may lead to dysfunction. Nerves can be damaged in a previous injury or surgery. As a result, the damaged nerve may send false signals of pain to the brain, despite there being no real cause of pain. In the case of a previous injury, the site of trauma may have completely healed but the central nervous system is still registering the site as a location of trauma.

Neuropathy Symptoms

There are several key symptoms associated with Neuropathy:

  • Normal movements become painful
  • Mobility is limited
  • May lead to a sedentary lifestyle
  • Pain will range from mild to severe
  • Pain may be experienced differently – For example: sharp, shock-like, shooting, etc
  • Numbness
  • Feeling of coldness
  • Tingling
  • Persistent numbness, tingling, or weakness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Insomnia

Neuropathic Pain Relief Treatments

First, your doctor will attempt to find the cause of the Neuropathy. Tests such as an MRI and Electromyography are conducted. If a cause is discovered, such as a herniated disc as the central cause of the pain, the appropriate measures are taken.

If no obvious cause is discovered, your doctor will focus on prescribing an effective pain relief method. The pain relief will depend on the individual and the severity of the neuropathy. Treatment options typically include medications, an active method of recovery such as physical therapy, and spinal cord stimulation for more complex cases.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Nerve Pain Treatment, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Chronic Pain and the Immune System

Chronic pain can impact physical and mental health in various ways. One of the physical consequences of chronic pain is the effect it can have on the function of the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illnesses. This can occur due to changes in T-cells, stress, or immunosuppressant therapy.

Changes in T-cells

The article, “Chronic Pain Changes Our Immune System,” published on painnewsnetwork.org (an online non-profit news source focused on chronic pain and pain management) on January 16, 2020, cites a study in which researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that chronic pain may affect DNA methylation (a process that changes the activity of a DNA segment). The study, conducted on rats, found that the genes in certain immune system cells that fight infections, called T cells, appear to be altered by chronic pain. Therefore, the body may not be able to fight illness or infection as well as it otherwise would.

Stress

Pain causes a stress response in the body, which leads to a rise in the stress hormone cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol reduce the immune system response. Stress can also decrease lymphocytes, which is a type of white blood cell that helps fight off infection.

Immunosuppressant therapy

Chronic pain can be associated with autoimmune conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune conditions, along with various other health conditions, may be treated with immunosuppressants. These medications, including corticosteroids and biologics, are often necessary to treat autoimmune and other health conditions, but a major side effect is lowered immunity to infections and infections that are more difficult to treat.

Helpful tips

Tips to help prevent illness despite having a weakened immune system include the following:

  • Support the immune system by getting plenty of sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and staying as active as possible.
  • Engage in proper hand hygiene (frequently wash the hands with soap for at least 20 seconds).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the home, office, and car.
  • Stay away from others who are sick or may be sick. Stay home as much as possible. Practice social distancing.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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Peripheral Neuropathy, Diabetic Neuropathy, Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler Center, Greenville South Carolina

Home Remedies for Diabetic Neuropathy

There are many complications due to diabetic neuropathy. Here is a list of lifestyle and home remedies to help manage diabetic neuropathy.

Watch your blood pressure

Hypertension, high blood pressure, is commonly seen in people with diabetes which increases the complications of diabetic neuropathy. The damaged blood vessels reduce blood flow. Always check your blood pressure to avoid any future complications.

Eating Healthy

The best way to control your blood sugar levels is watching what you eat. Focus on eating a well-balanced healthy diet full of fresh, unprocessed, whole foods. Reduce simple carbohydrates, and any added sugar or additive. Limiting your saturated and trans-fat intake and sticking to unsaturated fats. Eating lean proteins, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids help lower or maintain complications. Triglycerides are high risk factors for diabetic complications. In place of table sugar, use stevia to avoid spikes in your blood sugar levels. Drink lots of filtered water and avoid soda, juices, and other sweetened drinks. Always read the nutrition label to know what is entering your body.

Staying active

Daily exercise and activity is the best way to control your diabetic symptoms, blood sugar, high blood pressure, healthy weight, and flexibility. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 30 minutes of moderate-intense exercise should be performed at least 5 times a week. If severe neuropathy is present, you might be recommended to non-weight-bearing activities such as bicycling or swimming.

Quit Smoking

If you have diabetic neuropathy, you are more prone to develop kidney problems. Therefore, reducing additional stress on the kidney from the toxins in smoking can help. Smoking is a risk factor for diabetic neuropathy and developing circulations issues in your feet. You have a higher chance than a nonsmoker to die of a heart attack or stroke.

Contact your healthcare provider if you need further assistance in controlling your diabetic neuropathy.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Pain Relief, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Ignore

7 Types of Pain You Should Never Ignore

Though it may be tricky to know if your pain is normal or if it is serious, certain types of pain should not be ignored.

Pain, pressure or a feeling of compression in your chest is a typical indication of a heart attack.  Heart attack pain expands to other parts of the body including the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, and back.  Women may ignore symptoms like sweating but women have more atypical symptoms that could be due to something else.

A severe headache worries many people who think they may have a brain tumor.  A lot of the brain lacks nerve endings, so most headaches will have other causes.  Though it is uncommon, a severe pain in the brain may indicate stroke or blood clot.  Be watchful for other symptoms including stiff neck, fever, confusion, weakness, or numbness as well as throwing up and fainting.

Lower back pain may be caused by regular wear and tear but in serious cases, it may be caused by infection, tumor, ruptured disc, and kidney stones.  Pain in the lower back may also be caused by heart disease, and it may also precede an aortic dissection which is a  serious problem in which the blood vessel to the middle and lower parts of your body bursts.

Pain in the abdominal region may be caused by a burst appendix.  In this case, you would need to go to the emergency room immediately.  Pain in the stomach may also be caused by pancreas issues, blocked bowels and ectopic pregnancy.

Calf pain may result when your leg is swollen, red and painful.  This could be caused by blood clot blocking a vein.  Deep vein thrombosis can move from your legs to your lungs and can be deadly.

Hand and foot pain may be caused by diabetes, a condition that can happen any place but is most common in hands, arms, feet, and legs.  The longer you have been afflicted with diabetes, the greater risk of suffering nerve damage.  Pain caused by peripheral neuropathy is often described as “pins and needles” or “shooting.”

Pain that cannot be identified may be caused by depression or anxiety.  Mood disorders may make it difficult to pin down the exact cause of pain.  Pain may be present in the joints, arms and legs, back, and head.

Article Provided By: Pain Scale

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SC
If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Peripheral Neuropathy, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

5 Coping Skills for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain not only affects the body, it also affects the mind. While medical treatments for chronic pain are essential, they work best when combined with mental and emotional coping skills.

Skill 1: Learning

When diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, learning about the condition can ease the fear of the unknown. Individuals should be well-educated by a physician or other reputable resource(s) about their condition and treatment plan.

Participating in self-management education (SME) programs for chronic health conditions may also be helpful. These programs teach chronic pain management strategies that help to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. More information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Skill 2: Accepting

Acceptance of chronic pain does not mean giving up or not investing any effort to reduce pain and increase quality of life. Instead, acceptance of a chronic pain diagnosis means recognizing the reality of the condition, which eases the emotional struggle with the situation. Acceptance of chronic pain allows individuals to focus on management and treatment.

Accepting chronic pain is a challenging skill that may be best addressed with a counselor or therapist. Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) have proven to be effective treatments for individuals with chronic pain conditions.

Skill 3: Relaxing

Relaxing while in pain can be challenging, but it is possible. Persistent pain can increase stress, and stress can increase chronic pain. It can become a vicious cycle.

Various relaxation techniques and practices, such as mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, can decrease the stress response, which can reduce chronic pain. Relaxation tapes, online tutorials or videos may also be helpful.

Biofeedback can also help with relaxation. During biofeedback training, a professional uses technology to help individuals learn to control bodily functions, such as heart rate and muscle tension. Once these skills are mastered, they can be practiced without the use of technology.

Skill 4: Pacing

Activity pacing is a skill in which individuals learn to pace themselves throughout the day in order to conserve energy and prevent increased pain. This often involves dividing large tasks into smaller ones. It can also include adjusting schedules. For example, if an event or activity is scheduled for the evening, activity pacing throughout the day helps conserve energy both physically and mentally.

Skill 5: Coping

The skill of coping involves using treatment tools, distraction techniques and learned skills when pain becomes severe. Coping treatment methods include taking pain medication, using hot and cold therapy, applying topical creams, getting a massage, etc.

Distraction techniques can also help individuals cope by focusing attention away from negative or painful thoughts. Watching a favorite movie, talking to a friend, or participating in a hobby or pastime are all examples of distractions.

It is important to note that even when these coping skills are mastered, unusual levels or unfamiliar types of pain should be discussed with a physician.

Article Provided By: PainScale

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SC
If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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