neuropathy and the link to both blood sugar and gluten

WHAT IS NEUROPATHY
AND
HOW IS IT RELATED TO BLOOD SUGAR AND GLUTEN?

Diabetes Neuropathy

Image by Milorad Dimic MD

Picture

Image by Stan Shebs

Because nerves are damaged by the “mildly” elevated blood sugar levels that most doctors ignore [see my first link below], almost one half of people with Type 2 diabetes already have detectable neuropathy by the time they have been diagnosed with diabetes. Many other people who are never officially diagnosed with diabetes but have higher than normal blood sugars also get “diabetic” neuropathy. It may be a major cause of the impotence so common among men in their 40s and older.     Jenny Ruhl, from Blood Sugar 101
Today is the last day of “Neuropathy Awareness Week” so I thought I would write a short post on the topic.  Because of our poor diets, Neuropathy is quite common here in America, affecting (according to the Neuropathy Association) at least 7.5% of the population — 1 in 15 people or 20,000,000.  The feet are the most commonly affected area, followed by the legs.  Next comes the hands and arms.  Notice the pattern?  The further away from the heart, the more likely the area will be affected by Neuropathy if the causal conditions are present.  Some of the most common Symptoms associated with Peripheral Neuropathy include:

  • Numbness, Tingling, or Burning — particularly in the toes / feet, or reduced ability to feel changes in temperature, especially in your feet and toes
  • A reduced ability to feel pain — OR a heightened ability to percieve pain (the lightest touch can be agonizing)
  • Muscle weakness and difficulty walking / Painful walking
  • Severe foot problems, such as ulcerations, infections, swelling, and arthritic changes

A popular online encyclopedia defines “Neuropathy” (aka “PERIPHREAL NEUROPATHY“) thusly:  “Damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may be caused either by diseases of or trauma to the nerve or the side effects of systemic illness.”  The thing that catches my eye here are the words “Systemic Illness”.  Would Diabetes be considered to be a Systemic Illness (a whole-body illness that affects multiple body systems)?  You better believe it would!  In fact, the number one factor in developing Neuropathy is whether or not you have UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR.  Be warned; huge numbers of you have this problem even though you do not realize it.   This is because you have not yet been diagnosed with DIABETES. The other thing heavily associated with Neuropathy is…….

Gluten (wheat / grain protein) is strongly associated with Neuropathy as well.  When I Googled “Gluten Neuropathy” I got well over one million hits.  I am not going to go into great detail about why GLUTEN is particularly NEUROTOXIC, but if you click links in the next paragraph, you will see that most of these are associated with Gluten Sensitivity.

Although there are lots and lots of causes of Neuropathy, some of the others that are common include HASHIMOTO’S HYPOTHYROIDISM, TOXIC DRUGS, FLUROQUINOLONE ANTIBIOTICS, STATINS, Alcoholism, SUGAR ADDICTIONS, MERCURY AND OTHER HEAVY METALS, some anti-seizure / anti-epileptic drugs, CANCER TREATMENT (radiation & chemotherapy), numerous AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, and Vitamin Deficiencies — most particularly the B-VITAMINS.

HOW WOULD YOU BEST TREAT YOUR NEUROPATHY?

Seriously, this is not as difficult as you might think.  If Uncontrolled Blood Sugar and Gluten are two of the most common factors in developing the problem, a starting point for everyone would be to go on a Low Carb (or better yet, PALEO) Diet.  As far as something to actually do for these patients, by far the best thing would be treating with a LASER.
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