For years, clinician treating degenerative diseases as well as peripheral neuropathy have focused almost exclusively on symptom control with medication. Now we know that many patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy have metabolic syndrome as the root cause of their illness. With the rampant obesity in the United States, those numbers will continue to grow at an alarming rate. Knowing that, we have no excuse not to step up to the plate and treat the whole patient. Not just prescribing drugs when essential but designing treatment protocols that address:

• Lifestyle changes
• Nutrition education and changes in diet
• Biomechanics and exercise

Let me just say – if you aren’t interested in taking a hands on approach to the treatment of your patients…really getting to know them and guiding them through the regimen, this program is not for you. Just standing back, prescribing and not getting involved – really involved – with treating the whole patient leads to nothing but frustration. For you and your patients. And when patients get frustrated, they don’t follow your instructions, they stop coming to you for treatment and over the long haul, they certainly don’t refer friends and family. Especially in patients with diabetic neuropathy, treating the underlying cause and addressing your patient’s lifestyle is essential to any hope for success and recovery. Today, we’ll start with some basic lifestyle changes to discuss with your patients on the first “getting to know you” visit. Feel free to pass the next couple of pages of this post out to your patients as a take home reminder of what you talked about. (Practice Tip: Pay particular attention to how receptive they are to making these very basic changes. That will give you an indication of how dedicated they are to getting better). Improving Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome Through Basic Lifestyle Changes

1. Get some exercise.

We will keep on saying this. If you’re going to lose weight, you have to exercise. Proper diet and regular exercise leads you to a better and healthy life. It is the best way to prevent metabolic syndrome. Having said that, if you’re exercising and the scale isn’t moving, don’t worry about it. Even if you don’t lose an ounce, exercise can lower blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels (both good and bad cholesterol) and even improve insulin resistance.

If you’re just getting started with an exercise program and the most strenuous thing you’ve done in a while is a frantic search for the TV remote control, start slowly. Don’t expect to run a marathon in a month. Start with just walking more. Park your car not very near on the malls exit for you to take even a short walk. And sometimes, take a walk and have a break. If you’re not able to get out, walk around your home.

Work your way up to increasing your physical activity so that you’re doing some kind of exercise at least five days a week. The key is start slowly and slowly increase your activity level. If you try to do too much at first, you’ll give up.

2. Eat a healthy diet.

Again, even if you don’t lose a pound, eating a healthy diet has benefits beyond weight loss. With your medical conditions, talk to your doctor about exactly what kind of diet you should be on before you start one. The latest fad diet can do more harm than good in people with certain medical conditions (especially heart disease and diabetes). Generally speaking, if you stick with a diet low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and salt and high in fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins, you should be in good shape. Make sure you balance your carbohydrate and protein intake to achieve a good balance. Ask your doctor how to do this if you’re not sure.

3. Take off some weight.

If you’re obese, it goes without saying that losing some weight will greatly improve (and, in some cases, eliminate) the medical conditions you’ve developed as a result of excess weight. Losing weight can improve every symptom of metabolic syndrome and make treating your other conditions, like peripheral neuropathy, much more successful.

4. Quit smoking.

If you smoke, you need to quit. Simple as that. Smoking itself is not a risk factor for developing metabolic syndrome but it significantly increases your risk of heart disease and damage to the vascular system. If you are smoking while you have a heart problem, this may cause to a serious or multiple illnesses.

5. Don’t stop taking your medication.

If you are on prescription medication for treatment of metabolic syndrome or peripheral neuropathy or a host of other illnesses, don’t stop taking it. Once you’ve successfully adapted your lifestyle and you’re making progress toward being healthy, you may find that some of your medications are no longer needed. But never stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your doctor first.

All five of these steps, in concert with the other pieces of the NeuropathyDR treatment protocol have produced phenomenal results in many of our patients. Your patients can be included in those numbers and you could share in the joy and satisfaction of giving someone their life back. Next time, we’ll talk about the corner stone of the NeuropathyDR treatment protocol – ReBuilder treatment device contributes a lot in regards to peripheral neuropathy and also helps other patients.

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