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Are Your Patients Impacted by Neuropathy?

 

More than 20 million people in the United States have been estimated to have some form of peripheral neuropathy, but this figure may be significantly higher—not all people with symptoms of neuropathy are tested for the disease and tests currently don’t look for all forms of neuropathy.1

 

Neuropathy is very common. The condition affects people of all ages; however, older people are at increased risk. It is estimated that around 10% of adults over 65 years of age report some degree of neuropathy. Among other commonly cited statistics, neuropathy is present in:

 

 

Nerve damage from diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy. It is more common in those who have had the disease for a number of years and can lead to many kinds of problems. Diabetic neuropathy can cause tingling, pain, numbness, and weakness in both feet and hands.

 

Peripheral neuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes. It plays a major contributory role in the initiation of foot ulceration and the subsequent development of lower-extremity amputation, resulting in severe disability, reduced quality of life, and a significant economic burden to the health care system.2 Diabetic neuropathy increases the risk of ulcers, foot infections, and noninvasive amputations, ultimately leading to long-term disability.

 

Another significant cause of neuropathy is chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Chemotherapy can cause degeneration of peripheral sensory and motor nerves and cause patients to present with sensory disturbances, balance problems or weakness. Several chemotherapeutic drugs are reported to cause neurotoxicity and can cause chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.3 Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy can cause severe pain and can affect your ability to do things like walk, write, button your shirt, or pick up coins. The options for preventing and controlling chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy without dose reduction or discontinuation or cessation of chemotherapy are difficult to identify.4 Recent data have shown that the consequences of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in cancer survivors may still remain up to 5 years after completion of treatment.5

 

Is it possible to reverse neuropathy?

 

One unique treatment for neuropathy is the ReBuilder®, a prescription device that can calm down your overactive nerves and wake up your underactive nerves. In addition, the healing signals of ReBuilder® healing signals include electronic muscle stimulation, which automatically strengthens nearby calf muscles (or arm muscles when used for hand pain) and increases local blood flow to enhance permanent healing. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs or TENS devices that simply numb your nerves, ReBuilder® supports and strengthens the nerves.

 

ATHM discussed the ReBuilder® with Dr. Josiah Fitzsimmons of West Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Fitzsimmons is a DC and is board-certified in neuropathy. He sees many patients on a regular basis, some traveling several hours for treatment. His clinic offers a 4-part process for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy. Number 1 is the ReBuilder®. His clinic also uses a low-level light therapy device to help stimulate the growth/regrowth of the arteries through the process called angiogenesis. Then they have a supplemental and nutritional protocol in which 4 different supplements are prescribed to help improve blood flow circulation, as well as decrease inflammation throughout the body. Finally, we recommend a better diet protocol such as the paleo diet. “We really try to put people’s bodies into an anti-inflammatory state. And then we use our in-office services where we work directly with their nerves with neurology-based care,” says Dr. Fitzsimmons.

 

We asked Dr. Fitzsimmons how long it takes before a patient sees results, he responded:“Based on when they come in, we actually classify everybody’s body based on what overall phase they’re in. And based on that, we give them an expectation for how long it’s going to take to get to maximum correction. We really explain it is very similar to wearing braces on your teeth: some people wear them for 1 year or 2 years, 3 years, 4 years. Based on the level of degeneration that they’re in, it’s going to take a longer overall amount of time to get improvement, but typically people start noticing improvements within the first few months and then the full maximum amount of improvement typically can take upwards of 18 to 24 months. ”

 

If you are looking for new solutions to treat neuropathy watch for our case report to be out soon.

 

References

1.  https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Peripheral-Neuropathy-Fact-Sheet#3208_1

2.  Boulton AJ, Vileikyte L, Ragnarson-Tennvall G, Apelqvist J. The global burden of diabetic foot disease. Lancet. 2005;366(9498):1719-1724. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67698-2

3.  Liu YW, Liu CT, Su YL, Tsai MY. A Narrative Review of Complementary Nutritional Supplements for Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy. Altern Ther Health Med. 2020;26(4):43-49.

4.  Stubblefield MD, Burstein HJ, Burton AW, et al. NCCN task force report: management of neuropathy in cancer. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2009;7(suppl 5):S1-S26. doi:10.6004/jnccn.2009.0078

5.  Kerckhove N, Collin A, Condé S, Chaleteix C, Pezet D, Balayssac D. Long-term effects, pathophysiological mechanisms, and risk factors of chemotherapyinduced peripheral neuropathies: A comprehensive literature review. Front Pharmacol. 2017;24;8:86.

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