Hello, I’m Dr. Randall Gates. I’m a chiropractor as well as being a board certified chiropractic neurologist.
We treat a lot of neuropathy in our clinic. We have a selection criteria for neuropathy patients. I say that because in our experience, not all diabetic neuropathy patients can be helped, but a certain number can in our experience. Relative to neuropathy, you likely have heard you have neuropathy, and if you’re watching this video you likely have diabetes, you or a loved one, and you know the suffering that goes along with it.
Lots of times people can’t feel their feet. They may have burning or tingling sensations associated with it. Maybe you can’t feel your hands and your balance is going downhill. These can have some major predictors for significant problems like hip fractures going forward. With that being said, you’ve likely been told that you have diabetic neuropathy, there’s nothing that can be done for it, go home and take your diabetes medications and we’ll give you some other medications that help with the pain or the tingling.
The current data is showing that nerves can be rehabilitated, even in diabetic populations, where they can shock nerves and force the nerves to work better. However, those results are short lived. They’ve also done studies where they’ll tightly control blood sugar, very tightly, maybe even using insulin to do so. That can decrease the inflammation in nerves, but it’s really not enough to help a person with diabetic neuropathy. They’ll use things called aldose reductase inhibitors which basically get sugar out of nerves.
Many times, by the point that somebody walks in with diabetic neuropathy, their nerves are dying or dead, there are some current changes in the nerves. Now those with diabetes, if you have Type I diabetes, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m studying the Rochester diabetic study that was conducted by Dr. Dyck. He’s out of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He showed that upwards of 66% of Type I diabetics will develop peripheral neuropathy, and I believe it’s 59% of Type 2 diabetics will develop peripheral neuropathy. We’re talking about a pretty significant percentage of the diabetic population.
We’re seeing that when someone has diabetes, the reason why the nerves start to die is that as sugar elevates and you can’t control it, because you can’t make enough insulin or your pancreas is completely dead as in Type 1 diabetes, then as a result with the sugar elevation, the sugar attracts water into nerves. Commonly, as we talked about in our other videos on pre-diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the nerves encoding pain and temperature start to be sacrificed first because they don’t have a lot of insulation around them. They’re termed small fiber nerves. Then, later on the large diameter nerves encoding things like vibration and where your toes are at and things like reflexes, they start to go as well.
That’s part of what’s termed the distal symmetric diabetic polyneuropathy, which is diabetic polyneuropathy, which is where all the nerves start to die because of these blood sugar elevations. Not only is it the swelling of the nerves that cause the nerves to die, but also when sugar goes into the outer portion of the nerve there’s a lot of inflammation in there. That inflammation can attract the immune system, and that can be part of either the nerve itself dying or the insulation around the nerve starting to be sacrificed as well.
We work with patients heavily, heavily, heavily through diet and lifestyle. You can find on our website powerhealthtalk.com a lot of videos of us discussing the relationship of our gut, believe it or not, and the bacteria in our gut in regards to obesity, in regards to blood sugar regulation like pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Basically, we’re finding that a lot of diabetics have problems with obesity, especially those that are Type 2. Those Type 2 diabetics can modulate their obesity or get rid of their obesity through changing their diet, but it’s more than just calories. It’s way beyond calories. Calories, in our opinion, are a thing of the past. It’s really about what types of food you’re eating, because the foods that we eat feed the bacteria in our intestines, and parts of those bacteria breaking up and going into our bloodstream are now being associated with diabetes.
Yes, I just said that. Watch our videos on I think it was metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and the gut. It’s on powerhealthtalk.com.
The problem for you is that now you have diabetes. You’re probably taking Metformin. You may be taking Glyburide. You may be taking even some insulin because you can’t control your blood sugar. Know that there are some things that possibly can be done to control your blood sugar better. Even by losing, let’s say, 5% or 10% of your excessive body mass can really do wonders to regulate your blood sugar.
Diabetes used to be thought of, and actually it’s still termed this, as a lifelong condition, you’re just going to have to learn to live with it. You know what? If you keep eating the standard American diet, and you keep eating what you want, and you don’t exercise, then, yeah, it’s probably going to be something that you have to live with.
You can blame your genetics on it. There are genetic components. But, know that new research is showing that it is a modifiable illness. It really is.
That’s what we see clinically in those patients that we select who we feel that we can help. Then, we couple our modalities nutritionally, and through lifestyle, and through some supplementation with peripheral nerve rehab to get the nerves working better, and in the properly selected patients, we see some pretty profound changes in some of our diabetic peripheral neuropathy patients.
That’s kind of the skinny on natural treatments for diabetic neuropathy. I feel that we hit the major points as well as need to be hit in a 5-minute little broadcast.
You can go, again, to our website, powerhealthtalk.com, for further data on other conditions, further data on diabetes, further information on peripheral neuropathy, and you can send us any of your questions. All right. Thank you for watching.