The Neuropathy Chronicles 2.0

Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms   Hello Pain, My Old Friend   You might remember from one of our earlier posts, The Neuropathy Chronicles, how we managed to tame the burning foot pain that is so familiar to Superficial Siderosis patients. Two years later TCM is still the winner. We saw for ourselves how true this was during early spring when the electrical system of Gary’s heart (more on this later) decided to join the party. Complications led to pulmonary embolisms in five lobes of his lungs and long-term coagulation therapy. The TCM herbal blend Gary uses stumped the VA pharmacists. He cycled off his neuropathy formula in the hospital while they researched medication conflicts and stayed off them. Jump ahead two months and here comes the tingling. Pretty soon it progressed to full-fledged burning. The VA pharmacy was never able to find any negative information so they let him resume his Corydalis Relaxe™ with the understanding they would be monitoring him closely. TCM herbal blends work differently than commercial pharmaceutical medications. It takes, on average, two months for your body to reach a therapeutic level. TCM blends are not a quick fix. You can’t expect instant relief, but patience pays off. The…

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The Neuropathy Chronicles

Pain of neuropathy

Neuropathy: Burn Me, Stab Me, Shoot Me We touched on our search for some relief from peripheral neuropathy in our August blog post, QUARTERLY NEUROLOGY FOLLOW-UP. You’ll find an explanation of the type of neuropathic pain connected with Superficial Siderosis in MANAGING NEUROPATHIC PAIN. Sharp jolting stabs of burning pain across one or both feet was making it impossible to sleep. A short trial run of the prescription medication Lyrica was discontinued due to some very off-putting side effects. We were trying to avoid the opiate road for as long as possible, so in August we turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A tincture made from boiled rhizomes of the Corydalis Yanhusuo plant has been used to treat pain since the eighth century by TCM practitioners. Modern day researchers have identified twenty alkaloids, including tetrahydropalmatine (THP), which acts as a sedative and analgesic, as well as dl-Tetrahydropalmatine, Corydaline, Protopine, Tetrahydrocortisone, Bulbocapnine, Leonticine, Corybulbine-3 and Tetrahydro Columbamine. Corydalis has been used as an analgesic and antispasmodic to reduce pain. THP acts on the central nervous system to decrease nerve pain, and researchers noted that the herb was effective in reducing nerve pain in Seventy-eight percent of the patients tested. TCM practitioners…

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Quarterly Neurology Follow-Up

Quarterly Neurology Follow-Up The New Normal By the time we went to our quarterly neurology follow-up we had a pretty good list of questions. The cholesterol medication was a big one. What kinds of exercises could we safely add to the walking? Did we need to see a Neuroopthamoligist instead of our ophthalmologist? What alternatives, besides prescription medications, were there for the neuropathy pain, body, and joint pain? The hand and trigger finger problems had become extreme. Some days it is impossible to hold a fork or use a knife. Was this even SS related? What decision had the doctor come to in regards to searching for an active bleed? The Statin Question Our neurologist agreed pretty quickly we had a valid concern about the ten-year history of statin use. She reviewed cardiac health history. His parents had both been treated long-term for high cholesterol. Gary’s number had a history of being high at times; it was not at a level now that would suggest he was in a high-risk category. Blood pressure was stable. Plus there was the bonus of the chelation diet regimen. We avoid all red and organ meat five days a week and load up on the…

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Rethinking Cholesterol Medication

myelin axon nerve cell

Rethinking Statin Use   Are you a long-term user of popular statin drugs on the market? Studies are convincing it’s time to rethink cholesterol medication use if you’re in a high-risk, neurodegenerative patient group. If you are already fighting nerve degeneration, there is evidence your cholesterol medication may be contributing to peripheral nervous system damage. 25% of the adult population in the US, over the age of 45, is now on a prescribed statin. The popularity of cholesterol-lowering medication was rolled out with both an advertising blitz and a push from industry drug reps. Physicians initially thought statin drugs had few side effects. For the high-risk individual who has heart disease, statin drugs can be a life-saver, lowering bad cholesterol by as much as 50 points.    Does My Body Need Cholesterol   Cholesterol has become synonymous in the public mind with heart disease. Cholesterol is bad, bad, bad; an ingrained mantra pounded into our subconscious. If your arteries become blocked and you suffer a heart attack, then yes, you have a problem. For people with neurodegeneration, cholesterol plays a vital part in trying to maintain healthy nerve function. 25% of cholesterol resides in your brain as Myelin Sheaths.  The parts…

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Managing Neuropathic Pain

Hello, Switchboard I’ve Been Disconnected   One of the better explanations I found during our search for ways to manage neuropathic pain associated with Superficial Siderosis was a quote from Dr. Corey W. Hunter¹. “Typically, a healthy nerve will only send a signal when it is stimulated, e.g., a nerve in the hand that senses temperature will stay quiet until the hand gets near the flame on the stove. However, an injured nerve is like a broken telephone that rings when no one is calling (burning) and is unable to get a dial tone when you need to make a call (numbness). Even when it has nothing of importance to say to the brain, the nerves will send a message and a confused message at that. The “confused” message can be interpreted by the brain as pain or strange sensations like “pins and needles.” Over time, the spinal cord can become accustomed to getting bombarded by a nerve that never seems to turn off and makes adjustments to account for it. So, even once the nerve manages to stop firing, the spinal cord has become so used to sending that signal that it will take over and keep doing it…

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