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Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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What Questions Do You Have?

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  • Could Vitamin D Deficiency Be Worsening My Neuropathy?

    In a word, yes. Nerve function is influenced by many factors, but numerous and recent studies have shown that those with neurological disorders often have a vitamin D deficiency. What does this mean? It means that although there is no proven causation, there is at least a proven link between the two. You can be tested in our office for vitamin D deficiency, and recieve nutrition coaching. There are many foods and supplements out there, but there are some in which the vitamin D is more "bioavailable," or more easily absorbed and used by the body. Our doctor and staff can guide you towards which treatments will be most beneficial for you. 

  • What is Neurogenx?

    Neurogenx is an advanced electroanalgesic medical device. It is used in a treatment for peripheral neuropathy. The therapy is called Combination Electroanalgesia Therapy, or CET for short. CET consists of two combined procedures. First, a local anesthetic will be applied to local nerves that are involved. This is so you will not feel any pain during the treatment. After the anesthetic is applied, Electronic Signal Treatment will be used. This is administered through pads that are attached to the affected areas of your feet. You may have had treatment similar to this before to increase medicine absorption or treat muscles. The difference is is in what type of electronic signal is used. The signal used in peripheral neuropathy treatment is much stronger than what is used during other treatments. The reason for the difference in signal is that to treat peripheral neuropathy, the signal needs to penetrate all the way through to affected nerves. The electronic signal is picked up by nerves, and as nerves begin sending and receiving signals again, nerve functioning is improved. 

  • My doctor said there's no cure for neuropathy. Do I just have to suffer?

    No!  Many patients are very discouraged about their neuropathy when they come into our office because they have been told this before. However, there are actually a wide variety of treatments that help neuropathy patients!  There are some things to consider when learning about neuropathy treatment options:

    1. There are many causes of neuropathy. For some people, it's a simple nutrient deficiency.  Once that is corrected, nerve function improves drastically. Other cases can be more complicated and treatment options will be more focused on slowing progression and managing pain rather than returning nerves to their perfect function.

    2. The symptoms of neuropathy vary from patient to patient.  For some, it can be very painful.  In those cases, we'd be focusing on sustainable ways to decrease pain.  For others, neuropathy is not painful but is more about a loss of function.  Those patients would have different treatment if pain is not the main issue.

    3. There are many treatments available for neuropathy. Just because you have tried one treatment, doesn't mean you should give up hope.  There are lots of effective options when it comes to treating neuropathy.  The Gibson Method used all over the country originated in our office from our very own Dr. Brandt Gibson.  He is an expert at methodically checking for causes of peripheral neuropathy and prescribing effective treatment.

    4. Not every office offers the same treatments. Some treatments that we offer in our office are not offered in other offices.  We stay on the cutting edge of treatments so that we can see the most improvement among our patients.  Similarly, we may not offer some treatments because they have been found to be ineffective compared with other options.  If you have questions, please call our helpful staff for information.

  • Are There Treatment Options For Neuropathy?

    Often patients, family members or others suffering with peripheral neuropathy (of any cause) are being told nothing can be done for the symptoms.  Others are given medications to decrease the symptoms.  But the real question is can neuropathy truly be treated?  Although neuropathy will not ever completely resolve (unless the cause is eliminated), and neuropathy is usually progressive throughout life, there are treatments that can keep neuropathy from progressing and keep symptoms in check throughout life.  One such treatment would be the use of vitamin supplements to treat neuropathy
    Our recommendation is that this should only be done under direction of your physician and after careful evaluation of your nutrition status.

  • Why Does My Neuropathy Pain Increase With A Lupus Attack?

    Whether or not your neuropathy is related to lupus, there has been some increased symptoms noted by many patients when having a lupus attack.  This is due to the inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis) that is related to lupus.  When the vaculitis is aggrevated by a lupus attack, circulation is decreased to an already compromised or weak nerve and symptoms are increased.  So whatever the cause of your neuropathy, lupus can make the symptoms worse.

  • Does Massage Help Peripheral Neuropathy?

    The short answer is YES.  The longer answer is discussed by The Neuropathy Doctor, including the reasons and studies that show massage is a good therapy for most cases of neuropathy.

  • Can Neuropathy Cause Me To Fall More?

    The simple answer is yes.  In fact, many people see a decreased balance with progression of neuropathy.  Although age can also cause some increased instability, peripheral neuropathy can lead to faster progression and poorer balance.  Neuropathy does cause falls and poor balance.

  • Can Gastric Bypass Surgery Cause Neuropathy?

    Yes.  Malnutrition has been shown to cause peripheral neuropathy and has been associated with alcoholism, gastric bypass surgery, intestinal disease, improper diet and will often present with a painful neuropathy.  Symptoms will present as "burning feet" and is often very painful.  In the case of Gastric Bypass Surgery, it is a problem of poor absorption of nutrients necessary for normal nerve function including B vitamins (specially thiamin, B12, folic acid and B6), copper and other important nutrients.   Since gastric bypass surgery is also associated with decreased caloric intake, it increases the probability of malnutrition.

    If you will be undergoing (or have undergone) gastric bypass surgery, discuss this possibility with your surgeon.  There may be supplements you can add to your daily intake to decrease the chances of peripheral neuropathy.

  • What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

    Neuropathy by definition is the malfunctioning of nerves, and can occur in any nerve of the body whether sensory nerve, autonomic nerves or even muscle nerves.  Sensory neuropathy (malfunctioning of nerves that provide sensation or sensory nerves) often presents as numbness, tingling, electrical shocks or shooting pains.

    Peripheral Neuropathy specifies involvement of nerves away from the brain and spinal cord (peripheral) and usually indicates the nerves to the legs and feet or arms and hands.  Peripheral Neuropathy usually presents in the feet first, but may progress to the hands.  The causes of neuropathy may vary but are becoming more understood.

    The Neuropathy Doctor discusses this unique entity through a regular blog and free information.

  • What is this

    When a nerve is inflammed or swollen, the bones in the ball of the foot (metatarsals) will put increased pressure on a nerve and you will feel the nerve pop up and down in the foot.  This "clicking" is called a Mulder's Click and will often be confirmation of a neuroma in that area.  A neuroma is a common cause of ball of foot pain.

  • In Treating Neuropathy, Can I Take Too Many Vitamins?

    Before providing a more complete answer, it should be understood that anything in "excess" can be problematic.  With that understood, most vitamins are eliminated from the body without difficulty (especially the water soluble vitamins) and don't cause many problems.  With that understood, there are some noticable exceptions:

    • Vitamin B6 - Is a well known essential vitamin that can cause peripheral neuropathy in deficiency or excess.  This should be limited to less than 200milligrams per day.
      Vitamin A - Overdose occurs at 100,000 units/day and can present with fatigue, insomnia, painful bones and joints, bone growth abnormalities, hair loss, itchy skin, loss of appetite (anorexia), decreased blood clotting time, and risks of birth defects or abortions during pregnancy.
      Vitmain D - Overdose occurs at 4000-10,000IU /day and can present with muscle weakness, joint pain, resorption of bone, calcification of soft tissues, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea.
      Vitamin E & K - Have some studies that exhibit overdose, but with unknown upper limits are associated symptoms.

    • Supplementation is an important adjuctive treatment for peripheral neuropathy.  However, care should be exercised in supplementing (even for neuropathy) and should be done under careful direction of your physician.

  • My feet are numb. Does that mean I have diabetes?

    Although diabetes is still the most common cause of numbness (neuropathy) to the feet, it is not the only cause.  There are actually close to 100 causes of neuropathy with diabetes only being one.  Diabetes is one of the causes that should always be evalauted.  For more information on numbness, see our Neuropathy page.