1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Book Review: Neuropathy by Philip A. Straw, D.C.

Discussion in 'Diabetes Complications' started by Winnie53, May 3, 2015.

  1. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,108
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I became interested in peripheral neuropathy after I was asked by my doctor's nurse if I was experiencing muscle weakness, to which I replied "no".

    I lied. It was enough having to fend off two prescriptions that day - (six weeks earlier I'd had an unexpected blood level glucose level of 282 mg/dL (15.7 mmol/L)). I just couldn't deal with one more "problem".

    On the way home, I kept thinking, "What does muscle weakness have to do with type 2 diabetes?" A quick search on the internet answered my question. It's an early sign of diabetic neuropathy. Great...

    My first thought was to keep doing what I was already doing: controlling my blood glucose with the LCHF diet, tracking my progress, walking daily, taking nutritional supplements, etc. But as I began to meet and talk with people who were living with it, I became concerned again. In part because I wanted to help them, but also because I wanted to help myself.

    When asked, the diabetes support group leader told me nothing could be done for their member's neuropathy other than pain management. I couldn't accept that. But as I began looking at books on Amazon, I began feeling discouraged. After hours of reading book reviews, I was only able to find one, maybe two books I'd consider buying. The best, a book titled, Neuropathy: How To Relieve Foot Numbness, Tingling, Burning, and Cramping Without Drugs or Surgery (2014) by Philip A. Straw, D.C. only had three reviews: one negative, one neutral, and only one descriptive enough to persuade me to buy it.

    Finally read the book this weekend. It's a keeper. I've added it to my to my diabetes library.

    Part I is about 83 pages. Part II is 136 pages and consists of menus and recipes. There's quite a few I'd like to try.

    Dr. Straw received his doctor of chiropractic in 1995 and began his career as an alternative healthcare professional in 1997. In 2001, he started a complementary alternative medicine practice.

    In 2006, he saw a patient that "changed everything". Lauren, a mother of two boys, both under age five, was in her thirties and seeking help for chronic pain. She had a history of two failed surgeries and was taking five Vicodin a day. After six weeks of care, she was still taking five Viodin a day. They failed her too.

    After six months of research, they "invested in $250,000 of new technology" to treat chronic pain. They called Lauren, asked her to come back, and after only six weeks of treatment, she was "95% free of chronic pain". By the end of the third month of treatment, she was "healthy, normal, pain free". She had her life back. The treatment worked.

    Today, 100% of Dr. Straw's practice is focused on treating peripheral neuropathy.

    The book covers the basics: causes, diagnosis, treatment, what peripheral neuropathy is, additional causes, and the standard medical treatment which is monitoring, drugs and more drugs. Most of their peripheral neuropathy patients are in their late 60's, 70's, or 80's.

    It's estimated that 60 to 70 percent of those with diabetes will develop peripheral neuropathy. Surprisingly, twenty percent of their patients are pre-diabetic. Some didn't even know they had diabetes.

    In addition, he writes, "New research done in 2011 came to the following conclusion, 'Long term treatment with statins caused a clinically silent but still definite damage to peripheral nerves when the treatment lasts longer than two years.'" However, he doesn't state what percentage of patients. He continues, "Since 2001, there have been twelve other studies that have linked statin drug use with peripheral neuropathy." Again, percentage of patients affected is not stated.

    Another surprising revelation was gluten's role in peripheral neuropathy: "A 2006 study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery and Psychiatry came to some startling conclusions. In particular, this study concluded that 34 percent of those with peripheral neuropathy, whose cause could not be determined, tested positive for gluten sensitivity."

    He lists twenty-six other causes of peripheral neuropathy, one of which is low levels of B vitamins.

    One of the things I appreciated about the book were his descriptions of how peripheral neuropathy begins, progresses over time if left unchecked, and affects quality of life. I hadn't considered how difficult it would be to drive a car if I can't feel my foot on the gas pedal or brake.

    The Straw Protocol focuses on things many of us are already doing: maintaining normal blood glucose levels, eating a "low inflammation" diet (which is essentially the LCHF diet), taking supplements, and exercising.

    He explains why it's so important to increase glutathione levels:

    "Glutathione is the largest antioxidant in the body and is nothing short of essential. Each cell of your body produces glutathione. Chronic inflammatory conditions reduce the level of glutathione in the body. This in turn, becomes quite problematic."

    "Lower glutathione levels lead to a free-radical buildup in the body. In turn, this causes more damage. Patients will suffer from more cellular and nerve damage, as well as more damage to the arteries and the capillaries, inhibiting circulation, and so on. The goal should be to slow down or stop this process to see real and lasting improvement."

    To increase levels, a list of foods to eat is provided, daily exercise is increased, and a list of supplements to take are provided: acetyl-glutathione, this form only for absorbability, alpha lipoic acid, n-acetylcysteine, l-glutamine, selenium, and vitamins benfotiamine, a form of B-1, and B-12.

    In addition, there are three types of technology they use with patients: Hakomed nerve stimulation, LED light therapy, and vibration therapy.

    "Hakomed nerve stimulation is an effective way to address damaged nerves. This treatment uses computer-modulated electronic signals to decrease nerve pain and increase your ability to feel your feet. This treatment process helps improve the connection between the nerves in your feet and your brain." It was developed in Germany.

    LED light therapy "works to help the body get more blood to the feet and/or hands. Infrared light has been found to stimulate nitric-oxide release and cause local vasodilation, which improves circulation and helps to heal the damaged nerves." He says NASA did extensive research on this technology and it's available at www.msfc.nasa.gov.

    The first two therapies are provided three times a week at the clinic, the latter at home.

    Vibration therapy has "been shown to increase circulation to the feet and stimulate the nerves that help with balance."

    One of the reviewers of the book was discouraged because it was believed that these three therapies were inaccessible, but I did a search today, and found that the LED light therapy is offered at a pain clinic located south of me.

    For me, the take home message from the Straw's Protocol is to do the parts you can at home through diet, supplementing, and exercise, and to stay physically active. Not all diabetics develop peripheral neuropathy. It's possible for many of us to prevent or reverse it.

    After some searching, I was able to find an interview with one of the doctors at Dr. Straw's clinic. It provides an overview of the treatment they provide...



    I think Dr. Straw is both passionate and an innovator. We need more healthcare professionals like him.

    Unrelated to Dr. Straw, his clinic, and book, I also found a 48 page booklet on peripheral neuropathy today that discusses additional nutritional supplements, The Top 5 Nutritional Supplements for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy by podiatrist Robert Creighton, DPM...

    http://creightonwrites.com/

    Dr. Crieghton's Nutrientology publication is also interesting. I spent an hour or so reading his articles.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    #1 Winnie53, May 3, 2015 at 5:56 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2015
  2. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    • Like Like x 2
  3. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,108
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Catherine, thanks for sharing that link. I'd done an internet search on the doctor's name yesterday and read about the 2012 fine, but hadn't done a search on the "Straw Protocol". I do understand Professor London's concern.

    Is Dr. Straw out to make money? Yes, I think so. Is he aggressive in his marketing? Yes, I think so. Does that make him wrong? Maybe. If he shows a consistent pattern of treating patients that he knows from his clinical experience will not benefit, his house of cards will fall. He says he's not doing that. Time will tell.

    In the US, we have complaint processes available in every state that eventually leads to the shut down of "bad" doctors. While taking advantage of the elderly is easy, many of them have adult children who are looking after their parent's best interests, and of those, a few will go after the "bad" doctors. All it takes is one "bull dog".

    I come from the health-related, self-help community. In 1991, I founded and led a successful education and support group for eight years. In 1999, I realized I also had a financial responsibility to my family, so I stopped volunteering 20 - 30 hours a week helping people and got a paying job. I missed it though. In 2003, I began working for a local, health-related, non-profit as an information and referral specialist, something I loved doing for twelve years, but the pay was awful and the hours long.

    Over the last twenty-five years I've seen one doctor's rise to fame and fortune who is similar to Dr. Straw. He made a lot of money, helped a lot of people, was endlessly attacked by the medical community, likely still is, yet he's still out there doing his thing. I see his face every where now.

    I've also watched the career of another doctor who never has been about making a lot of money or aggressive marketing tactics, who was ahead of his time in his treatment methods, who helped a lot of people, who battled one attack after another, again from the medical community. To give you an example of what he's been through, he got in trouble for suggesting a patient should take Vitamin C for chronic sinus infections. Thankfully, he's also still doing his thing, and I'm always happy to see his name in print. He's a good doctor and man, through and through.

    I guess to bottom line this, all I care about is whether what the doctor is doing works, and if the majority of his patients are being helped.

    My advice to anyone who is considering a new and innovative treatment is to contact education and support groups/organizations near where the treatment is being offered and make inquiries. If that's not possible, ask the clinic if any of their patient's are willing to be interviewed by phone. Another option would be to find out specifically what equipment they are using and research it that way. Usually, those steps will give you enough information to decide whether or not to schedule an initial consultation. :)
     
  4. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,108
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Oh, I should also add that Dr. Crieghton, who wrote the 48 page booklet I linked too, acknowledges that his wife owns a company that sells the nutritional supplements that he "promotes" in his booklet. :)
     
  5. anna29

    anna29 Type 2 · Well-Known Member
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    4,789
    Likes Received:
    3,131
    Trophy Points:
    178
    :cool: Cool - have found this thread really interesting .
    I have motor ataxia and it certainly affects my muscles .
    This really does affect my balance, mobility, co-ordination and speech .

    As a diabetic I have to strive for a lowered and steadier balance with my BG levels .

    Motor balance weakness/numbness on the left side currently .
    Dystonia possibly? they say also could be affecting my neck and voice/swallowing .

    Muscles do far more than we appreciate I have realised .
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,108
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Anna, I think it would be really interesting to find out specifically what three types of equipment this clinic is using so we can learn more. What people often forget is that it's rare for a treatment to be offered only in one place.

    Anna, how do you feel about how your were evaluated and diagnosed for your complications? Where are you now in this process? Or are you reasonably confident in your diagnosis and treatment?

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    I now think all diabetics should read one book, cover to cover, on peripheral neuropathy. I don't know if I can prevent it, stop its progression or reverse it, but I'm going to give it my best try.

    Last December, I had something really weird happen to me.

    During the third day of our annual fundraising event, my muscles got really tight and sore from all the physical work I was doing. This is normal for me. I've been doing this event for 12+ years.

    The afternoon of the Gala, I was walking briskly through the Silent Auction room when I felt a pop and a lot of pain in the back of my right calf. I immediately sat down. I think I must have screamed too. I panicked. Thankfully, someone asked me if I still had full range of motion in my foot. I did. They then asked me if I wanted to stand up, I did. I then found that if I walked on my toes and kept my heel off the floor, I could walk, so I kept on going. Fortunately, we had enough volunteers there to take over the physical aspects of what needed to be done. Got through the Gala okay. Finished up around 2 a.m. and left to get something to eat. My foot and leg was so swollen, it took me 5 minutes to walk from my car to the front door of the restaurant. Took and anti-inflammatory to get through delivery and clean-up the next day.

    I called the doctor first thing Monday morning, and was seen within 2 hours. Turns out it was an Achilles tendon tear. The surgeon the doctor consulted said, if she was able to walk on it the entire night, it's a minor tear and no surgery will be needed. Fit her with a boot and refer her for physical therapy.

    Now here's where it gets interesting. I was able resume walking without the boot within 3 weeks. The physical therapist told me that doesn't happen, that I had to have been misdiagnosed. 6 to 8 weeks in the boot with physical therapy is the norm. Yet, he agreed that all of my symptoms pointed to a small Achilles tendon tear. What was strange though is that most people don't tear tendons from muscle tightness and soreness while walking briskly.

    Two months later, a doctor tested my blood glucose and that's when I learned my diabetes was so badly out of control.

    Looking back, I now wonder if the high blood glucose and/or reduced blood supply played a role in the small tear in my Achilles tendon. I read somewhere that high blood glucose can make tendons stiffer. Wish I could find that information again. Jenny Ruhl talks a little bit about the blood supply problem in her online article, "Diabetic Tendon Problems"... http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/16162241.php

    In the months following the injury, I had all kinds of weird, sharp pains throughout my legs, but only when I walked long distances. I coped by resting for a minute then continuing, though at a slower pace. That problem is gone now (though my legs get stiff from sitting for long periods). Was that muscle weakness? Or something else? Yesterday, I recalled another problem that began about a year ago. I would be walking or standing with papers or car keys in my hand and drop them for no reason. I'd never done that before. That problem also has stopped. Eventually I'll figure it out.

    For now, I'm just really grateful that I'm better now, and that all of my problems so far have been minor and temporary. And I'm determined to learn everything I can about diabetes and it's complications. :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #6 Winnie53, May 3, 2015 at 9:20 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2015
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook