No, you’re not going crazy. It may be small fiber sensory NEUROPATHY!
Are you one of the millions of Americans who suffer with a bizarre symptom complex of chronic widespread pain, numbness or tingling in your extremities, G.I. issues such as constipation, bladder problems, dry eyes and no doctor can tell you the cause? Possibly you have been given the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and/or peripheral neuropathy. You may have been treated with drugs such as Cymbalta, gabapentin or Lyrica. These drugs do nothing to correct the underlying cause of your disorder, but have potent side-effects. New research has now explained this baffling disorder and its causes.
The symptoms can start out as a numbness or tingling in the extremities, along with painful sensations such as stinging, burning, itching, aching, or electric shock-like feelings. Also, a normal stimulus can create unpleasant sensations such as the sheets across the feet feeling like pins and needles. Worst of all these symptoms can occur anywhere in the body including the arms, legs, torso, face or even the mouth.
Usually individuals have been everywhere and none of the exams or tests so far have come up with anything. If this happened to you, you may even begin to wonder if you’re going crazy! Well rest assured that you are not; you probably have a disorder now recognized as small fiber sensory neuropathy or SFSN. Maybe you have seen a neurologist and even had normal EMG and nerve conduction studies, and they have “ruled out” peripheral neuropathy. But not so fast, these tests only detect large nerve fiber neuropathy, which usually develops years after suffering with small fiber sensory neuropathy.
Well you can stop worrying because there are tests available that can diagnose this condition.
Can small fiber sensory neuropathy be reversed?
Small fiber sensory neuropathy can often be reversed if the underlying cause is discovered by a doctor who knows how to treat this condition with a holistic approach, more on this later. And you are not alone, some 20 million Americans over the age of 40 now suffer with some form of peripheral neuropathy. In most, this peripheral nerve impairment is predominately in the small nerve fibers (SFSN) which begins as pain, burning, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet but with normal EMG and nerve conduction studies. This disorder can even create more bizarre symptoms when it affects your autonomic nervous system, then it can really make you feel like you going crazy. Why? Because this part of the nervous system controls your heart rate, blood pressure, mucous membranes and even sexual function.
With small fiber neuropathy of your autonomic nervous system you may experience common symptoms such as dry eyes, dry mouth, dizziness when standing up, constipation, bladder problems, sexual dysfunction, trouble sweating and red or white skin discoloration. This mixture of nerve sensation and changes in body function can lead you, or even your doctor, to think it’s all in your head, but it’s not! It’s in your small fiber sensory nerves. And you need to be properly diagnosed and treated.
What causes small fiber sensory neuropathy?
Once diagnosed your doctor must then become a medical detective to find out the underlying causes. The underlying cause for the clear majority of these cases is abnormally high blood glucose and insulin spikes after eating. This happens in individuals with diabetes and those with prediabetes. Research has now established that many individuals with small fiber sensory neuropathy have normal fasting blood glucose on testing, but their blood glucose and insulin spikes high after meals. When this happens repetitively over time the small fiber peripheral nerves become damaged. Their doctor missed the cause because they did not do sufficient laboratory testing beyond the fasting blood glucose. I utilize serum HemoglobinA-1C, a glucose tolerance test and fasting insulin. There is a great deal more to be said on the subject, to learn more attend my upcoming FREE workshop on peripheral neuropathy.
The second most common cause is undetected nutritional deficiencies e.g. folate, B12, B6 and D3. There is a catch, your doctor cannot rely on a regular serum B 12 or folic acid to diagnosis problem, especially if you have numbness and tingling in your extremities. You need a more accurate form of testing for these deficiencies. For example, with folate and B 12 deficiency I utilize serum homocysteine and methylmalonic acid. Also, serum vitamin D3 must be checked to see that it is reaching adequate levels to treat peripheral neuropathy. Again, is a great deal more information to be explained so I highly recommend my FREE workshop, see below for details.
The third most common cause is that of autoimmune disorders that attack the peripheral nerves. Many times, this is missed because doctors are not screening for all the different autoimmune disorders that are growing in our society at an alarming rate. Once diagnosed you need a doctor schooled in a natural holistic approach in the reversal of autoimmune disorders. Central to this treatment is addressing “leaky gut”, food allergies and specific nutritional needs of the immune system.
Learn how you can get your life back, many others have done it and so can you! Do not believe it? Why not come and find out for yourself? What you got to lose but pain!
About Dr. Greg Fors
Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. As the clinic director of the Pain and Brain Healing Center in Blaine Minnesota he specializes in a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post-graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.