Can Neuropathy Be Reversed?

by Martin Rutherford, D.C.

Dr. Gates: So today’s question is, “Can peripheral neuropathy be reversed?”

To answer that question, we really have to define “reversed.” We have to be very specific in terms of, are you thinking of a cure? For this, I’m going to kick it over to Dr. Rutherford for him to go through exactly what we’ve observed with this. And then I’ll impart some of my clinical experiences.

Dr. Rutherford: So, I do all the intakes here and those intakes are designed to assess a case, maybe make a preliminary diagnosis on what’s causing the peripheral neuropathy, which allows us to understand whether that patient can actually respond to types of things that we do, to say, that, to say, this. In doing that, my experience has been when somebody asks me, “Can my peripheral neuropathy be reversed,” more often, “Can it be cured?” That’s a complex question that requires a complex answer, which we’re about to give you.

So there are peripheral neuropathies that cannot be reversed or cured. Most [inaudible 00:01:12] be cured. But most can be reversed if the definition of reversed is stopping the downward progress, reversing it, healing the tissues to the degree that it can be healed in that particular person depending on how severe they are or what types of things they present with.

And so, ultimately, the answer is, reversal as a far as a cure is, I would say a small percentage can be cured. Most can be stopped and reversed, improved, the tissues can be improved. In those particular cases, because it’s not a cure, there’s an ongoing requirement that you keep doing the things that we tell you to do, or that you did, to get to the point where your neuropathy is 70, 80, 90, 100% improved, symptom-wise. And then, there are probably a small percentage that can be cured.

Dr. Gates: There are some that just can’t be helped, too.

Dr. Rutherford: Right. And that’s what we found, they can’t be helped. So, why don’t we give them some clarity on that?

Dr. Gates: Absolutely. We started working with peripheral neuropathy patients back in 2009. Many of you have been told [inaudible 00:02:31]. In working with peripheral neuropathy patients, we put two [inaudible 00:02:39] disciplines together. One is functional medicine, the other is [inaudible 00:02:42] that you have.

In functional medicine, it’s a nutritional approach to the body, trying to get to the underlying cause of the problem. For example, simply, if you have diabetes, we’re going to work with you dietarily. We are going to do certain supplementation strategies to fix gut bacteria, for example, watch our videos on it, to correct your blood sugar to get it tightly controlled.

There are a lot of studies in the neuropathy world where if they tightly control blood sugar, either neuropathy doesn’t happen or if it does happen, it’s much more mild in severity. But many doctors won’t do this because they’re worried about getting sued, because if they take your blood sugar too low, you can potentially pass out and hit your head.

Now then, there’s the other world of functional neurology where it involves stimulating nerves back to life. There are numerous studies in the peripheral neuropathy world where they can take someone with peripheral neuropathy [inaudible 00:03:34] through electrical stimulation or other forms of stimulation to the nerves, and the nerves actually start to regrow, they get more blood flow, the person feels better. However, it’s not a long-term solution, because as soon as you stop doing the electrical stimulation, all the symptoms come back. Because of this, this is why when you’ve seen your neurologist, they’ll tell you there’s nothing that can be done for peripheral neuropathy, because there’s no long-term solution.

So what we did is, we put these two models together and we started seeing some phenomenal results. We also saw some not-so-phenomenal results. Over the last seven years, we’ve really put our methods together and we’ve come up with a system that’s pretty accurate in figuring out whether a patient is going to be able to improve within our treatment paradigm or not.

So that’s why I say we’ve worked with some neuropathy patients and they can [inaudible 00:04:21] they cannot. And others, as Dr. Rutherford said, most in our office seem to be able to make that significant improvement. But what you have to realize is that it’s not a cure. It’s not a matter of winning the war, so to speak, where you go through a treatment program and then you never have to worry about your peripheral neuropathy again. You never have to focus on your diet again or pay attention to whatever supplements are designed to help your neuropathy problem. You have to stay vigilant of all those things and you have to do your at-home exercises once your program is done in order for your neuropathy to stay improved.

So that’s really our answer on “Can neuropathy be reversed?” We’re very close to finishing our book, about a chapter away. We’re hoping it’ll be done soon. We’ve talked about it for awhile, but we’re on top of it. That’s my take on this question.

Dr. Rutherford: One last interjection. To reverse it, you need to understand what the diagnosis is. You need to understand that there’s almost no such thing as idiopathic or cryptogenic peripheral neuropathy, if that’s something you’ve been told, because the medical books list at least 80 different causes of peripheral neuropathy. In our world, it’s probably more about 35 or 40, because so many of those causes are autoimmune problems and we kind of count that as one.

Nevertheless, however many causes there are, figuring out the cause, making the diagnosis, and understanding what the cause is, is what allows the reversible, and then addressing it, of course, is what allows the reversible cases to be reversed long-term.

Dr. Gates: The world’s foremost researcher on peripheral neuropathy has stated that idiopathic peripheral neuropathy, you should be able to figure it out most of the time. The reason why a lot of you are told that you have idiopathic peripheral neuropathy is not because you have bad doctors. Your doctors are very good and well meaning and highly trained. The reason is that insurance companies are squeezing doctors more and more to limit them on the number of tests they can run. So as a result, your doctors can get caught in the middle and say, “You know, we probably are not going to be able to figure this out. Go home and take…” whatever medication they prescribed.

Dr. Rutherford: Hopefully that answers “Can peripheral neuropathy be reversed?” And hopefully, you kindly will understand why that’s a little bit more of a complex answer than maybe you might’ve expected.

Dr. Gates: Exactly. So we’d recommend you go to powerhealthtalk.com. You can search peripheral neuropathy. We have many videos on peripheral neuropathy. And as Dr. Rutherford said, there’s 80 different causes of peripheral neuropathy. We’ve found great success with some of them. We found others where they’re more difficult, like the genetic neuropathies. So go there, access that information, watch the broadcasts. You can see references listed below the broadcast at the bottom of the page when you go to powerhealthtalk.com. We appreciate you asking this question.

Again, this is Dr. Martin Rutherford, certified functional medicine practitioner, also a chiropractor. I’m Dr. Randall Gates, board certified chiropractic neurologist, also a chiropractor. And thanks for watching.

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