Neurotoxicity and Reversible Pain Syndromes
by Pamela Costello MD PC
In the last analysis, we see only what we are ready to see, what we have been taught to see. We eliminate and ignore everything that is not a part of our prejudices.
~ Jean-Martin Charcot (1825 – 1893)
Founder of modern neurology.
In my practice of holistic neurological medicine and as a neurosurgeon, I encounter patients daily with acute and chronic pain syndromes. My evaluation always considers such causes as nerve impingement, injured joints, discs, or lesions, and spinal malalignment, etc. In many cases, however, there is often a deeper, more elusive physiological cause to their pain syndrome involving neurotoxicity.
In the hospital setting, patients are seen acutely, often when trauma has occurred, or a physiologic process has reached a critical stage of crisis. These patients are managed according to standard emergency medical and surgical protocols. Conversely, in the office, most patients present with chronic pain syndromes, for which they are often desperate to find a remedy, as only palliative measures have been offered previously. Many of these patients have been suffering unnecessarily for varying lengths of time and have been economically and personally impacted by living with pain.
The good news is that pain syndromes are often reversible once the underlying structural and physiologic causes are identified. Such reversible syndromes would include migraine, cluster, and tension headaches, occipital headaches and neuralgias, neck and low back pain, facial pain, (Trigeminal Neuralgia and TMJ pain), thoracic pain, Shingles (Herpes Zoster) and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia, Myofascial Pain, Fibromyalgia, pelvic and abdominal pain, including dysmenorrhea, bladder pain, stomach and bowel pain, upper and lower extremity pain (including Restless Leg Syndrome), Carpal Tunnel Syndromes, all forms of peripheral neuropathy, and Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD), etc.
Neurotoxicity occurs when toxins accumulate in the neurological tissue of the body and undermine the functioning of the brain and nervous system. Long-term exposure to environmental toxins such as heavy metals, low grade infections, radiation, chemicals, food additives, pesticides, etc. can result in neurotoxicity. Chronic exposure to and bioaccumulation in the brain of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, iron, and aluminum, can lead to neurotoxicity, as can exposure to poisonous plants, animals, or molds.
The symptoms of neurotoxicity are largely reversible once identified and properly managed. Neurotoxicity symptoms resemble those of disease conditions such as the chronic pain syndromes listed above, but also of depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), chronic fatigue syndrome, the Autism Spectrum, as well as an array of autoimmune diseases, (Celiac disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and psoriatic or rheumatoid arthritis, etc.), all diseases notoriously unresponsive to conventional therapy. My experience in managing these conditions is that neurotoxicity is usually a contributing, underlying factor.
Once you’ve recognized that you might have a reversible pain syndrome, then what would be your next step for long-term cure and relief? Correct identification of all contributory, causal issues is required, and appropriate treatment undertaken. If the underlying cause of your pain or illness is toxicity, and your treatment plan does not include a detoxification regimen, your overall recovery is very likely to be incomplete and slower than it needs to be. Standard suppressive pharmaceutical management of pain syndromes typically does not provide long-term relief and cure, and the side effects can be overwhelming. Having the underlying neurotoxicity issues identified and safely managed is a necessary part of your care to provide long-term relief and cure, with the additional benefit of elevation of your general health as well.
If you’re dealing with acute or chronic pain and would like a comprehensive holistic neurological evaluation and treatment approach, please contact my office for an appointment at 505-503-8325.