Peripheral neuropathy is a symptom that develops as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system. Peripheral nerves transmit information to the spinal cord and the brain from other areas of the body. If these nerves become damaged, information is manipulated and distorted, causing confusion in the brain. Subsequent symptoms include burning pain, tingling feet, muscle weakness/ foot pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, temperature intolerance, and changes in blood pressure.
At US Neuropathy Centers, we know that there are over 100 kinds of peripheral neuropathies, each with its own set of characteristics. Based on a thorough evaluation of a patient’s symptoms and a look at their medical history, your USNC provider can determine a correct prognosis and resulting treatment.
A look into a patient’s medical history is vital when diagnosing peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can be caused by an underlying condition or disease, nerve compression, laceration, and inflammation. The following ten risk factors help patients and doctors alike understand the development of their nerve pain.
Diabetes. Neuropathy is a disabling lower extremity condition that many diabetic patients encounter within their disease. According to research, about 50 percent of patients with diabetes will develop diabetic neuropathy. People with diabetes who do not manage their blood glucose levels properly are at an even higher risk of developing diabetic nerve pain.
Thyroid disorders. Metabolic disorders other than diabetes, including pre-diabetes, have a similar impact on nerve function.
Alcohol abuse. Alcoholic neuropathy is a result of poor nutrition and poisoning of the nerves through excessive alcohol intake. Experts say that as many as half of alcohol abusers will develop nerve pain.
Vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient that the body produces naturally. Serious anemia, nerve damage, and degeneration of the spinal cord may ensue if there is a sufficient deficiency of this fundamental vitamin.
Infections: Lyme disease, for example, is an inflammatory disease that produces a skin rash and joint pain. Nerve pain often develops as a result of weakened limbs. Other infections that may promote nerve pain include shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, and HIV.
Autoimmune diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, for example, cause the immune system to attack a person’s own nerve tissue.
Kidney and liver disorders. These disorders sometimes affect the immune system, which can manipulate information sent through the nerve pathways. Diseases of the liver and kidney affect the ability of the body to remove toxins from the blood, impacting the nerve function.
Exposure to toxins. This can be from drug ingestion, drug or chemical abuse, or some sort of chemical exposure in the environment (ie industrial workplace). Exposure to toxic substances can affect nerve function when blood flow to the limbs is hindered, reprieving nerve cells of oxygen.
Repetitive physical stress. Entrapment neuropathies are frequently developed from repetitive and forceful actions that require excessive motions of joints in the body. These activities can cause inflammation to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles, eventually leading to constricted nerve pathways.
Injury. Twisted an ankle and still have pain months later? This could be a sign of nerve damage or entrapment. The same can happen with other acute injuries, such as blunt trauma.
At US Neuropathy Centers, patients can expect the best care and most dedicated team who are encouraging throughout their treatment. For more information on symptoms of nerve damage and treatment options, contact a US Neuropathy Centers near you!
If you are suffering from neuropathy, please do not hesitate to call us at any of our US Neuropathy Centers locations. With offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, our neuropathy experts are easily accessible and here to help.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
@US Neuropathy Centers, 2014