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Telltale Symptoms of Neuropathy

Telltale Symptoms of Neuropathy

Imagine a world without communication. Without phones, texting, and email, life as we know it would nearly grind to a halt. 

The same is true of your body. 

Just below your skin is a complicated network of nerves that allows your brain to communicate with the rest of your body. When even one of those nerves is damaged, the result can be devastating. 

At the US Neuropathy Centers, our team of specialists wants you to be completely informed about the warning signs of a breakdown in your nervous system so you can get the treatment you need as quickly as possible.

A closer look at neuropathy

Neuropathy refers to damage to your peripheral nerves, or the nerves outside of your brain and spinal cord. 

Your peripheral nerves can suffer damage as the result of several conditions ranging from autoimmune disease to alcoholism. But many cases of neuropathy stem from diabetes or are idiopathic (have no apparent cause).

Neuropathy can target any of the three types of peripheral nerves: your sensory nerves (those that receive sensation), your motor nerves (those that control muscle movement), or autonomic nerves (those that control automatic functions, such as your blood pressure). 

Warning signs of neuropathy

Neuropathy can present itself in a variety of ways, and symptoms largely depend on the type of nerve that’s been affected. That’s why it’s important to recognize all of the ways it can manifest. Here are some of the most common signs of neuropathy.

Numbness and tingling

You may experience numbness and tingling as your nerves succumb to damage. It typically begins in the outer extremities, such as your feet and hands, before it travels up your legs and arms. And which limbs it affects depends on which nerve is damaged. 

Pain

Neuropathic pain is typically sharp, jabbing, and burning in nature. You may also notice that the affected areas become overly sensitive to touch and temperature. 

Loss of sensation

Conversely, nerve damage can also lead to loss of sensation, especially when your sensory nerves have been affected. 

Lack of reflex

When you touch a hot pan, your brain and nerves communicate to your hand to instantly remove it before you get hurt. After your nerves have been damaged, you may lose some of those automatic reflexes.

Paresthesias

Sometimes, nerve damage causes paresthesias, which is a difficult-to-describe sensation. Many describe it as unexplained itching or a feeling of pins and needles. 

Weakness

Nerve damage, particularly when it affects motor nerves, can cause your muscles to become weak, making day-to-day activities difficult. 

Lost muscle control and coordination

Similarly, neuropathy can lead to an inability to control your muscles. In some cases, it can become so severe that your risk of falling increases. 

Muscle spasms, twitches, and cramps

When your nerves can’t operate properly, they may fire off erratically and cause your muscle to spasm, twitch, or cramp. 

Paralysis

In some of the worst cases, neuropathy results in paralysis of your affected extremities. 

How we can help

Our first goal in treating neuropathy symptoms is to uncover the root causes. We conduct tests, such as electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies, and MRIs to pinpoint the location of the nerve damage. 

We also discuss your medical history, including your experiences with chemotherapy, injuries, and other health conditions that may affect your nerves. 

From there, we create your treatment plan, which, depending on your specific needs, may include:

If you suspect that your symptoms point to neuropathy and you’d like to be evaluated, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Marietta, Georgia, office today.

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