More than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy exist, all of which can impair function to the either the motor, sensory, or autonomic nerve groups. Each peripheral neuropathy condition has its own set of characteristics, with common symptoms including pain in the foot or hands, numbness, tingling (pins and needles), burning and muscle weakness, but could progress to painful cramps, muscle loss, bone degeneration, and changes to the skin, hair, and nails.
At US Neuropathy Centers, we understand the toll that neuropathy can take on a patient’s life. Whether you have been living with peripheral neuropathy for years, or have just starting experiencing symptoms, our physicians are dedicated to providing treatment that looks beyond simply managing the symptoms.
Sensory nerves communicate information about different bodily experiences such as feeling the sun’s warmth or feeling pain from a cut. When there is damage to the sensory nerves, a complex range of symptoms may result. Large sensory fibers translate feelings such as vibration and touch. When damaged, a person’s ability to feel these sensations is lessened, resulting in numbness, especially in the hands and feet. In some cases, patients with sensory nerve damage may have a loss of reflexes.
Damage to smaller sensory fibers affect temperature sensations. This kind of damage interferes with the ability to feel pain or temperature variances. For instance, a person may fail to realize they have been injured from a burn or a cut. For patients with diabetes, loss of pain sensation is a serious problem, often contributing to a higher chance of foot amputation. Skin receptors can also become oversensitized when damaged, causing people to experience pain from a stimuli that is normally painless (ie bed sheets draped over the body).
Autonomic nerve damage symptoms are dependent on the organs that are affected. Autonomic nerves control biological activities such as breathing and digesting food. Damage to these nerves can be life threatening and may require emergency care. Symptoms of autonomic nerve damage include loss of bladder control, loss of muscle control, and inability to sweat normally. Patients may feel lightheaded and dizzy, especially when sitting or standing quickly.
Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by a number of sources such as physical trauma, kidney disorders, hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, vascular damage, stress, or autoimmune diseases. If you are one of the 20 million Americans that suffer from peripheral neuropathy, come and see a specialist at any of our US Neuropathy Centers, today!
If you are suffering from neuropathy, please do not hesitate to call us at US Neuropathy Centers.
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, 2018