What is neuropathy: What causes neuropathy?

Many people these days don’t know what is neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy (better known as just “neuropathy”) is a series of disorders caused when the nerves of the peripheral nervous system are damaged. The peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves located outside and around the spinal cord and brain. Although the damage itself happens in the spine, the symptoms can appear almost anywhere in the body. The extent of the problem also varies greatly from one person to the next. Some people only have one or two nerves affected, while others suffer from extensive nerve damage throughout their whole body.

Causes of neuropathy:

Neuropathy treatment

Understanding what is neuropathy can help you cope with this condition and live a happier life.

A number of factors can lead to the development of neuropathy, so figuring out the cause it’s not always a straightforward thing. Hereditary disorders, diabetes, kidney failure and autoimmune disorders (such as lupus) can all cause nerve damage.

Maybe more surprising is the fact that alcoholism can lead to neuropathy. This is because many alcoholics have a poor diet and vitamin deficiency can damage nerve connections. Exposure to heavy metals, chemotherapy drugs and some infections (hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS) can damage nerves as well. Perhaps the most obvious cause of neuropathy is trauma. Sports injuries or motor vehicle accidents can cause nerve pressure or trauma that result in neuropathy.

Symptoms of neuropathy:
It’s often hard to identify neuropathy because the symptoms vary widely depending on which nerve was damaged.
The earliest symptoms of neuropathy often appear in your toes because these are the longest-reaching nerves in your body. The hands are often affected as well. Common symptoms in your hands and feet include numbness, prickling and tingling, burning pain (either constant or a sharp pain that comes and goes) and extreme sensitivity to touch. As the problem extends to legs and arms, it can cause lack of coordination or muscle weakness. Naturopathy pain usually occurs on both sides of the body (both hands, both feet) at the same time, so that’s an easy way to determine if you’re suffering from neuropathy or something else.

 

Neuropathy treatment:
Treatment of neuropathy is two-fold. Doctors will first try to ease the symptoms, such as pain. Oral pain relievers are the most common prescription for neuropathy, and some patients also use Lidocaine patches and capsaicin cream to control discomfort. Your doctor could also recommend transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to ease pain and help your muscles relax. Aside from treating the symptoms, doctors will also try to figure out what caused the neuropathy in the first place, so they can address the underlying cause. This might require a number of tests unless the cause is obvious, such as in the case of an accident.

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