Peripheral Neuropathy refers to a medical condition resulting from the damage to nerves transmitting messages to and from the brain, spinal cord, and the rest of the body. The nerves popularly referred to as peripheral nerves make up a complex network connecting the rest of the body (skin, muscles, internal organs) to the central nervous system. The condition is known to cause numbness, weakness, and pain usually in the feet and hands of the patients.
People suffering from peripheral neuropathy have always described the pain as burning, stabbing or sometimes tingling. After peripheral neuropathy has developed, very few types of the condition can be totally cured. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the symptoms of the condition. In some cases where the nerve cell is still alive, the nerve fibers can regenerate slowly. Treating the underlying cause of neuropathy is crucial to preventing future nerve damage. Here are 14 common causes of peripheral neuropathy;
Statistics indicate that nearly 50 percent of diabetes patients eventually develop peripheral neuropathy. However, not every patient of diabetes that develops neuropathy suffers pain as a result of the condition. High blood sugar levels damage nerves in the patient’s extremities and also in other parts of the body. As a result, the patient may not sense pain, heat or cold in the feet and hands. This means that you can never feel a deep cut or sore on your feet which is why patients are advised to constantly inspect their feet always. Even worse, a patient can develop foot ulcer without knowing especially if the shoe does not fit properly.
The consequences of peripheral neuropathy can be fatal especially when the symptoms are not detected early. For instance, an infection resulting to poor blood circulation poses the risk of the patient developing ulcers which may lead to amputation, or even death. Studies have established that individuals with diabetes can reduce their chances of developing neuropathy by keeping their blood sugar levels close to normal.