Peripheral neuropathy – Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Peripheral neuropathy – Causes, symptoms, and treatment

One of the important jobs of the central nervous system is to pass on the signals that come out of an organ. This is the epicenter, based on which the brain reacts. Imagine the nervous system sending out a wrong signal or a lesser signal. That is peripheral neuropathy for you. It is a disorder that occurs when these nerves malfunction due to an injury or an accident. As a result of this, the signal might get disrupted. They can send signals of pain when there’s nothing causing pain, or they might not be sending the signal, even if something is causing you an injury.

Causes of peripheral neuropathy:
Peripheral neuropathy can be due to a single factor or due to a combination of multiple factors. These can include an injury, an infection, an inherited disorder, or an illness. These can also occur in persons who are overweight and have a high blood pressure. It is common with old age and affects people who have diabetes. The major factors that cause peripheral neuropathy symptoms include:
– Diabetes
– Alcoholism
– Vitamin deficiency and poor nutrition
– Hereditary and acquired neuropathies from external factors like environment, illness, accident, or trauma
– Cancer and chemotherapy
– Infections like Lyme disease, AIDS or shingles
– Auto-immune diseases
– Bone marrow disorders
– Kidney or thyroid disease
– Idiopathic Neuropathies where no cause can be determined

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy:
There are three major types of peripheral nerves:
– Sensory nerves, which connect to your skin,
– Motor nerves which connect to your ligaments, and
– Muscles and the autonomic nerves that connect to your internal organs.
Peripheral neuropathy has a tendency to affect either one nerve group or all three of them.

Some of the major peripheral neuropathy symptoms include:
Tingling: You can experience a tingling sensation in your hands and foot. They can occur for a fraction of a second or in some cases they may prolong for a longer duration.
Tightening: You might experience a sense of tightening in your muscles like how you wear your socks or a thick glove.
Pain: You may experience a sharp stabbing pain randomly or connected in a particular region.
Numbness: You can experience numbness in certain areas, which may not be prone to any sense of touch.
Heaviness: Sometimes your body may feel heavy and you may be unable to perform any activity. In some extreme cases, you may be unable to move.
Less control: You may not have control over things and may be prone to dropping things.
Blood pressure: Drop in blood pressure may be felt when you experience peripheral neuropathy.
Constipation: You may experience irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. In some cases, you may not have any control over bowel movements, thereby leading to diarrhea.
Excessive sweating: Prolonged and excessive sweating should not be overlooked.

Treatment of peripheral neuropathy:
There are a variety of medications and treatments available for treating peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Do consult with your doctor at the first signs of such symptoms. In case you continue to feel a prolonged effect, seek medical attention immediately.

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