10 Things You Should Know About Neuropathy

By at March 25, 2011 | 9:00 pm | Print

10 Things You Should Know About Neuropathy

10 Things You Should Know About Neuropathy
by Sana Shaikh

Neuropathy, which means abnormal nerves, is the most common chronic disease. There are 150 different types of Neuropathy. Over 20 million Americans are affected by this under appreciated illness. Some types of this disease can be cured, if the cause is found, however for some there is no cure.

1.Peripheral neuropathy: Single nerve, Mononeuropathy: nerve group, Polyneuropathy: Multiple nerves. The nerves sending signals back and forth from the brain and spine to the rest of the body is damaged or nonfunctional causing pain, loss of movement, loss of sensation, and weakness to the muscles, skin and internal organs.

2.Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy can be a variety of reasons. Most common to be found is heredity, diabetes and other unknown causes. Many others include are metabolic disorders, infections, toxins and autoimmune disorders.

3.Symptoms vary according to the type of nerve damaged.

a. Motor-muscle control, movement, twitching, and muscle atrophy

b.Sensory-touch sensations, numbness, tingling and changing feelings

c.Autonomic nerves to organs or glands, blurred vision, nausea and weight loss.

4.Signs and tests for Neuropathy. It takes a series of expert tests to rightly diagnose the causes and types. Patients medical history helps find cause of the problem. Tests are done of movement, sensation, pressure, and strength to point out the affected area. Blood test helps check diabetes, thyroid and other conditions. pinpointing the location is done by MRIs, CT scans and EMG tests.

5.There are cures for most Peripheral Neuropathy. Some types cannot be cured. Physical therapy is used along with proper medication for controlling the symptoms. It is very important to get the right help as soon as possible before any permanent damage occurs. A Neurologist is the best help. Doctors often miss diagnose it.

6.Treating the cause. Diabetes, keeping it in check by checking the blood sugar level, Alcohol use in moderation and the medications use in Neuropathy treatment can cause some serious side effects. Even tobacco use can be a leading cause.

7. Controlling the symptoms can be managed but painful, right diet and vitamin deficiencies replacements. Stopping injury to the nerve such as Carpal tunnel syndrome. Proper exercise and use of right medications.

8.Peripheral neuropathy depends heavily on cause. The root problem is nerve damage, the earlier its known the better chances of curing it before it turns into a more fatal complicated problem.

9. the nerve damage can be reversed or slowed but if left untreated in some cases the damage is done. The nerve cells cannot be re grown. Healthy lifestyle is the prevention of Neuropathy.

10. Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy varies from Physical therapy and occupational therapy, Pain medications used are antidepressants an antI seizure like Tegratol and Gabapantin. Use of therapy devices , Anodyne therapy emits infrared photo energy to increase circulation and reduce pain and numbness in feet.

Neuropathy is a disease, there has been great advances in fighting the root cause of this illness, but for millions it is a very painful disease. Doctors only define pain by what patients describe or marks the circle face pain charts. It is about time we shift in thinking away from pain as only sensory experience, Rather than targeting the suppression of pain as a symptom, the best way is to prevent pain as a disease.


Dr.Clifford Wool, Neurologist at Children’s Hospital Boston. Mayo clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research(MFMER)2010-2011


Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 446.


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