Millions of people throughout the world struggle with the condition of peripheral neuropathy. It is a neurological condition that makes the hands and feet painful, weak, and numb. Peripheral neuropathy frequently develops as a complication of other underlying illnesses like diabetes and chemotherapy, despite the fact that its causes might vary.
Living with this ailment can be difficult and at times frustrating due to its debilitating symptoms. Thankfully, although peripheral neuropathy cannot be cured, individuals can control their symptoms with a variety of medications and lifestyle adjustments.
This comprehensive guide explores the symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy, its causes, and management methods for peripheral neuropathy. We delve into the various types of peripheral neuropathy, their respective symptoms, and possible causes. Additionally, we discuss the different treatment options available, ranging from medication to physical therapy, and the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?
One of the most prevalent neurological conditions, peripheral neuropathy affects up to 20 million people in the United States. The condition can be brought on by a number of things, including diabetes, drunkenness, chemotherapy, and autoimmune diseases. Due to injury to the nerves in the hands and feet, peripheral neuropathy can develop.
Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy can be brought on by a number of different conditions, including diabetes, chemotherapy, and infections like HIV or Lyme disease. The condition’s cause might not always be known. Identifying the root cause of peripheral neuropathy is crucial for creating a successful treatment strategy and controlling symptoms. It is crucial to seek medical advice and complete the necessary testing to determine the precise cause of peripheral neuropathy.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
The impulses that travel from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body are sent through peripheral nerves. There are numerous symptoms that might result from injury to these nerves. Here are three peripheral neuropathy warning signs to look out for.
- The first is numbness or itching in the hands and feet. Individuals suffering from peripheral neuropathy often experience a loss of sensation in their extremities, accompanied by a feeling of “pins and needles” or a burning sensation.
- The second symptom is muscle weakness. This can cause difficulty with everyday tasks such as standing up from a seated position, climbing stairs, or carrying objects.
- Finally, peripheral neuropathy can also result in a lack of coordination, trouble walking or running, and an increased risk of falls. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak with a medical professional to develop a treatment plan.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to make an appointment with your doctor. Some tests can help diagnose peripheral neuropathy, such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS). Once the exact cause of peripheral neuropathy has been identified, a treatment plan can be developed.
Treatment options for peripheral neuropathy vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of symptoms. These may include medications, lifestyle changes, or physical therapy. In some cases, surgery is also an option to decrease nerve pain and improve function. Talking to your healthcare provider about which treatment approach is best for you is important.