Neuropathy results when nerves are damaged or begin to dysfunction. Neuropathy typically begins in the hands and feet but can affect other part of the body as well. Symptoms include:
- Muscle Weakness
Depending on the cause and type of neuropathy, symptoms can become more severe, such as:
- Loss of Balance
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Loss of Pain Sensation
- Diarrhea, Constipation, or Incontinence
- Difficulty Eating
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Difficulty Breathing
Types of Neuropathy
There are more than 100 types of neuropathy. Each type has its own set of nuanced symptoms and course of treatment. Doctors have created categories to classify the different types of neuropathy.
- Motor Neuropathy – Damage to the nerves that control muscles and body movements.
- Sensory Neuropathy – Dysfunction of the nerves that control the senses specifically what you feel through touch. This impacts the ability to feel pain and experience changes in temperature.
- Automatic Nerve Neuropathy – Functions such as breathing and heartbeat are controlled by autonomic nerves. When these nerves are damaged, the result is life-threatening.
- Combination Neuropathies – A mixture of 2 or 3 of the above.
Causes of Neuropathy
There are a variety of causes. Specific causes include:
- Injury such as from a car accident or a fall.
- Inheriting neuropathy from a parent.
- Development due to another disorder.
- Alcoholism or exposure to toxic chemicals
- Infections that cause nerve damage.
Neuropathy & Diabetes
The most common origin for neuropathy is diabetes, affecting approximately 50% of those with diabetes. It occurs to due high blood sugar that damages the nerves in the body, typically those in the legs and feet. Diabetic neuropathy can be prevented or slowed down by committing to a healthy lifestyle and being proactive about blood sugar management.
Treatment for Neuropathy
The body does not have the ability to naturally repair nerve tissue once it has been damaged, therefore, neuropathy can’t be reversed. It is possible to slow the progression of neuropathy and to manage it in order to maintain a healthy quality of life. Treatment depends on the prognosis but will include:
- Physical Therapy
- Diet & Lifestyle Changes
- Alternative Medicine – Acupuncture
Schedule Your Appointment
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with neuropathy, seek medical advice. The sooner treatment can begin the easier neuropathy is to manage. Contact Desert Care Network to schedule a consultation.