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What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
We encounter patients in Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach with peripheral neuropathy problems regularly.
Peripheral neuropathy is a term used to describe a host of disorders that damage the peripheral nervous system. Arms, legs, hands, feet, joints, internal organs, parts of the face and other regions can all be affected. There are many potential causes for this damage and quite often it can be a combination of factors. Among the most common would include:
Infections & Autoimmune Diseases
What are the Key Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms?
Symptoms can present themselves at any age although many people are diagnosed from age 40 and onwards. Pain is the most obvious and common symptom and often begins with quite innocuous issues. These may be constant or periodic, sharp/throbbing/freezing/shooting pains, in specific places or in more general areas. In some cases, pain may take many years to become worse, while in others the decline can be very sudden. Key symptoms to be aware of include:
Pains as discussed
Loss of balance/awareness (even if only fleeting)
Muscle wasting and weakness
Irregular blood pressure and heartbeat
Sleeping issues caused by discomfort
Non-existent ‘pressures’ or ‘compactness’ around the extremities
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What are the Major Different Forms?
There are three main subdivisions used to categorize peripheral neuropathy diagnosis. These relate to the kinds of nerves which are causing the problem, and sometimes there can be a crossover between them:
Motor Nerves: Pains related to mobility and flexibility such as walking, lifting, catching, and so forth. These are often accompanied by a decline in strength and balance.
Sensory Nerves: Associated with how we detect texture, heat/cold, rough/smooth, etc. These kinds of nerve damage are most commonly associated with tingling pain, numbness, and ultra-sensitivity.
Automatic Nerves: This form described automatic/involuntary bodily processes such as the circulatory system and digestive tract. Common issues involve sweating problems, nausea/diarrhea/constipation, dizziness, sexual dysfunction, and irregular heartbeat.
What are the Available Treatments?
Peripheral neuropathy is best treated through a variety of clinical and secondary treatments. While medications can help mask the pain, they do little to prevent it from becoming worse over time. Patients can substantially benefit from:
Improving nutrition and lifestyle choices
Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake
Regular and effective exercise
Managed physical therapy