Peripheral Neuropathy is a disorder of the nervous System. It can be diagnosed by your family doctor, or by a Neurologist, who will examine you for signs of numbness, impaired reflexes and muscles weakness. Blood and urine tests are done also to check for vitamin or metabolic deficiencies, as well as diabetes. When the nervous system malfunctions, it can cause moderate to severe pain, to your arm, hands, feet, leg, internal organs, mouth, and face.
According to health line newsletter, there are 3 types of Peripheral Neuropathy:
- Sensory Nerve
- Motor Nerves
- Autonomic Nerves
It is important to note that it can affect one or all three of the nerves. Web MD studies have shown that sixty percent of people have some form of nerve damage. When the disease becomes chronic, it can include kidney disorder, deficiency in Vitamin E, B1, B6 and B12, Diabetes and Hypothyroidism.
A variety of factors can cause this disease and damage to the nerves. Diabetes, is one of the most common factors of neuropathy, and people who are overweight, over the age of forty, or having high blood pressure are susceptible to the disease. Another common factor is physical trauma from car accidents, inactivity, or holding one position too long. Increased pressure on the nerve in the wrist from repetitive movement causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. One way to prevent long term peripheral neuropathy would be abstaining from excessive alcohol consumption and toxins, like glue, solvent, or insecticides, which when inhaled can cause nerve damage. Exposure to heavy metals like lead and mercury can also cause this condition. Infections and autoimmune disorders like herpes simplex or shingles can cause shooting pain. Bacterial infections such as Lyme disease can cause nerve damage, if not treated. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus can all lead to severe neuropathy in the extremities.
TREATMENTS FOR PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY :
Doctors can treat the underlying disorder in a variety of ways, for instance if Diabetes is the cause, they can attempt to control or monitor the patient’s intake of blood sugar levels. Several treatments can apply, the most common are over the counter oral pain meds, like Tylenol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, which can be helpful in controlling moderate pain, but have a tendency for overuse and does not help the underlying symptoms of neuropathy. Many patients with peripheral neuropathy, do find relief in Chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage and yoga. Prescription Meds like Tramadol, Cortisone injections, anti-depressants and sexual dysfunction meds such as Viagra and Cialis can be used to control symptoms. There are other treatments for peripheral neuropathy that don’t require drugs, and don’t just relieve the symptoms temporarily.
Physicians however are turning to other alternatives to treat the actual condition of neuropathy, that is the lack of circulation and blood flow. Electric stimulation devices like the Tens unit, is now more commonly used as a deterrent and as a symptom reliever for neuropathy, it is also growing in popularity as it is a recommended alternative to opioids and other oral medications that can cause addictions over time. A more powerful and effective version of the Tens unit that doctors subscribe is the TeslaMax.
If there is a vitamin deficiency, it can be reversed with improved diet and vitamin therapies. Patients may need physical therapy to help regain strength and avoid spasm and muscle cramping. Moderate to regular exercise is recommended to help alleviate discomfort, avoid heavy usage of Alcohol and Tobacco. Patients should take precautions when at home, many install hand rails in the shower/ tub, and have bath mat placed on floor for improved stability.
It is important for those who have sedentary jobs, to move around each hour and not stay in the same position for an extended amount of time. All these precautions will help patient who are diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy. If the disease is diagnosed early, and early treatments are implemented, it won’t eliminate the condition or more accurately the symptoms completely, but will stop further progression.