Neuropathy, which is a shortened term for peripheral neuropathy, involves nerve damage to the peripheral nervous system. It can be the result of a wide range of causes, and can present with a variety of symptoms, which can make it a frightening medical concern to experience. It’s important for people with neuropathy to have a strong support system, and to be armed with the facts regarding this condition.
- Strictly speaking, neuropathy is actually a complication of an underlying medical condition. It can be a side effect of diabetes, illnesses like liver disease or Lyme disease, a reaction to a medication, or even the result of a nutritional deficiency. Sometimes, peripheral neuropathy is a side effect of certain cancer treatments. If the underlying cause can’t be determined, it’s considered idiopathic neuropathy.
- Peripheral neuropathy does not affect the central nervous system. Rather, it damages the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. It affects autonomic nerves, which regulate bodily functions like heart rate and blood pressure, as well as motor nerves, which are under our control and move the muscles of the body, and sensory nerves, which pass sensations to the brain, like information about heat, cold, and pain. Neuropathy can affect a single nerve, or multiple nerves.
- Symptoms of neuropathy can vary. People often describe neuropathy pain as a tingling or burning sensation, or even numbness, as if they’re wearing a stocking or glove. Other symptoms include burning, sharp, jabbing, or electric- like pain, changes to skin, hair or nails, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, heat intolerance, bowel, bladder or difestive problems, and shifts in blood pressure .
- The best way to treat neuropathy is to alleviate the underlying cause. If the cause is determined to be a medication, the solution is sometimes as simple as discontinuing the drug. Sometimes, the cause is not as easy to fix, and in that case healthcare professionals resort to treating the symptoms. There are medications that can help treat neuropathy, but there are also alternative treatments that many find helpful, including acupuncture, biofeedback, and certain supplements.
At our clinic, we believe in working to find the underlying cause of medical concerns, rather than simply treating symptoms. Using holistic healing therapies, we strive to help each patient get back on track for good health. The first visit is always free, so call today for your free consultation.