When the nerves that carry information between the central nervous system and the rest of the body become damaged, the result is a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
These nerves carry vital messages that allow your body parts to function properly including your:
- Internal organs
- Hands and arms
- Legs and feet
- Mouth and face
As a result when this communication is disrupted, the signals that normally alert the brain of physical sensations can malfunction. This can present as either exaggerated or undetected sensations.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy depend on the level of nerve damage and the type of nerve that has been damaged. For example, mononeuropathy occurs when one nerve has been damaged. Alternatively, polyneuropathy refers to the damage of multiple nerves.
Beyond the number of nerves impacted, the nerve type can also vary from case to case. There are three peripheral nerves. Each connect to different organs within the body.
- Sensory nerves ———–> skin
- Autonomic nerves ———–> internal organs
- Motor nerves ———–> muscles
Based on the nerves involved, many different symptoms can arise. The pain level can manifest differently in different people. While some people are lucky to have mild symptoms, others may face more disabling effects. Some common symptoms include:
- Sharp, stabbing sensations
- A tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Shock sensations
- Tight, weak or heavy arms and legs
- Low blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Profuse sweating
Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy can be rooted in many different causes. Diabetes is one of the most common. In fact, about 60-70% of diabetics develop peripheral neuropathy eventually. However, nerve damage can be avoided by those who closely regulate their blood sugar levels.
Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and inflammatory bowel disease are some other contributors to nerve damage. It’s also essential to note that peripheral neuropathy does not only only come as a “plus one” to other diseases. It can also arise due to injury, poor nutrition, infections and as a side effect to some medications.
Who is at risk for Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is more common than you may think. It affects an estimated 25-30% of Americans. It is prevalent among people above the age of 55. Other than age, disease history and lifestyle influence the progression of peripheral neuropathy.
Did you know that a person’s occupation can also increase chances of developing this condition? For instance, those who engage in constant repetitive movements may be more susceptible. Depending on the nature of the movement, the repetition can result in trauma or nerve compression that can be costly later.
If you are worried that you may be prone to peripheral neuropathy, there are some proactive steps that you can take to decrease your risk. You can be sure to exercise regularly, supplement any vitamin deficiencies, eat a well balanced diet, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. If you are already experiencing symptoms, you can try Nerve Assist, Doctor Benji’s all natural supplement for nerve pain.
Most importantly, if you would like the opinion of a top-rated foot specialist, call Kings Point Foot & Ankle today! Schedule your consultation with Doctor Benjamin Tehrani.