Neuropathy is a neurological disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system. It is usually characterized by numbness, weakness, and tingling in the affected areas.
One of the leading causes of neuropathy in the United States is diabetes. The degree of severity of the disorder varies on the affected part. Hence, some cases can be easily treated while others that can’t be cured are required to go through preventive measures to control and manage the symptomology.
For instance, NeuropathyCure.org specializes in finding natural ways to reduce neuropathic symptoms. The thorough research and tireless efforts of the scientists have successfully resulted in the emergence of Nerve Renew. It’s a natural dietary supplement formula containing natural herbs and vitamins. The pill has been proven to counter and treat the symptoms of nerve damage.
Here are some amazing facts about neuropathy to understand better the most common symptoms and causes of the disorder:
What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is also known as peripheral neuropathy. As mentioned earlier, it’s a disorder of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral system makes up the network of nerves excluding the brain and spinal cord. The disorder occurs when the nerve cells in the peripheral system are damaged and destroyed.
Hence, damage in the peripheral part can disrupt the communication signal with the neuron to the brain. An uncoordinated system can greatly affect the transmission of the body system, causing impairment in muscle movement, numbness in the arms and legs, and severe body aches. The severity of the condition depends on the affected parts.
How are the peripheral neuropathies classified?
The type of symptoms felt by the person depends on the type of nerve that’s damaged. For instance, if damage occurs to a single peripheral nerve, then it’s called mononeuropathy while in case of the multiple nerves being affected throughout the body, it’s called polyneuropathy. The degree of symptoms varies on the affected nerves whether it’s sensory, motor, or autonomic nerves.
To analyze further, first we need to know the characteristics and function of different peripheral nerves:
- Sensory Nerves: They transmit sensory functions like sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch for brain information. For instance, the sense of pain from a cut.
- Motor Nerves: The motor nerves flow in the opposite direction of sensory nerves as they transmit the information from the brain to the muscles. The nerves control the movement of the muscles. These include walking, talking, or the instant reflex of your hand when touching something hot.
- Autonomic nerves: It controls the internal body functions like digestion, body temperature, blood pressure, heart and breathing rate, metabolism, the balance of water and electrolytes in the body, defecation, even sexual arousal.
What are the Common Symptoms of Neuropathy?
Now that we know, these nerves play an important role in maintaining the body healthy and functioning properly. The intensity of destruction to the nerves corresponds to the symptoms felt by the person. The symptoms are overwhelming and devastating, yet medical intervention like neurological rehabilitation can be a step to better life quality.
Symptoms may appear abruptly (referred to as acute neuropathy) or may develop slowly (referred to as chronic neuropathy). The signs and symptoms of neuropathy are related to the type of nerves affected:
Symptoms Due to Motor Nerve Damage
Damage in this area is commonly linked with muscle weakness. These include:
- Uncontrolled muscle twitching.
- Painful cramps.
- Muscle shrinking.
- Loss of coordination like falling and stumbling.
- Muscle weakness like struggling in walking or moving arms and legs.
- Paralysis that includes loss of muscle control and dropping things out of hand.
Symptoms Due to Sensory Nerve Damage
The damage to sensory nerves results in various symptoms; these nerves offer a wide range of body functions. When the large sensory nerve fibers that controls the capability to sense vibrations and touch are affected, the person will experience the following:
- Loss of sensation in feet and hands like feeling wearing socks or gloves when you’re not.
- Lack or absence of reflexes.
- Numbness in the hands and feet.
- Loss on sense of position such as difficulty in coordinated complex movements such as walking or opening/closing shirt buttons, or keeping the balance when eyes are closed.
Moreover, when the small nerve fibers, the protective coating that exhibit temperature and pain sensations are affected, the pain include:
- Burning, throbbing, stabbing or electric-like pain.
- Alteration in sensation like severe pain at night, inability to feel pain and touch, and intense sensitivity to touch.
- Intense pain is triggered even without known stimulus.
Symptoms Due to Autoimmune Nerve Damage
Damage in this area impacts the axons in small-fiber neuropathies and is commonly related with internal body problems. These include:
- Abnormal heart rate and low blood pressure that causes dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness.
- Excess sweating or not enough with coordination to body temperature exertion.
- Problems with urination, digestion, and bowels.
- Sexual function problems.
- Unintentional weight loss.
- Heat intolerance.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms.
These are the commonest signs of the disorder. The neuropathy symptoms aren’t limited to the listed signs above. When you face encountered problems in relation to the affected nerves that include sensory, motor, and autonomic, then it may be a sign of peripheral neuropathy. The severity of neuropathy also depends on the various factors that cause it.
What are the Causes of Neuropathy?
Generally, neuropathy isn’t caused by itself. Various events and conditions that trigger some important health conditions may cause neuropathy. Here are some usual causes of the disease:
One of the typical forms of neuropathy is nerve damage caused by diabetes. The patient feels numbness and burning sensation in the hands and feet. The risk of neuropathy increases for people with high blood pressure, overweight, over the age of 40, and have diabetes.
Injuries from physical trauma is the usual cause of neuropathy. This results when intense stress causes compression to the nerves spaces that restricts flow. For instance, the increased pressure in the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome which is a common type of peripheral neuropathy. The risk increases for people who experienced:
- Car accidents
- Falls and fractures
- Inactivity or holding still for long in one position
Alcohol and Toxins
Alcohol is toxic to peripheral nerves and severe alcoholism increases the risk of peripheral neuropathy.
Exposure to hazardous chemical substances like solvents, formaldehyde, insecticides, lead, mercury, and other heavy metals can cause nerve damage.
Other Chronic Diseases
Neuropathy can be triggered by other health conditions that may cause nerve damage that include:
- Disorders in kidney, liver, and even tumors.
- Deficiencies in levels of Vitamins E, B1, B6, B12 and Niacin that affects nerve function.
- Chronic inflammation.
Autoimmune Diseases and Infections
The chronic damage and inflammation to tissues in the body can lead to intense pain in the extremities. Autoimmune diseases like lupus, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis can induce the peripheral neuropathy.
Infections like chickenpox, HIV, Hepatitis C, and other related diseases can contribute to neuropathy.
Some medications can cause peripheral neuropathy. These include:
- Medications for anti-seizures,
- Treatments for chemotherapy and radiation, and
- Specific medications for blood pressure.
The review published in Pain and Therapy concluded a certain class of drugs used for lowering cholesterol called statins may cause nerve damage. Consequently, this poses a high risk of neuropathy.
These are the common conditions that promote the development of peripheral neuropathy. Nevertheless, there are certain instances where neuropathy may occur without any known cause. Therefore, it’s important to understand the basics of peripheral neuropathy for awareness and prevention of the disease.
The damage in nerve cells can result in different health conditions since the neuron plays a vital role in the central nervous system. However, when you maintain a healthy diet and avoid stressors in life, you may prevent yourself from the problems of neuropathy.