Reassurance is important to a patient, when diagnosed with a condition the patient is often left feeling insecure, vulnerable confused and unsure as to what his or her next step should be. The life of a doctor is no doubt a busy one; however the sign of a good doctor is one that takes the time to calmly and correctly communicates the diagnosis he or she has just handed out. When given a diagnosis such as neuropathy several questions are going to surface and the need for answers will be unavoidable.
So what is neuropathy? Neuropathy is a complex condition that can have an effect on the body’s nervous system. Neuropathy can be considered a collection of disorders that develop when damaged to the peripheral nervous system occurs. The peripheral nervous system refers to the part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord; when damage occurs to the nerve cells or nerve axons, it is called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy is a painful condition that can have an effect on an individual’s life and their ability to maintain a normal active life.
Neuropathy symptoms differ from patient to patient however the effect that neuropathy can have on a person is limiting. Nerve damage regardless of cause can lead to painful sensations and immobilizing symptoms. Symptoms are often felt in the hands and feet and are the body’s way of communicating that something dreadful is wrong and attention is needed before any further harm is done.
The most common form of neuropathy would be peripheral polyneuropathy. Peripheral polyneuropathy affects the hand, feet and legs and occurs on both sides of the body. Painful sensations from peripheral neuropathy are often described as a tingling or burning sensation.
Neuropathy treatment can be approached in two very different ways. One approach uses prescription medications such as triptans, antidepressants and blood pressure pills whereas the other approach is a more natural approach using methods such as acupuncture, therapy and herbal supplements to relieve nerve pain. When choosing between the two approaches, it is always best to have researched success rates and side effects of both approaches before agreeing to one set method.
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