What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a collection of disorders that takes place when the nerves of the peripheral nervous system become damaged. These damaged nerves send incorrect signals to the brain and can cause many different types of symptoms depending on the type of neuropathy that the individual is diagnosed with. Depending on the type of neuropathy it is important for an individualized neuropathy treatment to be found in order to help improve symptoms and decrease the amount of nerve damage.

Types of Neuropathy

  • Peripheral Neuropathy is probably the most common type of neuropathy and occurs when the nerve damage has occurred outside of the brain and spinal cord. More specifically peripheral neuropathy affects the nerves of the body’s extremities such as the toes, feet, legs, fingers, hands, and/or arms.
  • Proximal Neuropathy is a term that has been categorized for nerve damage that has taken place specifically to the thighs, hips or buttocks.
  • Cranial Neuropathy takes place when any of the twelve cranial nerves become damaged. There are two separate types of cranial neuropathy both (1) optic neuropathy and (2) auditory neuropathy. Optic neuropathy refers to damage of the optic nerve whereas auditory neuropathy refers to the nerve that carries signals from the inner ear to the brain and is responsible for hearing.
  • Autonomic Neuropathy takes place when the nerves of the involuntary nervous system, such as the heart, circulation, digestion, bowel and/or bladder, sexual organs, and nerves that pertain to perspiration are damaged.
  • Focal Neuropathy takes place when nerve damage is restricted to one specific nerve or a group of nerves, or a certain area of the body. Symptoms that take place with focal neuropathy often appear very suddenly without any warning.

What are the Causes of Neuropathy?

Again depending on the type of neuropathy the causes can vary but nerve damage is most often caused by the following conditions, diseases, or events:

  • Diabetes is the condition that is most commonly associated with nerve damage and neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy occurs when glucose levels have risen too high for too long a period of time thus damaging the nerves. Neuropathy treatment for diabetic neuropathy includes proper glucose monitoring, foot care, as well as maintaining healthy habits for better overall health.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies especially in regards to Vitamin B-12 as well as folate can cause nerve damage. An obvious neuropathy treatment for nerve damage that has occurred because of a deficiency is to correct the deficiency.
  • Infections can also cause nerve damage. Some of the most common infections that cause neuropathy are HIV, AIDS, Lyme disease, Leprosy, as well as Syphilis. Taking precaution to avoid these diseases and making sure proper care is taken if diagnosed with one of these conditions will aid in neuropathy treatment.
  • Alcoholism can also cause neuropathy. In order to achieve neuropathy treatment in regards to alcoholism it to begin reversing the effects of alcoholism and cutting back on alcohol ingestion.
  • Genetic Disorders or inherited disorders can affect the nerves that are responsible for some cases of neuropathy. An example of a genetic disorder that affects neuropathy would be either Friederich’s ataxia or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
  • Toxins or Poisons such as gold compounds, lead, arsenic, mercury, as well as some industrial solvents, nitrous oxide, and even organophosphate pesticides can also cause neuropathy in some individuals.
  • Uremia occurs when a high concentration of waste products occur in the blood due to kidney failure. When Uremia takes place neuropathy can also occur.
  • Drugs or Medications can cause neuropathy. A few examples of drugs and/or medications that can cause neuropathy are cancer therapy drugs, and a few specific antibiotics such as metronidazole.
  • Tumors can cause nerve damage when the nerves are in close proximity to the tumors.
  • Idiopathic is a term that is used in the medical works to denote the fact that there is no known cause. Idiopathic neuropathy is possible when there is not a known cause for what took place before the nerve damage appeared.

Neuropathy Treatment

With most nerve damage disorders it is important that neuropathy treatment begin as soon as symptoms appear in order lessen the affects the nerve damage will have on the body. Most often the course of neuropathy treatment involves treating the symptoms first and foremost as there isn’t a cure for neuropathy. Neuropathy treatment can include the use of medications, supplements, herbal remedies, as well as the use of alternative neuropathy treatment options such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, and even yoga or mediation techniques.




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