Peripheral neuropathy is a very common, widely spread disease of the nerve system. All nerves outside the brain and spinal cord are in jeopardy of this malfunction. It’s like a system error of the nerves — it impacts the way they interpret incentives and distorts the signals they send.
To explain the disorder better we prepared this guide to the most common symptoms, causes, and a couple of neuropathy help methods. Because even though it’s a well-known illness, we tend to neglect the signs our body gives. The consequences can be serious and irreparable.
The First Common Symptoms
The most common neuropathy symptoms that appear at the very beginning are tingling, numbness, burning sensation, pain of the nerve fibers, and very often even itching. The symptoms usually affect hands at first and sometimes feet.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Usually, neuropathy is usually either a result of malnutrition or a complication related to a pre-existing illness — especially autoimmune diseases. Each case and disease causes a slightly different kind of neuropathy that attacks different areas of the organism.
Malnutrition is a real plague of our time. We’re too lazy or too busy to take proper care of ourselves. The worst is that we don’t take our health seriously enough and neglect the consequences of it. We don’t provide ourselves with the necessary nutrients. Instead of that, we choose empty calories and inadequate dietary components. On top of that, we’re additionally leaching our organism of all good vitamins and minerals.
And so we come to the first common cause of neuropathy that is the deficiency of B-group vitamins. The most dangerous is the lack of vitamin B-12 which already can lead to neuropathy. Its job is to take part in blood cell production and proper functioning of the nervous system. The deficiency of B-vitamins can also be a cause of depressive episodes and anxiety attacks.
An excessive alcohol consumption is unbelievably dangerous for our health. Both alcoholism and frequent exposure to alcohol can wreak havoc on all our organs and mental health. Alcohol as a substance itself damages the nerves and interferes with the nervous system functioning.
Alcoholic neuropathy (that’s the medical term of this particular disorder) is also a result of nutrient leaching. Considering that our diet is far from perfect, alcohol washes out all the precious nutrient leftovers we have.
This disease of modern civilization is that common that we often underestimate its destructive power. Patients with diabetes have a weak immune system and high blood sugar levels (especially long-term) slow down the wound healing process and ravage the nerves.
In the case of diabetic neuropathy, it’s characteristic that the disease complication attacks first the eyes and feet. Untreated diabetes can lead to complete loss of vision and a condition called diabetic foot.
Diabetic neuropathy causes a sensory loss in feet. The patient doesn’t feel discomfort or pain in their feet which results in injuries, blisters, and ulcers. Because of the sugar blood levels, the wounds don’t heal properly and the immune system is too weak to handle infections caused by the long-time recovering injuries. The condition can end up with amputation of an infected foot.
It’s a severe joint inflammation that causes, i.a., pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints. The joint swelling is what leads to RA neuropathy. Swollen joints are pressing on nerves causing numbness and tingling. The nerve entrapment can also result in blood vessel inflammation.
Lupus is a dread for the whole organism. This autoimmune illness makes your organism attack all its own tissues. The most characteristic symptom of it is facial erythema. Lupus can also be manifested by swellings of different body parts. Just as in the case of RA neuropathy, the swellings can cause nerve entrapment. Since the illness is present in different areas, i.a., in the facial area, lupus neuropathy can affect our face muscles, hearing, vision, oral cavity, and upper body in general. Headaches, chest pains or facial muscle failure are very common symptoms of lupus neuropathy.
HIV and AIDS
Those are two extremely ravaging autoimmune diseases. Similarly to lupus, they can affect our whole organism. Taking medications is necessary even though the side effects of medical treatment can be highly unpleasant. One of them can be neuropathy.
What Neuropathy Treatment Looks Like?
First of all, it’s about taking your pre-existing illness under control. Proper treatment and well-chosen medications can help you either get back to health completely or at least help you control the symptoms enough to avoid or get rid of neuropathy.
There are two common procedures that help ease neuropathy symptoms. That is acupuncture and, rather rarely already, electrostimulation of the nerves.
The main weapon in the battle against neuropathy, though, are vitamins (B-12, B-1, B-6), supplements (magnesium, copper, alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, n-acetylcysteine) a widely understood healthy diet (foremost no processed food nor saturated fats), and an active lifestyle.
If you get neuropathy symptoms without being diagnosed with any particular disease, contact your doctor immediately and take detailed blood tests. Maybe you’re already have developed diabetes. Or maybe it’s just your organism telling you to go to a pharmacy and get some vitamins. Either way, stay in touch with your body and don’t ignore its signals!