The term for damage to the peripheral nervous system is peripheral neuropathy. The nervous system is composed of two parts. First is the central nervous system which includes the brain and the spinal cord. The second is the peripheral nervous system which the brain uses to control the automatic nerves, sensory nerves, and the motor nerves.
A motor nerve damage can manifest as muscle weakness, difficulty walking, cramps, and spasms. Damage to the sensory nerves can be felt as tingling, numbness, or pain in the extremities.
The typical symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are numbness and tingling of the hands and feet. Others may feel a burning, stabbing, shooting pain, or muscle weakness.
Peripheral neuropathy is a relatively common condition. It usually affects the older age group. People over the age of 50 are more likely to be seen with neuropathy. There are many causes of nerve damage. Diabetes is among the most common reason behind peripheral neuropathy. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are very likely to have foot symptoms. The chronic and uncontrolled high blood sugar level can damage the nerves over time and this commonly affects the hands and feet. This is more commonly known as diabetic neuropathy. Keeping the blood glucose levels under control is essential in controlling symptoms of neuropathy.
Another common cause of peripheral neuropathy is thiamine deficiency. Thiamine or vitamin B1 belongs to the B complex vitamins. Thiamine must be obtained from the diet, and thus is an essential nutrient. Organ meats, lean meat, and seafood are good sources of thiamine. Other sources are milk, nuts, peas, and whole grains. Deficiency of thiamine can be due to alcohol abuse, genetics, malabsorption, or certain medical conditions.
Managing the underlying cause often improves the condition. To relieve the painful symptoms, pain relievers or prescription painkillers may be used.
Lifestyle and home remedies can help you manage neuropathy. If you have diabetes, be sure to have blood glucose levels regularly checked. Take care of your feet. Smoking can constrict the blood vessels that carry nutrition to the peripheral nerves so it is best to stop smoking if you do. Similarly, minimize alcohol intake since this has been found to affect nerves too. Having a healthy diet and eating a wide variety of food is important to get enough vitamins and minerals.
Both diabetics and non diabetics can be deficient in thiamine. If it remains untreated, thiamine deficiency can have serious effects on the cardiovascular system and the peripheral nervous system.Vitamin deficiencies can be corrected and taking supplements for neuropathy particularly those with thiamine can help soothe the symptoms.
Peripheral neuropathy results in damage to the peripheral nerves and treating the symptoms for this disease is challenging as it takes a lot of time to repair the damaged nerves. The treatment focuses on the cause of the condition and then on relieving the symptoms.
The term peripheral neuropathy refers to the dysfunction and damage to the peripheral nervous system of the body. It can be caused by a number of different medical disorders and diagnosing the condition is an extensive, and usually costly, process. There are several types of peripheral neuropathies and it is a difficult to quantify or measure all the symptoms. The symptoms are broad and subjective to the etiology. The common symptoms include weakness, numbness, burning pain or tingling in an extremity. The symptoms arise without warning, they are at times constant and otherwise don’t follow any pattern.
The damage to the nerve can affect any body part but it is the feet and legs that are involved in most cases. The affected part will take time to heal. To encourage the healing process and effectively cure the condition you must make some changes to you diet along with the preferred treatment.
Vitamin supplements should be added to your diet, especially vitamin B12. Deficiency of vitamin B12 is the leading cause of symptoms related to peripheral neuropathy. The ideal level of vitamin B12 in the blood has not been universally agreed upon so far. Nevertheless, the importance of vitamin B12 supplements cannot be ignored. The vegans or vegetarians are the ones who require the supplement the most. You don’t have to worry if you have taken vitamin B12 in excess as it is harmless. The supplements can be taken in large doses orally.
You could also take a supplement of supper vitamin B complex. Even though it is commonly accepted that vitamin B12 can reduce the peripheral neuropathy symptoms, it is also to be noted that the deficiency of any kind of water soluble vitamin B, folic acid included, can lead to symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Be careful when taking vitamin B6 or pyridoxine as a large dose can lead to neuropathy.
Some other important vitamin supplements include vitamin D and vitamin E. Most adults suffer from vitamin D deficiency and they are usually unaware of it. Recent studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency can lead to several kinds of neuromuscular symptoms such as pain, muscle weakness and even peripheral neuropathy.
Another useful addition to your diet would be capsules of omega 3 fish oil. It has several health benefits as well as anti-inflammatory properties. You can promote the healing process of the peripheral nerves with high dose of fish oil.
Eliminate alcohol completely from your diet. Photo energy therapy can improve blood circulation, especially to the micro vascular system of damaged extremities. It reduces the symptoms of peripheral neuropathies. Anti-epileptic and anti-depressant drugs such as Neurontin, Cymbalta or Lyrica are prescribed for relief from symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Another supplement which alleviates symptoms is alpha lipoic acid.
Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, has been called by some experts “the most common disease that no one has ever heard of.” It’s estimated that in America alone upwards of 20 million people suffer from the illness, with varying degrees of affliction, pain and suffering accompanying the malady. Neuropathy is certainly one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. But what exactly IS neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves – the autonomic, sensory and motor nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles, skin and the internal organs. It normally affects the feet and hands of the afflicted person – with varying results such as weakness, tingling, pain and/or numbness in these extremities. Neuropathy is “nerve damage” that can be compared to the body’s own electrical wiring system breaking down – it disrupts the body’s ability to communicate with the skin, joints, muscles or internal organs. The disease causes varying degrees of debilitation in those who are suffering from it – numbness, pain, weakness or poor coordination that can be depressing and discouraging as well as uncomfortable or very painful in the afflicted members of the body. One of the often-used metaphors for those who are experiencing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy is that they feel like they are wearing socks when they are in fact bare-footed, or are wearing gloves when they are in fact gloveless.
Interestingly, it is assumed at this point in medical history that peripheral neuropathy has always been around but was either ignored, misdiagnosed, or attributed to another disease as a side effect, such as diabetes, cancer, or kidney failure. A l999 survey found that 8-9% of Medicare recipients have peripheral neuropathy as their primary or secondary diagnosis. The annual cost to Medicare exceeds $3.5 billion due to this disease!
There are multiple causes for neuropathy and usually these causes are named in that particular form of neuropathy. Below are some of the most prominent forms:
• Compressive neuropathy, also known as entrapment neuropathy – usually caused by some accident or trauma that affects the nerves and compresses them – in the process damaging the nerves so that they do not function correctly.
• Diabetic neuropathy – the most common cause of neuropathy in the western world, and associated with the onset of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
• Toxic neuropathy, and drug-induced neuropathy – these neuropathies are caused by chemicals either accidentally affecting humans due to some toxic exposure event or my medications that have the side-effect of neuropathy upon the consumer of the medication.
• Immune-Mediated and CIDP – certain auto-immune disorders may manifest as neuropathy. CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) is an inflammatory auto-immune response that affects the peripheral nerves.
Help is available for neuropathy and sufferers are encouraged to talk to their doctors as the first step in treatment. Education is also advocated for the disease.