Peripheral neuropathy is when the peripheral nerves are damaged due to variable factors and the damage is causing major glitches in the body. Since the peripheral nerves are the most important carriers of information, any harm to them or obstruction in their function leads to other function breakdowns in the body. The main task of peripheral nerves is to carry pain messages and sensation waves to the brain and the spinal cord. When an error occurs within these nerve lines, the messages are wrongly deciphered and peripheral neuropathy symptoms are experienced.
Pinpointing your nerve damage symptoms
All neuropathy patients are likely to suffer from one or more of these symptoms:
Tingling, burning, and numbness in the feet and hands
These symptoms are the starter symptoms and peripheral neuropathy is commonly initiated through them. Any tingling, burning, and numbing in the hands and feet should wake you up to the possibility of being exposed to peripheral neuropathy.
Loss of sensation
Peripheral nerve damage is not a mundane issue. Although the symptoms may seem trivial at first, they tend to worsen as the nerve damage increases. Most peripheral patients lose their grip of sensations and feelings. While others may experience increased sensitivity or decreased sensitivity, both are experienced at a harmful limit. If the patient has developed increased sensitivity, the mere bedclothes will seem to him like scorching paper and a light handshake will send tremors down his hand. Although decreased sensitivity may seem less dreadful, the consequences can lead to amputations and gruesome foot ulcers because decreased sense of touch means that you are numbed to wounds and blisters. Moreover, once your infection grows, it becomes untreatable or extremely damaging. In such cases, amputation is the last alternative.
This pain sometimes resembles a feeling of pins and needles in the hands and feet. If your symptoms are concentrated in your foot, it means that you have developed foot neuropathy and you need to be extra vigilant about your foot care. Patients report feeling excruciating pain in the hands or feet or both during advanced peripheral neuropathy. Although this pain can be somewhat erased by medicines, it is impossible to completely obliterate nerve pain from your body once you have developed it.
Dizziness and weakness
A fainting dizzying feeling while getting up suddenly, bending down, or sitting up is common in peripheral neuropathy patients. When the nerve function is working abnormally, the brain cannot register stimulations properly and hence the patient feels sluggish and dizzy.
Loss of bladder and bowel control
If peripheral neuropathy affects the autonomic nerves, bladder and bowel control may be disturbed and urinary incontinence is experienced. Autonomic nerves control the involuntary functions of the body over which the person has no personal control such as digestion, excretion, sexual function, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, etc.
Digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation
This complaint is also common in neuropathy patients. Although there are medications that can correct either of these complaints, the disorder tends to continue with progressing neuropathy.
Muscle cramps and muscular incompetency
If the motor nerves are the ones that have received nerve damage, then the patient is likely to suffer from muscle cramps and muscular weakness. Inflexibility and decreased stability is also common. The patient will experience difficulty climbing up the stairs, walking on rough grounds, bending knees, and tying a simple ponytail. If muscle function is interfered with, it can cause considerable dependency and lack of freedom.
Trouble swallowing and loss of appetite
Nerve pain can make life a terrible ordeal. Even simple acts like swallowing food may seem like a heavy burden and loss of appetite may result.
Some common causes of peripheral neuropathy
Before peripheral neuropathy brings a tornado of trouble in your life, you need to practice a healthy and risk-free lifestyle to erase the chances of getting peripheral neuropathy at all. Some of the main causes contributing to this multifaceted disease are:
- Alcohol consumption and smoking
- Poor nutrition and vitamin deficiency
- AIDS/HIV, Hepatitis B and C
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Gullian-Barre syndrome, lupus, etc.
- Cancer therapy and cancer
- Leprosy and diphtheria
- Inherited neuropathy such as Charcot-Marie tooth disease
Is the damage caused by peripheral neuropathy irreversible?
Most underlying causes create long lasting damage on the nerves can be reduced but can hardly ever be eradicated. Improving your lifestyle, exercising regularly, and taking out alcohol and cigarette smoke from your life can power up your combat plan against neuropathy but it is important to seek out a wise treatment option for optimal results. Neuropathy is only reversible in cases where nerve damage has been minimal and there is a big chance of nerve repair through the injection of high amounts of vitamin B1 or ingesting large dosages. Only a few people have ever experienced the true joy of irreversible neuropathy but those who have not been so lucky are on a perpetual quest to seek out the best neuropathy survival trick.
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