Neuropathy

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Remedies




Neuropathy Treatment Remedies

 

The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Neuropathy?

The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord.

Damage to the peripheral nerves can affect you in different ways, depending on exactly what nerve is damaged.

Acute peripheral neuropathy is a form of neuropathy characterized by a rapid onset.

If the peripheral neuropathy is chronic, its development is much slower compared to the acute version.

But it is also likely to become persistent in nature.

The majority of cases are chronic.

Damage to one nerve is called mononeuropathy.

When multiple nerves are damaged, the condition is called polyneuropathy.

Polyneuropathy is is the most common form of the disease.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of a mononeuropathy, caused by compression of the nerve travelling through the wrist as a result, most commonly, of excessive usage.

In mononeuropathy multiplex, multiple nerves are involved but they are all isolated.

Neuropathy Symptoms

If the syndrome is one that affects the whole body.

The neuropathic symptoms are more likely to affect the entire body with multiple types of nerves involved.

You may become unable to feel pain if you suffer from neuropathy of a sensory nerve.

Conversely, it may also be the case that you suffer from chronic pain without obvious cause, also referred to as allodynia.

Sensory nerves play an important role in balance and co-ordination.

They allow you to determine the position of your joints and send signal to the brain so any adjustments required can be made.

If the nerves become damaged, co-ordination may be lost.

Often, the hands and feet are the first to be affected by a neuropathy of the sensory nerves.

If the issue is not addressed, the symptoms eventually spreads towards the body itself.

A neuropathy of the motor nerves will affect the ability of the signals from the brain to reach the muscles.

As a result, the most common symptoms of this type of neuropathy involve movement.

Muscle weakness is the most common occurrence in a motor neuropathy.

As a result, you may fall and find doing certain tasks incredibly difficult, especially those requiring a large amount of dexterity.

In severe cases of neuropathy, muscles may become completely paralysed.

You will be unable to move certain parts of your body that the affected nerves control.

The autonomic nerves control aspects of the body that we don’t have voluntary control over.

There are a number of symptoms that can occur with an autonomic neuropathy.

As the autonomic nervous system controls blood pressure, neuropathy can result in dizziness or fainting caused by low blood pressure.

You may struggle to obtain an erection if you suffer from damage to the autonomic nerves.

Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, may be a consequence of an autonomic neuropathy.

Weakness of the muscles around your throat and chest may cause breathing and swallowing difficulties.

If your muscles are inactive for a long period of time, they will begin to waste away.

Muscles with ineffective nervous activity may experience twitching or cramps.

In autonomic neuropathy, individuals may have difficulty with sweating and be completely unable to sweat.

There may be issues with the ability to control body temperature, therefore rendering a person unable to tolerate heat.

Bladder control can be lost in people who suffer from autonomic neuropathy, leading to incontinence.

Neuropathy Causes

Many neuropathies arise as a result of another syndrome or disease.

Unforinately, some medications that are reqired to treat cancer and HIV also leave individuals susceptible to peripheral nerve damage.

when the blood glucose (sugar) level is too high, damage can occur to the nervous system which reduces their efficiency and ability to transmit messages from the brain to the rest of the body.

Certain poisons or insecticides may result in peripheral nerve damage upon exposure.

Alcohol abuse causes nerve damage. Subsequently, in alcoholics, neuropathy is a more common occurrence.

If the kidneys are malfunctioning, an excess of salt and other chemicals will build up in the blood stream.

These are then able to damage the nerves and cause a peripheral neuropathy.

Injuring the nerve, by either compression through swelling or by the breaking of a bone, will result in dysfunction of that nerve and a neuropathy as a result.

If it is caused by an infection, the peripheral neuropathy will be referred to as Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Issues with the connective tissues, which surround nerves and act to support them, may result in a peripheral neuropathy.

Examples of such conditions include rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

There are some forms of neuropathy that can be inherited. These are rare diseases passed from parent to child.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome is the most common of the hereditary neuropathies.

Type 1 Charcot-Marie-Tooth is characterized by weakness in both the arms and legs, usually beginning from late childhood.

Neuropathy occurs as the covering of the nerves becomes degraded, therefore decreasing the speed at which they can pass messages.

Friedreich’s ataxia is also a hereditary form of neuropathy.

In some people, there is simply no obvious cause to the neuropathy.

In these cases, the condition is called idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.

Neuropathy Diagnosis

If it is suspected that you may have a neuropathy, the doctor will first investigate with a few questions.

The doctor will ask you about your symptoms, so that any neuropathy present can be narrowed down to the possible nerves affected.

Your general health will be examined, mainly to ensure there are no alternative explanations for the symptoms.

Any medications that are being taken should be reviewed as these can sometimes cause symptoms also seen in a neuropathy.

As there are genetic forms of neuropathy, taking the family history into account is incredibly important.

It may be the case that a poison has cause the neuropathy so the doctor is likely to ask whether you could have been exposed to anything.

The amount of alcohol you drink is likely to be recorded.

A physical test will be performed to look for certain signs of neuropathy, such as weakness and numbness.

A blood test will be able to determine whether certain possible causes of neuropathy are present within an individual, such as a vitamin B12 deficiency or high blood glucose levels.

The blood test will also provide an indication as to how well the kidneys are functioning.

If it is looking likely that a neuropathy is present, you will probably be referred to a neurologist for more specific investigations.

A nerve conduction test examines how quickly signals are passed along the nerves.

This is performed using specialised electrodes that are places on the skin over the nerve being tested.

A tiny electric current is applied to stimulate the nerves, and the speed at which the impulse travels can be recorded for analysis.

A positive result for peripheral neuropathy is a reduction in transduction speed along the nerve.

An electromyography examines the activity within the muscles.

A fine needle is inserted into the muscle and connected to a oscilloscope which measures the response when a muscle is used.

In a neuropathy, this comes back as abnormal.

In some instances, a biopsy of the nerve will be taken.

This involves a very small sample of a nerve being removed so that a pathologist can examine it under the microscope.

This is done under local anaesthetic.

A skin biopsy may be performed to look at how many nerve fibres are present in a section of skin.

When peripheral neuropathy is present, the numbers are reduced.

Neuropathy Treatment

In diabetes, having regular blood glucose checks ensures that levels can be kept under control to avoid nerve damage.

Individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency may be required to take some supplements.

In many cases, control of the symptoms is the only possible approach.

Neuropathic pain is usually very difficult to treat.

There are, however, a variety of medications that can be tried which may help.

Tricyclic antidepressants are believed to be affective in neuropathic pain.

Autonomic symptoms are usually much harder to treat.

If your problems are concerning digestion, there are various medications you may be offered

Another approach is to eat small yet frequent meals and sleeping with the head of the bed raised.

Amitriptyline is the most commonly used medication, however they do have various side effects.

If low blood pressure is a symptom, elastic stockings combined with fludrocortisone will help in attempting to regulate it, especially upon standing.

Bladder control problems can be intensely embarrassing for an individual suffering from neuropathy.

Cathertisation is one approach to assist with helping urine to flow out from the bladder.

There are medications available to treat the inability to obtain an erection.

Neuropathy can be exceptionally debilitating

It may be important to look at help so you can achieve maximum independence.

If the neuropathy is impacting your mobility, an aid such as a walking stick, frame or wheelchair, may be required.

Weakness in the arms and wrists may be treated using a supportive splint.

A physiotherapist will generally be assigned to help in using the aids and improving function.

An occupational therapist will help with devising new ways to do things, allowing you to resume as normal an existence as previously experienced.

If you are unable to feel temperature, it is vital to take extra care when doing tasks that involve hot water, such as bath time

Neuropathy Prevention

Having a healthy diet with adequate fruit and vegetables will reduce the likelihood of dietary deficiencies.

Foods high in vitamin B12 include: meat, fish, eggs, low fat dairy and fortified cereal.

As type 2 diabetes is a common cause of neuropathy, weight control is an essential to preventing the condition.

People who are overweight or obese have a greatly increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Avoiding repetitive activity will help reduce nerve damage caused by compression, especially in the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Try to limit your alcohol consumption to a minimum.

Smoking tobacco is bad for general health, but it may also increase the chances of neuropathy.

Do not expose yourself to toxic chemicals if it can be avoided.

If not, ensure you have the correct protective gear on prior to exposure.

Neuropathy Statistics & Facts

Peripheral neuropathy affects approximately 2 in every 100 people.

It is recognised that risk factors cause the condition to be more common.

In people with one risk factor, the chances of experiencing neuropathy increase to 12 in 100.

Two risk factors increase the chances of suffering neuropathy to 17 in 100.

Almost half of all diabetics who have suffered from the condition for over 25 years will suffer from some kind of peripheral neuropathy.



Neuropathy Treatment Remedies plus




The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a syndrome caused by damage to the peripheral nerves, meaning any nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord.

The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord.

The body’s nervous system has two main divisions: the central and peripheral nervous system.•

The peripheral nervous system transmits all the information coming from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.

From anything you feel to moving your limbs, the brain must communicate to allow us to do everything we take for granted.

Neuropathy Symptoms

The symptoms of perhiperal neruorpathy depend entirely upon the type of nerves affected.

Neuropathy can affect motor, autonomic and/or sensory nerves.

These nerves exist all over the body, each doing different things therefore a variety of symptoms are possible, dependent on the location and types of nerves affected.

Damage to the sensory nerves may result in a constant tingling sensation or a complete numbness, due to the inability of the nerves to transmit the information related to touch.

Damage to the sensory nerves may affect the ability to regulate detection of temperature.

Neuropathy Causes

Poorly controlled diabetes is the most common cause of chronic neuropathy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is another possible cause of peripheral neuropathy.

There are certain cancers that can damage the nerves, therefore causing neuropathy

Although not common, some inflammatory conditions, such as celiac disease, can cause peripheral neuropathy.

Certain infections, such as shingles and Lyme disease, cause a neuropathy syndrome.

Neuropathy Treatment

It is vital to address any underlying conditions that may be causing the neuropathy.

If an injury is causing the neuropathy, a physiotherapist may be needed to help reduce any pressure upon the nerve caused by inflammation.

In alcoholic neuropathy, seeking help for the dependency is the best form of treatment to prevent any further nerve damage.

If the neuropathy causes pain, it is unlikely that standard painkillers, such as paracetamol, will help. Subsequently, alternative medicines are usually required.

Anticonvulsants, medications that are usually used to treat epilepsy, can help some suffers of neuropathic pain.



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