Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that develops when the nerves that are in the periphery (hands and feet) that are outside the brain and the spinal cord undergo damage. The nerves in your hands and feet play a significant role by sending sensory information like pain and temperature sensations to your brain where they are interpreted. People who are living with diabetes in Caldwell, New Jersey are at risk of getting peripheral neuropathy if the diabetes is poorly-controlled.
The severity of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy varies in severity among different people. If you are experiencing pain and numbness in your peripheries, you can seek medical attention from the best pain specialist in Caldwell, NJ to determine whether you have peripheral neuropathy. To confirm the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy, the doctor will take your medical history and do a physical examination. The doctor may also order laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy presents with numbness of the feet and hands. This numbness develops slowly over some time and may eventually spread to involve the legs and arms. You can sometimes feel as if you are wearing gloves on your hands and socks on your feet when you are not. Peripheral neuropathy also causes pain in your peripheries that can be sharp, burning, or throbbing in nature.
You may also experience pain when doing activities that are normally painless, like walking. You can also be extremely sensitive to touch when you are experiencing peripheral neuropathy. Sometimes peripheral neuropathy can make you develop muscle weakness and lose coordination, and this makes you prone to falls. The involvement of motor nerves in peripheral neuropathy can make you develop paralysis.
If the autonomic nerves that control blood pressure and bladder function are affected in peripheral neuropathy, you may develop urine or bowel incontinence, heat intolerance, and excessive sweating or no sweating at all. Your blood pressure may also be affected, causing symptoms like dizziness and lightheadedness.
Complications of peripheral neuropathy include getting accidental trauma, such as a burn, to the skin because you have lost sensation. It is also common for people with peripheral neuropathy to get infections in the hands and feet. Loss of coordination and balance can cause accidental falls.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Some of the medical conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy include autoimmune diseases like Guillain-Barre syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. Peripheral neuropathy can also affect people who are suffering from Diabetes, HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and shingles. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to the development of neuropathies.
Cancers like lymphoma, liver and kidney diseases, and hypothyroidism are other causes of peripheral neuropathy. People who drink alcohol may have nutritional deficiencies of B complex vitamins that cause them to get peripheral neuropathy. Trauma to the nerves in the peripheral, exposure to lead, mercury, and chemotherapy are the other causes of peripheral neuropathy.
How Can You Prevent Peripheral Neuropathy?
Prevention of neuropathy involves the management of the underlying medical conditions, like diabetes, to prevent complications of these conditions. It is also important to quit alcohol because alcoholism increases your risk of peripheral neuropathy. Regular exercise is recommended as a way to prevent neuropathy. To prevent nutritional deficiencies, it is important to have a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that results due to damage to the nerves in the legs and hands. The risk factors for peripheral neuropathy include chemotherapy, alcoholism, trauma to the nerves, and underlying medical conditions like diabetes. You can prevent this condition by managing the underlying medical conditions and quitting alcohol and smoking.
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