peripheralneuropathy

What is Peripheral neuropathy?


Some people with peripheral neuropathy try alternative treatments for relief of their symptoms. Although these techniques haven't been as rigorously studied as most medications, the following therapies have shown some promise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy: Acupuncture. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into various points on your body. Acupuncture may reduce symptoms in about three-quarters of people with peripheral neuropathy. However, you may need multiple acupuncture sessions before you notice improvement. Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a certified practitioner using sterile needles.; Capsaicin. A cream containing this naturally...

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Also known as neuropathic, Peripheral Neuropathies, neuropathy - peripheral, neuropathy, peripheral, brachial plexus injuries, peripheral nerve disorders, Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
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Peripheral neuropathy information from trusted sources:

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a problem with the nerves that carry information to and from the brain and spinal cord. This can produce pain, loss of sensation, and an inability to control muscles. "Peripheral" means nerves further out from the center of the body, distant from the brain and spinal cord. "Neuro" means nerves. "Pathy" means abnormal.

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Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy often causes numbness and pain in your hands and feet. People typically describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove.

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Neuropathy, peripheral

Neuropathy is a condition affecting the nervous system, where the nerve fibres become damaged as a result of an injury or disease.

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Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the nerves connecting your spinal cord and brain to other parts of your body (peripheral nerves) become damaged. Damage to the peripheral nerves causes symptoms such as tingling and numbness, lack of sensation, pain, and muscle weakness that begins in the hands or feet and may spread through the limbs.There are several types of peripheral neuropathy. Mononeuropathy is damage to a single nerve, multiple mononeuropathy is damage to two or more nerves, polyneuropathy is damage to many nerves throughout the body. The symptoms of these three types of neuropathy are similar. Your physician will determine which type is responsible for your symptoms.

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Brachial Plexus Injuries

Your peripheral nerves are the ones outside your brain and spinal cord. Like static on a telephone line, peripheral nerve disorders distort or interrupt the messages between the brain and the rest of the body. There are more than 100 kinds of peripheral nerve disorders. They can affect one nerve or many nerves. Some are the result of other diseases, like diabetic nerve problems. Others, like Guillain-Barre syndrome, happen after a virus infection. Still others are from nerve compression, like carpal tunnel syndrome or thoracic outlet syndrome. In some cases, like complex regional pain syndrome, the problem begins after an injury. Some people are born with peripheral nerve disorders.

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Autonomic neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy is a type of peripheral neuropathy that affects involuntary body functions, including heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, digestion and other processes. Instead of a specific disease, autonomic neuropathy refers to damage to the autonomic nerves that results in a variety of signs and symptoms. This damage disrupts signals between the brain and portions of the autonomic system such as the heart, blood vessels and sweat glands, resulting in decreased or abnormal performance of one or more involuntary body functions.

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Autonomic neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy is a group of symptoms that occur when there is damage to nerves that regulate blood pressure, heart rate, bowel and bladder emptying, digestion, and other body functions.

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Alcoholic neuropathy

Alcoholic neuropathy is damage to the nerves that results from excessive drinking of alcohol.

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Peripheral

Peripheral means "away from the center." It refers to the areas away from the center of the body or a body part. For example, the hands are peripheral to the shoulder. The toes are peripheral to the knees.

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Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a term that describes a set of inherited conditions that cause damage to the periphery nerves (neuropathy).

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Contents

Causes
Some people will inherit peripheral neuropathy, but it can also be acquired as a result of injury, disease, infection or an immune disorder...

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Complications
DS00131

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Diagnosis
In the first stages of diagnosing peripheral neuropathy, your GP will ask you about your symptoms and whether there is any history of neuropathy in your family. They will then carry out a physical examination to look for evidence of the condition, such as muscle weakness or altered sensation. Your GP will also be looking for any disease that may be causing the neuropathy.

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Exams and Tests
A detailed history will be needed to determine the cause of the neuropathy. A neurological exam may reveal problems with movement, sensation, or organ function. Changes in reflexes and muscle bulk may also be present.

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Lifestyle and home remedies
The following suggestions can help you manage peripheral neuropathy: Take care of your feet, especially if you have diabetes. Check your feet daily for signs of blisters, cuts or calluses. Tight shoes and socks can worsen pain and tingling and may lead to sores that won't heal. Wear soft, loose cotton socks and padded shoes. You can use a semicircular hoop, which is available in medical supply stores, to keep bedcovers off hot or sensitive feet.; Exercise. Ask your doctor about an exercise routine that's right for you. Regular exercise may reduce neuropathy pain and can help control blood sugar levels.; Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking can affect circulation, increasing the risk of foot problems...

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Medical advice
Call your health care provider if symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are present. In all cases, early diagnosis and treatment increases the possibility that symptoms can be controlled.

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Outlook (Prognosis)
The outcome greatly depends on the cause of the neuropathy. In cases where a medical condition can be identified and treated, the outlook may be excellent. However, in severe neuropathy, nerve damage can be permanent, even if the cause is treated appropriately.

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Possible Complications
The inability to feel or notice injuries can lead to infection or structural damage. Changes include poor healing, loss of tissue mass, tissue erosions, scarring, and deformity. Other complications include:Decreased self esteem; Difficulty breathing ; Difficulty swallowing ; Irregular heart rhythms ( arrhythmias); Need for amputation; Partial or complete loss of movement or control of movement; Partial or complete loss of sensation ; Relationship problems related to impotence; Recurrent or unnoticed injury to any part of the body

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Preparing for your appointment
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in nervous system disorders (neurologist).

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Prevention
If a prolonged procedure or immobility is expected, appropriate measures (such as padding vulnerable areas) can be taken beforehand to reduce the risk of nerve problems.

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Risk factors
Peripheral neuropathy risk factors include: Diabetes, especially if your sugar levels are poorly controlled; Alcohol abuse; Vitamin deficiencies, particularly B vitamins; Infections, such as Lyme disease, shingles (varicella-zoster), Epstein-Barr, hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS; Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, in which the immune system attacks your own tissues; Kidney, liver or thyroid disorders; Exposure to toxins; Repetitive physical stress, possibly from occupational activities

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Support Groups
Additional information can be obtained from the Neuropathy Association - www.neuropathy.org

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Symptoms
Because there are so many different nerves in the peripheral nervous system there are many different types of neuropathy, and symptoms will vary depending on which nerves are affected. Common symptoms include...

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Treatments and drugs
One goal of treatment is to manage the condition causing your neuropathy. If the underlying cause is corrected, the neuropathy often improves on its own. Another goal of treatment is to relieve the painful symptoms. Many types of medications can be used to relieve the pain of peripheral neuropathy: Pain relievers. Mild symptoms may be relieved by over-the-counter pain medications. For more severe symptoms, your doctor may recommend prescription painkillers. Drugs containing opiates, such as codeine, can lead to dependence, constipation or sedation, so these drugs are generally prescribed only when other treatments fail.; Anti-seizure medications. Drugs such as gabapentin (Neurontin), topiramate...

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