Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition wherein the peripheral nerves are damaged. These are the nerves that connect the brain and the spinal cord to the skin, muscles, and internal organs. A Dulles neurology expert explains why diagnosis and treatment are crucial by discussing the condition’s symptoms, causes, and possible complications.
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms depend on the type of nerve fibers affected. There are three types of nerves: motor, sensory, and autonomic nerves.
- Motor nerves regulate the movement of the muscles that you can control consciously, enabling activities, such as walking and talking. Symptoms associated with motor nerve damage include muscle weakness, cramps, and muscle twitching.
- Sensory nerves transmit information drawn by the senses, such as temperature and pain. The inability to feel pain, temperature, vibration, and touch, especially in the hands and feet, is a sign that the sensory nerves have sustained damage.
- Autonomic nerves are responsible for functions that do not require conscious control, such as breathing ad digesting. Damage to the autonomic nerves show symptoms like excess sweating, heat intolerances, blood pressure conditions, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
If you or someone you know are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a neurologist from Leesburg immediately.
Peripheral neuropathy has many causes. It can be the result of another condition or a disease that is passed from a parent. Acquired peripheral neuropathy, on the other hand, can be caused by any of the following:
- Trauma or Physical Injury – This may be due to an accident, injury, or medical procedure.
- Diabetes – This is the primary cause of neuropathy in the US. Patients with diabetes often experience numbness, tingling or burning sensation, and weakness due to damage in the sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves.
- Alcohol and Toxins – Severe alcoholism can damage nerve fibers. Exposure to the harmful toxins present in glue, insecticides, solvents, lead, and mercury may result in peripheral nerve as well.
- Infections and Autoimmune Disorders – Virus and bacterial infections can cause damage to the nerve system when left untreated. Autoimmune system disorders, such as lupus and HIV or AIDS, can affect nerve function of the body.
- Medications – Some drugs were found to cause nerve damage. They include anticonvulsants, blood pressure medication, and cancer drugs.
If Peripheral Neuropathy is suspected, visit your neurologist in Leesburg, VA immediately for prompt diagnosis and to prevent complications. Complications vary depending on the cause of the neuropathy. They include:
- Burns and Skin Trauma – If loss of feeling is involved, burns or skin trauma can occur as your skin does not feel temperature change or pain.
- Infection – As your feet, hands, and other skin surface loses sensation, you may find it forget to treat your injuries accordingly due to the lack of pain. The injury can worsen and lead to infection.
- Diabetic Foot Ulcer – A diabetic foot ulcer is a foot sore or an open wound in the foot that is slow to heal.
- Cardiovascular Autonomic Neuropathy (CAN) – This is a potentially serious heart and blood circulation condition.
Manage Peripheral Neuropathy
Early diagnosis is key to treating Peripheral Neuropathy. Set an appointment with a Dulles Neurology expert as soon as possible at the first sign of the condition. Follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter to nip possible issues in the bud.