Peripheral Neuropathy

Weakness, numbness, burning, and tingling in the feet, are symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral nerve damage can be caused by traumatic injuries, diabetes, and even some toxins.

Get Help For Peripheral Neuropathy
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peripheral neuropathy

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder where the nerves that allow information signals to travel to and from the brain and spinal cord have been damaged or destroyed. Neuropathy typically results in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, sensory loss, and a burning pain in the feet.

Once damage to the peripheral nerves occurs, the symptoms are gradual and worsen with time. It’s possible to treat and even cure some peripheral neuropathies. The main goal of treatment is to control and manage symptoms and keep nerve damage from getting worse. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to aid in the prevention of damage to those types of nerves.

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy can have a wide variety of causes such as:

  • Diabetes. This is the most common cause. If your blood sugar is poorly controlled and you've had diabetes for a long time, you're more likely to develop diabetic neuropathy.
  • Injuries. Car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and medical procedures all have the potential to sever or damage peripheral nerves.
  • Infections. Among them are shingles, lyme disease, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C, leprosy, diphtheria, and HIV
  • Poor Nutrition Alcoholism and poor dietary choices can lead to vitamin imbalances that can cause peripheral neuropathy.
  • Toxins. Poisons commonly found in the workplace, including industrial chemicals and heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury.

What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Numbness, tingling or a pins-and-needles sensation in your feet. Numbness is a particularly serious consequence of neuropathy because it may lead to serious foot infections.
  • Burning or shooting pain, hot or cold sensations, extreme sensitivity to touch or pressure, cramps, swelling, balance issues and difficulty walking.
  • If you can't feel your feet, you can't tell when you experience a cut or other minor injury. Without proper treatment, small scrapes or burst blisters can easily become infected.

Dr. Hassan checking patient for  peripheral neuropathy

How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?

The wide variety of symptoms caused by neuropathies often makes diagnosis difficult. A diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy usually includes the following:

  • Medical history. Dr. Hassan will review your medical history and ask you a series of questions in order to determine your symptoms, triggers, and relieving factors.
  • Physical examination. Dr. Hassan will perform a physical exam for signs of systemic diseases that can cause nerve damage, such as diabetes.
  • Tests. Blood tests can show if you have diabetes, vitamin b12 deficiencies, liver or kidney problems, infections, and signs that your immune system isn't working properly. For some inherited neuropathies, genetic testing are available.

Additional tests may be ordered to assess the severity of the nerves damaged.

How is peripheral neuropathy treated?

Treatment options vary according to the severity of the nerve damage. Treatments for peripheral neuropathy may include:

  • Physical therapy to assist you in regaining your balance and ability to walk comfortably.
  • Orthotics, or custom-designed shoe inserts, to help prevent blisters by limiting foot movement while wearing shoes.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be helpful in relieving neuropathy symptoms.
  • If your condition is caused by an autoimmune disorder, we may recommend an immunosuppressant medication.

If you experience unusual tingling, weakness, numbness, or pain in your feet, seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment give you the best chance of controlling your symptoms and preventing further nerve damage.

Man with pain from peripheral neuropathy

Can peripheral neuropathy be prevented?

Controlling health conditions that put you at risk and cultivating healthy habits that promote long-term wellness are the most effective ways to avoid developing peripheral neuropathy. Here are somethings you can do:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly.
  • Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat to keep your nerves healthy.
  • Avoid things that could damage your nerves, like doing the same thing over and over, being in tight places that put pressure on your nerves, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol.

Can peripheral neuropathy cause other problems?

Diabetic foot ulcers, gangrene, heart and blood circulation problems are all possible complications of peripheral neuropathy. Depending on the underlying cause, these complications include:

  • Muscle weakness and a loss of balance, which can lead to a fall.
  • Infections and burns are two of the most common injuries. Without the ability to feel temperature or pain, you may unknowingly injure yourself.

Say Goodbye
to Peripheral Neuropathy

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, don't wait to get help. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Hassan at the Ankle & Foot Care Center today. With his help, you can find relief from your neuropathy symptoms and improve your quality of life.

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