Types of Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral Neuropathy occurs from a variety of causes. Damage to nerves can result from repetitive use as in carpal tunnel syndrome or it can happen from a metabolic disorder such as diabetes. Hereditary conditions, disc injury, certain job duties, etc. can lead to neuropathy. Obviously, nerves can become damaged for a number of reasons.
The common link with all these conditions is that they lead to nerve damage.
Mononeuropathy is when a single peripheral nerve is damaged. Examples of this type of neuropathy are:
* Spinal disc herniation
* Carpal tunnel syndrome
* Palsies of the radial, ulnar, and peroneal nerves
* Diabetes, more commonly involved in polyneuropathies but it can affect individual nerves causing motor weakness in the eye or thigh
* Dental injections
Polyneuropathy is much more common than mononeuropathy. It occurs when multiple peripheral nerves lose their ability to function normally. Polyneuropathy can occur from:
* Nutritional deficiencies, particularly vitamin B
* Exposure to toxins
* Complication from major organ failure
* Guillain-Barre syndrome
* Statin drugs
* Metabolic disorders. including food allergies i. e. gluten
Most common symptoms of polyneuropathy:
* Pins and needles sensation
* Loss of sensation in the arms and legs
* Weakness of the limbs
* Sharp pains
* Dull ache
* Stinging pain
Often, these symptoms vary from day to day. They also can vary in intensity. The problem that most people have while having these symptoms is that they are "invisible" to other people. The person with neuropathy may be experiencing a feeling like bee stings but the skin will be unchanged...there will be no redness or swelling. This is why it is difficult for others to appreciate the discomfort the person with neuropathy lives with every day. It can become an emotional burden as well as a physical burden.
Chronic pain that typically worsens with age can easily affect one's personality. It is not unusual for people to become more short-tempered, cranky, and depressed.
The Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy
The 3 classifications are:
Acquired Neuropathies are caused by factors such as toxins, trauma, illness, or infection. Known causes of acquired neuropathies include:
*Poor nutrition or vitamin deficiency
*Poor nutritional absorption
*Some cancers and cancer chemotherapy drugs
*Medications, including statin drugs for cholesterol
*Infections such as Lyme disease, shingles, or AIDS
Hereditary neuropathies are diseases of the peripheral nerves that are genetically passed from parent to child. The most common of these is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1.
Idiopathic neuropathies simply means that the cause is not known. One-third of all neuropathies are classified in this way.
When you are dealing with neuropathy it's important to learn as much as possible about this disorder. It's also important for your friends and family to understand why you are experiencing these symptoms. This is why our office regularly presents seminars on this topic. To see our seminar calendar CLICK HERE.
Because neuropathy typically worsens with age, it's never too late to seek help. Consulting with Dr. Lanzisera may give you new insight into how your neuropathy can be relieved. Call 813-253-2333 and ask for a neuropathy evaluation.