Brain is the most crucial organ of our body which controls all the body functions. Therefore even a slight issue with any of the nerves or spinal cords that are attached to the brain can cause severe weakness, pain and dysfunction in the body. Peripheral Neuropathy is a disorder that is the result of damage of nerves that are located outside the brain. It causes numbness, pain and severe weakness in your hands and feet area. This disorder also results to problems in urination, circulation of blood and digestive system. Let us look at this disease in more detail.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?
According to Dr. Rajesh Kumar Rastogi, Head of Neurology Department from Max Healthcare Hospital, Kochi, it is a brain nerve disorder which can affect central nervous system and cause traumatic issues which can be dangerous to your health. Peripheral nervous system of humans sends information to the brain and spinal cord to perform different activities or send information. If the patient suffers from peripheral neuropathy, he loses his ability to send information which affects his body and results to many other health issues. Patients of this disease can fall for traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic issues and exposure of toxins.
However most of these diseases or health issues which come as a result of peripheral neuropathy are because of some underlying condition such as diabetes or inherited diseases. People with disease complain of burning feeling or tingling affect in initial stages, and it is best to consult an expert if you have any of these symptoms.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
There are several nerves in the peripheral system and damage to anyone off them can cause this condition to occur. Since different nerves are meant to perform different tasks, therefore the symptoms are also different for each type of nerve. Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are-
- Extreme sensitivity
- Muscle weakness
- Paralysis (motor nerves are affected)
- Burning pain and jabbing sensation
- Pain during normal activities, pulling weight etc
- Numbness in feet and hands spreading upwards to arms
- Lack of coordination
- Lose of balance
If autonomic nerves are affected, then the signs may differ such as-
- Heat intolerance
- Excessive sweating or no sweating at all
- Low blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Bowel syndrome or bladder issues
Causes Leading to Peripheral Neuropathy
This disease is caused by nerve damage. There could be multiple reasons for nerve damage in central nervous system, that include the following conditions-
Most common problem among people leading to this disorder is diabetes. More than half of the people develop neuropathy because of this problem.
2. Autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases that lead to this disease can be very harmful for health and difficult to recover. These include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and vacuities.
Some of the viral infections and bacteria also affect the nerves adversely resulting to this type of neuropathy. Infections such as shingles, hepatitis B and C, leprosy, HIV etc. are mostly responsible for peripheral neuropathy.
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4. Inherited disorders
These are conditions responsible for neuropathy which are hereditary like Charcot- Marie tooth disease etc.
5. Other diseases
These conditions include liver disease, connective tissue, kidney disorders and hypothyroidism.
6. Bone Marrow disorder
This is rare condition which leads to peripheral neuropathy but can be severely dangerous to health. Bone marrow disorders can include bone cancer, lymphoma and rare disease amyloidosis.
Poor dietary choices can also be a cause of peripheral neuropathy. This is because alcoholism leads to vitamin deficiencies in the body and thus leading to PND.
Complications Related to Peripheral Neuropathy
Dr. Rajesh Rastogi tells about some complications which a person must be aware of in order to stay safe from this disease-
Burns and skin injuries- Skin injuries or burns might not feel very dangerous but in case of neuropathy, it can create several complications. During this you might not feel pain on the parts of the body that are numb.
Falling- Peripheral neuropathy creates heavy weakness in the body because of which chances of falling and getting disbalanced increases. This is because of loss of sensation that is causes by PND. If you fall, then it can affect your central nervous system adversely.
Infections- Another complication of this disease is infections, during this disease; body becomes unaware of the infections. You may become injured without knowing about it, hence it is important to check and monitor your health especially if you have diabetes.
How To Prevent Peripheral Neuropathy?
It is not possible to control or stop this disease by one particular way, however, by making some changes in your routine your can prevent it from happening.
1. Manage underlying conditions of peripheral neuropathy such as diabetes, alcoholism and rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Eat healthy and diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins for healthy nerves.
3. Exercise regularly- Try to get at least 30 minutes exercise daily to avoid any health conditions which might cause peripheral neuropathy.
4. Avoid factors that might affect or cause nerve damage such as repetitive motion, cramp position or exposure to toxic chemicals in the body.
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