Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a condition that affects the peripheral nerves, which are the nerves that transmit information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. The peripheral nerves control sensation, movement, and organ function. Neuropathy can cause a wide range of symptoms depending on which nerves are affected and the severity of the damage.
Symptoms and Causes of Neuropathy
- Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the hands and feet
- Loss of sensation or reduced sensation in the affected area
- Weakness in the muscles
- Loss of reflexes
- Pain, especially at night
- Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
- Difficulty with fine motor skills, such as buttoning clothes or picking up small objects
There are several causes of neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a common cause of neuropathy and occurs as a result of high blood sugar levels damaging the nerves. A lack of vitamins, such as vitamin B12, can cause neuropathy. Long-term heavy alcohol use can damage the nerves. Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome can cause neuropathy. Infections such as HIV, Lyme disease, and leprosy can also cause neuropathy.
Treatment of Neuropathy
Treatment for neuropathy depends on the underlying cause, if known. Treatment options may include medications, physical therapy, nerve blocks, and nerve stimulation. In addition, keeping blood sugar levels under control in case of diabetes, avoiding alcohol, and taking vitamin supplements can help manage the symptoms. Arizona Sleep Center offers detailed diagnosis and neuropathy treatment in Arizona.