What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

It is a nerve condition that results from damaged peripheral nerves. These are nerves found in toes and finger tips. People suffering from peripheral neuropathy experience numbness, pain, weakness and loss of sensation in their feet.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Problems in muscles

The damaged nerves make it hard to control muscles. Patients find it difficult to move their feet and may even trip and fall.

  • Numbness and deep pain

An early sign of nerve damage is tingling or burning feeling on the feet. People with peripheral neuropathy may also experience deep pain on their feet. They also lose feeling in their feet. Muscle cramps become very common.

  • Impaired sense of position

When ability to sense or feel is lost, the individual becomes uncoordinated as he walks because he is not sure of the feet placement.

  • Stocking sensation

Patients experience an odd feeling of wearing stockings whereas in real sense their feet are bear.



What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?

Diabetes mellitus is known to be the main cause of peripheral neuropathy. High levels of blood sugar for a long time damage the nerves. Other causes of this condition include:

  • Insufficient levels of vitamin B 12, B 6, B 1 and A
  • Liver infections
  • Drugs and medications like cancer drugs
  • Exposing oneself to toxins like heavy metals
  • Alcoholism
  • Inherited diseases e.g. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Tumors: Some develop on nerves putting pressure on them.
  • AIDs and other STIs like syphilis.

When Are You Supposed To Seek Medical Attention?

If you have the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy of the feet, you are advised to visit a Podiatrist. This is a doctor with a specialty of preserving good health of feet. Early treatment reduces chances of more problems and increases chances of controlling peripheral neuropathy.

What Is The Prevention Technique For Peripheral Neuropathy?

  • Reduced alcohol intake
  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Avoid exposure to toxic substances
  • Keep watch over diabetes and other medical conditions

How Is Peripheral Neuropathy diagnosed?

The specialist will enquire about the health history of a patient and the symptoms, a blood test will also be carried out to investigate causes of nerve damage. Other tests may include those checking activity of muscles, checking the speed of signals along nerves and checking a sample of a nerve under a microscope.



Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy

The cure for peripheral neuropathy is not known. What is mainly recommended to slow down the progress of the condition is reducing pain, maintaining good health of feet and improving the quality of life. Oral medication may be prescribed to help ease pain. The podiatrist also inspects feet for any injuries and infections and teaches patients on how to deal with them. Patients with peripheral neuropathy should go for feet examination at least once every year.


Click here to read about the kind of  Questions to Ask your Neurologist about your Peripheral Neuropathy


Much Love

Dean S. Lewis