Peripheral neuropathy refers to a condition where the peripheral nerves are damaged. Peripheral nerves are the ones that are outside of the brain and spinal column. The damage to these nerves may lead to numbness, weakness or pain in your extremities as well as other parts of the body. of neuropathy can develop due to several reasons like diabetes, injuries, infections, tumors, metabolic disorders, hereditary disorders, toxin exposure, etc. sometimes, the cause for peripheral neuropathy may remain unknown.(1)
What Leads To Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a damage to the nerves, which is caused by many reasons. These reasons may include health conditions like-
Above fifty percent of people suffering from diabetes are seen to develop some or the other type of neuropathy
Some viral and bacterial infections like Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein Barr virus, leprosy, diphtheria, hepatitis B and C, HIV, etc. may cause peripheral neuropathy
Inherited neuropathy may include conditions like Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors may start on nerves or may grow nearby nerves and then develop and put pressure on the nerves.
- Also, some types of cancers may lead to polyneuropathy. These are a type of a degenerative condition known as the paraneoplastic syndrome.
- These conditions may lead to peripheral neuropathy
Problems Of The Bone Marrow-
Problems of the bone marrow like monoclonal gammopathies, myeloma, lymphoma, amyloidosis, etc. may lead to the development of peripheral neuropathy.
Other Health Conditions-
Other health problems like kidney disorders, liver problems, connective tissue problems, hypothyroidism, etc. may lead to the development of peripheral neuropathy(1)
Apart from these, there are some other causes too, that may lead to peripheral neuropathy. these may include-
Alcohol Abuse- Alcohol abuse may lead to improper diet intake and can lead to many nutritional deficiencies.
Exposure to Toxins- Exposure to toxins like industrial chemicals, heavy metals like mercury, lead, etc. can lead to peripheral neuropathy
Medicines- Medicines used in the treatment of certain conditions like cancer, especially in chemotherapy can lead to peripheral neuropathy
Nerve Pressure Or Trauma-Injury to the nerves like from an accident, fall, sports, etc. can lead to extensive damage to eth nerves. Using devices like crutches or repetitive motions like typing etc. may lead to pressure on nerves and peripheral neuropathy. conditions like tumor may also cause pressure on nerves, leading to peripheral neuropathy.
Nutritional Deficiencies- Deficiency of vitamins like vitamin B1, B6, and B12, vitamin E and niacin, etc. can lead to peripheral neuropathy, as these nutrients are extremely important to maintain good nerve health(1)
All this said, there are still several cases in which no cause for peripheral neuropathy can be identified. These cases are called idiopathic peripheral neuropathy cases.(1)
Can Peripheral Neuropathy Be Cured?
Peripheral neuropathy cannot be completely cured. However, with the help of proper management, the progress of the condition can be slowed down and symptoms can be managed.
Some of the factors may increase your chances of getting peripheral neuropathy. these may include-
- Diabetes, especially if there is an uncontrolled blood sugar in the body.
- Alcohol addiction or abuse
- Nutritional deficiencies, especially those of the b vitamins
- Conditions like shingles, Lyme disease, hepatitis b and c, HIV, etc.
- Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus etc.
- Thyroid, liver, kidney disorders, etc.
- Exposure to poisons or toxins etc
- Repetitive motions like typing etc.
- Someone in the family having diabetic neuropathy(1)
Peripheral neuropathy can be caused due to a number of conditions like autoimmune diseases, diabetes, infections, tumors, hereditary disorders, etc. peripheral neuropathy can not be completely cured. However, with proper treatment, the progression of the disease can be slowed down and the symptoms can be managed or even reduced.
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