Neuropathy is a common complication of a number of different medical conditions.
It can involve the autonomic nerves, the motor nerves, and the sensory nerves.
Sometimes a single nerve, or nerve set is affected, for example, in Bell’s Palsy, which affects a facial nerve.
Physical trauma, repetitive injury, infection, metabolic problems, and exposure to toxins and some drugs are all possible causes.
People with diabetes have a high risk of neuropathy.
Signs you may have:
Tingling and numbness: Usually in the hands and feet. This is because the nerves at the extremities are most vulnerable to damage. Will most likely occur at night.
Loss of balance: Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University recently published their findings on the link between peripheral neuropathy and balance. Researchers observed that patients suffering from neuropathy have a greater separation between the body’s center of mass and the center of pressure during movement. Muscle weakness, leading to unsteadiness and difficulty performing small movements, such as buttoning a shirt.
Lightheaded or dizzy: Neuropathy can also affect the muscles that help regulate blood pressure – rending them unable to expand or constrict to control the pressure. Especially when standing from a sitting postion.
Constipation: Nerve damage can disrupt normal digestive functions and slow the process by which the stomach is emptied.
Loss of ability to detect changes in heat and cold.
Extreme sensitivity to touch
Seek medical care right away if you notice unusual tingling, weakness or pain in your hands or feet. Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling your symptoms and preventing further damage to your peripheral nerves.
I have neuropathy in my feet. They burn and tingle every night. I use “Cool & Heat medicated patches”. I use the generic from Walmart. I cut them in half and put on the top of my feet every night. They work miracles!!!!
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help control pain. These are available over the counter.
Some people find that using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine helps. This device interrupts nerve messages by delivering a small electric current. Its effectiveness has not been confirmed by research.
Capsaicin 0.075 percent cream, containing chilli pepper, may ease pain. Patches are also available.
Non-drug measures include:
- wearing fabrics that do not irritate, such as cotton
- covering sensitive areas with a plastic wound dressing or cling film
- using cold packs, unless the problem is worsened by cold
Stress-relief and other complementary therapies include meditation, relaxation techniques, massage, and acupuncture.
Any supplements should first be discussed with a doctor.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein to keep nerves healthy. Protect against vitamin B-12 deficiency by eating meats, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy foods and fortified cereals. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, fortified cereals are a good source of vitamin B-12, but talk to your doctor about B-12 supplements.
- Exercise regularly. With your doctor’s OK, try to get at least 30 minutes to one hour of exercise at least three times a week.
- Avoid factors that may cause nerve damage, including repetitive motions, cramped positions, exposure to toxic chemicals, smoking and overindulging in alcohol.