Peripheral neuropathy — Comprehensive overview covers diagnosis, causes and treatment of this often painful disorder. The disorder is uncomfortable, but treatments can be very helpful. The most important thing to determine is whether peripheral neuropathy is. Some cases of neuropathy, those that are hormonal or nutrition-related, for example, can be easily treated and sometimes cured. In most cases, however.
It will usually only be prescribed for a short time. Tramadol can be useful to take at times when your pain is worse. In addition to treating pain, you may also require treatment to help you manage other symptoms you're experiencing as a result of peripheral neuropathy. You may also need to wear splints to support weak ankles or use walking aids to help you get around. Peripheral neuropathy can sometimes cause other medical problems, such as foot ulcers and heart rhythm changes, and blood circulation problems.
These are common in people with diabetic polyneuropathy. If you don't feel any pain, you may continue walking without protecting the blister. If the cut or blister gets worse, it may develop into an ulcer.
High blood sugar can damage your blood vessels, causing the blood supply to your feet to become restricted. A reduced blood supply to the skin on your feet means it receives a lower number of infection-fighting cells, which can mean wounds take longer to heal and can lead to gangrene.
If gangrene does develop, you may need surgery to remove the damaged tissue known as debridement and antibiotics to treat any underlying infection. In severe cases your toe or foot may need to be amputated. If you have diabetes, you should take extra care of your feet. Get your feet checked regularly by a podiatrist a medical professional, also known as a chiropodist, who specialises in foot care.
Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy CAN is another potentially serious problem that's common in people with diabetic polyneuropathy. CAN occurs when damage to the peripheral nerves disrupts the automatic functions that control your blood circulation and heartbeat. You may be able to control the symptoms of orthostatic hypotension by using a number of self care techniques, such as:.
If you have CAN, you'll probably need to have regular check-ups so your heart function can be monitored. Home Illnesses and conditions Brain, nerves and spinal cord Peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy See all parts of this guide Hide guide parts About peripheral neuropathy Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy Causes of peripheral neuropathy Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy Treating peripheral neuropathy Complications of peripheral neuropathy. About peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the body's extremities — such as the hands, feet and arms — are damaged.
It includes different types of nerves with their own specific functions, including: For example, it can be caused by: Complications of peripheral neuropathy The outlook for peripheral neuropathy varies, depending on the underlying cause and which nerves have been damaged.
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy Symptoms vary according to the type of peripheral neuropathy and may develop quickly or slowly. The main types of peripheral neuropathy include: The symptoms of the main types of peripheral neuropathy are described below. Sensory neuropathy Symptoms of sensory neuropathy can include: Causes of peripheral neuropathy Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy in the UK.
If you have diabetes, your risk of polyneuropathy is higher if your blood sugar is poorly controlled or you: Other causes As well as diabetes, there are many other possible causes of peripheral neuropathy. Health conditions Some of the health conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy include: Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy A number of tests may be used to diagnose peripheral neuropathy and its underlying cause.
If the cause is uncertain, you may be referred to a neurologist for more extensive blood tests to check: Treating the underlying cause There are many different possible causes of peripheral neuropathy , some of which can be treated in different ways. Even if the first medication tried doesn't help, others may. The main medications recommended for neuropathic pain include: Lidocaine plaster This is a large sticking plaster that contains a local anaesthetic. Tramadol Tramadol is a powerful painkiller related to morphine that can be used to treat neuropathic pain that doesn't respond to other treatments your GP can prescribe.
Common side effects of tramadol include: Complications of peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy can sometimes cause other medical problems, such as foot ulcers and heart rhythm changes, and blood circulation problems. These complications vary depending on the underlying cause of the condition. If you have numb feet, it's easy to cut your foot by stepping on something sharp.
Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy CAN Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy CAN is another potentially serious problem that's common in people with diabetic polyneuropathy. The two main noticeable symptoms of CAN are: Two widely used medications are: How can we improve this page? Help us improve NHS inform. Message Maximum of characters. Also on NHS inform.
Many types of neuropathy are "idiopathic," or of unknown cause, but a number of conditions can trigger it. Diabetes is the most common cause of chronic peripheral neuropathy.
It happens when high blood sugar levels damage the nerves. Disorders of the small blood vessels can reduce blood supply to the nerves, resulting in nerve tissue damage. The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. Around 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some degree of neuropathy.
High blood sugar levels cause damage to the walls of the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves in the ends of the hands and feet, and the essential organs in the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, and heart.
As a result, not only does the skin becomes damaged, but the loss of sensation further increases the risk of damage. Around half of all people with diabetes are believed to have diabetic neuropathy.
The nervous system is a complex web of communications in which different types of nerves interact. Peripheral neuropathy refers specifically to a malfunction of the peripheral nerves. Over types of neuropathy have been identified, each with its own causes and symptoms.
Stress-relief and other complementary therapies include meditation, relaxation techniques, massage, and acupuncture. 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. The outlook for peripheral neuropathy varies, depending on the underlying cause, and which nerves have been damaged.
Some cases may improve with time if the underlying cause is treated, but in others, the damage may be permanent or gradually worse with time. Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Mon 27 November All references are available in the References tab.
The global burden of diabetic foot disease [Abstract]. Lancet, , Effect of duloxetine on pain, function, and quality of life among patients with chemotherapy-induced painful peripheral neuropathy: JAMA , 13, Neuropathic pain - drug treatment. Neuropathy, information about living with diabetes complications. Peripheral neuropathy fact sheet. Obstructive sleep apnea and diabetic neuropathy. An update on the pharmacological management of post-herpetic neuralgia and painful diabetic neuropathy.
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Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. Fast facts on peripheral neuropathy Here are some key points about peripheral neuropathy.
More detail is in the main article. 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 it affects a single nerve or nerve set, 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.
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Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet
WebMD's guide to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of peripheral neuropathy. Treatment for peripheral neuropathy may include treating any underlying cause or any symptoms you're experiencing. Treatment may be more successful for. Just like neuropathy (also called peripheral neuropathy) isn't just one condition, neither is there a single treatment option that's best for all forms.