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It is damage or disease affecting peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy) in roughly the same areas on both sides of the body, featuring weakness, numbness, and burning pain. It usually begins in the hands and feet and may progress to the arms and legs, and sometimes to other parts of the body where it may affect the autonomic nervous system. It may be acute or chronic. A number of different disorders may cause polyneuropathy, including diabetes and some types of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Among the signs/symptoms of polyneuropathy, which can be divided (into sensory and hereditary) and are consistent with the following:
• Sensory polyneuropathy - ataxia, numbness,muscle wasting and paresthesia.
• Hereditary polyneuropathy - scoliosis and hammer toes
HOW IS POLYNEURITIS DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis of polyneuropathies begins with a history and physical examination to ascertain the pattern of the disease process (such as-arms, legs, distal, proximal) if they fluctuate, and what deficits and pain are involved. If pain is a factor, determining where and how long the pain has been present is important, one also needs to know what disorders are present within the family and what diseases the person may have. Although diseases often are suggested by the physical examination and history alone, tests that may be employed include: electrodiagnostic testing, serum protein electrophoresis, nerve conduction studies, urinalysis, serum creatine kinase (CK) and antibody testing. Other tests may be used, especially tests for specific disorders associated with polyneuropathies, quality measures have been developed to diagnose patients with distal symmetrical polyneuropathy.
HOW IS POLYNEURITIS TREATED?
In the treatment of polyneuropathies one must ascertain and manage the cause, among management activities are: weight decrease, use of a walking aid, and occupational therapist assistance. Additionally BP control in those with diabetes is helpful, while intravenous immunoglobulin is used for multifocal motor neuropathy.
DID YOU KNOW?
That it can take many weeks before you can recover fully from Polyneuritis and return to your regular activities?