Leading a life with peripheral neuropathy is quite similar to riding a roller coaster. Managing the pain can be frustrating at one time and overwhelming on the other as patients can experience alternating symptoms with debilitating pain. So you should learn about the various treatment options as they can help you go a long way in managing the pain.
The peripheral nerves are considered the longest in the body which extend from the hands to feet. When these nerves are damaged, you may feel some sort of pain, tingling in the hands and feet and even numbness, and these symptoms can even get worse and you may experience stabbing pain with increasing weakness.
There are many things that you should know about peripheral neuropathy as they would help you to manage the condition much more effectively.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of neuropathy: More than 70% of diabetics develop symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. So you should keep your blood sugar within optimum levels as a means of reversing diabetic neuropathy.
- A melange of causes behind neuropathy: Though diabetes is the number 1 cause of peripheral neuropathy, other causes include deficiency of vitamin B12, alcoholism, traumatic injury, chemotherapy and exposure to toxic substances. Physicians may find it difficult to pin-point the cause and when this happens. This is often termed as ‘idiopathic neuropathy’.
- Medications causing neuropathy: If you are suffering from diabetes and being treated with the drug named metformin, you may develop peripheral neuropathy.
- Preventing neuropathy is the most recommended way: While it is the fact that some nerves may potentially get damaged from certain surgeries or injury, peripheral neuropathy can be potentially prevented or sometimes stopped from spreading. As diabetes is a major cause of diabetes, being watchful about your diet and exercising regularly can help you go a long way to prevent diabetes as well as neuropathy.
- Pain is not simply confined to a tingling sensation: Though pain and a tingling sensation is the commonest and easiest way of recognising the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, each of your sensory, motor and autonomic nerves can show different set of symptoms that you should be watchful of.
- A diet may make the symptoms even worse: You can either help or hurt your nerves with your choice of foods. For improving symptoms, you should avoid food with excessive sugar, refined grains and artificial sweeteners as they may strain your nerves and irritate them further.
Whether you are recently diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy or living with it for many years, understanding a few conditions would help you make informed decisions about your well-being. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pain Management Specialist.