What you should know about peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral Neuropathy is a form of nerve damage that is rarely life-threatening but can lead to disabling symptoms if left untreated.
Peripheral nerves are found throughout the body and carry sensory data to and from the central nervous system. The neuropathic condition can be mild or severe. When it is mild, it may not manifest any symptoms, but it can affect walking, breathing, swallowing, and talking if it is more serious,.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by medical conditions like:
- Diabetes (the most common cause)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic liver disease
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Other conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy include:
- Infections like shingles, HIV infection, Lyme disease, etc.
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Medicines used for chemotherapy and HIV treatment
- Vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
- Some kinds of cancer.
How would you know if you have peripheral neuropathy?
Common signs and symptoms of neuropathy of the legs include:
- Tingling in legs
- Numb feet
- Burning or throbbing sensation in the foot
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle twitching
- Dizziness when standing up
Importance of foot exam for peripheral neuropathy
People who are at high risk for peripheral neuropathy or suffer from it should see a podiatrist regularly. This is because one of the first signs of peripheral neuropathy is foot problems as the condition affects the extremities severely.
The podiatrist will do a foot exam that will include:
- A diabetic examination to check the overall health of feet and to look for signs like thickened toenails, fungal infections, etc.
- A neurological exam to check for sensation and reflexes in toes and heels.
- A dermatological examination to check for dry skin and scanlines.
- Vascular examination on the back of leg and feet to make sure that blood circulation is adequate.
- A musculoskeletal exam to check for any deformities or conditions like bunion deformities, Charcot deformities, changes in arch height, etc.
Management of peripheral neuropathy
- Management of peripheral neuropathy usually includes:
- Medications to relieve pain and infections
- Physiotherapy to improve blood circulation
- Topical treatments to help with symptoms
- Surgery to release pinched nerves
If you have symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, you should consult a podiatrist and get Neuropathy Treatment.
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