Neuropathy is a form of nerve damaged or nerve impairment. It can result in temporary or permanent changes to nerve function. There are a variety of reasons for neuropathy. The symptoms could be an impairment in nerve function, which could result in diminished strength or feeling.
Neuropathy may cause paraesthesias (unusual sensations) as well as discomfort or even pain. Usually, the uncomfortable sensations can be addressed with medications. Sometimes, treating root problem can slow the progress in nerve pain. 1
This article will review the four different types of neuropathy (peripheral autonomic, proximal and focal) and their symptoms and treatments.
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Neuropathy can affect various nerves in the body, typically with a particular kind of impairment. Sometimes , you might be affected by more than one kind of neuropathy.
The type of neuropathy that is affected is a result of nerves controlling the sensation and movement of your hands and feet. Peripheral neuropathy is usually described as having the appearance of a “stocking-glove” pattern because it typically affects your feet and hands more than other parts within the human body.
Peripheral neuropathy is a result of issues that affect all body parts. It can also affect nerves that are located on both sides of the body in asymmetrical fashion. The most common causes are the condition of diabetes (especially in cases where blood sugar levels aren’t properly maintained) excessive alcohol intake, medication like chemotherapy and immune conditions.
The neuropathy that this type of affects is the involuntary nerves which regulate the organs of your body. The nerves regulate movement of the digestive tract, heart rate, intensity of heart contractions and blood pressure, urination and many other things. 3
Autonomic neuropathy can be linked to chronic diabetes and systemic illnesses including renal failure and cancer.
Proximal neuropathy affects nerves in the limbs that are closer to your torso. This includes as nerves that run through the shoulders, upper arm or the thighs. It’s less prevalent than other forms of neuropathy and may occur as a stand-alone condition or in conjunction with peripheral neuropathy. 2 Sometimes severe peripheral neuropathy can affect the proximal nerves when it gets worse.
This kind of neuropathy tends to be anasymmetric (not being affecting each side of your body in the same way). Causes include cancer as well as inflammatory diseases like Guillain-Barre Syndrome (acute dermyelinating polyneuropathy) and chronic demyelinating and inflammatory polyneuropathy.
Guillain Barre is also believed to be a problem with the muscles controlling breathing, and can trigger breathing difficulties.
Focal neuropathy is a common occurrence. It is a condition that includes carpal tunnel syndrome and the ulnar neuropathy that result from pressure on different nerves (both touch the wrist and hand). The cause of compression is pressure, usually from long position, or overuse of the limb in a manner that can cause inflammation.
Bell’s paralysis that is a neuropathy of the motor part that runs through the facial nerve may be caused by an infection caused by viruses or inflammation as well as being classified as a focal nerve.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a different kind of focal neuropathy is a painful condition triggered by irritation or inflammation in the nerve trigeminal that controls the facial sensation.
The signs associated with peripheral nerve disease, proximal nerve and focal neuropathy could be paresthesias and decreased sensation and weakening. Paresthesias are often the first symptoms that are noticed. The symptoms can change and, if not treated, the symptoms will only get worse as time passes.
Autonomic neuropathy can cause a variety of symptoms, including constipation, diarrhea as well as urinary incontinence, flushing, lightheadedness, and many more.
Some neuropathies do not appear to heal. Diabetes neuropathy and alcoholic neuropathy for instance, can be stabilized through treatment, however the damage isn’t likely to heal.
Focal neuropathy is a condition that can be improved by treatment, and often leads to the complete elimination of symptoms.
Neuropathy may be caused by damage to the myelin which is a fat layer of protective tissue that surrounds nerves. In more extreme instances, nerve damage could develop. The body’s natural ability to renew myelin. Occasionally, the process of demyelination (loss of myelin) is a healing process if the damage ceases to occur.
Usually, treatment for neuropathy is focused around the prevention of myelin and nerve damage by addressing the root reason. The treatment of symptoms is typically needed to alleviate pain or discomfort.
The treatment for neuropathy could consist of:
- The best blood sugar control is to stop the progression of diabetic neuropathy
- Eliminating alcohol to avoid the development of neuropathy caused by alcohol.
- Anti-inflammatory medication is used to limit myelin and nerve damage when neuropathy is the result of an inflammatory disorder that affects the entire system.
- Relaxing, wearing splints and attending physical therapy to treat neuropathy due to the pressure (such the carpal tunnel disorder)
- Operation to alleviate compression, for example with carpal tunnel syndrome or Ulnar Neuropathy
There aren’t any treatments that specifically treat the nerve, but it is possible to use physical therapy to enhance your motor performance and prevent injuries by learning how to adjust and improve your capabilities.
Symptomatic and Supportive Treatment
Neuropathy pain is often debilitating and it may affect your general health as well as your ability to perform your activities. Treatment for symptoms is crucial however it doesn’t repair the myelin or nerve, and it doesn’t hinder the progression of neuropathy.
The most commonly used medications to treat neuropathic pain are antidepressants and antiepileptic medicines (AEDs that are typically used to treat nerve cells activity that triggers seizures). The drugs alter the nerve’s activity in a manner which can reduce pain. The medications should generally be administered several times a each day to ease pain.
With time, the severity of nerve pain may change and you may need to take higher doses of medication or not require treatment for pain.
The standard pain medication is generally not effective in controlling neuropathy-related pain.
In general, when it comes to Guillain Barre, treatment that is supportive including respiratory support and mechanical ventilation is required in conjunction with anti-inflammatory treatments to treat the issue.
Neuropathy is the result of a malfunction or damage of the nerve. It can affect any nerve within the body. The nature of the nerves and the pattern of involvement are determined by the underlying cause. Peripheral neuropathy, which is a typical form, is often due to diabetes, alcohol excessive use, or chemotherapy. There are many possible causes.
Autonomic neuropathy and proximal nervepathy can affect more nerves and cause severe symptoms. Inflammatory diseases are the most frequent cause. Focal neuropathy is typically due to nerve compression. Treatment for neuropathy is crucial to avoid the development of permanent and serious damage to the nerve.
A Word From Healthsdigest
If you’ve been diagnosed with neuropathy, it could be a cause for concern. It is crucial to seek the appropriate treatment for your specific condition. It could take weeks or more before you begin to notice the results the treatment has had, however don’t be discouraged. Certain neuropathies are able to completely disappear while those that can’t be reversed are often controlled to stop the progression.