Important Treatment Facts of Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy occurs as a result of nerve damage to your peripheral system. The nerves transmit information to and from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body (muscle, skin, and internal organs). Peripheral neuropathy is commonly seen in your hands and feet but may affect other parts of your body.
Diagnosing Peripheral Neuropathy
Depending on the nerve affected specific functions, signs, and symptoms are seen in peripheral neuropathy. The nerves are categorized into motor, sensory, and autonomic nerves. A motor nerve controls the movement of muscle, therefore, nerve damage will often cause muscle weakness. The function of sensory nerves is to receive sensation. If a sensory nerve is damaged temperature, pain, vibration, or touch can be impaired. The autonomic nerves regulate heart rate, blood pressure, bladder, and digestion. These damaged nerves lead to heat intolerance, altered sweating, loss of bladder control, dizziness, lightheadedness, intestinal muscle contractions, difficulty eating or swallowing.
The common sign and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include the gradual onset of weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain in your feet or hands with the possibility of radiating up your legs and arms. You might also feel sharp, throbbing, freezing, burning, or stabbing pain. Extreme sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, lack of coordination, paralysis may also occur in peripheral neuropathy.
The goal of your healthcare provider is to relieve your symptoms and manage peripheral neuropathy. You will be advised to seek therapy, take medications, and alternative treatment options to alleviate pain.
The most promising alternative therapies include acupuncture, alpha-lipoic acid, herbs such as evening primrose oil, and amino acids such as acetyl-L-carnitine. Ask your healthcare provider for the benefits of these treatment options.