Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that affects the nerves of the peripheral nervous system (i.e., nerves outside the brain and spinal cord). There are many different causes of peripheral neuropathy and over 100 specific types, each with its own set of symptoms. As a result, peripheral neuropathy is frequently hard to conclusively diagnose and treat. Patients who suspect they have a problem should immediately see a peripheral neuropathy specialist for the best care. Here are some general warning signs and symptoms:
Tingling, burning, numbness, and loss of sensation (often in the hands and feet) are some of the first signs of nerve damage and occur due to inadequate blood flow to the nerve itself. With little or no access to the oxygen and nutrients usually carried in the blood, nerves deteriorate and go “haywire.” They become unable to properly send or receive signals from the brain, which can result in painful sensations. A peripheral neuropathy specialist can help you determine if your pain is nerve-related.
Problems with peripheral nerves can also make it hard for muscles to function normally. In a healthy body, nerves send messages that cause muscles to contract. If there’s a problem with the nerve, muscles aren’t correctly connected to the rest of the musculoskeletal system and, thus, cannot activate precise voluntary movement. Loss of balance and coordination, muscle weakness, twitching, and cramps can all sometimes indicate a problem in the peripheral nervous system and warrant a visit with a peripheral neuropathy specialist.
Seeing a peripheral neuropathy specialist as soon as any muscle issues develop can help patients avoid further, longer-lasting nerve damage, such as partial or whole-body paralysis!
Other Bodily Issues
There are many types of nerves, and damage can occur to any of them, resulting in various symptoms other than sensory and motor problems. If the injury occurs to nerves within the autonomic nervous system, for example, patients could experience excessive sweating, sudden drops in blood pressure, fainting, heart palpitations, blurred vision, sleep disturbances, digestive issues, sexual difficulties, incontinence, and more. Seeing a peripheral neuropathy specialist is often the only way for patients to diagnose the cause of their symptoms properly.
Want to Learn More?
An appointment with a peripheral neuropathy specialist is the best way for patients to diagnose and treat peripheral neuropathy. Wide its wide range of symptoms, peripheral neuropathy can be mistaken for many other disorders. A peripheral neuropathy specialist can help patients definitely determine the cause of their systems and develop a plan for possible relief. Please contact our medical providers at Central Iowa Neuropathy to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and proper treatment of peripheral nerve damage.