Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment

What is Neuropathy?

 
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Neuropathy is a condition that damages the nerves in the body. It also means damage to the peripheral nervous system. And can also include damage the blood vessel and skin in the hands and feet. If not treated properly, peripheral neuropathy can cause unrelenting, unbearable pain, amputation and death.
 
 

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Neuropathy can affect a arms, hands, legs and feet. It can be caused by an injury or it can happen over time due to an illness like diabetes, prolonged steroid use as in treatment for COPD or chemotherapy for arthritis or cancer.
 
Neuropathy can make it difficult for someone to walk or use their hands properly. The symptoms vary depending on the type of neuropathy they have, and where it is affecting them most.

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Neuropathy is most often found in people over 50 years old and it affects about one-third of patients with diabetes. It is also more common in people with medical conditions that cause nerve damage like rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma.

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What are the Symptoms of Neuropathies?

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Neuropathies are a set of neurological disorders that involve damage to the peripheral nervous system. The symptoms may vary from person to person, but the main ones include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hands and feet.

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How is a Diagnosis Made for a Person with a Neuropathy?

 
 
A doctor will first talk with their patient to see if they have any symptoms of neuropathy. Then they will perform a physical exam that should measure nerve function. Blood tests, and electrodiagnostic testing (done by placing electrodes on the skin near or around the nerve being tested) may refine the diagnosis. The doctor may also request an MRI to rule out other potential conditions that could contribute to the symptoms.
 
 

How an Epidural Injection May Manage Pain

 
 
An epidural injection is a shot that is made into the fluid around the spinal cord or nerves to provide pain relief for patients with neurological pain disorders. The procedure of injection is done by a neurologist who inserts a needle into the area where it can be seen by an x-ray. Then, they inject medication to alleviate pain and inflammation of the nerves. And while this can provide relief for pain, it rarely helps any other neuropathy symptoms.
 
 

Common Neuropathy Medications

 
 
Most medication for neuropathy attempts to treat the symptoms with pain medication and anti-seizure or antidepressant medication to calm the nerves. If the patient also has skin damage, wound management becomes an important part of treatment to minimize infection and amputation. And as nobel as all that may be, none of it gives the peripheral nerves, blood vessels or skin what they need to heal.
 
But neuropathy treatment centers around the world have found a few key treatments that do exactly that. Providing relief and in many cases reversal of neuropathy. As always, there are no guarantees, but the odds of getting better increase with care focused on healing nerves instead of just treating pain.
 
 
I wish I knew about these treatments 12 years ago when my father’s doctors told us they did everything they could. But that was the last time I ever accepted that Bad Science excuse. Because after relentless research I found treatments that improve circulation, retrain damaged nerves and dramatically improve wound healing. But that information came too late to save my dad. And I don’t want anyone to experience what we went through in his last days.



Functional Medicine

 
 
The last time I saw my father alive his legs were black with neuropathy. And even though I had just started my post graduate certification course in Functional Medicine, I knew that he had better options than more medication and amputation.
 
 
So I got him on the best supplements I could find, at the time, and bought him a near infrared light. But it was too little, too late. So, I spent an obscene amount of time and money learning the real “everything that can be done” for neuropathy, not just what the drug reps sell doctors or what the insurance companies “cover”. Because that’s exactly what failed my dad.
 
 
Instead, I found some technologies that can relieve and nourish damaged nerves, blood vessels and skin. I never interfere with a medical prescription, occasionally working side by side with more progressive medical doctors. Providing a service that helps most neuropathy patients achieve much better results than medication alone.
 
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