Peripheral neuropathy is damage that occurs to the nerves going from your spinal cord to your limbs. Your peripheral nervous system connects the nerves from your brain and spinal cord, or central nervous system, to the rest of your body. This includes your:
- internal organs
The job of these nerves is to deliver signals about physical sensations back to your brain. Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that occurs when these nerves malfunction because they’re damaged or destroyed. As a result, this disrupts the nerves’ normal function. For instance, they might send signals of pain when there’s nothing causing pain; or they might not send a pain signal, at all. Commonly, the disorder can start off as an uncomfortable feeling in the early stages but, over time can become debilitating. All experts agree that if peripheral neuropathy is solely treated with medication or – not treated at all – cases will worsen in severity over time.
There are three types of peripheral nerves:
- Sensory nerves (which connect to your skin)
- Motor nerves (which connect to your muscles)
- Autonomic nerves (which connect to your internal organs)
- Peripheral neuropathy can affect one nerve group or all three.
Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
- Tingling in the hands or feet
- Feeling like you’re wearing a tight glove or sock
- Sharp, stabbing pains
- Numbness in the hands or feet
- Burning sensation
- Weak, heavy feeling in the arms and legs, which sometimes may feel like your legs or arms lock in place
- regularly dropping things from your hands
- Buzzing or shocking sensation
- Thinning of the skin
- Drop in blood pressure
- Sexual dysfunction, especially in men
- Digestive difficulty
- Excessive sweating
What Are The Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy?
A variety of factors can cause this condition. For instance diabetic nerve damage is one of the most common forms of neuropathy. This results in numbness, pain, and a loss of sensation in the feet or legs, hands or arms.
The risk of neuropathy increases for anyone who suffers from the following:
- Overweight or obesity
- High blood pressure
- Elevated Hemoglobin A1c levels (even in the absence of diabetes)
Nearly 66 percent of people with diabetes have some sort of nerve damage, according to the University of Chicago’s Center for Peripheral Neuropathy (UCCPN). This damage is often due to high blood sugar levels.
Other chronic diseases that may cause nerve damage include:
- Kidney disorders/disease (high amounts of toxins build up in the body and damage nerve tissue)
- Hypothyroidism (can lead to fluid retention and pressure surrounding nerve tissues)
- Diseases that cause chronic inflammation and can spread to the nerves or damage connective tissue surrounding nerves (IBS, GERD, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticulitis and Celiac disease)
- Deficiencies of vitamins E, B-1, B-6, and B-12 (essential to nerve health and functioning)
- Other known causes of peripheral neuropathy
- Chemotherapy which directly damages peripheral nerves in 60% -90% of all cases
- Cholesterol lowering Statin medication
- CCB (calcium channel blocker) Blood pressure medication (Norvasc, Amlodipine, Verapimil, Cardizem)
- Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Noroxin, Floxin, Factive)
Studies Show Peripheral Neuropathy Can Be Reversed
22 million people in America alone have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and the numbers continue to climb. Although this condition can start off as minor numbness that may not interfere with your ability to function-immediately, with time it will progressively worsen to the point of disability and ultimately misery.
Most doctors tell their patients the only thing that can be done for their peripheral neuropathy is managing the pain with medication. The vast majority of these meds cause even more nerve damage with time. This is the largest injustice served to these patients.
The reality is…Peripheral nerves can be repaired. This is not our opinion. This has been well documented in many research studies and published in reputable journals, such as the Journal of Neurology, the Journal of Oncology, and the British Medical Journal- to name a few. The question is…Why doesn’t your doctor know about this research? Afterall, this research has been out there for quite some time and is easily accessible.
The answer is simply…Your doctor is not keeping up with the research.
We have been treating peripheral neuropathy cases for many years with great success. How are we doing it? What’s so special about us? It’s simple. We take the time to stay current with the research and then we’re bold enough to put it into effect in our clinic.
As a result, we have witnessed amazing patient results. We’ve watched patients – who had lost all hope because their doctors had told them that their condition was permanent- literally, transform into active people with little to no pain. People, who once again had the ability to enjoy life again.
Do not buy into the myth that your peripheral neuropathy can’t be repaired, simply because your doctor lacks the knowledge.
This blog has been provided by Dr. John Coppola, D.C. and Dr. Valerie Monteiro, D.C. Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro are the founders of the San Antonio Neuropathy Center, and Precision Sport & Spine. They are the leading experts in the field of neuropathy and specifically drug free nerve repair. They are the authors of the critically acclaimed book “Defeat Neuropathy Now …. In Spite of Your Doctor. The doctors have over 25 years of clinical experience.
If you would like to reach the doctors regarding a specific health problem, you may email them at [email protected].