What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is nerve damage, plain and simple. It usually presents itself as a weakness in the hands or feet. This is sometimes accompanied by a numbness, tingling, and/or burning sensation also in the hands and/or feet.
This nerve damage can be caused by different conditions such as diabetes or even cancer treatments like chemotherapy. In fact, neuropathy, sometimes called peripheral neuropathy, is not one single health condition overall but, rather a term used to describe a range of health problems involving damage to the peripheral nerves.
While the group of conditions is irreversible, you can take steps in your life to help prevent neuropathy or manage it through diet, lifestyle, and medical treatments. For most people with diabetes, neuropathy is fact of life, here is short video to help better explain some key points.
The damage caused by neuropathy involves damage to the peripheral nervous system, the vast communication network that sends signals between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and all other parts of the body.
Peripheral nerves send many types of sensory information to the central nervous system (CNS), such as a message that the feet are getting cold. They also carry signals from the CNS to the rest of the body. Best known though are the signals for the muscles that tell them to contract, this is how we move our body. But, there are different types of signals that help control everything from our heart and blood vessels, digestion, urination, sexual function, to our bones and immune system. Think of these nerves as the connections of a computer connecting it to the internet, when these signals get interrupted or damaged, things can grind to a halt rather quickly.
Nerve signaling in neuropathy is disrupted in three ways:
loss of signals normally sent (like a broken wire)
inappropriate signaling when there shouldn’t be any (like static on a telephone line)
errors that distort the messages being sent (like a wavy television picture)
Symptoms can range from mild to disabling and are rarely life-threatening. The symptoms depend on the type of nerve fibers affected and the severity and damage caused. Symptoms may develop over days, weeks, or years. In some cases, the symptoms improve on their own and may not require advanced care. Unlike nerve cells in the central nervous system, peripheral nerve cells continue to grow throughout life.
Some forms of neuropathy involve damage to only one nerve (called mononeuropathy). Neuropathy affecting two or more nerves in different areas is called multiple mononeuropathy or mononeuropathy multiplex. More often, many or most of the nerves are affected (called polyneuropathy).
More than 20 million people in the United States have been estimated to have some form of peripheral neuropathy, but this figure may be significantly higher—not all people with symptoms of neuropathy are tested for the disease and tests currently don’t look for all forms of neuropathy. Neuropathy is often misdiagnosed due to its complex array of symptoms.
Give us a call during normal business hours to speak to one our highly trained medical professionals about scheduling your appointment today. Again, we do accept Medicare for neuropathy treatments. We look forward to helping you achieve your health & wellness goals at Elite, come experience the difference! Our contact details are below:
Elite Medical Center
114 Canal Street Ste 201
Pooler, GA, 31322
Office- (912) 988-3839
Fax- (912) 988-3834
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