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What is Neuropathy?

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is essentially an inflammation of the nerves caused by disease. The word ‘Neuropathy’ actually means “a disease of the nerve”, based upon its derivation. The most common form of neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, often abbreviated with PN.

Peripheral Neuropathy is closely connected with Diabetes for a couple major reasons. The high blood sugar levels often, over time, cause the nerves to deteriorate and become less effective. Additionally, the drugs often prescribed for Diabetes, have very bad side effects and Neuropathy is one of them.

The latest research indicates that as many as 20 million Americans experience some form of neuropathy. The human body has an enormous communication system that transfers, sends and receives information from the brain and spinal cord to all parts of the body by the nerves. Peripheral nerves send messages back and forth and any damage to the peripheral nervous system will disrupt and interrupt communication between the brain and the various parts of the body. The peripheral nervous system is dealing mainly with the hands, feet and limbs of your body.

Peripheral Neuropathy has a few different aspects to it, and the 2 main types or categories of peripheral neuropathy are mononeuropathy (one nerve) and polyneuropathy (many nerves).

In mononeuropathy, only one nerve is affected by the underlying problem. Due to the problem being localized, the cause of mononeuropathy is often easier to find. A common example of mononeuropathy include carpal tunnel syndrome, in which the median nerve traveling through the carpal tunnel of the wrist is compressed. This is a common problem in people who use computers for a job for example. Another example that we all experience from time to time is the sensation of ‘pins and needles’, though this is a much less severe problem, fixable simply by adjusting to a more comfortable and natural position.

In polyneuropathy, many different nerves are affected by the problem. This makes diagnosis more difficult, since the cause could be centralized at any part of the body, and not as easily located. Often the damage on both sides of the body is symmetric, making many of life’s simple tasks become very challenging. Often the cause for these problems can be something as simple as alcohol, though in many cases the answer is not so simple.

Peripheral Neuropathy is a ‘disease’ that is brought upon the body by a number of different things. Because of this, it can also be treated and healed. The solution is not always simple, but your body will always heal itself if it is given the correct nutrients, care and isn’t polluted with things that are causing damage.

Neuropathy can be caused by many different things including but not limited to: cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, alcohol, radiation, chemo therapy, auto-immune disorders, foods, vitamin deficiencies and sports injuries. The above list is not a complete and total list, but it is some of the major causes of neuropathy.

Find out more about Neuropathy Find out what you can do about neuropathy