Peripheral Neuropathy

blood sugar and diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Are you struggling with neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy in Longview TX or Nacogdoches TX? Neuropathy is defined as a group of disorders that begins due to damage to the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is a part of the nervous system excluding the brain and spinal cord. This means that this is the collection of nerves that connects your limbs and organs to the central nervous system. This condition is also known as peripheral neuropathy and generally occurs because damage to the nerve axons has occurred. The nerve axon is what conducts the electrical impulses to different places. For example, if damage occurs within the axon of a sensory neuron, then a person's sense of touch and warmth will be impaired. Generally, neuropathy creates pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities (hands and feet). There are several different causes of this condition, including:

  • The most common: diabetes
  • Traumatic injury
  • Infection
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Toxins

Types of Neuropathy

  • Sensorimotor polyneuropathy: affects the sensory and motor nerves
  • Autonomic Neuropathy: affects nerves that control processes such as breathing, heartbeat, perspiration, etc.

Peripheral neuropathy often creates painful sensations described as tingling, burning and prickling. With a condition such as this, a specific duration of pain varies but generally improves in time. There is a better chance of improving the symptoms if proper treatment for an underlying condition is received. It is common to see the condition correlating with several life factors, such as poor nutrition, various diseases, trauma or pressure on the nerves. In some cases, there is an unknown cause. This is referred to as idiopathic neuropathy.

According to the Neuropathy Association, more than 20 million Americans are suffering from a form of neuropathy. That means that more people suffer from this one condition than Alzheimer's, Epilepsy, Rheumatoid Arthritis, HIV, Parkinson's Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis combined. Of those 20 million Americans suffering from neuropathy, an estimated 15-18 million of those people have this condition due to a form of diabetes.

There are over 100 different types of neuropathy, but peripheral neuropathy can be further categorized into one of the following groups. The group is defined according to how many nerves are involved.

  • A single nerve involved would be classified as mononeuropathy. When this occurs, conditions like carpel tunnel syndrome and bell's palsy may manifest.
  • Two or more individual nerves involved would be classified as multiple mononeuropathy.
  • Involvement of a broad range of peripheral nerves would be classified as polyneuropathy. When it occurs, conditions like diabetes may be associated.

There are several other ways to categorize these conditions, including:

  • Functional classification: motor, sensory, autonomic or a combination
  • Type of onset: hours, days, weeks, months, years

Peripheral neuropathy, affecting the extremities like the arms, wrists, hands, legs, ankles and feet, is the most common.

Causes of Neuropathy

There is not a single underlying cause for neuropathy. In fact, there may be no known cause that is referred to as idiopathic and makes up nearly 40% of all neuropathies. Also, nearly 35% of the remaining Americans suffering from neuropathy have diabetes. In fact, almost 70% of Americans with diabetes have developed a form of neuropathy due to the disease. The remaining percent of neuropathies is composed of a group called acquired neuropathies. This group consists of causes such as:

  • Alcoholism
  • Poor nutrition and nutritional deficiencies
  • Trauma
  • Pressure on nerves
  • Repetitive movements for extended periods of time
  • Various autoimmune diseases
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Toxins
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Various medications
  • Certain cancer treatments
  • Hereditary neuropathies (from inherited disorders)
  • Tumors
  • Other diseases, including but not limited to:
  • Lyme disease
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Hypothyroidism

Who can Develop Neuropathy?

Neuropathy can affect all people of all ages in Longview TX or Nacogdoches TX. It is more commonly found in men and Caucasians as well as those who have jobs consisting of a lot repetitive movements. There are several risk factors ranging from lifestyle choices, behaviors and conditions. As previously stated, those who have poor nutrition are likely to develop Type II Diabetes which will cause neuropathy. If a person suffers from an autoimmune disease, they have a predisposition for the development of various types of neuropathy. If a person has a compromised immune system (organ transplant recipient, HIV/AIDS patients, or due to medication), they are at an increased risk for developing a type of neuropathy. If a person suffers from alcoholism or has a vitamin deficiency, they are likely to develop a form of neuropathy. Also, if a person has kidney disease, liver disease or a thyroid disorder they are more susceptible to developing neuropathy.

Diagnosis of Neuropathy

This condition is generally not a simple diagnosis to make. It is difficult because it is not often that it is a disease present alone but rather a symptom of an underlying disease. There is a process that occurs before the diagnosis is made. The process may consist of:

  • Full medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Neurological exam
  • Tendon reflexes
  • Muscular strength
  • Muscular tone
  • Sensory tests
  • Postural analysis
  • Coordination analysis
  • Blood tests (check vitamin B-12)
  • Urinalysis
  • Thyroid function tests
  • Nerve conduction test

In some cases a nerve biopsy may be requested by a physician.

Neuropathy Treatment Options

You may have been told that there is no cure or effective treatment for peripheral neuropathy. Likewise, your doctor may have told you that you will have to live with your pain and you should just take mind-numbing medication for the rest of your life only to potentially lose your feet to amputation. At East Texas Neuropathy Associates, we understand your frustration.

Additional medical options may include injections, pain creams, or invasive surgical implants including pain pumps, spinal stimulators, and even nerve ablation. These dangerous procedures do not alleviate your pain for very long, if at all, and do not correct the underlying problem causing your neuropathy.

While there remain less invasive options like "natural" supplements, CBD creams, and the latest "fad" devices on Amazon, these approaches will lead to frustration, time lost and money wasted all while your condition continues to degenerate causing further suffering and potentially irreparable damage to your nervous system.

At East Texas Neuropathy Associates, our clinicians will prescribe a specific treatment plan only after your exam and the exact underlying cause of your nerve damage has been determined. It is the specificity of your treatment that will determine whether or not your outcome will be successful. The underlying causes must be determined to stop any further progression and enable your nerves to finally begin to heal. We use a multi-faceted approach incorporating the very latest understanding of human neurophysiology and the most comprehensive approach to helping you totally transform your neurological health.

We achieve long-term, predictable outcomes not only by reversing neuropathy symptoms but actually creating healing within the nervous system. If you suffer from this debilitating condition, please don't waste another day. Make your appointment today to find out if you will be a good candidate for our life-changing care. We look forward to serving you.

Always remember if you have any questions, you can call the team in Longview or Nacogdoches to get help.


East Texas Neuropathy Associates - Longview

East Texas Neuropathy Associates - Nacogdoches

Northview Wellness Center

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