Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy

The term peripheral neuropathy describes a problem with the functioning of the nerves outside of the spinal cord. The symptoms of a neuropathy may include numbness, weakness, burning pain (especially at night), and loss of reflexes. The pain may be severe and disabling.

There are many possible causes of peripheral neuropathy. Some of the most common causes include repetitive activities such as typing or working on an assembly line. In this case, the neuropathy may be isolated to the upper extremities, such as with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Pressure on a nerve can cause a peripheral neuropathy. For example, pressure on a nerve that comes out from the groin to the skin in front of the upper thigh can cause burning and tingling in this location. This particular problem is called meralgia paresthetica and can be caused by wearing a tight belt or other restrictive clothing. Additionally, it can result from being overweight or pregnant.

Many illnesses can result in peripheral neuropathy. Some examples include diabetes, syphilis, AIDS, and kidney failure. Other causes include nutritional deficiencies, such as B-12 and folate deficiency, medications and chemical exposures. Medications known to cause peripheral neuropathy, include several AIDS drugs (DDC and DDI), antibiotics (metronidazole, an antibiotic used for Crohn's disease, isoniazid used for TB), gold compounds (used for rheumatoid arthritis), some chemotherapy drugs (such as vincristine and others) and many others. Chemicals known to cause peripheral neuropathy include alcohol, lead, arsenic, mercury and organophosphate pesticides.

Some peripheral neuropathies are associated with diseases which are inherited (hereditary). Others are related to infectious processes (such as Guillian-Barre syndrome).

6 Replies

  • I have meralgia parenthetica diagnosed 7 years ago. It is the result of my spinal cord injury c6 on c7 from 30 years before. I was fortunate enough to walk again however 29 years of an awkward gait resulted in this. Since diagnosis I have been to 2 different nuerosurgeons Both tried to decompress the nerve but it was not successful. I have been trying to find a surgeon in Canada who would operate to sever the nerve. I have read many articles and this surgery seems to be successful for many people where other treatments have not worked. I am in chronic pain, on Lyrica and it doesn't help. It is really impacting my mobility and quality of life and continues to get worse.

    Any advice on how to find a surgeon in Canada who does this would be greatly appreciated.

  • Polyneuropathies are typically caused by processes that touch the body as a whole. Diabetes furthermore impaired glucose tolerance are the most general generates. Other causes describe to the particular type of polyneuropathy, also there are numerous other causes of every type, including inflammatory diseases.

  • You forgot to include Cauda Equina syndrome as a cause.

  • i have perifual neuropathy caused by malnutrition i have had this for many years ,i was in a car accident damaged my throat that was 23 years ago every time i tried to eat i chocked they then said i was abarexic it took me years to make them see i was not anarexic i wanted to eat but by this time nothing could be done i now have a gastronamy peg in my stomach and have special food i feed myself with a syringe ,have many more illneses including fibrio myalgia osteophorisid ,its agony to walk and i have falls but cant get a wheelchair ,

  • hi have you heard or perifual neuropathy caused by malnutrition please ,

  • I have neuropathy in my feet especially my right foot and calf which is markedly weaker than my left. I have had this checked out six ways to sunday with mri's nerve conduction studies etc but doctors can not find a cause. No drugs seem to work except for cymbalta, but it has bad sexual side effects. What other options do I have?

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