Experiences withPeripheral neuropathy
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy
The main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can include:
- numbness and tingling in the feet or hands
- burning, stabbing or shooting pain in affected areas
- loss of balance and co-ordination
- muscle weakness, especially in the feet
These symptoms are usually constant, but may come and go.
Causes of peripheral neuropathy
In the UK diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy.
Over time, the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage the nerves.
This type of nerve damage is known as diabetic polyneuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy can also have a wide range of other causes.
For example, it can be caused by:
- physical injury to the nerves
- a viral infection, such as shingles
- a side effect of certain medicines or drinking too much alcohol
People who are known to be at an increased risk of peripheral neuropathy may have regular check-ups so their nerve function can be assessed.
Treating peripheral neuropathy
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on the symptoms and underlying cause.
Not all of the underlying causes of neuropathy can be treated.
For example, if you have diabetes, it may help to gain better control of your blood sugar level, stop smoking and cut down on alcohol.
Nerve pain may be treated with prescribed medicines called neuropathic pain agents, as standard painkillers often do not work.
If you have other symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy, these may need to be treated individually.
For example, treatment for muscle weakness may involve physiotherapy and walking aids.
Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in your hands, arms or feet.
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on what's causing it. Nerve pain is usually treated with strong prescription painkillers.
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy in the UK is nerve damage from diabetes. It can also be caused by things like an injury or infection.
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