What You Didn’t Know About Neuropathy

Understanding Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerve cells and causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the extremities. It’s sometimes called peripheral neuropathy because it primarily affects nerves outside of the brain. There are many treatments for neuropathies, such as medication, physical therapy, or surgery to relieve symptoms. Look for the best experts in Arlington, Virginia, who can tailor the best treatment for your needs. Book an appointment with Arlington neuropathy specialists. What should anyone know about neuropathy?

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain in your hands or feet. It’s more common as you age. Your doctor will test your nervous system to diagnose neuropathy. You can help prevent it by controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. 

There are many things you can do to prevent neuropathy such as:

  • Control your blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol
  • Eat a healthy diet including whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, fresh vegetables, and plenty of fruit
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol excessively
  • Exercise regularly – Workout three times a week for at least 30 minutes

Symptoms of Neuropathy

Some neuropathies cause pain throughout your body. This can be a symptom of damaged nerves from diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, infections, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus or multiple sclerosis. Other neuropathies may not cause any pain at all. You may have tingling, numbness, or a feeling like your feet or hands are “falling asleep.” You may also have problems walking or using your hands.

Causes of Neuropathy

There are many different causes of neuropathy. The most common include;

  • Diabetes – High blood sugar levels can damage nerves
  • Injury or trauma to the arms and legs – This can either stretch or compress the nerves
  • Infections such as shingles – A virus that causes a painful rash
  • Steroids, chemotherapy, and some medications may also cause neuropathy
  • As we get older, we become more likely to develop neuropathy

How to Live with Neuropathy

You will need to work with your doctor to develop the best plan for you. Some things you can do include controlling your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes and taking medications prescribed by your doctor. Also, use assistive devices such as a cane or walker if you have trouble walking.

Wear gloves to protect your hands and shoes with extra padding if you have problems with balance. Remember to exercise regularly under the guidance of a physical therapist. Your doctor may also ask you to participate in support groups to connect with others who understand what you’re going through.

Treatment for Neuropathy

There are many treatments for neuropathy. The most common are;

  • Medication – Painkillers, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and medications to improve nerve function may help relieve symptoms
  • Physical therapy – Exercises can help improve muscle strength and balance
  • Surgery – If the neuropathy is caused by a tumor or another problem that can be fixed, surgery may be an option

If you’re experiencing tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands and feet, it could be a sign of neuropathy. Neuropathies are caused by many different factors, including diabetes, injury to the arms or legs, infections such as shingles or steroids. Talk to your doctor about treatment options that may include medications like painkillers, antidepressants, and physical therapy exercises.