Millions of Americans have peripheral neuropathy. You may be wondering why you experience the tingling, numbness, weakness, and stabbing pain in your hands and feet, which are the characteristic symptoms of this type of neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy is a chronic disorder of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system involves the nerves other than those in the brain and spinal cord, which are the two components that comprise the entire central nervous system.
Accordingly, the dysfunction and pain of peripheral neuropathy can affect the sensory nerves (touch, sight, hearing), motor nerves (movement and strength), and autonomic nerves (heart rate, breathing, bladder function, circulation). Symptoms are different for each patient, but pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet are the most common ones.
Let’s look at some of the possible causes of your neuropathy pain, and where you can go for professional medical help that can mitigate the pain and get you back to enjoying your life.
What Can Cause Peripheral Neuropathy Pain?
There are many reasons why people experience neuropathy pain, including the following:
Diabetes and Other Diseases
Diabetes is the most common underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy. That is because the elevated blood glucose (blood sugar) levels can damage the delicate and sensitive nerve endings, particularly in the hands and feet.
The increased blood sugar causes sluggish circulation in the places that are farthest away from the heart, namely the hands and feet, so the blood has a hard time providing efficient nutrients and oxygen to the cells in these areas. The nerve cells therefore suffer, and this can cause the neuropathy pain.
Additionally, these metabolic and autoimmune issues can contribute to neuropathy pain:
- Kidney disease
- Liver function issues
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Exposure to Toxins
Environmental toxins, including those you may be exposed to in the course of your profession, can cause peripheral nerve damage and pain. These toxins include mercury, arsenic (and other heavy metals), insecticides, and herbicides.
Heavy alcohol use can lead to symptoms of neuropathy. In fact, pain experts at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation say that alcoholism is one of the least-recognized causes of neuropathy. Smoking, which decreases the efficiency of peripheral circulation, can also lead to neuropathy.
Hormonal or Nutritional Imbalances
The reduced hormone levels associated with menopause and andropause may cause neuropathy. Additionally, habitual overeating or a lack of fiber and antioxidants in the daily diet can contribute to neuropathy pain. Vitamin B-12 is considered essential to nerve health.
Medical Therapies and Treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy
At NIVA Health, our team of highly qualified physicians and healthcare providers offer many ways to achieve optimal health. If you have symptoms of neuropathy, call us today to schedule a free consultation at (866) 377-5872, or request an appointment via our online form.
We have eight locations in which to serve you, including our neuropathy clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. We look forward to helping you find relief from your nerve pain!