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21/May/2019

If you have ever experienced neuropathy (or peripheral neuropathy), you know that it is a very unpleasant experience. It involves feeling a stinging, tingling or burning pain and usually occurs in the arm, legs, hands, and feet. Neuropathy can be long-lasting and usually has a big impact on one's life. The following is a list of questions whose answers can shed more light on neuropathy and its causes.

What are some symptoms of neuropathy?

The below symptoms can be signs of neuropathy:

  • Abnormalities in blood pressure or pulse
  • Burning or freezing sensations
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sharp or stabbing electric pain
  • Unusual sweating

What is the difference between polyneuropathy and mononeuropathy?

Polyneuropathy is more common and usually affects multiple locations and multiple nerves at the same time. Mononeuropathy involves only one location on the body — more commonly known conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and Bell's Palsy, are examples of mononeuropathy.

Who usually gets peripheral neuropathy?

People most commonly affected by peripheral neuropathy are those with diabetes or those who are pre-diabetic. This is because the excess sugar from these diseases tends to over-activate and damage your nervous system. A return to normal blood glucose levels may or may not reverse the neuropathy.

How is peripheral neuropathy treated?

Neuropathy is treated symptomatically. There is no cure because nerve cells are so complex. However, the treatments sometimes involve a combination of massage therapy, chiropractic, physical therapy or prescription medications. Treatment is usually on a long-term basis and can help those who suffer from neuropathy cope with the effects.

Is neuropathy avoidable?

In some cases, yes. If you are diabetic, it is important to take good care of your blood sugar and keep it within normal range over the long-term. Some diseases happen by genetics or trauma (an injury of force). These are unexpected and cannot be prevented in the same way.

Why are feet so important in neuropathy?

Those with neuropathy usually have numb feet all the time. If you cannot feel what you are stepping on, then you are likely to get cuts and scrapes on the underside of your feet. When this happens, your body's natural signals are no longer there to warn you of the danger, and infections and swelling often occur as a result.

What are the consequences of leaving neuropathy untreated?

As mentioned in the above answer, when you have no pain receptors you cannot feel when your feet get cut or hurt in other ways. If an infection results, this is when you can have serious consequences. An infection can damage the feet and legs badly enough to lead to amputation of one or both of your limbs.

What steps can I take to lower my chances of developing neuropathy?

If you have diabetes, practice good blood-sugar control. This will involve diet, exercise, and possibly medications such as insulin. Otherwise, you can reduce the stress on the hands to lower your chances of carpal tunnel — meaning you should spend less time at the computer typing. Traumatic injuries are unpredictable, but seek medical attention immediately to reduce your risk of developing further complications. If you have any other questions about neuropathy, don't hesitate to call our team of health professionals.

Request an appointment in our La Mesa office here: https://neurologicalandpain.com.


21/May/2019

Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage triggered by chronically high blood sugar and diabetes. It leads to loss of sensation, numbness and at times, a pain in the legs, feet or hands. It is the most common complication of diabetes.

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

Chronically high blood sugar levels damage nerves not only in the extremities but also in additional parts of the body. These damaged nerves cannot effectively carry messages between the brain and other parts of the body.

You might be wondering …

Peripheral neuropathy means a person may not feel cold, heat or pain in the legs, feet or hands. If a foot has a cut or sore, a person may not know it, which is why it is imperative to inspect feet daily. If a shoe does not fit correctly, a foot ulcer could unknowingly develop.

The consequences could be life threatening. An infection that will not heal because of deprived blood flow creates risk for developing ulcers and could lead to amputation or even death.

The nerve damage presents itself differently in each person. Some people feel pain, then later feel tingling. Other people lose the feeling in toes and fingers, or numbness. These transformations happen slowly throughout months to years, so a person might not even be aware of it.

Since changes are subtle and happen as people get older, people tend not to pay attention to the signs of nerve damage, playing it off as just a part of getting older.

However, some treatments and therapies can assist in slowing down the progression of this condition and reduce the damage. Get advice from doctors about what the options are, and do not disregard the signs because with time, it could become worse.

Symptoms of nerve damage from diabetes

Numbness is one of the most common symptoms of nerve damage due to diabetes. The loss of feeling is a particular concern. People who lose sensation are the ones most often to obtain ulcers on the feet and to end up requiring amputations.

People describe the early signs of peripheral neuropathy in numerous ways:

  1. Numbness
  2. Tingling
  3. Pins and needles
  4. Prickling
  5. Burning
  6. Cold
  7. Pinching
  8. Buzzing
  9. Sharp
  10. Deep stabs

Others indicate sharp pain, tingling, cramps, prickling and a burning sensation. Still others have exaggerated sensitivity to touch.

The symptoms are usually worse in the later part of the day, mostly at night. Be on the lookout for these changes:

Sensitivity to touch. A person may feel a heightened sensitivity to touch, or numbness or tingling in the feet, toes, legs or hands.

Muscle weakness. Elevated blood sugars could damage nerves that communicate to the muscles how to move. This might lead to muscle frailty. A person may have trouble getting up from a chair, walking, carrying things or grabbing items.

Balance problems. A person may feel more unsteady than usual and uncoordinated when they walk; this happens when the body adapts to something different brought on by muscle damage.

Because people with type 2 diabetes may have multiple health issues, doctors do not always diagnose peripheral neuropathy when symptoms first appear. Be aware that the pain could be confused with other problems. If the pain is severe, in the case of diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, it could be chronic and needs attention.

Request an appointment here: https://neurologicalandpain.com or call Neurological and Pain Institute at (619) 872-2742 for an appointment in our La Mesa office.


21/May/2019

Pain from nerve damage does not have to last forever. With the proper treatment, it is possible to restore nerve health, along with the mobility and physical capabilities a patient had before nerves becoming damaged.

The key is to treat the damage instead of just numbing the pain.

Pain medication will be part of the treatment process

Initially, patients may need to take over-the-counter pain medications or use ointments or sprays that can help to reduce nerve pain. In some situations, a doctor may prescribe medication as well.

There are ways to support nerve healing

Certain vitamins and supplements are also known to reduce nerve pain and even promote healing. Some of the ones we recommend taking are:

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamins B6 and B12
  • Vitamin E

Adding foods that contain these nutrients to a person’s diet, or taking them in supplement form, can help to promote overall health and nerve health.

It is also vital to continue moderate exercise and physical activity. Even things like walking regularly are good for the body because it helps to promote blood flow. Getting enough sleep is also crucial for anyone who is suffering from nerve damage.

Massage is another natural way to treat the pain caused by damaged nerves.

These natural treatments can help, but they typically will not solve the problem

We recommend using natural methods to help augment healing. Still, we know that most patients will require help from a medical professional.

Nerve damage treatments

Below are a few of the procedures that are available for consideration.

Transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS)

Using electrodes, small amounts of electricity are sent to the skin, disrupting the ability of nerves to transmit signals of pain to the brain. This drug-free therapy that can be highly effective and has been used for years to treat nerve pain.

Prescription drugs

Some prescriptions has proven promising for preventing nerve pain. Others can treat related symptoms.

Acupuncture

Some patients will experience relief with ongoing acupuncture. This is an ancient Chinese medicine that can treat a variety of conditions by helping to promote blood flow and by bringing the body into proper balance.

Ultrasound therapy

Some patients have experienced relief from nerve pain through ultrasound treatments. These are noninvasive treatments that use high-frequency waves to stimulate the nerves and reduce pain.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy is another nonsurgical option that can penetrate deep into the tissue to boost cellular metabolism and reduce swelling. It can relieve pain for people suffering from numerous conditions, including nerve damage.

What's the bottom line?

There are multiple ways to treat nerve pain and damage. Some treatments can be done at home, but others require help from a medical provider. The only way to know what will be the most effective is to speak with a physician in our office and then to begin trying various forms of treatment. We encourage getting started right away so that healing can begin as quick as possible.

Call us at (619) 872-2742 for more information from Neurological and Pain Institute .


21/May/2019

Neuropathy is incredibly common. In fact, it impacts more than 3 million Americans every year. This is a condition that is caused by nerve damage and can impact multiple areas of the body. We treat this condition in our office and recommend visiting us for help. Anyone who is unsure if they are suffering from neuropathy needs to have a physician officially diagnose them and make treatment recommendations. This is not something that can be self-diagnosed or treated at home. As such, the first step should always be calling a physician.

Factors leading to damage

Since neuropathy refers to all types of nerve damage, there are many factors that can cause it, based on where in the body the damage occurs. Knowing that, some factors that can contribute to damage include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Diabetes. It is incredibly common for diabetics to suffer from nerve damage and even to require the amputation of feet because of it.
  • Exposure to toxins. If someone is exposed to toxins at home or in the workplace, it can lead to nerve damage.
  • Infections. Some infections can also lead to long-term nerve damage, it is important to visit the doctor and have problems treated as they arise.
  • Working at a computer all day. Carpal tunnel is a form of nerve damage that many office workers suffer from by typing on a computer or working at a desk all day, every day.
  • B12 deficiency. Dietary factors can also lead to nerve damage, such as a lack of B12.
  • Back injury. If a back injury leads to a pinched nerve, it can cause issues like sciatica pain.
  • Thyroid problems. Hypothyroidism has been linked to neuropathy as well.

Symptoms of neuropathy

It is important to visit a physician immediately if these symptoms begin to present themselves. This increases the likelihood of treatment being effective. Some symptoms include:

  • Tingling sensations
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • The feeling of being pricked with pins and needles
  • Lack of sensation
  • Limbs constantly falling asleep
  • Extreme skin sensitivity

These are just a few of the symptoms that indicate the need to visit a physician. However, we believe that patients can often tell that something is wrong, even if they cannot identify exactly what it is. Anyone that feels they have nerve damage after being in an accident, suffering from an infection or living with a disease like diabetes, it is important to visit our office for an examination.

Treatment options

In many cases, neuropathy is not reversible but it is treatable. We can treat the condition with things like oral medications, topical creams, and alternative therapies. What we recommend will be based on where the nerve damage has occurred and what has caused it. It will be important to address any underlying health concern that has led to the condition as well. For example, diabetics will need to do what is necessary to get their blood sugar levels under control so that the problem does not become worse while it is being treated.

Schedule an appointment

To learn more about this condition or to find out if you are suffering from neuropathy, call our office and schedule an appointment.


21/May/2019

Diabetics often suffer from a variety of health problems as a result of their condition, diabetic neuropathy being one of them. This refers to nerve damage that can be the result of having high blood sugar. Since these heightened amounts of glucose can cause injuries to the nerve fibers running through the body, it is possible to experience nerve damage in the feet and legs.

There are several types of neuropathy

Since this refers to nerve damage, there are several types of neuropathy and where it occurs will directly influence the symptoms that are associated with it. For example, autonomic neuropathy is going to cause problems with the stomach, heart, bladder, sex organs, intestines and even the eyes. By comparison peripheral neuropathy impacts the feet and legs, along with arms and hands. Then, radiculoplexus neuropathy can impact the hips, thighs and buttocks. There is even a mononeuropathy which can cause damage to a single nerve instead of causing problems with an entire area. In other words, diabetic neuropathy can impact the entire body.

Symptoms 

Anyone who is concerned that they may have this condition should schedule an examination with our office. It is important to treated right away so we do not recommend self diagnosing the problem but instead, visiting us for a professional evaluation. In the meantime, some of the symptoms associated with the condition are:

  • Tingling and burning sensations in the feet and legs
  • Bladder problems
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Dropping things
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sexual problems with men and women
  • Irregular body temperature
  • Fast heart rate when resting
  • Irregular pain
  • A lack of coordination
  • Obvious foot problems that can include deformities, ulcers and joint pain
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Weak muscles

Treating neuropathy

The most important thing is to regulate blood sugar levels by following the doctor's orders in regards to medication, diet and exercise. Also, stop smoking and try to avoid drinking alcohol.

Some patients may need to take prescription medications in order to find relief from pain. Several have been found to be effective such as anti-seizure medications and antidepressants. Even though these were not originally intended to treat neuropathy, they have been effective. Other medications may be prescribed that are specific towards treating a particular problem. For example if neuropathy is causing sexual dysfunction, medication for ED may be prescribed. If it is leading to digestive problems, medication may be taken for that, etc.

It is possible to feel better

Many of these symptoms can seriously impact a persons' quality of life. For example, if neuropathy impacts the ability to walk, pick up things, or perform sexually, it could cause daily interference with a persons' normal routine. This makes it important to seek help right away.

Schedule an examination

Because neuropathy is so incredibly diverse, the only way to make a recommendation for treatment is to conduct a thorough examination, review all of the symptoms associated with it and then create a thorough treatment plan. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with our office so that we can do so.


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