Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that affects the nerves of the body except for the brain and the spinal cord. The effects of the nerve damage may be feelings of numbness, weakness, tingling in the affected area, unusual sensations and a burning feeling in the affected area. Peripheral neuropathy, generally referred to as “neuropathy”, affects about 8 percent of people over the age of 55, and close to 3 percent of the rest of the age groups. Neuropathy can be caused by a number of factors, but the good news is that is can be treated if it is discovered early. You can visit www.nervepaintreatment.org, where you will find ways in which you can treat neuropathy naturally. Below are the three major causes of peripheral neuropathy:
Diabetes is known as one of the major causes of neuropathy. Neuropathy caused by either type 1 or type 2 diabetes is referred to as diabetic neuropathy. The chances of getting peripheral neuropathy increase with the duration that a person has had diabetes. Up to one person in four with diabetes gets nerve damage that results in neuropathy. Neuropathy caused by diabetes is most likely a result of the tiny blood vessels supplying blood to the nerves being damaged as a result of high levels of glucose in the blood. The risk of getting neuropathy while diabetic is increased if the person does not carefully control their blood sugar, smokes or consumes a large amount of alcohol. Diabetics should regularly check their feet for ulcers or chilblains.
- Physical trauma and infections.
Physical injury is another major cause of nerve damage. This injury may be as a result of car accidents, fractures, sports injuries or any other types of falls. One can also get nerve damage as a result of complications during surgery. Stillness or inactivity can also cause neuropathy. A common type of neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, is caused by increased pressure on the median nerve, which is a nerve that supplies feeling and movement to the hand. In addition to injury, infections from bacteria and viruses can cause nerve damage. Bacterial infections like Lyme disease and viruses such as herpes and the varicella-zoster virus which causes chicken pox and shingles can damage sensory nerves and cause intense pain if they are not treated. People with HIV/AIDS are also at risk of getting neuropathy. Tissue damage, as well as chronic inflammation in the body and the pressure caused by inflammation, can lead to nerve pain.
- Alcohol and toxins.
Alcohol abuse for many years can have effects on the nerve tissue, making severe alcoholics at high risk of getting peripheral neuropathy. Adverse effects of alcohol may also include liver and kidney disease, which increases the chances of neuropathy. Toxic substances like glue, insecticides and other solvents, either by accidental exposure or abuse can also cause nerve damage leading to neuropathy. Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, thallium and mercury can also cause neuropathy when a person is exposed to them.