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What Causes Neuropathy Other Than Diabetes

Who Is Most Likely To Get Diabetic Neuropathy

Causes of Neuropathy Other Than Diabetes

If you have diabetes, your chance of developing nerve damage caused by diabetes increases the older you get and the longer you have diabetes. Managing your diabetes is an important part of preventing health problems such as diabetic neuropathy.

You are also more likely to develop nerve damage if you have diabetes and

  • are overweight

Research also suggests that certain genes may make people more likely to develop diabetic neuropathy.

What Are Other Causes Of Leg/feet Neuropathy Besides Diabetes

ChemotherapypoisoningneuropathyDr. Einar Ottestaddiabetestoxicityalcoholisminfectious diseasesvitamin deficiencyautoimmuneneurologist Dr. Ellen Wenzelneuropathydiabetesalcoholismtoxicitynutritional deficienciesgeneticcompressionidiopathicDr. Stephen Cohenneuropathic painneurologist mriemgDifferential diagnosisnerve painperipheral neuropathynervestenosisradiculopathybrain disease

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How Are The Peripheral Neuropathies Classified

More than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy have been identified, each with its own symptoms and prognosis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of nervesmotor, sensory, or autonomicthat are damaged.

  • Motor nerves control the movement of all muscles under conscious control, such as those used for walking, grasping things, or talking.
  • Sensory nerves transmit information such as the feeling of a light touch, temperature, or the pain from a cut.
  • Autonomic nerves control organs to regulate activities that people do not control consciously, such as breathing, digesting food, and heart and gland functions.

Most neuropathies affect all three types of nerve fibers to varying degrees others primarily affect one or two types. Doctors use terms such as predominantly motor neuropathy, predominantly sensory neuropathy, sensory-motor neuropathy, or autonomic neuropathy to describe different conditions.

About three-fourths of polyneuropathies are length-dependent, meaning the farthest nerve endings in the feet are where symptoms develop first or are worse. In severe cases, such neuropathies can spread upwards toward the central parts of the body. In non-length dependent polyneuropathies, the symptoms can start more toward the torso, or are patchy.

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When To See A Gp

It’s important to see your GP if you experience the early symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

These include:

  • pain, tingling or loss of sensation in the feet
  • loss of balance or weakness
  • a cut or ulcer on your foot that’s not getting better

It’s also recommended that people at highest risk of peripheral neuropathy, such as people with diabetes, have regular check-ups.

A GP will ask about your symptoms and may arrange some tests to help identify the underlying cause.

You may be referred to hospital to see a neurologist, a specialist in health problems affecting the nervous system.

Generally, the sooner peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed, the better the chance of limiting the damage and preventing further complications.

Symptoms Of Diabetic Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy Causes Other Than Diabetes ...

Most people with diabetic neuropathy are unaware that they have nerve damage, until it is picked up on routine screening by their doctor.Typical symptoms vary from person to person, but may include one or more of numbness, pins and needles, tingling, discomfort, or weakness, which usually begin in both feet and spread symmetrically up the legs .About half of those people with diabetic neuropathy experience significant pain in their feet and increased sensitivity to painful stimuli .Neuropathic pain is often worse at night, and can seriously disrupt sleep patterns.These symptoms can have a major effect on health and wellbeing because:

  • balance problems increase the risk of falls
  • weakness leads to deformities in the feet, like claw or hammer toes, and bunions
  • numbness means damage to the feet may go unnoticed.

Together, these can lead to the formation of a foot ulcer.

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Matthew Villani, doctor of podiatric medicine at Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, Florida, explains that these symptoms arise because the nerves are being encapsulated by the sugar, which causes the conductive properties of the nerves to slow down or be altered, so that the electrical impulses to the nerves arent functioning properly.

Types Of Diabetic Neuropathy

There are four main types. Talk with your doctor about which form you have.

  • Peripheral: This is most common, impacting up to 50 percent of diabetics, according to the National Institutes of Health . It starts in the legs and feet, can spread to the arms and hands and worsens at night. Typical symptoms include numbness, reduced temperature sensitivity, tingling, burning and sharp pains, as well as sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, poor balance and decreased coordination. Because you cant feel pressure, ulcers and sores are likely to develop on your feet.
  • Autonomic: This neuropathy, found in up to 30 percent of diabetics, affects your heart, bladder, stomach, intestines, sex organs and eyes. It prevents you from recognizing blood sugar drops, and a sluggish stomach causes nausea, vomiting, bloating and appetite loss. Incontinence and constipation occur frequently, too. Sharp blood pressure drops and racing heart rates are possible, as well as sexual effects vaginal dryness in women and erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Radiculoplexus neuropathy: Most common in individuals with Type 2 diabetes and older adults, this type attacks thighs, hips, buttocks and legs. Eventually, your muscles shrink, making it harder to stand from a seated position. You could also experience abdominal swelling and weight loss.
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    Can You Prevent Or Manage It

    According to the NIH, exercise, following your diabetic meal plans, smoking cessation and taking prescribed medications can prevent neuropathy. Also, limit alcohol consumption to one daily drink for women, two for men.

    If you have neuropathy, you can limit its impact. Maintain healthy blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight ranges. Keep your feet clean and dry, checking them daily for sores, cuts or ulcers.

    The 6 Most Common Causes Of Neuropathy

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    Neuropathy isn’t just one disease. Instead, it’s a collection of disorders, each of which can be caused by different factors. While many things can cause neuropathy, some causes are more common than others. Let’s take a look at a few of the more common causes of the condition.

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    Schedule A Visit With Ethos Health Group

    Our Neuropathy treatment programs at Ethos Health Group consist of cutting-edge, non-invasive therapies designed to stimulate new blood vessels growth to help reverse nerve damage in the feet or hands.

    When the sensation begins to improve, our team of healthcare providers will develop a customized balance program to give you the confidence you need to not live in fear of falling.

    We also utilize our NeuroRegen-CT injections, which combine platelet-rich plasma with platelet-derived growth factors from your own blood.

    These natural regenerative procedures help support blood vessel and nerve growth to reverse damage from peripheral neuropathy safely.

    If youre ready to find relief from your neuropathy, you should contact Ethos Health Group as soon as possible.

    Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy

    In the UK diabetes 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.

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    Can You Get Neuropathy Without Diabetes

    Dr. Gates: So todays question is, Can you get neuropathy without having diabetes? And the glaring answer is, yes. We dont mean that negatively but the fact of the matters is, is that about 50% of peripheral neuropathy patients in our country have diabetes and the other 50% do not. But for you that belong in the other 50%, frequently there are upwards of 80 different causes that can cause your problem.

    And, well, without being too controversial, perhaps the insurance system, the third-party payer system, in our country is forcing doctors to really not test the idiopathic peripheral neuropathy patients for what the cause of their problem is. In our experience you have to delineate that cause. And were not the only one saying that. The worlds foremost researcher in peripheral neuropathy says the same thing. And Im going to kick this over to Dr. Rutherford so he can kind of take you through what patients coming in with idiopathic peripheral neuropathy have been through, what theyve been told, and then also your responses to them.

    Dr. Rutherford: Yeah, its really kind of stunning. It is a question that kind of sometimes brings me back to the reality of the fact that most people are told half of peripheral neuropathy is diabetic and the other half we dont know what it is, top researcher in the world, hes from Mayo Clinic, right?

    Dr. Gates: Yeah.

    Dr. Rutherford: Says thats false. We would say, even more than him, he says it can be found out what percentage it is

    How Can I Prevent Neuropathy

    Peripheral Neuropathy

    The best treatment is prevention, and strategies for reducing injuries are highly effective and well tested. Since medical procedures ranging from casting fractures to injuries from needles and surgery are another cause, unnecessary procedures should be avoided. The new adjuvanted vaccine against shingles prevents more than 95 percent of cases and is widely recommended for people over 50, including those who have had previous shingles or vaccination with the older, less effective vaccine. Diabetes and some other diseases are common preventable causes of neuropathy. People with neuropathy should ask their doctors to minimize use of medications that are known to cause or worsen neuropathy where alternatives exist. Some families with very severe genetic neuropathies use in vitro fertilization to prevent transmission to future generations.

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    What Is The Treatment For Peripheral Neuropathy And Its Symptoms Can Peripheral Neuropathy Be Cured

    The treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on its cause. The first step in treatment is, therefore, to look for the cause.

    • Vitamin deficiencies can be corrected.
    • Diabetes can be controlled, although control may not reverse the neuropathy. The goal with diabetes is early detection and adequate treatment to prevent the occurrence of neuropathy.
    • Neuropathies that are associated with immune diseases can improve with treatment of the autoimmune disease.
    • Neuropathy caused by nerve entrapment can be treated by physical therapy, injections, or surgery.
    • Prompt treatment with sympathetic injections can minimize the chance of shingles progressing to postherpetic neuralgia.

    Both Vitamin B6 and alpha-lipoic acid have been used for relief in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

    There is ongoing research into treatments for peripheral neuropathy, ranging from evaluating the effectiveness of topical gels to bone marrow treatments. As this research progresses, new therapies will become available.

    Individuals who believe that they have peripheral neuropathy should contact their health care professional since many causes of peripheral neuropathy can be successfully treated.

    Peripheral Neuropathy Has Causes Other Than Diabetes

    DEAR DOCTOR K: I have peripheral neuropathy. I know that people with diabetes often get neuropathy, but I’m not diabetic. What else can cause this condition? And what can I do about it?

    DEAR READER: Neuropathy is a medical term that means nerve damage. The type of nerve damage that people with diabetes get involves specific nerve fibers in all nerves, particularly the nerves that travel to the legs and feet. .

    The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include numbness and tingling. Some cases cause burning, shooting or stabbing pain. When the doctor does a physical examination and touches your feet and lower legs with something as light as a feather , you may not feel it. However, you will feel it if the cotton touches your skin in the thigh or elsewhere in the body. You may also lose sensation to a pinprick in the lower legs and feet, but not the rest of you.

    Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. But neuropathy can result from other causes as well. These include:

    — Excessive alcohol intake.

    — Hypothyroidism. In this condition, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.

    — Amyloidosis, a disease in which an abnormal protein accumulates in the body.

    — Vitamin deficiencies, particularly vitamin B1, B12 and folate deficiency.

    — Infection with human immunodeficiency virus .

    — Critical illness, particularly if you develop a severe inflammatory response to infection.

    — Chemotherapy cancer treatment.

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    What Treatments Are Available

    Treatments depend entirely on the type of nerve damage, symptoms, and location. Your doctor will explain how nerve damage is causing specific symptoms and how to minimize and manage them. With proper education, some people may be able to reduce their medication dose or manage their neuropathy without medications. Definitive treatment can permit functional recovery over time, as long as the nerve cell itself has not died.

    Addressing neuropathys causes. Correcting underlying causes can result in the neuropathy resolving on its own as the nerves recover or regenerate. Nerve health and resistance can be improved by healthy lifestyle habits such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding toxic exposures, eating a balanced diet, and correcting vitamin deficiencies. Smoking cessation is particularly important because smoking constricts the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the peripheral nerves and can worsen neuropathic symptoms. Exercise can deliver more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to far-off nerve endings, improve muscle strength, and limit muscle atrophy. Self-care skills in people with diabetes and others who have an impaired ability to feel pain can alleviate symptoms and often create conditions that encourage nerve regeneration. Strict control of blood glucose levels has been shown to reduce neuropathic symptoms and help people with diabetic neuropathy avoid further nerve damage.

    Specific symptoms can usually be improved

    The Peripheral Nervous System

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    The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that lie outside the central nervous system .

    It includes different types of nerves with their own specific functions, including:

    • sensory nerves responsible for transmitting sensations, such as pain and touch
    • motor nerves responsible for controlling muscles
    • autonomic nerves responsible for regulating automatic functions of the body, such as blood pressure and bladder function

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    Diseases And Disorders Including:

    • Metabolic and endocrine disorders, including diabetes. In fact, between 60% and 70% of diabetics also have some damage to their nerves.
    • Small vessel disease, whereby the nerves are unable to get enough oxygen. One example is vasculitis.
    • Autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogrens syndrome
    • Kidney disorders, which can cause the build up of toxins, which in turn damages the nerves
    • Cancers, which may enter the nerve fibers or put pressure on them. Lymphoma and multiple myeloma are seen to cause nerve damage quite often.
    • Neuromas, which are a type of benign tumor that forms when nerve tissue overgrows, usually after a penetrating injury
    • Infections, particularly by viruses like herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, West Nile virus, Epstein-Barre virus, and varicella zoster virus. Bacterial diseases, such as leprosy, diphtheria, and Lyme disease can also cause it.
    • HIV/AIDS, which is both an infection and an autoimmune disorder, often causes damage to nerves.
    • Hypothyroidism, which is the result of an underactive thyroid gland.
    • Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is an incredibly rare condition in which the patient is left completely paralyzed within just a few days.
    • Amyloidosis, which is not one disease but rather a group of diseases, characterized by high deposits of amyloid, a type of abnormal protein, in organs and tissues around the body. This disease is very rare, but also very serious.

    What Causes Neuropathy A Deeper Look Into The Condition

    It is believed that nearly 20 million people in this country suffer from neuropathy. As a result, the condition is being extensively studied in an effort to determine its causes. After all, if the causes can be fully identified, there is a better chance of developing a successful way of treating it.

    In this particular condition, there has been some sort of damage to the way the central nervous system communicates with the rest of the body. As a result, people can experience a range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, paresthesia , tingling, and numbness.

    It is also common for particular areas of the body to be more significantly affected, with some even developing allodynia, which is an intense reaction to touch. Symptoms tend to be worst at night, when gland or organ dysfunction, paralysis, muscle wasting, and burning pain can occur. Over time, people may experience organ failure, breathing difficulties, and damage to the urinary tract, sexual organs, and digestive system.

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    What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy

    There are many factors that can cause peripheral neuropathies, so it is often difficult to pinpoint the origin. Neuropathies occur by one of three methods:

    • Acquired neuropathies are caused by environmental factors such as toxins, trauma, illness, or infection. Known causes of acquired neuropathies include:
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney or thyroid disease
    • Infections such as Lyme disease, shingles, or AIDS
    • Hereditary neuropathies are not as common. Hereditary neuropathies are diseases of the peripheral nerves that are genetically passed from parent to child. The most common of these is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1. It is characterized by weakness in the legs and, to a lesser degree, the arms — symptoms that usually appear between mid-childhood and age 30. This disease is caused by degeneration of the insulation that normally surrounds the nerves and helps them conduct the electrical impulses needed for them to trigger muscle movement.
    • Idiopathic neuropathies are from an unknown cause. As many as one-third of all neuropathies are classified in this way.


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