The term “peripheral neuropathy” describes damage to the peripheral nerves of the body. Many lifestyle factors and conditions can contribute towards peripheral neuropathy, which can cause troublesome or debilitating symptoms.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Damage to your peripheral nervous system is a main cause of peripheral neuropathy. Your peripheral nervous system is the communications network that transmits information from your central nervous system to other parts of your body. Your peripheral nerves are constantly sending sensory information back to your brain and spinal cord. Damage to the peripheral nerves changes that communication. This can interrupt the messages between your brain and spinal cord.
Your body has three types of nerves that are affected by this damage.
- Autonomic nerves – connect to your internal organs.
- Motor nerves – connect to your muscles.
- Sensory nerves – connect to your skin.
When there is damage to your peripheral nervous system, it will trigger symptoms through these nerves. Here are the nine common signs you will notice with peripheral neuropathy:
1. Numbness or Tingling in the Hands or Feet
This symptom is usually one of the first signs of peripheral neuropathy. These sensations begin in your hands and feet and start to spread upward into your arms and legs.
2.Constricted Feelings on Your Hands and Feet
You may begin to notice that your hands and feet have a tight feeling as if a glove or sock is constricting them.
3. Sharp Stabbing Pains
These pains can feel different depending on the situation. Some people explain the pain feels like a throbbing or freezing, others experience a burning sensation. The pain arrives quickly and is sharp and intense.
4. Extreme Sensitivity to Touch
If you have damage to your sensory nerves, you may experience extreme sensitivity to touch. Some find it painful to sit or move around throughout their day.
5. Lack of Coordination
The damage to the nerves can affect your coordination. Some people experience balance problems and difficulty walking without falling.
6. Extreme Muscle Weakness
Your muscles may begin to feel fatigued or weak. This weakness can be so extreme that you feel as though you can’t move, stand, or walk around.
7. Excessive Sweating and Heat Intolerance
Heat affects your body differently, causing you to overheat quickly and experience excessive sweating.
8. Digestive Problems
You may experience issues with your bowel or bladder. The damage to the nerves does not allow your digestive system to work correctly.
9. Changes in Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure can change quickly, resulting in dizziness or lightheadedness.
When Should You See a Doctor?
It is important to seek out medical care as soon as you notice any new tingling, weakness, or pain in your hands and feet. These two areas are typically where symptoms start and could be a sign you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy.
Fairwood Health and Body Transition offers customized neuropathic pain programs. These treatments can help reduce or eliminate your neuropathic pain. The doctors at Fairwood Health are committed to helping you feel better, sleep better, walk better, and live better.