Everyday Health: Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy

1According to the statistics, there are over 20 million Americans who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy; it is a nerve problem that largely affects the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is the largest nervous system in human anatomy, where the signal travels throughout the body except for the spinal cord and the brain. Also, it is divided into two important sections – the Autonomic and the Somatic Nervous System.

The somatic involves the voluntary skeletal muscle that controls the movement of the body. These consist of the arms, hands, feet, and more. According to the medical description, the peripheral neuropathy often affects the somatic nervous system, specifically the skin, the muscles, and the sensory organs (nose, eyes, ears, and more). The Autonomic Nervous System is responsible for controlling the involuntary movement within the body, namely breathing, heartbeat, the digestion, and more. But, what is Peripheral Neuropathy? If you are looking for answers about Peripheral Neuropathy this blog explains more about it.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

According to its medical description, the Peripheral Neuropathy is one of the biggest problems for most people aging 55 and over, where they feel some tingling, pain, numbness, and weakness in their hands and feet. Also, any damage to the peripheral nervous system may result in problems in holding and grasping items, walking, or even balancing. Sadly, this problem is often underrated since several people are considering such condition as rheumatoid arthritis or problems with the bones. Also, with its course of progress, where it may develop slowly over the years, some people are deliberating the reason to see a doctor when they think it can only be a cause of feeling tired. Thus, without proper medical treatment, it may lead to a more serious and painful problem. However, this can be controlled and treated easily if it were diagnosed early.

How is it developed?

According to the description, the peripheral nervous system is responsible for sending and receiving signals coming from the brain, spinal cord, and from the entire body. Peripheral neuropathy is often a result of infections, injuries, metabolic problems, heredity, exposure to toxins, and the most common is diabetes mellitus.

How can you determine if you are already suffering from it?

The signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may depend on which nerve is affected, however, below are the common signs and symptom that you are suffering from one:

  • Continuing tingling, prickling, and numbness sensation in the hands and feet. If left untreated, the pain may continue to spread upwards into the arms and legs.
  • Sharp, throbbing, and burning pain
  • Unable to grasp items or extremely sensitive to touch
  • Muscle atrophy, leading to muscle weakness or worst paralysis

How can it be prevented and treated?

Always keep yourself healthy by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and food that is rich in protein. Protein is essential to the body because it can protect you from developing the B-12 deficiency, which is also responsible for developing peripheral neuropathy.
If you are currently suffering from it, you should start considering visiting your doctor before the condition can get even worst.