Understanding Neuropathy: Causes and Means of Prevention
Among the most common disorders that people experience today is neuropathy.
This nerve disorder is the result of nerves that connect the brain to the spinal cord being twisted and clasped together.
The condition can often cause severe pain or numbness of the body’s extremities, infections and metabolic ailments. Specifically referred to as peripheral neuropathy, the disorder has also been attributed to diabetes.
By affecting the nerves inside the body such as those that perceive senses, neuropathy can disrupt signals sent to the brain. Serious cases of neuropathy can even cause heart, intestinal and bladder complications. The pain experienced from peripheral neuropathy has been reported by patients to include burning sensations on their arms and legs. The feelings of discomfort can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and does not have a specific average time.
Fortunately for patients suffering from this nerve disorder, especially for those whose neuropathy was caused by a curable condition, the disorder can be remedied over time. About half of the cases that involve peripheral neuropathy have been discovered to be caused by nutritional deficiency, physical trauma or other illnesses that affect nerve endings. However some of the cases have no definite causes discovered and medical experts are still studying are the factors that can lead to neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy generally has been classified into three types: mononeuropathy, multiple mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy. Mononeuropathy, like its name suggest is caused by a single nerve being affected. Cases of mononeuropathy includes carpal tunnel syndrome and several nerve palsies. Multiple mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy involves multiple nerves being affected and are the most common forms of neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy is among the disorders that are found in polyneuropathy. It is also divided into sub-categories depending on the body function the disorder is affecting like sensory, motor, autonomic and mixed and by the length of time patients have suffered from this condition either from just a few days or months.
The causes of neuropathy cannot be specifically pointed to a single source though. Medical statistics relating to the disease have detailed that about a third of the cases were the result of diabetes, while another third of all cases were caused by unknown elements, and the rest of the cases range from hereditary, physical trauma and nutrition deficiency. Advances in medical technology have helped combat neuropathy and remedies for the ailment have been given in the form of pills, therapies, diets and creams that aid in stimulating the body’s nervous system.
A list of alternative medicines that can help decrease the effects of neuropathy is also prescribed to patients. Examples of alternative medication include botulinum toxin type A, cannabinoids, dietary supplements that have benfotiamine and lipoic, chiropractic massage, cognitive therapy, yoga and acupuncture sessions.
There are dozens of easy ways to prevent neuropathy. From a proper and healthy diet, staying away or at the very least, moderating alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and avoiding straining elbows and knees for prolonged periods of time are just a few ways to decrease chances of developing neuropathy. As the doctors have stated, prevention is better than cure.