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What's Causing My Neuropathy?

Nerve damage can lead to weird sensations in your fingers, toes, and other extremities. This is generally referred to as peripheral neuropathy. There are more than 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy, and at least 20 million people suffer from one kind or another.

At Integrated Medical Solutions of Knoxville, our team offers solutions for the symptoms of neuropathy. The correct method of treatment can significantly improve your quality of life by keeping pain and discomfort at bay.

Causes of neuropathy

For around one out of three patients, even exhaustive diagnostics may fail to find a cause of neuropathy. This is called idiopathic neuropathy, and it is thought that the causes are genetic or metabolic. Most other patients suffer from a medical problem that causes neuropathy, such as:

Metabolic diseases 

Type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is the leading cause of neuropathy. Extended periods of high blood sugar can damage the nerves, causing numbness, tingling, burning, or shooting pain in your feet, hands, or face. 

Diabetics also suffer from poor circulation, which makes peripheral neuropathy symptoms in the legs and feet even more likely.

Neuropathy is dangerous for people with diabetes because the lack of sensation or mixed signals may mean you don’t realize you have an injury in your foot or toes. An infection can set in if a wound isn’t treated.

Autoimmune diseases

Lupus erythematosus affects the skin, joints, and kidneys. Guillain-Barré syndrome targets the nerves. Both conditions can lead to peripheral neuropathy.  Lyme disease and HIV can also raise your risk of peripheral neuropathy. 

Since the immune system is compromised, symptoms may be particularly severe for such patients, and you could find yourself spending time in an ICU due to respiratory complications.

Genetic neuropathies

Gene mutations can also be an underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) causes the most common hereditary form of neuropathy. 

These types of genetic differences typically also manifest in deformities of the feet or loss of muscle mass and gross motor control. Genetic neuropathies are usually evident extremely early in life, but progress slowly, so it can be years before serious pain symptoms arise. 

There are a few other potential causes of neuropathy, including exposure to certain toxins (arsenic and lead being two). A few types of drugs used for chemotherapy can also build up in your system and cause neuropathy.

Are you hoping to finally get relief from annoying and disruptive neuropathy symptoms? We can help. To schedule a visit to our Knoxville, Tennessee, office, call us at 865-233-9197 or request an appointment through this website.

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