Reducing Your Risk of Peripheral Neuropathy

Are you noticing numbness, prickling, or tingling in your feet or hands? Do you feel a sharp, jabbing pain, or suffer from muscle weakness? If so, you may be suffering from peripheral neuropathy.

To determine if this issue is affecting you, Dr. Michael Dershowitz of Southwest Foot Institute in Glendale and Phoenix, AZ, can help—read on to learn more.

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy refers to general damage that occurs to the nerves that send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. These peripheral nerves are solidified in an intricate network connecting the brain to the whole body—skin, muscles, and internal organs. Damage to these nerves interrupts communication, which impairs muscle movement and the proper sensation in limbs.

What are symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?

  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Pain during simple activities
  • Lack of coordination and loss of reflexes
  • Some sort of pressure that makes you feel as though you have gloves on
  • Muscle twitching, cramping, weakness, spasms, or loss of muscle control
  • Difficulty walking or moving limbs
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Abnormal heart rate or blood pressure
  • Sexual dysfunction

What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuropathies occur by one of three methods:

1. Environmental factors like toxins, trauma, illness, or infection, which include:

  • Diabetes
  • Inherited diseases
  • Alcoholism
  • Poor nutrition
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Certain medications
  • Kidney or thyroid disease
  • Infections like Lyme disease, shingles, or AIDS

2. Hereditary neuropathies are genetically passed from parent to child. The most common is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1 (a group of inherited diseases that damage the peripheral nerves), which refers to weakness in the legs and arms.

3. Idiopathic neuropathies is when the cause of your neuropathy is unknown.

Reducing Your Risk of Peripheral Neuropathy

Lifestyle choices are key in preventing peripheral neuropathy. Lessen your risk by:

  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Correct vitamin deficiencies
  • Have a healthy diet
  • Weight loss
  • Exercise regularly

Who should you consult?

If you’d like to learn more about Peripheral Neuropathy and how to reduce your risk, contact Dr. Michael Dershowitz of Southwest Foot Institute in Glendale and Phoenix, AZ, by calling 602-340-8686 today!

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