Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet. It can also affect other areas and body functions including digestion, urination and circulation.
Peripheral nerves can be damaged in several ways: Injury from an accident, a fall or sports, which can stretch, compress, crush or cut nerves. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. Autoimmune diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's syndrome.
One of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy in India is diabetes. The most common type of peripheral neuropathy is diabetic neuropathy, caused by a high sugar level and resulting in nerve fiber damage in your legs and feet.
Regular exercise, such as walking three times a week, can reduce neuropathy pain, improve muscle strength and help control blood sugar levels. Gentle routines such as yoga and tai chi might also help. Quit smoking.
If the underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy is not treated, you may be at risk of developing potentially serious complications, such as a foot ulcer that becomes infected. This can lead to gangrene if untreated, and in severe cases may mean the foot has to be amputated.
The main medicines recommended for neuropathic pain include: amitriptyline – also used for treatment of headaches and depression. duloxetine – also used for treatment of bladder problems and depression. pregabalin and gabapentin – also used to treat epilepsy, headaches or anxiety.