What is Neuropathy, and How Do I Recognize Neuropathy Symptoms?
What does neuropathy mean?
Neuropathy on its own is a broad term that points to nerve damage somewhere in the body, almost always in the extremities, which is why it’s also commonly called Peripheral Neuropathy. When these peripheral nerves are damaged, it can inhibit the process of your nerves sending signals back and forth between the spinal cord and the rest of the body.
How Do I Know If I have Neuropathy?
Learn How to Identify the Symptoms of Neuropathy
As with many medical conditions, symptoms can be hard to pinpoint on their own. That’s why it’s important to consider the big picture – if you have more than one or two of the common symptoms, it’s time to reach out to an expert, before your symptoms become worse!
Common Neuropathy Symptoms Include:
- Numbness – especially in the hands and feet
- Painful Tingling Sensations
- Trouble sleeping or getting comfortable at night
- Shooting pain down legs or arms
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Constant muscle weakness or aching
- Blood Pressure Issues
- Regular loss of balance or coordination issues
- Trouble regulating temperature in hands or feet
- Sharp, burning, or throbbing pain in specific areas of the body
This list is by no means exhaustive, but if any of them sound familiar, we recommend taking our Neuropathy Quiz to rate your own symptoms and gauge whether or not you might have neuropathy – and how far it might have progressed.
What Caused My Neuropathy?
Neuropathy can stem from many different disorders or underlying health symptoms. If you start to experience symptoms of neuropathy, consider what other health problems might be contributing.
Some of the more common Causes of Neuropathy include:
- Post-Surgical Side-Effects
- Toxin Exposure
- Bodily Trauma
- Medication induced
- Autoimmune disorders
- Kidney disorders
What are the four main types of Neuropathy?
- Peripheral Neuropathy – the most common type you’re likely to hear about, leading to nerve pain and numbness in the extremities.
- Autonomic Neuropathy – in a way, this is the opposite of peripheral neuropathy, since it’s defined by internal nerve damage that inhibits systemic processes. Automatic processes (like digestion, for example) are affected by malfunctioning nerves.
- Proximal Neuropathy – this is the type of neuropathy most commonly seen in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Focal Neuropathy – Also known as Mononeuropathy, this type of neuropathy is focused on specific, individual nerve(s).