Neuropathy is damage, disease, or dysfunction in one or more nerves, especially of the peripheral nervous system (arms and legs). Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are burning or shooting pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness. Neuropathy is often degenerative, and is usually caused by injury, infection, disease, drugs, toxins, or vitamin deficiency. Let’s take a look at what the 3 most common causes of neuropathy are.
Diabetes is one of the most common causes of neuropathy. It has been known that two thirds of the population with diabetes are also affected by diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic nerve pain occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the nerves. The nerves’ ability to send signals to other areas of the body are prohibited by high levels of blood sugar. The capillary walls of the blood vessels are also weaker with high blood sugar, this results in the nerves not getting adequate amount of nutrients and oxygen due to lack of blood flow.
Another common cause of neuropathy is vitamin deficiency, more specifically, vitamins such as B1, B6, B12, and vitamin E. Alcoholism is a common reason for vitamin deficient neuropathy. The reason why alcoholism can lead to vitamin deficiency is because it is assumed that they are not eating a complete or healthy diet. Alcohol also effects the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B1. People that have a vegan diet also need to be careful about their vitamin intake. Vitamin B12 is naturally only found in animal-based foods. Vegans are highly encouraged to supplement vitamin B12 into their diet to help avoid vitamin deficient neuropathy.
The third common cause is the herpes zoster virus; the virus that is responsible for chickenpox in kids. This virus lays dormant in the body after adolescence and can be reawakened many years later, due to age or stress, and presents itself as shingles. The virus attacks the nerves and can cause itchiness, rashes, and pain into the nerves.
If the symptoms of neuropathy start to present themselves, it is important to take action as soon as possible before the symptoms progress! Schedule an appointment with us to have a neuropathy exam performed. We will determine if your condition is true neuropathy and come up with a treatment plan for you so we can start to reduce the progression of your neuropathy! Help us help you!