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Recognizing the Early Signs of Neuropathy

Have you noticed tingling in your hands and feet? Are you experiencing abnormal sensations accompanied by numbing? If so, then you may have peripheral neuropathy, a chronic condition that causes nerve damage in your hands or feet.

The team at Beeson Wellness Center is here to cover all of your health care needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to recognize the early signs of peripheral neuropathy. The sooner we treat the condition, the earlier we can start treating it and stop its progression.  

What is peripheral neuropathy 

Your peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves outside of your central nervous system, including your brain and spinal cord, which serve various functions. Your body contains three kinds of peripheral nerves, including: 

  • Sensory nerves - The nerves that register skin sensations, like temperature, pain, vibration and touch.
  • Motor nerves - The nerves that enable your muscle movements.
  • Autonomic nerves - These are the nerves that control your basic bodily functions like your heart rate, your respiratory rate, your digestion, urination, sexual arousal, and pupillary response.

When your nerves become damaged, diseased, or atrophied, the signals between them and the nerves in your spinal cord are interrupted. Your muscle movements and normal sensations in your hands, legs, and feet can become impaired. 

Peripheral neuropathy can be a sign of a more serious condition like:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Diabetes
  • Infection
  • Traumatic injury
  • Alcoholism
  • Tumors
  • Genetics predisposition
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Vitamin deficiency

If you're experiencing chronic pain and numbness, it may be a sign of peripheral neuropathy.

The early signs of peripheral neuropathy

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy indicate which type of nerves are damaged. It’s possible to experience only one symptom or multiple symptoms at once. The most common sign of peripheral neuropathy is the gradual onset of symptoms like numbness, tingling, prickling, or burning in your hands and feet, which can ascend to your arms and legs.

Early symptoms include:

  • Frequent falls
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Temperature intolerance
  • Extreme sensitivity
  • Digestion, bladder, and bowel irregularities
  • Excessive sweating or lack of sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Irregular blood pressure

If you have any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from peripheral neuropathy. If so, we can perform neurological tests to diagnose your condition and get you started on a personalized treatment plan. 

Treating your peripheral neuropathy

The course of your treatment depends on determining the underlying cause of your peripheral neuropathy. For example, if the underlying condition is alcohol, diabetes, alcoholism, or a vitamin deficiency, then nutritional counseling can significantly improve your condition.

You may also want to opt for regenerative medicine, a holistic approach to treatment centered around lifestyle changes and rehabilitative exercise. 

For more information on peripheral neuropathy and your treatment options, schedule an appointment with Beeson Wellness Center, contact our office located in Portland, Oregon.

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