Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with a nerve condition called neuropathy and suffer daily. To say the least, this condition can be detrimental and require lifelong treatment. Sadly, this condition can’t be reversed and often gets worse as time goes on.
Below are some things you should known about neuropathy if you or a loved one have been diagnosed.
There are Different Types of Neuropathy
When you question, what is neuropathy, you expect a straight, direct answer. The answer is not that simple considering that there are many different types of neuropathy that exist. However, one thing is for sure: all types of neuropathy involve damage to the nerves.
Sensory neuropathy, motor neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, and mononeuropathy are the four different types. These conditions can attack different sets of nerves in the body and, thus, trigger different symptoms.
Symptoms Can Vary Drastically
Based on the type and severity of neuropathy one is diagnosed with and how long they’ve had it, among other factors, symptoms can vary from one sufferer to the next. Their symptoms can also vary depending on whether or not they’re getting treatment, what kind of treatment they’re getting, why they have neuropathy, and their overall lifestyle decisions.
For instance, some might suffer from lack of control over their involuntary bodily functions, like use of their bladder. Others may not deal with the latter but may instead have issues with the control of movement.
Neuropathy Can Be Caused By Different Things
Neuropathy is one of those conditions that isn’t caused by one single underlying cause. In fact, there are several different causes and triggers of this condition. One person may have a completely different cause for their neuropathy over another sufferer.
One of the most common reasons for neuropathy is diabetes. Chronic liver or kidney disease, serious infections like HIV or Lyme disease, certain forms of cancer, and an underactive thyroid gland are other potential underlying causes of neuropathy.
One’s neuropathy can also be triggered by excessive alcohol drinking, a vitamin B12 deficiency, overactivity of the immune system, or even genetics.
There are Both Conventional & Alternative Treatments Available
Typically, those with neuropathy opt for conventional treatments, like medication. Medications known to aid the symptoms of neuropathy range from pain medication to antidepressants.
Another possible form of treatment for neuropathy includes the application of capsaicin cream. To aid with excessive sweating, neuropathy patients may also require injections of botulinum toxin and may need to use a catheter if loss of bladder control is a symptom of their condition.
As for alternative forms of treatment, these include acupuncture, herbal medicine, alpha-lipoic acid supplements, and benfotiamine supplements. Further research for these alternative treatments needs to be done, however, may be helpful for some individuals and may even be used in conjunction with conventional treatment.
Neuropathy is a condition that is more complicated than one might realize. With different subcategories of this condition, a variation of symptoms, different underlying causes, and variant treatment options available, neuropathy is something that every sufferer experiences differently.