It has been estimated that over 20 million people in the United States experience some form of peripheral neuropathy (PN). This is a condition that develops as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system, which greatly reduces the relaying of messages to and from the brain to other parts of the body. Those who have peripheral neuropathy report having burning, tingling and numbing sensations in their hands and feet.
What are the causes of peripheral neuropathy?
Because there are a number of different factors that can cause peripheral neuropathy, it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact origin. Patients can acquire PN through one of three methods: acquired, hereditary, and idiopathic.
Acquired Peripheral Neuropathy
These are the most common causes of PN. Environmental factors, including toxins, trauma, illness or infection can cause peripheral neuropathy to show up in some people. Some of the most common causes of acquired peripheral neuropathy include the following:
· Rare Inherited Diseases
· Poor Nutrition
· Vitamin Deficiency
· Certain Medications
· Kidney or Thyroid Disease
· Autoimmune Infections
These are neuropathies that stem from an unknown cause. It is reported that up to a third neuropathies are classified this way.
Of the three categories, Arrowhead Health Centers works most frequently with those who have acquired peripheral neuropathy and are looking for an effective treatment program to manage the symptoms. While there is no known cure for peripheral neuropathy, there are therapies that are continuing to be improved upon that can slow the rate that PN spreads or gets worse.