Do you ever experience tingling in the fingers and toes, numbness, or feelings of fire and ice in your legs?
These are some common symptoms of neuropathy: a complex condition that shares many symptoms with other medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Because of their similarities, neuropathic pain can be a difficult condition to diagnose, and that’s why you should always consult your medical provider before making any decisions about your health.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the more common symptoms that patients report, and talk about related conditions that high-risk individuals should watch out for. In particular, the relationship between neuropathy and people living with diabetes.
Knowledge is power. You should be informed as to what symptoms of concern to bring up with your doctor or healthcare provider so they can provide you with an effective treatment plan.
Symptoms of Neuropathy
Many of the symptoms of neuropathy have to do with sensations – such as pain, pins-and-needles, burning, numbness, and touch sensitivity.
However, neuropathy is much more broad than that, and is not limited to these discomfort-related nerve signals. In some cases, it extends to sexual or urinary impairment, gland or organ dysfunction, muscular atrophy or weakness, or paralysis.
Causes of Neuropathy
Beyond looking at symptoms of neuropathy, to determine if you have the condition, one of the ways to do so is considering whether you have experienced one of the most common causes of the condition: surgery, accidents, disease, or infection.
In the case of surgery, if it is an amputation, you may experience a rare type of neuropathy, phantom limb syndrome. This is where you experience pain in a way that feels like the limb is still attached to the body, even though it has been removed.
If you get into an accident, you may suffer neuropathy related to damaged joints, tissue, and muscles.
Cancer, multiple myeloma, multiple sclerosis, and some other major diseases may lead to neuropathy as well. Finally, some people – particularly those with HIV, shingles, and syphilis – may experience neuropathic symptoms from infections.
Because diabetes impacts the effectiveness of both the nervous and the circulatory systems, many people living with diabetes will experience neuropathy.
At Atlanta Medical Clinic, we treat a number of diabetic neuropathy cases including those suffering from wounds that won’t heal, vein issues, swelling in the lower extremities, and weight management.
Infusion Treatments for Diabetic Neuropathy
One of the most groundbreaking treatments to help manage neuropathy is called physiologic cellular restoration. It works by administering insulin (the hormone that converts sugar into energy) in a way that the body naturally processes it.
It has been reported by 95% of patients that the treatment has vastly improved their neuropathy symptoms, allowing them to restore a more active lifestyle, sleep better at night, and improve their quality of life.
Peripheral Neuropathy vs. Multiple Sclerosis
As we mentioned earlier, neuropathy shares many overlapping symptoms with multiple sclerosis (MS). We want to underline their differences here with some background information to guide you.
Neuropathy is often classified within four broad categories: autonomic, proximal, focal, and peripheral. Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is the most common, impacting 7 in 10 diabetics, among others. PN is often mistaken for another common illness, multiple sclerosis. To get a better idea on the distinction between those diseases:
PN or Peripheral Neuropathy
Part of the reason it is not always easy to identify PN is simply how diverse the condition is. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), there are more than 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy alone. However, the various strains of PN are all related, all involving some peripheral nervous system damage – meaning issues with the nerves that lie outside the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms are often felt in the hands, feet, or lower legs.
Numbness, pain, and other abnormal sensations are experienced as the peripheral nerves stop working properly. Patients who have suffered for a long time with PN, particularly if it is advanced, may experience muscular weakness.
MS or Multiple Sclerosis
The symptoms of this disease are similar to symptoms of neuropathy, particularly peripheral neuropathy. The symptoms include uncomfortable sensations such as pain and numbness.
However, a primary distinction in MS when compared to PN is that the former impacts the spinal cord, optic nerve, and/or brain — i.e., the central nervous system, not the peripheral one. In MS, the issue is that the central nervous system is damaged and unable to properly send signals to the peripheral nerves.
How to Recover from Your Neuropathy
Do you think you might be suffering from symptoms of neuropathy? At Atlanta Medical Clinic, our groundbreaking treatment protocol not only helps relieve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, but also works to restore the function of damaged nerves.
Our team of medical professionals provide the highest-quality of patient care in a comfortable, non-hospital setting. Contact us today to learn more.