Our bodies are a network of different organs, tissues, systems, and other organic material to help us function the way we do, but few parts of our body work to affect and influence every part of what we do everyday more than our nervous system. This is the intricate web of nerves that stem from our brain and spinal cord that spreads all over our bodies to help in most everything , including: thought, memory, learning, balance, sensory input, sleep, and digestion.
Nerve problems can result from a variety of different factors and conditions, and damage to them is referred to as neuropathy. There are a lot of complications that can stem from neuropathy depending on the cause and the severity of the damage, which makes getting treatment for symptoms related to this type of problem so important. Let’s explore this by looking at what neuropathy is, its causes and risk factors, and the complications of leaving it untreated.
If you live in Norwood, Anderson, or Westside, Ohio, or Crestview Hills, Kentucky, and you’re coping with signs of neuropathy or other nerve problems, the dedicated and extensive team of doctors at Riverhills Neuroscience can help alleviate symptoms and treat your condition.
There are two major parts of your nervous system: the central nervous system, which consists of your brain and the spinal cord attached to it, and the peripheral nervous system that extends from the central part out to the rest of your body. There are different types of neuropathy you can have, including:
Where your nerves are damaged will play a role in determining your treatment plan.
Nerve damage generally affects specific parts of the nerve, namely the axons and myelin sheath, and it can result from many issues:
While the cause can be idiopathic (having an unknown cause), often illnesses like chronic alcoholism, HIV/AIDS, different types of cancer, physical trauma, autoimmune diseases, and poorly managed diabetes are the culprit. The blood sugar-related issues with diabetes is responsible for about 60% of people struggling with neuropathy, and about 65% of people with chronic alcohol issues develop nerve problems.
Dietary imbalances like excessive amounts of sugar, vitamin B6, and the presence of toxins in otherwise healthy foods (seafoods, brown and white rice) can lead to nerve damage. Sugar’s connection to diabetes is well known, but B6 is an additive in a lot of packaged foods, and toxins like arsenic and mercury are present in trace amounts of the foods mentioned.
Leaving these symptoms untreated will only make them worse, and that can lead to more problems with neuropathic pain, muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, sleeping problems, and emotional problems from dealing with the pain. More severe problems can include incontinence, erectile dysfunction (ED), ulcers, gangrene (which can lead to amputation), circulation and heartbeat problems, gastroparesis, bladder control problems, and deformity in your joints. Diabetic retinopathy can also leave permanent nerve damage to your eyes.
If you’re experiencing signs of any form of neuropathy, call us to make an appointment with the team at Riverhills Neuroscience today to get the help you need.