What is it?

Neuropathy is a general term for diseases of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nerves include all the nerves outside the brain or spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system has many functions, including movement, sensing, and control of internal organs.
Neuropathy can affect one nerve (called mono-neuropathy), two or more nerves (called multiplex neuropathy), or as in most cases, a large number of nerves (called poly-neuropathy).
There are many causes of neuropathy. The most common cause in the Western world is diabetes. Neuropathy may also develop as a complication of other diseases, such as kidney failure, liver failure, autoimmune diseases, and more. Neuropathy can be a side effect of medications. In some cases, the cause of the neuropathy remains unknown.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Small fiber neuropathy

Signs & symptoms

The sensory symptoms in neuropathy, known as neuropathic pain, are the most common and bothersome. They appear mainly in the feet and hands and are manifested as a stabbing, numbness or "burning" sensation. Motor symptoms, such as muscle weakness and depletion, may also appear. Other symptoms may include heat intolerance, gastrointestinal and urinary disorders, and changes in blood pressure. Neuropathy can cause complications such as tendency to Skin burns and injuries, Infections and falls.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will perform questioning regarding your symptoms and a thorough neurological examination. additional tests may also be needed, such as:
- laboratory tests (looking for diabetes, vitamin deficiency, immune system dysfunction and more).
- Imaging tests (such as CT or MRI scans).
- EMG (Electromyography) - A special test that test the electrical conduction within the muscles, and thus can detect nerve damage.

Treatment

The treatment of neuropathy depends on cause of the disease. For example, in cases of diabetic neuropathy, optimal treatment for the underlying diabetes can prevent the deterioration of the resulting neuropathy.
The neuropathic pain can be treated with a variety of medications. Drugs developed to treat depression and epilepsy have been shown to be effective in reducing neuropathic pain.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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