What is it?

Polyneuropathy is a condition in which a person’s peripheral nerves are damaged. It affects the nerves in your skin, muscles, and organs. When these nerves are damaged, they can’t send regular signals back to your brain.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms can vary depending on what’s causing them. The most common symptoms include:
* random, odd sensations, known as paresthesia
* sudden sharp pains
* burning or tingling sensations, especially in your feet and hands, known as distal polyneuropathy
* feeling extremely sensitive to touch, known as allodynia
* numbness
* feeling weak in your legs or arms (sometimes due to weak or atrophied muscles)
* inability to walk straight, leading to stumbling or falling
* trouble swallowing


The doctor will likely perform several tests to decide whether you have polyneuropathy as well as what’s causing it.
A full physical exam will help your doctor discover what parts of your body are most affected by your nerve damage and pain. A physical can also help your doctor find any weak or atrophied muscles that may have been affected by nerve damage.
the doctor may also perform electrical nerve and muscle tests to see the extent of nerve damage.

A blood test, urine samples, and biopsy of the area affected by nerve damage (sometimes including your nerves, too) will also help your doctor figure out the cause and extent of polyneuropathy. Other tests may be necessary if your doctor suspects an underlying condition. A spinal tap or lumbar puncture can help your doctor find out if your protein and white blood cell levels are abnormal. Abnormal results can mean that you have Guillain-Barre syndrome.


Treatment of polyneuropathy depends on the condition that caused it. It can also depend on where in your body you feel symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may give you pain medications to help manage the pain and discomfort from nerve damage. These can include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

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

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