07 Mar Common Conditions That Can Cause Neuropathy
The odds of being diagnosed with neuropathy nearly quadruples when we reach the 55-age benchmark. Integrated Pain Consultants sees numerous patients suffering from neuropathy, sometimes to debilitating degrees. There are many reasons why peripheral neuropathy risk increases as we age, and one of the factors is simply a higher risk of suffering from physical trauma and certain diseases. Both can cause neuropathy. Fortunately, there are safe and alternative therapies to this nerve pain, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or radiofrequency ablation. We also invite you to learn more about Dr. Nikesh Seth and other providers including Dr. Anne-Marie Cosijns, Dr. Lisa Sparks, Dr. Michael Givens, and our team of Nurse Practitioners.
Causes of Neuropathy
Diabetes is a common cause of neuropathy, and includes Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. Spikes in glucose levels can damage the nerves, either over time or during a specific spike. That’s why those with diabetes are warned to keep an eye on numbness or loss of sensation in the extremities. This is a common indication of neuropathy as the sensory nerves are damaged or disrupted.
Neuropathy is also more common in those who are overweight (obesity is a recognized medical condition), as well as those with high blood pressure. Both of these conditions can cause irreparable nerve damage. The University of Chicago Center for Peripheral Neuropathy estimates that 60 percent of those with diabetes have some degree of nerve damage. However, the degree can vary greatly.
Chronic diseases, such as kidney disease, can also cause neuropathy. This usually occurs when a lot of toxins are in the body and the kidneys aren’t able to flush them out, which leads to nerve damage. There’s also hypothyroidism, a condition in which the body isn’t able to produce adequate levels of thyroid hormones. This leads to fluid retention and pressure on nerve tissues. Any disease that causes chronic inflammation can make its way to the nerves and damage their connective tissue.
Some patients arrive worried that they’ll be prescribed opioids for neuropathy. Opioids are highly addictive and usually not best for those who need long-term pain management for neuropathy. With options like spinal cord stimulation and epidural steroid injections, there are many alternatives to help treat the symptoms of neuropathy. Some patients suffer neuropathy from a deficiency in certain vitamins essential to healthy nerves, such as vitamins E, B1, B6, or B12. In the early stages of nerve disruption, achieving healthy vitamin levels may dramatically help with neuropathy and even prevent permanent damage.