5 Neuropathy Risks You Shouldn’t Ignore
Neuropathy (or peripheral neuropathy) is a very common condition that affects roughly 20 million people in the US. Over 3 million new cases affect Americans each year. The condition can be debilitating, but it is somewhat preventable.
Symptoms of neuropathy often go unnoticed, but they can include pain, burning, tingling, or numbness in the extremities, back, or face. Some people affected by neuropathy find it difficult to walk or use coordination. Cramping, weakness, slow reflexes, and callus are all also common symptoms of the condition.
Certain types of risks can elevate a person’s likelihood for developing neuropathy. Common risks are as follows:
- Alcohol abuse. Failing to consume alcohol moderately and responsibly can inflate your risk for neuropathy.
- Diabetes mellitus. Particularly, people suffer from diabetes mellitus and fail to maintain healthy sugar levels are exceptionally susceptible to neuropathy.
- Thyroid disorders. Disorders involving the liver and kidneys can also present a risk.
- Toxin exposure.
- Repetitive movements. If you find that you perform repetitive tasks for work, you are more susceptible to neuropathy.
- Deficiencies in vitamins. Specifically, a lack of vitamin B is a risk factor.
- Autoimmune diseases. Examples include lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. An autoimmune disease is classified as a condition that causes the immune system to attack the body.
- Infections. HIV, Lyme disease, Epstein-Barr virus, shingles, and hepatitis C are all risk factors for neuropathy.
- Family history. If neuropathy has affected your blood relatives, you are at an elevated risk for developing the condition yourself.
The good news is that neuropathy is medically manageable. Healthcare professionals use a number of therapies and medicines to help treat patients with neuropathy. Common forms of treatment include TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), intravenous immune globulin, plasma exchange, physical therapy, surgery, pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, capsaicin, and antidepressants.
If you think you are at risk for neuropathy or believe that you currently suffer from it, consult your doctor for medical advice. Left untreated, neuropathy can be an extremely debilitating disease that can ultimately affect your job, day to day activities, as well as your home life.