What is Neuropathy? - Types, Symptoms and Causes of Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a term that refers to damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves that usually leads to muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, and pain in the affected area. 
Neuropathy is generally classified according to the types or locations of the nerves affected. 
Nerves can be damaged anywhere in the body from injury or illness. 
Neuropathy starts typically in your hands and feet, but other parts of the body can also be affected.

What is Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms - How to prevent peripheral neuropathy naturally

What is Neuropathy? - Types, Symptoms and Causes of Neuropathy

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that affects the normal activity of the nervous system that contains a network of nerves, which connects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body.
The nervous system consists of three types of nerves; sensory nerves, motor nerves and autonomic nerves.

Sensory Nerves:  Sensory nerves carry messages from the senses to the brain, such as the sensation of temperature, pain, or touch.

Motor Nerves: Motor nerves carry messages from the brain to the muscles that control the muscle movement.

Autonomic nerves: Autonomic nerves are responsible for controlling the body's involuntary functions, such as blood pressure, digestion, breathing, heart beating, eye reflexes, etc.

It should be noted that if the nerve cells are damaged as a result of exposure to certain conditions, the communication will disturb the nerve cells between each other, and between them and the brain, which will affect the various functions in the body.

Neuropathy may result from many causes; it may be hereditary, or it may be caused by exposure to certain health problems and neurological trauma.

Types of neuropathy

There are several types of neuropathy, as follows:

Peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the peripheral nerves in the body, and peripheral nerves send signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. People with peripheral neuropathy describe nerve pain as feeling stabbing, burning or tingling. 
In many cases, the patient's symptoms improve, especially if the cause of neuropathy is treatable, and medications can relieve pain caused by peripheral neuropathy.

The reasons that may lead to peripheral nerve damage are many, perhaps the most important of which is diabetes, exposure to an injury that can lead to peripheral neuropathy, infection, metabolic problems, genetic problems, and exposure to toxins.

Cranial neuropathy
Cranial neuropathy occurs when any of the 12 cranial nerves are damaged. Cranial nerves are the nerves that come out of the brain directly. The 12 Cranial Nerves are the following:
I. Olfactory nerve
II. Optic nerve
III. Trochlear nerve
IV. Oculomotor nerve
V. Trigeminal nerve
VI. Facial nerve
VII. Abducens nerve
VIII. Vestibulocochlear nerve
IX. Vagus nerve
X. Accessory nerve
XI. Glossopharyngeal nerve
XII. Hypoglossal nerve
Examples of cranial neuropathy include optic neuropathy and auditory neuropathy (AN). 
Optic neuropathy is caused by damage to the optic nerve that transmits visual signals from the retina to the brain and auditory neuropathy is responsible for the hearing, and auditory neuropathy is caused by nerve damage that transmits signals from the inner ear to the brain.

Autonomic neuropathy
Autonomic neuropathy occurs when damage to nerves in the autonomic nervous system. 
Autonomic nerves control the heart and blood circulation, including blood pressure, and are also responsible for digestion, intestines, bladder, sexual response and sweating. 
In autonomic neuropathy, other nerves of the body’s organs can be affected.

Focal neuropathy
Focal neuropathy is neuropathy of a single nerve or a specific group of nerves or when a specific area of the body is affected by neuropathy.

Symptoms of  Neuropathy

 The symptoms that appear on a person with neuropathy differ according to the type of nerve affected, and here are some of these symptoms:

Tingling sensation, pain, or numbness in the hands and feet.
Feeling pain due to exposure to a stimulus that does not usually cause pain, this condition is known as Allodynia.
Very sensitive to touch.
Heart rate disorder and blood pressure.
Organ failure.
Loss of feeling in the toes and soles of the feet.
Muscle weakness or paralysis in the event of injury to the motor nerves.
Inability to withstand heat, and excessive sweating.
Bladder or digestive system problems.
Breathing difficulty.
Loss of balance, poor neuromuscular coordination and these symptoms may sometimes cause falls.
Hypersensitivity, i.e., feeling severe pain in response to a stimulus, usually causes mild pain.

Causes of Neuropathy

 Although there are many cases of neuropathy of unknown cause, in contrast, many factors cause neuropathy, and here are some of the most prominent of these reasons:

Diabetes: Diabetes is the most common cause of chronic peripheral neuropathy, as high levels of glucose in the blood may damage the small blood vessels that supply the nerves.

Exposure to injuries and fractures: In the event of injuries and fractures, broken bones and narrow gypsum molds can press directly onto the nerves.
Some types of infection: Some types of infection, such as shingles and HIV, can lead to nerve damage and disorder.

Autoimmune diseases: Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, may cause neuropathy.

Cancer: Certain types of cancer, such as Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma, may cause neuropathy.

Vascular diseases: Vascular diseases may affect blood flow to nerves, which can lead to damage to tissues and nerve cells.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD): The imbalance of salts and chemicals in the body, which is linked to the failure of the kidneys to perform their function normally, may lead to neuropathy.

Vitamin deficiency: Vitamin deficiency, especially vitamin B12 and folic acid, may be related to neuropathy.

Inhalation of toxins: Exposure to some toxins, such as pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, gold compounds, lead, arsenic, and mercury, maybe one of the causes of neuropathy.

Taking certain medications: Certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, HIV treatment, cancer medication such as Vincristine, and antibiotics such as Metronidazole and Isoniazid - also known as isonicotinylhydrazide (INH), may lead to neuropathy.

Alcoholism: Neuropathy associated with alcohol consumption occurs for two reasons: either as a result of damage and toxicity directly on the nerves, or because of malnutrition of the addict, and the lack of vitamins needed for nerve function in his body.

How to Prevent Neuropathy Naturally

These procedures will help you prevent neuropathy as much as possible:

⇒Avoid drinking alcohol
⇒Avoid exposure to toxic substances, including cigarettes
⇒Identify the factors and activities that may cause neuropathy
⇒Get enough hours of sleep
⇒Eat a balanced diet rich in various minerals and vitamins
⇒Include vitamin B12 supplements if you follow a vegetarian diet.
Treatment for polyneuropathy depends on the affected nerve and its type, so do not underestimate any strange symptoms and consult your doctor immediately.

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The Scientific World is a Scientific and Technical Information Network that provides readers with informative & educational blogs and articles. Site Admin: Mahtab Alam Quddusi - Blogger, writer and digital publisher.

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