What is Peripheral Neuropathy ?

What is Peripheral Neuropathy

To understand peripheral neuropathy, you first have to know what the peripheral nervous system is. This is the communications network that exists inside you and is responsible for sending information back and forth from your brain and spinal cord out to every part of your body.

For example, when you want to walk somewhere, it’s your peripheral nervous system that tells your legs to start moving. And if you cut your finger, this same system sends a message back to your brain that something is wrong and you’re in pain.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that occurs when damage has been done to this communications system. Typically, this damage is caused by side effects of systemic illnesses (which are illnesses that affect your entire body rather than just a specific part or organ), and trauma to, or diseases of, the peripheral nervous system. Instead of running smoothly as it normally does, a system suffering from peripheral neuropathy often has its messages distorted or even interrupted completely.

What are the Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?

Each specific peripheral nerve has a particular function, so the symptoms can vary widely from person to person.

The symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy can include:

  • Temporary Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Burning Sensations
  • Sensitivity to Touch
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Muscle Wasting
  • Inability to Sweat Normally
  • Organ Dysfunction
  • Gland Dysfunction
  • Problems with Digestion
  • Blood Pressure Swings
  • Paralysis
  • Abnormal Sexual Function
  • Organ Failure

No matter how bad it gets, peripheral neuropathy rarely leads to death unless the symptoms are complicated by other conditions or diseases.


However, peripheral neuropathic pain can negatively affect your quality of life, which is why neuropathic pain treatment should be sought as soon as possible.  By being proactive when neuropathy symptoms arise, you may be able to prevent symptoms from worsening, and existing pain may be managed to improve your quality of life.


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