Peripheral neuropathy is the process of nerve damage that occurs over a period of years that can occur from a number of factors including: Diabetes, chemical exposure, pinched nerves in back, excess alcohol intake, nerve injury, or predisposed genetic condition. In some cases the nerve damage is localized in others is affects both limbs symmetrically as in diabetes. The nerves going to the feet are the longest nerves in the body and are most sensitive to factors that induce peripheral neuropathy.
In many situations as the nerves are damaged but still functioning there can be reduced sensation but these signs are coupled with burning pains and electrical spontaneous pain symptoms. There are medications used to control these symptoms. In end stage neuropathy protective sensation is affected and the there is profound loss of sensation to the feet usually affecting the toes first and then the rest of the foot over time.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are often worse at night, and may include:
- Numbness or decreased ability to feel pain or temperature changes
- Burning and tingling sensations
- Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle
- Poor balance and uncoordinated gait
- Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain.
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