Those at highest risk for peripheral neuropathy are those over 40 who are diabetic or pre-diabetic and have poorly controlled blood sugar levels. If you smoke or over indulge in alcohol, have an autoimmune disease, undergo chemotherapy, have liver or kidney disease, vitamin deficiencies or mechanical nerve damage (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) you can be at risk.
Additionally, there are many medications which can actually cause peripheral neuropathy as a side effect. While all of these are things to keep an eye on, even if you are not diabetic, take no medications, and the list above does not apply to you, you still have a chance of presenting at some point in life with peripheral neuropathy. A whopping 30% of cases have no identifiable root cause.
There are over 100 types of peripheral neuropathy. All of which affect the nerves just a little differently. Doctors conclude the compounds that cause inflammation when combined with proteins and specific growth factors all play a role in nerve signaling, which leads to the neuropathy.
What does peripheral neuropathy feel like?
If you have ever had a limb fall asleep you have had the sensation. Pins and needles as the blood returns – it feels uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Only with neuropathy, that feeling doesn't simply vanish. Numbness, tingling, pain, sensitivity, weakness and even burning may be experienced due to damaged nerves.
Diagnosis involves your health care provider testing your reflexes and muscle strength, as well as neurological tests to detect response to vibration, light touches, and pokes. Blood tests may be ordered as well, electromyography (tests electrical impulses), and in severe cases, a nerve biopsy may be taken.
How is it treated?
The first step is to determine if the neuropathy is permanent or temporary. If it's caused by a medication, stopping the medication should halt the symptom. If caused by a nutritional deficiency, supplementation and diet are altered and symptoms may resolve over time. If the cause is diabetes and nerve damage treatment will be aimed at non-allowance of further damage over time.
Treatments that heal
- Nutritional Supplementation
- Diet designed for your body's needs
- Regular chiropractic adjustments
- Physical therapy
- Custom designed exercise plan
- TENS Units (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) may also be helpful. A review in Pain Management found that 4 to 6 weeks of TENS unit treatments can significantly improve pain, reduce numbness, and improve the quality of life. 
- Class IV Deep Tissue Laser
- Medimassager Vibration
- Infrared Lights Rebuilder
- Neuro-Regeneration Home Unit
Boosting the immune system, improving the blood flow and the alleviation of inflammation are all vital to reducing pain and aiding in damaged tissue regeneration. Don't resign yourself to living with pain.
by Dr. Gary Gendron