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What Causes Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy can be likened to the deprivation of blood or oxygen to any part of the body. Consider what would happen if the blood supply to your hand were cut off. Gradually, you would experience tingling, pain, changes in color, and eventually, tissue deterioration, decay, and necrosis. This parallels the experience of an individual with peripheral neuropathy.

For various reasons, people with peripheral neuropathy find that adequate blood and oxygen flow to their hands, toes, feet, ankles, and sometimes lower legs is compromised. Medically speaking, peripheral neuropathy is characterized as a chronic progressive, degenerative condition resulting from the insufficient circulation of blood and oxygen to these tissues.

What does this mean? If no proactive measures are taken to treat and improve the condition, and the longer these tissues remain deprived of adequate blood and oxygen, the more we can expect the nerves to deteriorate.

Nerve tissue is particularly vulnerable to oxygen deprivation, which is why neuropathy symptoms often manifest there first. As the nerves fail to receive sufficient oxygen, they undergo atrophy and deformation, and during their decline or final stages of function, they generate symptoms such as pain, numbness, electric shocks, stabbing sensations, pins and needles, and temperature irregularities.

In a way, these symptoms serve as the body's alarm system or early warning signs that a problem exists, prompting individuals to take action before the situation worsens. Similar to a canary in a coal mine or a siren preceding an impending storm, the symptoms caution you to take action now because there are more severe consequences coming if the condition goes untreated.

In fact, when contemplating the various symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, it is akin to tightly wrapping a rubber band around a finger multiple times. The finger would gradually exhibit discoloration, followed by a numbing sensation, then pins and needles, and eventually intense pain. If the rubber band is left in place, what is the eventual outcome? As you may have guessed, the finger will die and fall off like a sheep's tail.

Regrettably, such scenarios occur all too frequently. Individuals often delay seeking help until their toes assume a purple hue or their feet exhibit pallid white or deep red tones, or in severe cases, their toes may have already turned black. Consequently, some individuals require toe or foot amputations.

It is important to remember that there is no medication that can restore the affected tissues to their normal state. The true solution lies in harnessing the body's innate physiological processes to facilitate healing.

What causes the diminished blood flow to the nerves? This is an excellent question. In the United States, the leading cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, with approximately 60-70% of individuals with diabetes experiencing varying degrees of neuropathy. Other common causes include chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, alcoholism, autoimmune diseases, infections, and hereditary factors.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), approximately 20 million people in the United States are estimated to have some form of peripheral neuropathy.

If you find yourself or a loved one suffering please seek the help of a licensed professional. You can book a free consultation with us right from our homepage.

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