18 Feb What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy – Info from a Phoenix Podiatrist
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that is most commonly the result of diabetes and includes nerve damage. There can be several other causes, such as Lyme disease, Herpes, Leprosy, organ damage, autoimmune disease, physical injury, and even Alcoholism, but the most common is indeed diabetes and glucose intolerance.
Diabetic neuropathy is the common name for peripheral neuropathy caused by the ailment Diabetes Mellitus, and is primarily caused by obesity and a blood sugar level that is too high. When the glucose, also referred to as blood sugar level, rises to high levels as a result of a meal high in sugar, nerve damage begins and can continue even when the blood sugar returns to normal.
This also occurs when the body stops producing or doesn’t produce enough insulin, a naturally produced hormone used to control blood sugar level. Diabetes inhibits the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, interferes with the process of waste disposal, and is the cause of seventy percent of the cases of peripheral neuropathy.
Physical injury or surgery can also cause nerve damage or destruction. A familiar type of physical injury to cause this is carpal tunnel syndrome. Repeated injury to the nerves in the wrist, which allows feeling in the hand, will eventually result in peripheral neuropathy. This begins with numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers. This type of neuropathy is called repetitive stress injury and it happens because the body parts are put into awkward or stressful positions for a long period of time, resulting in injury due to the constriction of the nerve tissue.
Alcohol poisoning, a variety of infections, and increased toxins in the blood can also cause peripheral neuropathy due to chronic inflammation. Inflammation damages nerves because of the pressure it causes on them, similar to the physical pressure that causes carpal tunnel. Toxins get into the blood most often through ingestion, commonly alcohol, and they will stay in the blood causing damage. Chronic inflammation, especially of connective tissue can spread into the nerve tissue that is should be protecting.
A variety of autoimmune disorders can severely damage nerve tissue. Diseases such as Shingles, HIV, and Lyme disease are examples of viruses and autoimmune disorders that can cause damage to nerves either directly or through an autoimmune reaction. This type of reaction is triggered when the immune system of the body attacks the nerve tissues, and it’s caused indirectly because the autoimmune disease processes cause conditions in which the body turns on itself.
There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy, from autoimmune disease to physical injury, but the most important and frequent cause is diabetes – the elevation or spiking of blood sugar. Hence, to be able to defeat or avoid the risk of peripheral neuropathy it is important to defeat diabetes and stay healthy.
Oasis Foot and Ankle has the top neuropathy specialists in Arizona, with several offices in Phoenix and Scottsdale. When neuropathy affects the lower extremities, it can be exceptionally painful. If you or a loved one is suffering from pain in the feet or altered sensation, call us today!