If you’ve ever been diagnosed with a form of neuropathy, your first thought might have been if it can be cured.
Around 20 million people in the United States have neuropathy, and many experts believe even more cases aren’t diagnosed.
Neuropathy is often the result of a traumatic injury, an infection, metabolic problems, inherited problems, and exposure to toxins.
The most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes.
Patients with treatable health conditions that have caused their neuropathy can often see an improvement in their symptoms.
But, can neuropathy be cured?
We’ll take a look at that question and more below.
Your peripheral nervous system is in charge of sending information from your brain and central nervous system to the rest of your body.
This network of nerves also brings information you take in from your senses, like touch, smell, and sight to your brain and nervous system.
Your peripheral nerves are located just outside of your brain and spinal cord.
If they are ever damaged, peripheral neuropathy results because the signals sent to and from your brain and central nervous system from the peripheral system are disrupted.
The damage keeps them from functioning normally.
Diabetic neuropathy results from damage to the nerves that are caused by diabetes.
Many scientists believe that high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes cause nerve damage over time.
There are many types of neuropathies, including:
- Peripheral Neuropathy: This neuropathy results in pain and numbness in your extremities, including arms, hands, legs, feet, and toes.
- Proximal Neuropathy: Proximal neuropathy causes pain and numbness in your upper legs, specifically the buttocks, thighs, and hips.
- Autonomic Neuropathy: This neuropathy damages the nerves of the autonomic nervous system. These nerves control sexual response, sweating, and urinary and digestive function.
- Focal Neuropathy: Focal neuropathy is the sudden loss of function in nerves causing pain and weakness of the muscles
- Diabetic Neuropathy: Diabetic neuropathy is caused by the high blood glucose levels of diabetic patients. It’s estimated that 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop some sort of neuropathy throughout their lives.
Symptoms of Neuropathy
Every nerve in your body has a specific function, so your symptoms will depend on the type of nerves affected.
Nerves are classified into:
- Sensory Nerves: Sensory nerves receive sensations like temperature, pain, vibration, or touch from your skin
- Motor Nerves: Your motor nerves control muscle movement.
- Autonomic Nerves: Autonomic nerves control bodily functions like blood pressure, perspiration, heart rate, digestion, and bladder function.
There are several signs and symptoms of neuropathy, including:
- Sharp pain, jabbing pain, throbbing pain, or burning pain
- Sensitivity to touch
- Pain when you shouldn’t feel pain
- Lack of coordination and falling
- Muscle weakness
- A feeling of wearing gloves or socks when you aren’t
- Paralysis if your motor nerves are affected
- Gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands, spreading upward into your legs and arms
If your autonomic nerves are affected, you might experience
- Heat intolerance
- Excessive sweating
- Not being able to sweat
- Bowel, bladder, or digestive problems
- Drops in blood pressure that cause dizziness
Peripheral neuropathy can affect just one nerve (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different areas (multiple mononeuropathies), or it can affect many nerves (polyneuropathy).
An example of mononeuropathy is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Can Neuropathy Be Cured?
Whether or not neuropathy can be cured depends on the medical conditions that may be causing it and the nature and extent of your nerve damage.
Seeing a specialist soon after you start noticing symptoms of neuropathy is critical.
Some cases of peripheral neuropathy can be reversed or cured with prompt treatment and if the underlying medical conditions are taken care of.
In the case of diabetic neuropathy, you will have to get your diabetes under control.
However, most people need to focus on preventing further nerve damage and managing their associated symptoms.
Treatment usually begins with a physical exam.
This helps identify the underlying medical cause when possible so those symptoms can be managed.
This helps your specialist understand what therapeutic modalities could help control and alleviate your symptoms.
Some specialists may prescribe pain medications to help manage your pain, including topical medicines containing numbing agents and oral medications.
Physical therapy or electrical nerve stimulation may be used to help improve symptoms.
Lifestyle changes also help manage and treat peripheral neuropathy.
Things like eliminating alcohol, keeping a healthy diet to control your blood sugar, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy body weight are vital steps in reversing or managing neuropathy.
Natural Treatments For Neuropathy
There are some cases of peripheral neuropathy that are caused by vitamin deficiencies.
Vitamin B is essential to nerve health, and if you’re deficient, it can lead to significant nerve damage.
You should try to get most of your vitamin B from your food, but your doctor may also recommend taking a supplement.
Be sure to stick to the recommended dose to prevent toxicity or worsening symptoms.
Vitamin D also helps prevent nerve pain.
Your skin will produce vitamin D as a reaction response to sunlight.
If you’re deficient in vitamin D, you can have neuropathy pain.
Taking a vitamin D supplement can help reduce the symptoms of neuropathy.
Regular exercise is key to combating pain and improving your overall health.
Being active can also reduce your blood sugar, reducing or slowing down nerve damage caused by diabetic neuropathy.
Exercise also increases blood flow to your arms and legs and reduces stress.
All of these factors can help reduce discomfort and pain.
There are countless reasons you should stop smoking.
Smoking narrows your blood vessels allowing less oxygenated blood to get through.
Without proper blood circulation, you could experience increased numbness and pain from your peripheral neuropathy.
When you quit smoking, you will feel an almost immediate improvement in your symptoms.
Contact Ethos Health Group
The best thing you can do to slow the progression of neuropathy is to see a specialist that can devise a care plan.
Working with a specialist will allow you to manage your symptoms and reduce your pain so you can start enjoying your life again.
At Ethos Health Group, we’ll perform a series of non-invasive tests that tell us how much your neuropathy has progressed and what options exist for you.
The neuropathy treatment programs at Ethos Health Group consist of cutting-edge, non-invasive therapies designed to stimulate new blood vessels’ growth to help reverse nerve damage in the feet or hands.
If you’re ready to find relief from your neuropathy, you should contact Ethos Health Group as soon as possible.
Click the button below to schedule your free consultation.