Peripheral Neuropathy in Bowling Green
Neuropathy is defined as a group of disorders that begins due to damage of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is a part of the nervous system excluding the brain and spinal cord. This means that this is the collection of nerves that is connects your limbs and organs to the central nervous system. This condition is also known as peripheral neuropathy and generally occurs because damage to the nerve axons has occurred. The nerve axon is what conducts the electrical impulses to different places. For example, if damage occurs within the axon of a sensory neuron, then a person’s sense of touch and warmth will be impaired. Generally, neuropathy creates pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities (hands and feet). There are several different causes of this condition, including:
- The most common: diabetes
- Traumatic injury
- Metabolic Disorders
Types of Neuropathy in Bowling Green KY
- Sensorimotor polyneuropathy: affects the sensory and motor nerves
- Autonomic neuropathy: affects nerves that control processes such as breathing, heartbeat, perspiration, etc.
Peripheral neuropathy often creates painful sensations described as tingling, burning and prickling. With a condition such as this, a specific duration of pain varies but generally improves in time. There is a better chance of improving the symptoms if proper treatment for an underlying condition is received. It is common to see the condition correlating with several life factors, such as poor nutrition, various diseases, trauma or pressure on the nerves. In some cases, there is an unknown cause. This is referred to as idiopathic neuropathy.
According to the Neuropathy Association, more than 20 million Americans are suffering from a form of neuropathy. That means that more people suffer from this one condition than Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Rheumatoid Arthritis, HIV, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis combined. Of those 20 million Americans suffering from neuropathy, an estimated 15-18 million of those people have this condition due to a form of diabetes.
There are over 100 different types of neuropathy, but peripheral neuropathy can be further categorized into one of the following groups. The group is defined according to how many nerves are involved.
- A single nerve involved would be classified as mononeuropathy. When this occurs, conditions like carpel tunnel syndrome and bell’s palsy may manifest.
- Two or more individual nerves involved would be classified as multiple mononeuropathy.
- Involvement of a board range of peripheral nerves would be classified as polyneuropathy. When is occurs, conditions like diabetes may be associated.
There are several other ways to categorize these conditions, including:
- Functional classification: motor, sensory, autonomic or a combination
- Type of onset: hours, days, weeks, months, years
Peripheral neuropathy, affecting the extremities like the arms, wrists, hands, legs, ankles and feet, is the most common.
Causes of Neuropathy
There is not a single underlying cause for neuropathy. In fact, there may be no known cause which is referred to as idiopathic and makes up nearly 40% of all neuropathies. Also, nearly 35% of the remaining Americans suffering from neuropathy have diabetes. In fact, almost 70% of Americans with diabetes have developed a form of neuropathy due to the disease. The remaining percent of neuropathies is composed of a group called acquired neuropathies. This group consists of causes such as:
- Poor nutrition and nutritional deficiencies
- Pressure on nerves
- Repetitive movements for extended periods of time
- Various autoimmune diseases
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Various medications
- Certain cancer treatments
- Hereditary neuropathies (from inherited disorders)
- Other diseases, including but not limited to:
- Lyme disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
Who can Develop Neuropathy?
Neuropathy can affect all people of all ages in Bowling Green. It is more commonly found in men and Caucasians as well as those who have jobs consisting of a lot repetitive movements. There are several risk factors ranging from lifestyle choices, behaviors and conditions. As previously stated, those who have poor nutrition are likely to develop Type II Diabetes which will cause neuropathy. If a person suffers from an autoimmune disease, they have a predisposition for the development of various types of neuropathy. If a person has a compromised immune system (organ transplant recipient, HIV/AIDS patients, or due to medication), they are at an increased risk for developing a type of neuropathy. If a person suffers from alcoholism or has a vitamin deficiency, they are likely to develop a form of neuropathy. Also, if a person has kidney disease, liver disease or a thyroid disorder they are more susceptible to developing neuropathy.
Diagnosis of Neuropathy
This condition is generally not a simple diagnosis to make. It is difficult because it is not often that it is a disease present alone rather a symptom of an underlying disease. There is a process that occurs before the diagnosis is made. The process may consist of:
- Full medical history
- Physical exam
- Neurological exam
- Tendon reflexes
- Muscular strength
- Muscular tone
- Sensory tests
- Postural analysis
- Coordination analysis
- Blood tests (check vitamin B-12)
- Thyroid function tests
- Nerve conduction test
In some cases a nerve biopsy may be requested by a physician.
Neuropathy Treatment Options
There are many treatment options utilized in Bowling Green. Most medical treatments involve medications, creams, and therapies which aim to provide some relief.
In our Bowling Green office, we utilize a precise and effective system to address and help peripheral Neuropathy. This program is helping thousands of people across the US with this debilitating condition.
The interventions and technology we use are designed to address the multiple factors that can contribute to the development of Neuropathy, and provide ongoing relief for our patients.
Given that peripheral Neuropathy almost always has a vascular component, the first group of therapies we utilize are designed to improve nitric oxide production, nerve re-education, angiogenesis, and increase circulation to the extremities. When we can improve the underlying blood supply to the peripheral nerves as well as address the centrally mediated pain, patients experience substantial decreases in pain, increased balance, and diminished numbness/tingling that is all too common with Neuropathy.
Our unique treatment program is designed so that you only have to come in the office 1x/week for a period of time, while gaining independence from your Neuropathy condition.
Do you have Peripheral Neuropathy? We can help! Contact Us for a consult or to attend one of our Neuropathy Seminars!