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Which Type of Peripheral Neuropathy Do You Have?

peripheral neuropathy doctor
When it comes to the field of neuropathy, the causes of the disorder are nearly as vast as the symptoms.  This diversity can be frustrating for both the neuropathy doctor and the patient when trying to make sense of a discouraging problem.  The information in this article will hopefully help you to make sense of where the majority of peripheral neuropathy cases originate.  Knowing the basis of your neuropathy will give you both peace of mind and a leg up when attempting to treat the disorder.

Three Categories of Peripheral Neuropathy

These categories are based on the cause of the neuropathy.  The categories are:

  • Acquired Neuropathies
  • Hereditary Neuropathies
  • Idiopathic Neuropathies

These three categories could each be a book of their own, but they are briefly discussed below.

1) Acquired Neuropathies

Acquired neuropathies are those that are caused by known environmental factors.  Your neuropathy doctor will give you a few examples of common causes:

  • Diabetes
  • Trauma
  • Alcoholism
  • Poor nutrition
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Infections

These types of neuropathies are very common and can be difficult to diagnose based on your health history.  Diabetes is a very common cause of peripheral neuropathy.  It is estimated that 60% to 70% of diabetes patients suffer some form of nerve damage throughout their lifetime.

Peripheral neuropathy is typically difficult to diagnose, but knowing your full and detailed health history may assist your doctor in making a proper diagnosis, especially in the case of acquired neuropathies.

Hereditary Neuropathies

Hereditary neuropathies, as any neuropathy doctor will explain, are generally not as common as acquired neuropathies.  Hereditary neuropathies can present themselves as early as infancy in some cases.  In most instances, however, the symptoms don’t arise until early adulthood.  In either case, symptoms can range from mild to severe.

The most common form of hereditary neuropathy typically includes weakening of the lower leg and feet muscles, numbness in the lower legs and trouble walking.  As with other neuropathies, diagnosis is not easy, but knowing your family history may provide some insight for you and your neuropathy doctor.

Idiopathic Neuropathies

Idiopathic neuropathies are the most frustrating because the cause is completely unknown.  Unfortunately, as many as 30% of neuropathy cases fall into this category.  Although modern research is providing more insight into this disorder, it hasn’t come far enough yet.

Knowing the cause of your neuropathy will help you get the best treatment possible so it is important to work with your neuropathy doctor to understand the cause of your disorder.  The next step would be to create a treatment plan.

If you’re suffering from neuropathy, contact us today and let us help you get started on your specialized treatment plan as soon as possible.

References:
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/peripheral_neuropathies/ns_overview.aspx
http://www.webmd.com/brain/understanding-peripheral-neuropathy-basics?page=2


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