Before you can find a solution to any problem, you must understand what the problem is. It's not enough to name the problem and be able to tell someone a few small details about the problem. You need to dig a little deeper so that you can make intelligent decisions on your own and with the help of a professional.
This advice applies to most obstacles you'll encounter, but perhaps none more so than medical and health issues. While there are physical problems that should only be addressed by a medical specialist, certain health conditions can be managed by yourself with the proper amount of knowledge. For example, once you learn enough about neuropathy, you should be able to come up with effective neuropathy solutions.
You should start with a few key facts about this disease. Start by understanding this: Neuropathy is generally a complex pattern of different medical conditions that are quite common. As the name implies, neuropathy affects three types of nerves: autonomic, motor, and sensory. In some people, this condition affects individual nerves or a group of nerves.
Many people are familiar with Bell's palsy. This is a specific type of neuropathy that affects the facial nerve. It then affects the muscles and skin of the face. Injuries, infections, and other physical trauma can cause neuropathy, as can serious metabolic problems, exposure to toxins, etc. Some prescription medications and other drugs can have side effects or after-effects that lead to this condition.
However, the most common neuropathy is found in people who have diabetes. This complication of diabetes affects most diabetics, but only about half have no obvious symptoms. For this reason, testing for neuropathy is a regular part of diabetes care. Medical research shows that the condition can't be treated and “cured,” but it is possible to focus on the causes and treat them. For example, if neuropathy is the result of exposure to toxins, eliminating the exposure should show results. It's also possible to get relief by stopping the use of a drug that is the cause.
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Diabetes and Neuropathy
Of all the factors that cause neuropathy, diabetes is the most common. Basically, this happens because high blood sugar levels damage the walls of the small blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves in the hands and feet. This can also affect major organs such as the heart, kidneys, and eyes.
Eventually, the skin can become damaged and you may lose the sense of touch, which can lead to even more damage. In many countries, diabetic neuropathy is the leading cause of foot problems and ulcers. About half of all people with diabetes have this additional condition. Solutions can be difficult to find, although relief and remission can be achieved if the cause is identified and removed.
About one-third of all cases of neuropathy have no “known” cause because so many different conditions can lead to the condition. For example, sensory nerves may be affected, causing tingling or numbness. In more severe cases, the sensory nerves are affected and the person feels pain or physical weakness (usually in the feet and hands).
When neuropathy affects motor nerves, people report significant weakness in their feet and hands. The nerves that allow movement and give strength to the muscles are affected. With autonomic nerve neuropathy, there may be changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and even sweat control.
In many people, all three types of nerves are affected. This condition is called polyneuropathy. When a single nerve or set of nerves is affected, the condition is called mononeuropathy. Scientists, doctors and medical researchers have also discovered that this condition is a side effect or after-effect of more than three dozen medications.
While diabetes is the most common cause of what doctors call chronic peripheral neuropathy, there are a number of other known causes. These include vitamin B12 deficiency, chemotherapy drugs, drugs used to treat HIV, and products such as insecticides and commercial solvents. People with certain cancers, such as lymphoma and multiple myeloma, may also experience peripheral neuropathy.