You might have never heard of it, but neuropathy is a very slow-moving disease that can change your whole life and personality. It’s possible you already suffer from neuropathy and don’t know it, because the symptoms aren’t always obvious. For years, it may be an occasional tingling sensation or a persistent cramp, which you can easily write off as something harmless. Doesn’t sound like a big problem, does it? The problem is that if you don’t do anything about it, the disease will only get worse – and more painful – and be irreversible. The more damage is done to your nerves, the harder it gets to relieve the pain and restore (normal) function.
Causes of Neuropathy
You may think neuropathy is a far cry from me, but nothing could be further from the truth. In America, 25% to 30% will be affected by neuropathy. That is 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 people, which makes this a very common disease. In addition, neuropathy affects people of all ages, gender, and social layers. Yet, there are a number of factors that increase the likelihood of neuropathy. The biggest risk factor is when you already have diabetes. Experts say that about 70% of diabetes patients (will) also suffer from neuropathy. How is this possible, you might ask? Well, high and uncontrolled blood sugar levels are very harmful to your nerves. High blood sugar slows circulation, which keeps nerves from getting to the right nutrients – like o2. Not getting the right nutrients can physically choke or pinch them by inflaming tissue near the nerves. Unfortunately, diabetes isn’t the only cause of neuropathy, other causes are:
- Substance abuse
- Several autoimmune diseases
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Medication, like chemotherapy
- Kidney and liver disease
As you can see, there are many causes of neuropathy, and that’s why it’s super important to properly educate yourself and recognize the symptoms from early on. Continue reading on the next page and find out what those symptoms are, what the course of neuropathy looks like, and what kind of treatment/ pain relief options there are.