Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves outside of the brain or spinal cord. It can cause changes to sensation, movement and involuntary functions. Pressure on the nerves can cause peripheral neuropathy, as can certain conditions such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, an inherited disorder. MedlinePlus, a website of the National Institutes of Health, points out that some types of peripheral neuropathy do not have a cure. The nerve damage from this condition can have lasting effects.
Peripheral neuropathy affects three types of nerves: sensory, motor and autonomic. The sensory nerves relay information to the brain such as a change in temperature. When peripheral neuropathy damages the sensory nerves, patients can experience nerve pain, burning sensations or tingling. Some patients may have numbness that starts in the feet and moves up in the body. MayoClinic.com explains that with the numbness, patients can have reduced feeling in their limbs, which can affect their ability to sense changes. Problems can arise, such as in the case of a peripheral neuropathy patient who cannot feel pain in his feet and therefore does not notice a foot injury. If the injury goes untreated, an infection can develop.
Because neuropathy can affect the nervous system, it can generally cause lasting effects on the body if left untreated. Some cases of nerve damage can be incurable, altering the overall function between the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body, developing other issues which have been previously linked to neuropathy, such as sensory issues and even weight loss. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.