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Neuropathy Explained: Causes and Care

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Pathologies of the nervous system are not new. But among such a huge number of nerve diseases, neuropathy can be singled out. Nerve fibers in any body part can be damaged for various reasons. These could be illnesses or injuries. Diabetic neuropathy develops as a result of diabetes mellitus. It is crucial to understand the causes of this condition. They vary widely and depend on the type of pathology.

Timely and correct therapy is the key to a speedy recovery. Don’t waste your time. The consequences of this disease can severely impact health. Dealing with complications that have already developed is a more serious problem. You should also know prevention methods. They will help prevent the development of the disease in the future. Let’s talk about the causes, signs, and comprehensive care strategies. 

What is neuropathy

Neuropathy is an umbrella term for various degenerative changes in peripheral nerves. This medical condition refers to diseases of a neurological nature. The reasons for this kind of nervous dystrophic change can be different. Compression, inflammation, blood supply problems, and nerve tissue nutrition are among them. Symptoms of this medical condition can also vary. It depends on the location and nature of the affected nerves. Also, signs vary the functions of the nerve-sensory, motor, or autonomic. This illness results in pain, numbness, and weakness. Here is a brief overview of the vital neuropathy types, their causes, and mechanisms:

Neuropathy Types Causes Mechanisms of Development
Diabetic  Prolonged high blood sugar levels Hyperglycemia damages nerves and impairs blood flow to the nerves
Peripheral  Physical injury, infections, toxins Direct damage to nerves or demyelination
Autonomic  Diabetes, autoimmune diseases, infections Affects the autonomic nerves controlling internal organs
Chemotherapy-Induced  Chemotherapy drugs Toxicity from chemotherapy agents damages peripheral nerves
Hereditary  Genetic mutations Inherited conditions leading to nerve degeneration
Alcoholic  Chronic alcohol abuse Nutritional deficiencies and toxic effects of alcohol on nerves

Understanding the causes and mechanisms behind these neuropathy types is essential. It helps for effective diagnosis, treatment, and management. 

Types of neuropathy

Understanding the different types is crucial for accurate diagnosis. Also, it helps effective management. Each type has unique characteristics and distinctions. They concern symptoms, affected areas, causes, and mechanisms. Here’s an overview of them:

  • Peripheral: This type affects the hands and feet. It is often linked to diabetes, physical injury, toxins, and infections. Individuals experience pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness.
  • Focal: Involves damage to a specific or a group of nerves. It often results from diabetic neuropathy or trauma. Sudden onset of pain, weakness, or paralysis in particular nerves. It may be in controlling eye movement. This symptom results in double vision. If these signs affect facial muscles, it leads to Bell’s palsy.
  • Autonomic: This type of disease impacts the autonomic nervous system. It controls involuntary body functions. Autonomic neuropathy can cause dizziness and digestive issues. Also, this nervous system leads to abnormal heart rate and sexual dysfunction. It affects internal organs and their functions.
  • Proximal: This type affects the nerves. They are in the thighs, hips, buttocks, and legs. It primarily causes severe pain. Such a sign is usually followed by muscle weakness in these proximal areas. 

Understanding these distinct types of neuropathy helps tailor specific treatment approaches. They aim to manage and alleviate the symptoms effectively.

Diabetic neuropathy

This type explicitly affects individuals with diabetes. It results from prolonged high blood sugar levels. They damage nerves throughout the body. This condition unfolds because of the prolonged impact of diabetes on the nervous system. It is notably the peripheral nerves. The intricate network of nerves throughout the body becomes vulnerable to damage. It happens because of the persistently high blood sugar levels. The enduring presence of elevated glucose levels wreaks havoc on the nervous system. It leads to nerve damage and subsequent malfunctioning. Over time, this damage can manifest as various symptoms characteristic of diabetic neuropathy. These symptoms often arise gradually. Their impact can be profound and debilitating. Common clinical presentations of diabetic neuropathy include:

  • Foot Problems: This illness causes decreased sensation in the limbs. It increases the risk of foot ulcers, infections, and other complications.
  • Balance Issues: Nerve damage can disrupt proprioception. It leads to difficulty maintaining balance and coordination. Also, this sign increases the risk of falls.
  • Digestive Problems: This illness can affect the nerves controlling digestion. It results in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Sexual Dysfunction: Damage to the nerves responsible for sexual arousal. It can lead to erectile dysfunction in men. Women may experience reduced lubrication.
  • Urinary Problems: Nerve damage affects bladder control. It leads to urinary incontinence and frequent urination. Individuals may suffer from difficulty emptying the bladder.

Symptoms of neuropathy


This illness has a variety of manifestations. They can vary based on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are impacted. Here are some common examples:

  • Pain: Often described as sharp, burning, or shooting pain. It feels particularly in the hands and feet. This pain can be constant or intermittent and may worsen at night.
  • Numbness: Loss of sensation, primarily in the extremities. This can lead to difficulties in feeling temperature changes or injuries. They increase the risk of unnoticed wounds.
  • Tingling: A sensation of pins and needles usually starts in the toes and fingers. It is generally spreading upward.
  • Weakness: This sign appears mainly in the legs and arms. It can cause balance problems, difficulty walking, and coordination issues.
  • Sensitivity to Touch: Individuals often experience heightened sensitivity. Even light touches can cause significant discomfort or pain.

The symptoms of neuropathy can significantly impact daily activities and quality of life. They make early diagnosis and management essential for mitigating these effects.

Methods for treating neuropathy

Effective treatment strategies aim to manage symptoms. They help to address underlying causes. Also, treatment plans aim to improve quality of life. Here are some standard methods for neuropathy treatment

  • Medicines: Patients may be prescribed painkillers, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants. They can help manage neuropathic pain. These medications effectively combat discomfort. Use them strictly as directed.
  • Complementary Therapies: Acupuncture can help reduce pain and improve nerve function. Massage therapy relieves muscle tension and improves circulation. Biofeedback helps patients learn to control physiological functions to reduce pain.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): These techniques use low-voltage electrical currents. They help reduce pain and improve nerve function.
  • Surgical Interventions: Decompression surgery relieves pressure on compressed nerves. Nerve repair is necessary in cases where they have been severely damaged.
  • Nutritional Supplements: Vitamins B1, B6, B12, and alpha-lipoic acid. They can support nerve health. Also, they alleviate symptoms.

Combining these neuropathy treatments is crucial. So individuals can manage their symptoms more effectively. Also, they may enhance their daily functioning and quality of life.

Prevention and management of neuropathy


Individuals must adopt proactive strategies and lifestyle changes. Here are some key recommendations:

  • Maintain Blood Sugar Control
  • Healthy Diet
  • Foot care
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

It is relatively easy to follow preventive measures. They will help reduce the risk of developing neuropathy. Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will positively impact its quality. Eating right and exercising regularly will keep you healthy.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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