‘Nerves also get sick’ - elaborating the details of Neuropathy
You never know how the nerves can get damaged or affected. Whenever the nerves are damaged and won’t function properly, the general term ’Neuropathy’ is used to indicate the specific nerve problem. No matter what’s causing the nerve to impinge or distort, the extent is a big concern.
Let’s suppose that you‘re a computer worker, you’re more prone to getting the carpal tunnel syndrome. Secondly, if you had a trauma, the tearing or overstretching of the nerves, it will cause serious complications. Also, in around 30% cases, the cause of neuropathy is not known.
Neuropathy is further divided into many types, depending on the location of the particular nerve. Therefore, treatment approaches will also differ. However, symptom management is the key in treating the neuropathy.
Classification of Neuropathy
As Neuropathy is a wide term, it’s mainly divided based on the type of nerves involved or affected. Peripheral neuropathy, Cranial Neuropathy and Autonomic Neuropathy are the most common types. In Peripheral Neuropathy, the nerves in extremities such as toes, wrist, elbows or knees are affected. Proximal Neuropathy is characterized by pain specifically in the thigh, hip, buttocks, and shoulders.
When any of the cranial nerves are damaged, it is known as Cranial Neuropathy. Auditory Neuropathy and Optic Neuropathy are two most common types. Here, your hearing and vision will get affected.
Autonomic Neuropathy is damage of the nerves of autonomic nervous system. Your heartbeat, respiration, bowel and bladder, digestion and smooth muscle contracts when the nerves of the autonomic nervous system send the signals. If the main nerve supplied to the organ is affected, the organ damage is also possible.
Classification is also developed based on a number of nerves involved. If a single nerve is affected at a time, it’s called mononeuropathy. However, if more than one nerve is affected, it’s called polyneuropathy.
A variety of reasons or problems can contribute in neuropathy, including:
- • Diabetes
- • Chemotherapy or HIV drugs
- • B12 or vitamin deficiencies
- • Insecticides or solvents
- • Lymphoma or multiple myeloma
- • Excessive alcohol
- • Chronic kidney disease
- • Tight plaster casts
- • Infections, like, shingles, lyme disease, and HIV
- • Chronic liver disease
- • Gullian berre syndrome
- • Hereditary disorder
- • Rheumatoid arthritis, sjorgan’s disease and systemic lupus arthritis
Symptoms of Neuropathy
Its clinical signs and symptoms range from constipation to erectile dysfunction. It has a different spectrum of alarms that you should know about. Below you’ll find out its symptoms:
- • Muscle pain and weakness
- • Changes of skin, hair and nails
- • Muscle cramping
- • Uncontrolled muscle twitching
- • Diminished reflexes
- • Loss of balance and coordination
- • Numbness and tingling sensation
- • Tender
- • Sensitive to touch
- • Incontinence
- • Diarrhea
- • Constipation
- • Abnormal blood pressure
These symptoms may vary from one condition to another, so do their prognosis, treatment options and diagnoses.
Diagnoses of Neuropathy
Firstly, your doctor will ask about your symptoms, general health and alcohol consumption. Also, they’ll do the tests and measures to identify the underlying problem. They will do the complete neurological assessment, to more closely relate where the abnormality is occurring. Then, they will suggest the following tests and examinations:
- • Nerve conduction studies
- • Electromyography
- • Nerve biopsy
- • Skin biopsy
- • Blood tests
- • Lumbar puncture
There are many treatment options for neuropathy including painkillers, topical medications and anti-seizure medications. Your doctor may also prescribe the antidepressants to ease the pain along with other psychological complaints.
Physical therapy, plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin are also helpful in adjunct to medicinal treatment. Acupuncture can also decrease the pain signals to the brain.
Surgery is also performed when nothing is helping a person and condition is worsening.
How stem cell therapy has changed the life of a person with neuropathy?
Because stem cells have the capability to promote the healing and improve the nerve conduction, stem cells therapy has a profound influence on a person with Neuropathy. People with diabetic Neuropathy got the eventual cure with the help of stem cells therapy.
In 2014, a study published in Journal of Pain Research, has found that stem cells administration in people with neuropathic trigeminal neuralgia has drastically decreased the pain intensity up to 6 months. They further revealed that it’s the safest approach.
Neuropathy can be treated and people can get back to their normal life just after getting the right treatment at a right time. However, it’s possible that the damage is extensive and severe enough, that the prognosis end up being poor, but most conditions can get the optimal recovery.