Peripheral neuropathy involves many conditions that affect your peripheral nerves. The peripheral system includes all nerves except those in your brain and spinal cord. There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy, including type 2 diabetes, certain autoimmune diseases, tumors, genetic conditions, and vascular disorders. You can have peripheral neuropathy symptoms in any body part, but they mostly affect the lower extremities. Apex Pain Specialists assert that there are many symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, including:
Your peripheral nervous system has motor signals that send information from your brain to your muscles. These signals enable you to move around. If your motor signals are affected, you may experience:
Muscle weakness and paralysis
Peripheral neuropathy damages the nerves, weakening the connected muscles. Muscle weakening can cause trouble moving your toes, foot drop, and hand weakness. Thighs, arms, and other muscles can also become weak.
Loss of nerve connection can lead to muscle weakness and shrinking in size. Muscle atrophy often affects your feet, lower legs, and hands. Some patients develop deformed feet and hands due to muscle loss.
Uncontrolled muscle movements
Sometimes nerves that lose connection to your brain become hyperactive, causing cramps.
Tingling develops when there is an issue with nerves that carry signals to your brain. Tingling feels like radio static you hear when you are far from a broadcasting station.
Numbness occurs when nerves cannot send or relay sensory signals, leading to the loss of specific sensations. It often affects your legs and hands. An example of numbness is not feeling floor temperature through your feet.
Imbalance and clumsiness
Nerves carry sensations that the brain uses to keep track of your hands and feet. These sensations are crucial for balance and coordination. Peripheral neuropathy makes you lose balance, and your hands become clumsy.
Peripheral neuropathy damages the nerves, and this can affect when nerves send pain signals, making pain signals more intense or developing too easily. It may also cause neuropathic pain, where nerves generate pain signals spontaneously. Neuropathic pain is the most noticeable and disruptive peripheral neuropathy symptom.
Your body has various autonomic processes, including sweating, digestion, and blood pressure control. They occur without your thinking or you being aware. Peripheral neuropathy can damage autonomic nerve fibers, which carry autonomic signals, so sometimes processes cannot work correctly. Autonomic peripheral neuropathy symptoms include:
Blood pressure changes
Damage to peripheral nerves can alter how your body controls blood pressure. The damage can make your blood pressure drop suddenly or increase your heart rate, especially when standing up.
Bowel and bladder issues
Autonomic signals control your bladder and bowel movements. Nerve fiber damage can lead to loss of bladder and bowel control.
Your autonomic nervous system controls your sexual arousal. Peripheral neuropathy can affect your autonomic signals causing sexual dysfunction.
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy differ depending on the nerves affected. Common symptoms include tingling, imbalance, pain, numbness, muscle weakness and atrophy, bowel and bladder issues, and uncontrolled muscle movements. Schedule an appointment at Apex Pain Specialists for peripheral neuropathy treatment to relieve muscle weakness.