Neuropathy is the technical term for nerve damage…or when your nerves aren’t working the way they should. McLeod Neurologist Olinda Spencer, MD, describes common causes, symptoms and treatments of neuropathy.
Here are key points from Dr. Spencer’s comments:
Neuropathy is a medical condition that just means nerve damage. There are a lot of different causes of neuropathy, the most common cause in the United States is diabetes but other causes can include things, such as vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin B-12 deficiency. Chemotherapy can cause neuropathy. Certain infections can cause neuropathy, such as HIV and Lyme disease. There can be some inherited conditions that you’re born, as well. People with neuropathy will have trouble with balance.
There’s a lot of different ways to treat neuropathy but the most important thing is finding the cause of the neuropathy. For example, if someone has diabetes causing neuropathy, you need to focus on getting the diabetes under control and not worsening. Another example would be if someone has B-12 deficiency and you want to get B-12 levels back up or a prevent it from worsening.
Sometimes, we don’t know what causes neuropathy but what we can treat symptoms associated with it. If someone has a lot of burning or tingling or what we refer to as nerve pain, we can give medications that will help alleviate some of that pain. Some very common medicines are Gabapentin or Lyrica. Plus, there are several other medications that your physician can prescribe to help with some of the symptoms of neuropathy.