Peripheral Neuropathy – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that affects the peripheral nervous system. Many people believe that only diabetics can get nerve damage. Still, in reality, there are many different causes of peripheral neuropathy. In this article, we will cover the causes, symptoms, and treatments of peripheral neuropathy.

According to recent studies, there are 24 million Americans currently suffering from peripheral neuropathy. However, only 8 out of 24 million people have diabetes. It means that the majority of peripheral neuropathy cases happen due to other reasons, including chemotherapy, cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, blood pressure medications, and antibiotics.

Chemotherapy is a major cause of nerve damage, and almost 90% of patients being treated with platinum-based chemotherapies like cisplatin, carboplatin, and oxaliplatin develop peripheral neuropathy. Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are also a huge culprit for causing peripheral nerve damage. Statins have been associated with memory loss, amnesia, and confusion.

Anti-hypertensive drugs, also known as blood pressure medications, can cause significant damage to peripheral nerves, especially the calcium channel blockers family. These drugs, such as amlodipine, nicardipine, verapamil, and procardia, have been linked to nerve damage.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin, Cipro, and Avalox have been widely used, and they are known to cause severe and extensive damage to the peripheral nerves. The FDA has issued four black box warnings against the entire family of antibiotics, and they should only be used for life-threatening conditions.

Chronic alcohol consumption can also lead to peripheral neuropathy. Statistics show that consuming more than two alcoholic beverages per night every night for over a year can result in peripheral nerve damage.

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can include numbness, tingling, burning, pins and needles, lightning bolt pain, loss of balance, and other symptoms. The treatment of peripheral neuropathy can involve addressing the underlying cause, such as stopping the medication that caused the nerve damage, treating the underlying medical condition, and providing pain relief with medications or therapies such as acupuncture or physiotherapy.

In conclusion, peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur due to various reasons. It is essential to identify the underlying cause and treat it accordingly. If you suspect you have peripheral neuropathy, it is essential to seek medical attention to diagnose and treat the condition effectively. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so take care of yourself and avoid anything that could potentially cause nerve damage.