According to the Neuropathy Association it is estimated that over 20 million people have some form of Neuropathy i the United States. That means that for every 15 people at least one person is affected by some form of Neuropathy.
Neuropathy is defined as changes in the pathology of the nerves, it is a debilitating form of chronic pain that results from peripheral or central nervous system damage. There are three broad types of Neuropathy: sensory/peripheral, autonomic, and motor Neuropathy.
The first form of Neuropathy, Sensory/Peripheral Neuropathy, affects the nerves that carry information to the brain about sensations from various parts of the body. This is the most common form of diabetic Neuropahty. This form of Neuropathy can lead to pain, numbness, or tingling, and possibly an inability to feel heat cold, or pain in affected areas.
The second form of Neuropathy, Autonomic Neuropathy, affects the nerves that control involuntary activities of the body, such as, your stomach, your intestine, your bladder, etc. This type of neruopathy can lead to bladder neruopathy, diabetic diarrhea, or bloated stomach.
The last form of Neuropathy, Motor Neuropathy, which affects the nerves that carry signals to muscles which allow motions like walking, running, moving fingers, and turning your head. This type of Neuropathy can lead to muscle weakness.
Here are some various signs and symptoms of Neuropathy
- Gradual onset of numbness and tingling in your feet or hands (which can spread to legs and arms)
- Burning pain
- Sharp jabbing or electric like pain
- Extreme sensitivity to tough (even the lightest of touch)
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Bowel or bladder problems
- Trauma or pressure on the nerve (spending a long time in an unnatural position)
- Diabetes- half of all people with diabetes develop some type of Neuropathy
- Vitamin deficiencies- B vitamins are particularly important to nerve health.
- Alcoholism and poor dietary habits.
- Autoimmune diseases (inherited disorders)
- Exposure to poisons-heavy metals and certain medications.
There are many different forms of treatment for those who suffer from Neuropathy. Some treatments include;
- Skin patches (for local temporary relief)
- Vitamin Therapy
- Laser treatment
- Surgery (for single nerve neuropathy to release the nerve)
Laser Therapy for Neuropathy:
Laser applied to an area with the Neuropathy has numeral benefits, it stimulates the mitochondria within the nerve cells and increases the respiratory rate of the individual cells, increases blood flow to the applied area which helps with inflammation, it prevents or reverses these biochemical processes that cause damage (or pain) the the area affected, and increase in circulation (which helps to remove pressure in the nerve cell.