19 Oct Different Types of Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy, if there is severe nerve damage, is not reversible; however, there are different varieties of neuropathy that are reversible and partially reversible. Some people, under the guidance of a practitioner, may be able to follow a treatment plan and reverse or partially reverse the damage done to the nerves. Peripheral nerves are found in the extremities such as hands, fingers, feet, arms, and legs.
Generally, the peripheral nerves are affected. Nerve damage in affected peripheral nerves interferes with the ability of the nerve to function. This leads to complications. Certain diseases can damage the nerves like diabetes, circulation problems, thyroid, and cancer. Toxins, trauma and immune diseases can also cause direct damage to nerves.
Common symptoms of all types of neuropathy include:
- burning sensations
- loss of sensation
There are three types of neuropathy. All three have the same symptoms.
- Partially reversible
- Non – reversible
Reversible neuropathy may be caused by food allergies, certain types of drugs, Guillain-Barre syndrome, hypothyroidism, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, vitamin deficiencies, and two types of neuropathy found in diabetes. Diet modification, discontinuing or decreasing drug dosages, hormone replacement (thyroid), adequate treatment of illnesses, and vitamins for deficiency are common solutions. Some of these treatments can take a week to a year to effectively stop the neuropathy symptoms and allow the nerves to function normally.
Other treatments for neuropathy are based on the cause. The treatments vary as follows:
- Chemotherapy in cancer patients and certain illnesses may have adverse effects on peripheral nerves. Stopping or decreasing the dosage will stop the neuropathy.
- In the case of Guillain-Barre syndrome, it may take up to a year for reversal and medications to help in avoiding long-term damages and complications.
- Entrapment neuropathy is due to hypothyroidism. Early treatment can reverse neuropathy. Hormone replacement therapy will improve the nerves condition and patients sense of general well-being.
- Neuropathy in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is fully reversible with treatment including resting the wrists and ibuprofen and/or injectable steroids.
- Neuropathy due to vitamin deficiency is reversible with oral supplements to ensure the body has a regular supply of the vitamin.
- There are two types of diabetic neuropathies that are reversible. These are mononeuropathies (damage to a single nerve) and radiculopathies(damage to a nerve root). There is no specific treatment or drug therapy but lowering the blood sugar level will reverse symptoms.
Partially reversible neuropathy due to carpal tunnel syndrome may not be fully reversible even with surgical intervention. If there is permanent damage, neuropathy may only be partially reversed. Some neuropathy caused by a vitamin deficiency may not be completely reversible especially if the deficiency has been long-term. For example, long-term vitamin B deficiency can cause permanent damage to the nerves and treatment may only partially reverse symptoms.
Irreversible neuropathy caused by other systemic ailments leads to neuropathy that is hard to treat. The most common example is diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can be reversible, partially reversible or irreversible because diabetes mellitus has different patterns of nerve damage. In order to avoid serious complications, it is important to control blood sugar levels which, will prevent more complications.
Neuropathy is common and some patients are able to reverse the condition with the right treatment. Treatment may include antidepressants and anticonvulsants.