Peripheral Neuropathy


What is peripheral neuropathy? Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects your nerves. Nerves carry information from your brain to your body. When you have neuropathy, the information does not transfer along your nerves correctly. The nerves in your legs, arms, feet, or hands are affected. It also may affect your organs, such as your lungs, stomach, bladder, or genitals. This condition may go away on its own or you may always have it.

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

What are the signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy? Peripheral neuropathy can affect the nerves that allow you to move or to feel things. It also may affect nerves that control your body functions, such as digestion or urination. The following are common signs and symptoms:

How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed? Your caregiver will examine you and ask about your symptoms. He may ask you about your other health conditions and about your family health history. Your caregiver may gently touch your skin in different areas with a cotton ball or a pin. This is done to check your sense of touch. He may also check how well you can feel hot and cold. Your caregiver will ask you to do simple movements. For example, he may ask you to walk or to move your fingers. You may also have any of the following tests:

How is peripheral neuropathy treated? Treatment may help relieve your pain and help you function in your daily activities. Treatment of the condition causing the peripheral neuropathy may improve your symptoms. You may need the following treatments:

What are the risks of peripheral neuropathy?

How can I manage my peripheral neuropathy?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate help? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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