Neuropathy: Symptoms and Treatment
Neuropathy is a non-inflammatory nervous system disorder that progresses due to damage or depletion of nerve cells. Pathology has no restrictions on age or gender. It should be noted that this painful condition can affect both one nerve fiber and several at once, and they are not always located at one point of the body.
The manifestation of symptoms of the disease can provoke many causes. Among the most common are the following:
- metabolic disorder
- traumatizing the nerve fiber of any severity level
- the presence of tumors of benign or malignant nature;
- pathology of blood vessels
- intoxication of the body
- endocrine diseases
- decreased body reactivity
- blood pathology;
- chronic alcoholism
- infections of a viral and bacterial nature;
- severe hypothermia
- hereditary factor.
In medicine, several classifications of the disease are used, which are based on the causes of the onset, the nature of the damage to nerve fibers.
Classification according to the causes of progression of pathology:
- diabetic neuropathy. This form of pathology progresses against the background of a decrease in the concentration of glucose in the blood. Usually develops with diabetes mellitus
- post-traumatic neuropathy. The main causes of its progression are mechanical trauma of the nerve fiber and its branches, squeezing them, or holding in the area of the lesion of surgical intervention. This form of pathology affects the ulnar nerve, sciatic, radial, and nerves of the lower extremities in most clinical situations. Most often, due to trauma, there is a neuropathy of the radial nerve, peroneal and ulnar;
- alcoholic neuropathy. The reason for the progression is the consumption of a large number of drinks that contain high doses of alcohol. This substance, as well as the products of its disintegration, greatly complicate the process of metabolism, in particular, absorption of vitamins in the intestine. This, in turn, leads to avitaminosis, which is the reason for the progression of alcohol neuropathy;
- ischemic form. This type of malady develops as a result of impaired blood supply to nerve endings.
Based on the nature of damage to nerve fibers, distinguish such varieties of disease:
- sensory neuropathy. It is characterized by a violation of the sensitivity of a particular organ in the human body. It is manifested by the absence of pain syndrome, numbness and tingling, as well as phantom pains
- peripheral neuropathy. Its progression is said in the event that the physiological process of transferring the nerve impulse from the central nervous system to organs that are innervated by the affected nerve fibers is disrupted. As a consequence, peripheral neuropathy is manifested by the following symptoms: a decrease or a complete loss of sensitivity, muscle weakness, seizures, tics and impaired coordination of movements (usually this symptom is manifested in the case of neuropathy of the lower limbs, neuropathy of the radial nerve, etc.);
- motor neuropathy. Characteristic sign is impaired motor activity. It is noteworthy that there is no decrease in sensitivity at the same time. Characteristic symptoms: the patient makes limbs movements that he himself can not control, part of the muscle reflexes disappears, muscle weakness gradually builds up;
- autonomic neuropathy. In this case, the innervation of internal organs is impaired. This form of pathology is rightfully considered to be the most dangerous, as in the case of its progression, the functioning of certain organs and systems is observed. In particular, the patient may have a violation of urination, swallowing, act of defecation.
Depending on the affected nerve fiber:
- fibular nerve neuropathy;
- neuropathy of the ulnar nerve
- radial nerve neuropathy;
- defeat of the trigeminal nerve
- affection of the nerves of the lower limbs.
Symptoms of the disease largely depend on which nerve fiber (or fibers) was squashed or injured. In fact, there are a lot of signs of this disease, but most of them are not characteristic, which to some extent creates difficulties in setting up an accurate diagnosis.
Diabetic neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes mellitus. Most often, this disease manifests peripheral neuropathy. Manifestations of the disease are multiple, because the spinal cord nerves are involved in the pathological process, as well as the nerves responsible for the work of internal organs.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (in the case of progressive peripheral neuropathy):
- tingling in the legs
- limb muscle structures as the progression of diabetic neuropathy can change shape;
- the patient may note that at one time he feels a strong cooling of the limbs, and at another time they have a feeling of heat
- feeling of «creeping crawling» in the limbs;
- pain syndrome in the extremities (manifested mainly during the night period)
- Increased sensitivity to tactile touch. Sometimes even a light touch can cause pain;
- a characteristic feature of peripheral neuropathy is the sensation of gloves or socks on the limbs, but they are bare;
- burning in the limbs
- Wounds obtained with existing peripheral neuropathy, heal very long.
Autonomous diabetic neuropathy manifests itself as such:
- nausea and vomiting
- dizziness when trying to change body position
- Urinary problems
- tachycardia, which can manifest even in a state of complete rest
- erectile dysfunction;
- Irregular bowel movement
- Even in cases of severe bladder overflow, there is no urge to urinate;
- loss of consciousness, although there is no apparent reason for this;
- increased sweating
- excessive dryness of the skin.
Lesion of the facial nerve
Neuropathy of the facial nerve is very common. It is also called in the medical literature the neuropathy of the trigeminal nerve. Usually it provokes hypothermia of the nerve fiber, so the disease has its seasonality. More often it occurs in the autumn-winter period. Neuropathy of the facial nerve begins acutely — the symptoms and degree of their severity directly depends on the location of the lesion.
Symptoms of the facial nerve neuropathy:
- half of the face where the affected nerve is localized, as if frozen;
- impaired taste perception
- with the neuropathy of the facial nerve, a marked pain syndrome is seen from the side of the affected nerve
- the eye does not fully close and the person can not blink;
- a characteristic symptom of the facial nerve neuropathy — the front part of the tongue grows dumb
- Sometimes dry eyes can be observed.
Lesion of the peroneal nerve
Neuropathy of the peroneal nerve usually affects girls aged 10 to 19 years. It is worth noting that this ailment has an unfavorable prognosis. To provoke the neuropathy of the peroneal nerve can be trauma to the knee joint or ligamentous apparatus, fractures of the bones, operative intervention along the path of passage of nerve fibers, etc.
Symptoms of the neuropathy of the peroneal nerve:
- the ability to rotate the foot is gradually lost
- patients walking or running can suddenly turn their legs
- the inability to normally bend and unbend fingers on the leg
- hanging of the foot
- A person can not walk on heels.
Treatment of neuropathy should be carried out immediately, as soon as the first alarming signs of progression of the pathology. To prescribe the correct course of treatment, you must visit your doctor. Self-medication is not acceptable.
Neuropathy is treated consistently. Required Activities:
- elimination of the damaging factor (compression)
- elimination of inflammation
- withdrawal of pain syndrome
- restoration of the full functioning of the affected nerve fiber
- stimulation of regenerative processes
- treatment of ailments that provoked pathology (if any),
- Relapse prevention