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Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to the disorders of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves in the body except the brain and spinal cord (nerves in the face, arms, legs, torso, etc.)

A neuropathy may affect one or more nerves. When nerves are damaged and cannot communicate it causes symptoms such as pain and numbness. This condition often occurs in people with diabetes and autoimmune disorders. Also, certain vitamin deficiencies and medications can damage pheripheral nerves.

Treating the underlying condition may relieve some cases of peripheral neuropathy but if not, the main focus is to relieve and manage the pain.

Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
- Pain
- Numbness
- Muscle weakness
- Burning
- Loss of feeling
- Lack of coordination
- Sharp, jabbing type of pain

When damage occurs to several nerves, it’s most common cause is diabetes but other causes include:

- Autoimmune disorders S
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Genetics
- Certain medications

Peripheral neuropathy can have many causes, which makes it difficult to diagnose.

The following self-care tips can be followed to manage the disorder:

- Take care of feet, especially if suffering from diabetes. Check for signs of calluses, cuts. Wear soft, cotton socks and padded shoes.
- Exercise regularly, which can also help control blood sugar levels.
- Quit smoking
- Eat health meals, in particular, low fat meals, dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. - Massage hands and feet to improve circulation and relieve pain
- Avoid keeping knees crossed for prolonged periods of time or leaning on your elbows.

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