Neuropathy, or nerve pain, is a common nervous system condition which brings discomfort and many challenges for those who suffer from it. The cause of neuropathy varies by person; however, you are not alone. More than 20 million Americans have nerve pain. Neuropathic pain comes in many different forms, and is typically characterized by numbness, tingling, and/or pain along the distribution of a nerve root pattern. Dr. DeCaria has effectively treated neuropathy from many different conditions through her unique approach that utilizes conventional medicine, as well as integrative and functional medicine.
Neuropathy usually refers to peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage that occurs in the limbs, most often in the hands and feet. Treatment includes addressing the primary disease that caused the neuropathy, and then integrating symptom management measures. The first step to treating your nerve pain is to find the root cause of your pain, in order to create a unique, detailed care plan specific to your needs. There are several common causes of neuropathy.
- Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, and is actually called “diabetic peripheral neuropathy.” Diabetic neuropathy can be caused by either Type I or Type II diabetes. Amongst those with diabetes, more than half will develop neuropathy. This is likely due to the high levels of sugar in a diabetic person’s blood, which can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels which supply the nerves.
- Disease and other medical issues or treatments can cause neuropathy. This includes, but is not limited to: hormonal disorders, inherited disorders, or autoimmune disorders. Specific examples include HIV, Celiac disease, chemotherapy, or kidney failure. Infections from bacteria or viruses such as Hepatitis C, shingles, or Lyme disease can also cause neuropathy. Other types of neuropathy can be carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar nerve entrapment (cubital tunnel syndrome). Yet another cause is meralgia paresthetica.
- Nutrient abnormalities may be the underlying reason for your nerve pain. Vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin B12, can cause neuropathy. Similarly, a high level of toxins in your body can also create neuropathy. Doing a blood workup can allow your care providers to determine if there are any significant deficiencies or abnormalities which can be causing your pain. Supplements may be advised in this case on an as needed basis.
- Lifestyle habits such as smoking, poor diet, or being overweight can exacerbate your pain. These are important factors to consider while dealing with pain. Alcoholism can also lead to neuropathy, due to vitamin deficiencies caused in your body. The healthier your lifestyle is, the easier it is for your body to deal with your pain and allow you to return to normal.
- Injury or nerve pressure can damage your nerves, leading to nerve pain. A car accident, sports injury, or even a simple fall can cause damage to your nerves and cause neuropathy.
It is important to discuss your experiences with Dr. DeCaria so that she can help you pinpoint the source of your nerve pain. While some people are able to identify a single cause of their neuropathy, others have multiple causes, and others have unknown causes. Treatment includes addressing the primary disease that caused the neuropathy, and then integrating symptom management measures. To address neuropathy related symptoms, such as chronic pain, symptom management therapies range from medications, the right exercises, bracing, non-surgical injections or nerve blocks, acupuncture, and more. Call Revitalize Medical Center today to book your appointment with Dr. DeCaria in our Evanston or Glenview office!
Please remember to discuss with your physician prior to starting any supplement, as they may interact with your current medications or other medical conditions. Specific supplement dosages should be determined by your doctor. This page (including all links and blog posts) is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. To schedule an appointment at Revitalize Medical Center, please call (847) 834-4018.