Non-Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy, in a nutshell, is damage to a person’s nerves. This irritating, sometimes painful condition may affect different areas of the body and has numerous potential causes.

Neuropathy may occur in the sensory nerves (which control feeling), the autonomic nerves (which control bodily functions, such as blood pressure or heart rate), or the motor nerves (which control voluntary muscle movement). Neuropathy may affect any area in the body, and symptoms will likely vary based on the type and location of the nerves damaged. Sensory neuropathy may lead to numbness or tingling in specific areas, burning pains, or sensitivity to touch. Neuropathy of motor nerves may lead to weakness or lack of coordination. Neuropathy of the autonomic nerves may cause intolerance to heat, changes in blood pressure, or problems in bladder or bowel control.

Diabetes is a common cause of neuropathy. However, nerve damage may be caused by problems other than uncontrolled blood sugar. Some of the more common of these potential causes include:

  • Alcoholism – Dependency on alcohol impacts the body in many negative ways. A large number of these negative effects, such as breaking down healthy tissue cells, altering blood sugar, and malnutrition, may lead to the damage of any number of nerves.

  • Autoimmune disorders – An autoimmune disorder causes the body’s immune system to overreact and attack healthy cells in the body. These attacked healthy cells may include nerve cells.

  • Exposure to poisons – By nature, poisons are harmful to the body. One way in which poisons may harm the body is neuropathy.

  • Medications – Certain medications are capable of causing neuropathy. Chemotherapy, the medications used to fight cancer, is designed to kill unhealthy cells, but may damage healthy cells in the process, potentially leading to damaged nerves.

  • Infections – Some viral or bacterial infections, such as Epstein-Barr, Lyme Disease, shingles, and HIV, may cause nerve damage.

  • Vitamin Deficiencies – Certain nutrients, including B vitamins, niacin, and vitamin E, are essential for nerve health. Deficiency in any of these nutrients may lead to nerve damage.

  • Trauma – An injury may damage more than muscle and bone. It may cause lasting nerve damage. Similarly, pressure to a nerve may damage it. Repetitive motion, such as using crutches or typing for long periods of time on a regular basis, may put undue pressure on certain nerves, ultimately damaging them.


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