Neuropathy, simply put, is pain from nerve damage. Here are ten terms you should know about the condition.
Peripheral nervous system: the system of nerves outside the central nervous system (which is made up of the brain and spinal cord). The peripheral nervous system sends signals from the central nervous system to the rest of your body.
Peripheral neuropathy: damage to these nerves, which leads to pain, numbness, weakness, and burning or tingling sensations in the limbs, hands, and feet. It can be caused by genetics, toxin exposure, traumatic injury, infection, or metabolic conditions.
Diabetic neuropathy: nerve damage that occurs specifically as a result of complications from undiagnosed or untreated diabetes.
Sensory nerves: nerves that perceive sensations on the skin, such as heat, cold, pain, vibrations, or physical contact.
Motor nerves: control the movement of muscles
Autonomic nerves: control automatic bodily functions like digestion, bladder function, heartbeat, and blood pressure.
Dermatomes: connect peripheral nerves to the spinal cord; because the dermatomes coordinate with certain areas of the body, the symptoms can be used to trace which nerves are damaged.
Mononeuropathy: damage to a single nerve.
Multiple mononeuropathy: damage to two or more nerves that affect different areas of the body.
Polyneuropathy: damage that affects many nerves.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as muscle weakness, tingling or numbness, burning or shooting pains in the limbs, loss of control over muscles or bowel and bladder function, consult your doctor for tests.
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