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Neuropathy

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Neuropathy

Post by OrjoWan on Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:04 pm


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Neuropathy describes

a condition in which a person suffers from peripheral
nerve damage often associated with an underlying disease
Though not a disease itself, neuropathy is diagnosed in many people
for whom no pre-existing cause can be determined
While less than 3% of the general population is affected
eventually 60% of diabetics will develop some degree
of nerve damage

The symptoms of neuropathy
are usually the only method of diagnosis
One might suffer sensations similar to decreased circulation
in the extremities, such as numbness, ranging from mild to severe
and pins and needles
Limbs feel alternately burning hot and icy cold
accompanied by sharp or dull pain and muscle fatigue
These feelings are associated with reduced fine motor coordination
possibly leading to paralysis at the worst extreme


? What types of neuropathy are there

Neuropathies are classified according to the clinical syndrome
pathological features
or etiology

Neuropathy may be diffuse, affecting many parts of the body
or focal, affecting a single, specific nerve and part of the body
Different doctors classify neuropathy differently
But there are a few well-known types of neuropathy

Sensory neuropathy

(or peripheral neuropathy, usually just called neuropathy)
affects the nerves that carry information to the brain
about sensations from various parts of the body
how hot or cold something is, what the texture of something feels like
the pain caused by a sharp object or heat, etc

This is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy


Peripheral neuropathy
is not a specific, separate disease
It is a manifestation of many conditions
that can cause damage to the peripheral nerves

The peripheral nervous system includes all nerves
not in the central nervous system (CNS)
which includes the brain and spinal cord
The peripheral nervous system is the nerve system
used by the CNS to communicate with the rest of the body
including the cranial nerves and the nerves
supplying the internal organs, muscles, skin
and other areas
Damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system
impairs communication between the CNS
and the rest of the body

Distal symmetric polyneuropathy
Distal symmetric polyneuropathy
is the most common form of neuropathy

It strikes both sides of the body
The legs and feet are usually affected
although the hands may be also
People with this form of neuropathy have numbness
and prickling sensations or tingling

Some people feel pain in the toes or feet
The feet can sometimes be so tender that walking
on a rough surface hurts
Doctors often find that people with this form of neuropathy
have lost part of their ability to feel a pinprick or a vibration
For example, they are less able to feel a tuning fork vibrating
against the toe
This type of neuropathy tends to develop only
after many years of poor blood glucose control
Tight glucose control can prevent most cases

Charcot's joint
Charcot's joint, also called neuropathic arthropathy
occurs when a joint breaks down because
of a problem with the nerves
It most often occurs in the foot
In a typical case of Charcot's joint, the foot has lost most sensation

The person no longer can feel pain in the foot
and loses the ability to sense the position of the joint

Also, the muscles lose their ability to support the joint properly
The foot then becomes unstable, and walking just makes it worse
An injury, such as a twisted ankle, may make things even worse
Joints grind on bone

The result is inflammation
which leads to further instability and then dislocation
Finally, the bone structure of the foot collapses

Eventually, the foot heals on its own, but because of
the breakdown of the bone, it heals into a deformed foot
People at risk of Charcot's joint are those who
already have neuropathy

They should be aware of symptoms such as swelling
redness, heat, strong pulse, and insensitivity of the foot
Early treatment can stop bone destruction and aid healing

Cranial neuropathy
Cranial neuropathy affects the 12 pairs of nerves
that are connected with the brain and control sight
eye movement, hearing, and taste
Most often, cranial neuropathy affects the nerves
that control the eye muscles
It begins with pain on one side of the face near the affected eye
Later, the eye muscle becomes paralyzed
Double vision results
Symptoms usually get better or go away
within two to three months

Autonomic neuropathy
Autonomic neuropathy affects the autonomic nerves
which control the bladder, intestinal tract, and genitals
among other organs
You may not want to even think about this disease
because it can cause problems with urination, digestion or erection

But unfortunately, it's common
Some types of autonomic neuropathy affect more than
one-quarter of people with diabetes
Paralysis of the bladder is a common symptom
When this happens, the nerves of the bladder no longer respond
normally to pressure as the bladder fills with urine
As a result, urine stays in the bladder, leading to urinary tract infections
Autonomic neuropathy can also cause impotence
when it affects the nerves that control erection with sexual arousal
However, sexual desire does not usually decrease

Diarrhea can occur when the nerves that control
the small intestine are damaged
The diarrhea occurs most often at night
Constipation is another common result of damage
to nerves in the intestines
Sometimes, the stomach is affected
It loses the ability to move food through the digestive system
causing vomiting and bloating

This condition, called gastroparesis, can change how fast
the body absorbs food
It can make it hard to match insulin doses to food portions
Scientists do not know the precise cause of autonomic neuropathy
and are looking for better treatments

Compression mononeuropathy
Compression mononeuropathy occurs when a single nerve is damaged
It is fairly common
There seem to be two kinds of damage
In the first, nerves are squashed at places where they must pass
through a tight tunnel or over a lump of bone
Nerves of people with diabetes are more prone
to compression injury

The second kind of damage arises when blood vessel disease
caused by diabetes restricts blood flow to a part of the nerve
Carpal tunnel syndrome is probably the most common
compression mononeuropathy

It occurs when the median nerve of
the forearm is compressed at the wrist

Symptoms include numbness, swelling, or prickling in the fingers
with or without pain when driving a car, knitting, or resting at night
Simply hanging the arms by one's sides usually
stops the pain within a few minutes
If the symptoms are severe, an operation can give
complete relief from pain

Other neuropathies
Femoral neuropathy is also common
It occurs most often in people with
non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes

A pain may develop in the front of one thigh
Muscle weakness follows, and the affected
muscles waste away

A different kind of neuropathy that also affects the legs
is called diabetic amyotrophy

In this case, weakness occurs on both sides of the body
but there is no pain
Doctors do not understand why it occurs
but blood vessel disease may be the cause

Another common mononeuropathy is thoracic
or lumbar radiculopathy

It is like femoral neuropathy, except it occurs in the torso
It affects a band of the chest or abdominal wall
on one or both sides
It seems to occur more often in people with type II diabetes
Again, people with this neuropathy get better with time

Unilateral foot drop is when the foot can't be picked up
It occurs from damage to the peroneal nerve of the leg
by compression or vessel disease
Foot drop can improve


:D


OrjoWan




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