10 Myths busted about Neuropathy

What is Neuropathy

Neuropathy refers to the condition that involves damage to the nervous system. The nervous system is a network of nerves in our body that sends information from our brain and spinal cord to the rest of our body and viceversa. These are like cables that connect the different parts of a computer.


Peripheral nerves send many types of sensory information to the central nervous system (CNS), such as feet are cold. It also carry the signals to the rest of the body that, - the feet are cold, one needs to wear socks or contract the body as it is cold outside.


It plays an essential role in transferring information and signals from the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body.


Its malfunctioning can cause various serious issues like - muscle shrinking, losing the ability to feel vibrations and touch, heat intolerance, painful cramps etc.


According to stats - 5 to 2400 per 10,000 population In India are suffering from Neuropathy, which is quite alarming.




What are the causes of Neuropathy -


It has many different causes, for some it is hereditary (i.e. - genetically), or others develop it because of injury or any other disorder they might have.


In most cases - having hormonal imbalances, or kidney and liver disorders, leads to neuropathy.


[You can read more about the causes of Peripheral Neuropathy here]





How do you know you have neuropathy-


The symptoms of neuropathy depend more on the type that you are deceased with, and which part of your body is affected, but here's a list of all symptoms you may experience:-


• Numbness in certain body parts.

• Muscle weakness.

• Changes in skin, hair, and nails.

• Loss of sensation or feeling in body parts.

• Sleep disruptions.

• Trouble eating or swallowing food.

• Difficulty in breathing.

• Irregular Heartbeat.

• Dizziness, lightheadedness, Diarrhoea.

• Pain in your back, face, foot, hands or thigh.

• Oversensitivity, difficulty walking, Etc.



#8 Myths Busted about Neuropathy.


  • Neuropathy is more common in Diabetic Patients - False.


Yes, neuropathy is common in diabetic patients but there are many other reasons for neuropathy, like - deficiency of Vitamin-B, Chemotherapy, nerve damage, side effects of some medicines, etc.


Diabetic patients account for less than 36% of all neuropathy cases. A survey demonstrates that for every diabetic neuropathy patient, there are at least 6 more patients suffering from other various forms of neuropathies.


  • Only hands and feet are affected by neuropathy - False.


Yes, indeed, neuropathy often begins affecting hands and feet, but it eventually also affects other areas of the body like forearms, calves, legs, skin etc, and in rare cases, it also affects the functioning of different organs.



  • All types of Neuropathy feel the same - False.


There are different types of neuropathies, and their symptoms and effects depend on their type and what stage they are in. In the early stage will not feel like much is happening, but in the later stages, neuropathy can show signs like- a loss of balance, no sensation, nausea, and pains all over the body.


The symptoms may vary depending on the type of neuropathy you are suffering from and what's the stage it is in.



  • I am taking medicines and doing fine, nothing will happen to me - False


The medicines and tactics you are using for trying to prevent your neuropathy, is just worsening your condition from inside. Some remedies might work and may give temporary relief from the pain in short term, but in the longer run, it is just going to get worse and will show disastrous effects,


Remember-

If your neuropathy is not getting improved, it is probably getting worse.



  • My Neuropathy will not go, I must learn to live with it - False


Neuropathy doesn't have to be a life sentence.Proper stimulation of your nerves at home, glucose control, exercise, and keeping daily lifestyle in check, play a pivotal role in the regeneration and repair of the nerves. Take proper nutrition, medicines and treatment on time.



  • Neuropathy causes due to ageing - False.


There was a survey done where younger people(below the age of 35) were also found to be affected by neuropathy, You can grow old gracefully without ever experiencing these levels of nerve damage. Getting diseased with neuropathy depends on various other factors also, like your lifestyle, genetics, nutrition etc.


  • I only have pain in my forearms and calves, and sometimes legs, it's ok, it will fade away - False


Many neuropathy patients who feel symptoms often think these are not a big deal. They fail to understand that these small things are just the tip of the iceberg, they take it lightly because they think they can continue to function as usual, and the pain will fade away all by itself.


A report says that 75% of the population diagnosed with neuropathy who did nothing about these small symptoms, were found with disability 12 months later.


The pain might fade away sometime later, but the disease has not gone away from your body completely.



  • Nerves don't regenerate once damaged - False.


There are various studies which reveal that nerves can be repaired. There are low-level laser therapies, including exercise and nutrition. High levels of chances are there that the nerves can regenerate themselves if everything is done on time and effectively.


  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be cured - False.


There is no cure for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. However, medications that can manage the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain are available.





Conclusion - If you are diagnosed with neuropathy, take even minor symptoms seriously and get your treatment and medication on time;


Don't wait and see what happens; the disease grows in the body and shows its power over time.


Even if you have minor symptoms, get treatment; don't wait for the condition to worsen, by detecting and treating neuropathy early on, you are more likely to have a much better outcome.