Neuropathy occurs when compression or damage interferes with your nerve function, leading to disruptive symptoms ranging from numbness, weakness, to digestive problems. Allen Chu, MD, PhD, offers expert diagnosis and treatment for neuropathy at Houston Neurology & Sleep Diagnostic Center in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas. Call or schedule a consultation online today.
Neuropathy refers to any condition or disorder that interferes with normal nerve activity in your peripheral nervous system. Your brain and spine comprise your central nervous system and your peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that carry signals from your brain throughout your body.
Your peripheral nervous system includes three types of nerves:
Neuropathy is very common and can affect patients of any age, although your risk increases with age. It can cause disruptive and disabling symptoms.
Neuropathy causes a variety of symptoms, depending on the type of nerve affected. For example, if your motor or sensory nerves are affected, you may experience:
However, if your neuropathy affects your autonomic nerves, you may develop a heat intolerance or digestive problems that affect your bowel and bladder function. Some patients may experience changes in blood pressure and dizziness.
Many factors contribute to neuropathy. For example, when left unmanaged, diabetes can damage your nerves and is a common cause of neuropathy. However, your condition could be due to:
Other disorders and diseases including kidney disease, liver disease, an underactive thyroid, or connective tissue disorders can also lead to neuropathy.
Neuropathy increases your risk of falling, burns, infection, and other injuries. If you’ve noticed any symptoms and are concerned about your health, make an appointment with Dr. Chu.
Dr. Chu begins with a comprehensive exam, including testing such as nerve conduction studies and electromyograms. He asks about your symptoms, general health, and lifestyle and may perform other tests to study the extent of your nerve damage.
Once he understands your condition and needs, Dr. Chu creates a customized treatment plan. Depending on your needs, he may prescribe medication, including pain relievers, antiseizure drugs, and topical treatments. He may also recommend transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), physical therapy, or surgery to address any underlying conditions contributing to your neuropathy.
If you’re concerned about neuropathy and are living with numbness and nerve pain, call or make an appointment online today.