Houston Neurology & Sleep Diagnostic Center
Allen Chu, MD, PhD
Neuromuscular Medicine Specialist & Sleep Medicine Specialist located in Greater Houston, TX
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, Texas. Call or schedule a consultation online today.
What is neuropathy?
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:
- Sensory nerves
- Motor nerves
- Autonomic 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.
What are the signs of neuropathy?
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:
- Numbness in your feet and hands, which may spread through your legs and arms
- Pain that may be sharp, throbbing, freezing, or burning
- Sensitivity to touch
- Reduce coordination
- Increased risk of falling
- Muscle weakness
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.
What causes neuropathy?
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:
- Autoimmune disease
- Trauma or pressure on a nerve
- Tumor or growths that compress a nerve
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Exposure to certain poisons or medications
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.
What is the treatment for neuropathy?
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.