Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, hereditary causes, and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes. People with peripheral neuropathy usually describe pain as throbbing, burning, or tingling. It is estimated that between 25 and 30% of Americans will be affected by neuropathy.
The condition affects people of all ages; however, older people are at higher risk. Approximately 8% of adults over 65 years of age report some degree of neuropathy. In addition to age, in the United States, some of the most common risk factors for neuropathy include diabetes, metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes), and excessive alcohol use. People in certain professions, such as those that require repetitive movements, are more likely to develop mononeuropathies due to trauma or compression of the nerves.
There are many causes of neuropathy. Diabetes is the number one cause in the United States. Other common causes include trauma, chemotherapy, alcoholism, and autoimmune diseases. Neuropathy can also be caused by other health conditions and certain medications.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a treatment that involves placing electrodes to the skin at the site of pain or near the associated nerves and then administering a gentle electrical current. TENS can improve neuropathic symptoms associated with diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy has many different causes. Some people inherit the disorder from their parents.
Others develop it because of an injury or other disorder. Diabetes is the most common cause and causes about half of all cases of neuropathy. Even prediabetes is of concern to doctors because it often leads to diabetes. Treating diabetes can slow the progression of neuropathy and also help people with other diabetes-related health problems, such as eye complications, kidney problems, strokes and heart attacks.
Yes, excessive alcohol consumption can cause neuropathy. Alcohol consumption is the second leading cause of neuropathy, so eliminating alcohol is the best thing you can do on your own. If you abstain from alcohol, neuropathy should not get worse. As long as you don't need the same chemotherapy again, neuropathy will be a unique situation and should not get worse.
Many conditions can cause kidney failure; the most common are diabetes and high blood pressure. There is no easy solution to kidney failure, which means that neuropathy may get worse over time.