Peripheral neuropathy · Care at Mayo Clinic · Hypothyroidism. There are several different types of peripheral neuropathies that stem from a variety of causes. They range from carpal tunnel syndrome (a common traumatic injury after chronic repetitive use of the hands and wrists, such as using a computer) to diabetes-related nerve damage. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary depending on the type you have and the part of your body affected.
Symptoms can range from tingling or numbness in a certain part of the body to more serious effects, such as burning pain or paralysis. Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the body's extremities, such as the hands, feet, and arms, are damaged. Symptoms depend on which nerves are affected. You may feel extreme pain in your feet, legs, hands, and arms, even when lightly touched.
You may also have trouble detecting pain or temperature in these parts of your body. Correcting underlying causes can cause neuropathy to resolve on its own as nerves recover or regenerate. Nerve health and endurance can be improved with healthy lifestyle habits, such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding toxic exposures, eating a balanced diet, and correcting vitamin deficiencies. Quitting smoking is particularly important because smoking narrows the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the peripheral nerves and can worsen neuropathic symptoms.
Exercise can bring more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to distant nerve endings, improve muscle strength, and limit muscle atrophy. Self-care skills in people with diabetes and others who have a diminished ability to feel pain can relieve symptoms and often create conditions that stimulate nerve regeneration. Strict control of blood glucose levels has been shown to reduce neuropathic symptoms and help people with diabetic neuropathy avoid further nerve damage. Peripheral nerves carry information to and from the brain.
They also carry signals to and from the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the body's extremities, such as the hands, feet, and arms, are damaged.