Although diabetes is the no. 1 cause of neuropathy, it’s not the only one. Regardless of what contributed to your nerve damage, we want you to know that neuropathy treatment is available here at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute in Beverly Hills and Northridge, California.
Here, Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy discusses non-diabetic causes of neuropathy and what you can do to find relief.
The link between your nervous system and neuropathy
Understanding what your nervous system is (and what it does for your body) sheds light on the many ways neuropathy presents itself.
Nerves are bundles of fibers that send messages to and from your brain. Together, your nervous system — which is made up of your central nervous system and your peripheral nervous system — works with your brain to form a central command hub that controls your movements, thoughts, reactions to your environment (hot, cold, etc), automatic responses, and much more.
Your peripheral nerves branch out from your spinal column, and if any of these nerves are damaged, it can create a wide variety of symptoms from burning sensations to muscle weakness to numbness. This is called neuropathy, a disruptive and painful condition.
About half of all people with diabetes are also diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. That said, there are many potential causes of nerve damage. Any condition or injury that impairs your nerves in your upper or lower limbs can potentially lead to peripheral neuropathy.
7 non-diabetic causes of neuropathy
If you spot the signs of neuropathy, one of the best things you can do is to pinpoint the source of your nerve pain and then manage that condition, if possible. In some cases, you may benefit from interventional pain management procedures to provide pain relief.
1. Autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which your immune system attacks your own body. If it targets your nerves, it can lead to neuropathy. Examples of autoimmune conditions that could lead to nerve damage include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjorgren’s syndrome, and Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Lyme disease can affect many different types of nerves, including your cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, and your central nervous system. Depending on which nerves are damaged, you might experience different symptoms.
For instance, if your cranial nerve is damaged, you might notice facial drooping, but if your peripheral nerves are damaged, you might have shooting pain in your legs or arms.
Other infections that can compromise your nerve health are HIV, diphtheria, and hepatitis C.
3. Vitamin deficiencies
Your nerves rely on vitamins to function properly, and without adequate intake of vitamin B (especially vitamins B-1, B-6, and B-12), vitamin D, vitamin E, and niacin, your nerves are at risk for neuropathy.
Tumors 一 both benign and cancerous 一 can contribute to nerve pain if they compress your nerves. The pressure from the tumor can lead to intense pain, stinging, burning, or total numbness.
Certain medications, especially chemotherapy drugs, can lead to nerve damage. If you’re undergoing cancer treatment and think you might have neuropathy, let your oncology team know.
6. Exposure to environmental toxins
While many health conditions can contribute to neuropathy, some environmental toxins can also cause nerve damage. This includes:
- Heavy metal exposure, especially lead, mercury, arsenic, and thallium
- Industrial solvents
To reduce your risk of exposure to these toxins, always follow proper safety protocols if you handle toxins in your workplace.
Hypothyroidism is another possible (although less common) cause of neuropathy. Although this link is still being studied, experts believe that the fluid retention associated with chronically untreated hypothyroidism puts pressure on the nerves and affects them.
Get relief from nerve pain
Once Dr. Taimoorozy determines that neuropathy is the source of your pain and discomfort, he creates a multidisciplinary treatment plan that may include, medications, nerve blocks and many other interventional pain management procedures, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, TENS therapy, and ketamine infusions.
To learn more about neuropathy treatment options, call us today at 424-302-0289 or request an appointment online.