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The Affects of Neuropathy

Mar 4, 2008
Neuropathy is a mysterious disease. The Neuropathy Association calls it the most wide-spread disease most people have never heard of. In fact, more than 20 million people in this country suffer from some form of neuropathy. Neuropathy results from damage to peripheral nerves, often caused by diabetes. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of coordination. It attacks the hands, arms, feet, and legs. The earlier it is diagnosed, the better it can be slowed from progressing.

In neuropathy, three types of nerves can be affected. The sensory nerves, obviously, are in charge of sensation. Autonomic nerves control the function of internal organs. Motor nerves affect the muscles. Because the nervous system is the communication network within your body, neuropathy might best be understood as a malfunction of communications.

Most neuropathy patients are elderly, and the care for their disease costs Medicare $3.5 billion every year. Many people experience subtle sensations that come and go. For others, the disease may be debilitating. There are more than one hundred types of neuropathy, including autonomic, cancer-related, compressive, hereditary, and diabetic. Not many of these can be cured, but for those which cannot be, there are many ways of treating the symptoms and minimizing pain.

If you suffer from neuropathy, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to become a stubborn advocate for your own health. Do your own information search. Learn as much as you can about your symptoms and the various treatments that are out there. Be very honest with your doctor about the frequency of your symptoms. Insist that he be honest with you about your disease and what you can expect as it progresses. Also, make sure your doctor's office has a file with your full medical history and is updated with every single medication and supplement you are taking. Be proactive: ask your doctor if there is anything you could be doing to help yourself. Finally, you may feel better talking to others who suffer from neuropathy. Find out if there are any support groups nearby.

There is no substitute for becoming an informed patient. Knowing more about neuropathy gives you a measure of control you may not otherwise have, and knowledge has a way of banishing fears.
About the Author
Go to RealFoodNutrients.com to learn more about neuropathy and diabetes.
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