What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a medical condition that causes tingling, numbness and burning pain throughout the body, but primarily in the hands and feet. According to Mayo Clinic, peripheral neuropathy can be caused by a number of factors including traumatic injury, disease and exposure to toxic substances.
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to, or an inflammation of, the nerves of the peripheral nervous system, according to Mayo Clinic. These nerves extend from the spinal cord to points throughout the body. The body-wide extent of the peripheral nervous system means that neuropathy can cause symptoms at almost any location, but most victims report pain, tingling and reduced sensation in the hands and feet. Sometimes, the symptoms are described by patients as feeling like they are wearing stockings or gloves due to the reduced sensitivity to touch.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when peripheral nerves are damaged by trauma, genetic predisposition, chemical exposure, Diabetes or post chemotherapy treatment or radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer.
Peripheral nerves influence how the body perceives sensory information, such as touch, and their individual functions vary based on the body region. Physical damage prevents the nerves from correctly transmitting important sensory information to the brain and the spinal cord, known as the central nervous system. For example, peripheral neuropathy in the hands could weaken motor skills or limit an individual's ability to feel objects.
The majority of patient we treat have sensory neuropathy. Sensory neuropathies cause changes in sensory perception, such as pain sensitivity, this form of PN can give symptoms of numbness, tingling, and reduced sensation of the hands and feet. Sensory neuropathies have many different causes including Diabetes and Post chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Diabetes destroys the nerve cell due to the high levels of circulation sugar in the blood. As part of the treatment we recommend that a strict diet be followed low in sugars with a reduction of grains and dairy.
Another issue that we have great success in is the treatment of post chemotherapy neuropathy. Both chemicals from cancer therapy and radiation destroy the nerve cells which affects their ability to conduct signals.
Peripheral neuropathy tends to get better over time, and this is especially true of cases with a definite cause, such as disease or exposure to toxins, that can be treated or managed. In our office we focus on pain relief and on relieving the underlying condition.
The treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends largely on the cause of the nerve damage and can include dietary, medication and lifestyle changes. Peripheral nerves have little ability to regenerate, so it is vital to get treatment early.
If the cause is from vitamin deficiencies, peripheral neuropathy can be corrected with supplements. If diabetes is the cause, diet and medication can help. Therapies that are helpful and are used in our facility consist of Transcutaneous micro-current stimulation, plasma exchange, physical therapy and infrared therapy. Some of the lifestyle changes found helpful involve exercise, eating healthy, avoiding smoking and alcohol, massages and controlling any underlying conditions.
Can Foods And Vitamins Have An Impact On Peripheral Neuropathy?
According to many sources including Dr David Perlmutter MD, a neurologist in the book “The Grain Brain" states that a diet that includes Gluten or different types of grains causes inflammation of the nervous system. He states that many cases of ADHD, loss of cognitive function, memory loss, headaches, MS, Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions become worse when a patient ingests these gluten foods. I f we take this a step further it makes sense that if we reduce these inflammatory insults to our body then the nervous tissue will calm down and allow our therapy to work better.
In the nutritional section of our web site there are nutritional products that have had success with our patients being treated for PN.
We have specific diet consultants that work in our office to provide nutritional counseling, diet management to reduce inflammation and weight loss. Reduction of certain foods helps to reduce inflammation and dysfunction in the nerves well as reduction of pain. This diet program is unique.
The Micro-current Vascular Treatment System
The Micro-current Vascular Treatment System is the result of several years of research and development. Thousands of patient case histories show Microcurrent Vascular Treatment System to be totally safe and effective in the treatment of a cross section of vascular deficiency cases. The following conditions have all responded decisively with excellent results;
- Diabetic Neuropathy for Arms and Lower Extremity
- Post Chemotherapy Neuropathy
- Post Radiation Neuropathy
- Occupational Medicine (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Ischemic Rest Pain
Essentially, every tissue in the body has intrinsic electrical properties. Because of this, it has been found that they respond in some way to electrical stimulation. There have been many machines designed over the years to use electricity to affect the body in various ways to enhance the healing process. Because of patent issues and proprietary information, the exact properties of Micro-current cannot be revealed; however, the general principles are as follows:
How Does Micro-current work?
Micro-current has a potent effect on the microcirculation, which results in dramatic responses to treatment. Underlying the above disease processes is the problem of impaired circulation in the capillary beds. Without blood flow to the tissues, oxygen and nutrients cannot get into the tissues and the waste products of metabolism cannot get out. This puts a severe stress on the tissues causing them to go into a survival mode. The cells use what limited resources they have to stay alive and higher functions, including healing and repair, as well as tissue mediated immunity, become essentially shut down.
In most patients with severe disease, measured tissue oxygen levels have been found to be less than 15% of normal. Diabetics with impaired basement membrane function, Reynaud’s phenomena, Claudication states and other similar conditions all may have similar features due to this underlying process.
Micro-current has been optimized to promote healing by causing muscle fasciculation and contraction relaxation cycles that effectively pump blood through the microcirculation, draining the venous beds and raising the tissue oxygen levels. This, in turn, supplies the oxygen and substrates necessary to greatly accelerate the healing process. Pressure gradients are actually increased across the capillary beds with micro-current, in contrast to most of the other best technologies on the market today that only dilate the capillary beds.
Micro-current demonstrated marked increases in tissue oxygen levels within minutes of initiating treatment. Tissue oxygen levels with successive treatments continue to improve.
Micro-current Stimulates Angiogenesis
The Micro-current’s electrical form stimulates angiogenesis, which is, budding of new capillaries and generation of denser capillary networks in the tissues. This lays the groundwork for new tissue growth and repair in the healing process. The Micro-current’s electrical form also raises the metabolic rate in the treated tissues, which, it is theorized, helps the inner lining of the arteries to metabolize the excess unused nutrients clogging them. These tissue results in improved blood flow that has shown to be permanent in most cases.
Micro-current Stimulates Fibroblast Activity
In addition, the Microcurrent electrical form directly stimulates the activity of fibroblasts in the healing process. In the healing of ischemic ulcers the fibroblasts act first to build the framework upon which further cell types including skin and capillaries grow. The electrical current of Micro-current is a deep penetrating current that affects all tissues from the skin to the bone. Technically, the Micro-current system generates an electromagnetic force field between the emitter pads. (This is in contrast to the electrical form of some machines that stay rather superficial in the tissues affecting primarily the top centimeter or two). Micro-current stimulates activity in bone cells as well, which can accelerate fracture healing.
Micro-current Reverses Neuropathy
Most excitedly, the Micro-current team can report amazing success in reversing neuropathy in the feet of diabetics being treated. In follow up on this condition thus far, improvement has persisted out to 4 years. To our knowledge, there is no known current technology or treatment modality that can reverse diabetic neuropathy other than Micro-current. This appears to be a therapeutic benefit that is unique to Micro-current thus far. It is not known yet how this is occurring. It may be due to improvement in the circulation that nourishes the nerves or an unknown direct action on the nerves.