Do you suffer from pain, numbness, tingling or burning in the hands or feet? Been treated without success? Been told to “live with it?” Tired of taking drugs that don’t fix the problem?
Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) is the term used to describe disorders of the peripheral nerves. Even though over 20 million people in the US suffer with PN, information is hard to come by. Approximately 50% of diabetics will develop the condition. Many people using statin pills, also known as ‘cholesterol drugs’, will be affected by this mysterious and under-recognized disorder.
Neuropathy means “disease or abnormality of the nervous system” which is not a very helpful definition. We need to think of neuropathy as any DAMAGE to the nervous system. Carpal Tunnel syndrome, Herniated Discs and Strokes are all insults to different areas of the nervous system, all with different symptoms.
Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects all nerves of the body from the brain, eyes and small nerves of the heart and digestive system, to the nerves in the hands, feet, and legs. The peripheral nervous system is made up of the nerves that branch out of the spinal cord to all parts of the body.
Peripheral nerve cells have three main parts: Cell body, axons, and dendrites (nerve/muscle junction). And part of the nerve can be affected, but damage to axons is most common. The axon transmits signals from nerve cell or nerve cell to muscle. Most axons are surrounded by a substance call myelin, which facilitates signal transmission.
There are two types of symptoms with PN; negative and positive. Negative signs, which come first, are when damage to the nervous system, obviously, brings about a LOSS of a particular function.
For example; loss of reflexes, loss of strength, loss of sensation like numbness. But these are rarely detectable to the patient, because the brain makes up the difference in the losses. Only after some time do the sick and damaged nerves develop the positive signs of neuropathy: tingling, burning, biting, stabbing, shooting pains. This, too is a reaction of the brain and the nervous system.
Unfortunately, this overreaction tears apart the fiber of the patients’ lives.
Each patient will describe their pain in their own individual language of ‘pain’. This can easily confuse a doctor not trained in the recognition and treatment of these patients. So the patient usually continues to suffer, going from doctor to doctor, to stronger and stronger doses of pills until they are either completely drugged up and ‘out of it’, or lost in their own world of suffering.
Some neuropathies come on suddenly– others evolve over many years. Some people are affected only by a weakness in the arms and legs which leads to difficulty standing, walking, or getting out of a chair. The loss of sensation from the feet, ankles and toes contributes to patients not having a ‘good sense’ of where there feet are in space, touching the ground, and this causes them to fall very easily. These under-recognized sensory losses CAN ONLY be detected with proper clinical exam. Our office has the necessary tools to uncover the underlying cause of this ‘silent’ nerve damage.
Some peripheral neuropathy sufferers will eventually become unable to walk at all. Others start with a tingling, pin pricking feeling that turns into deep sharp stabbing pains and burning electric shocks. These debilitating problems can also be at their worst at night while trying to get to sleep, because the PAIN never goes away. In fact, once started, it only gets worse!!
Currently, traditional medicine has NO cure for PN. The extremely powerful drugs dispensed to patients do NOT TREAT the NERVE DAMAGE! They numb the brain to numb the pain. Most patients cannot tolerate a drugged existence but feel the have NO OTHER OPTION against this horrifying pain.
Tired Of Playing Games With Doctors?
Please visit our New Patients page and see how we can help you (or someone you know), give us a call at (970) 282-1173 to schedule an appointment to see if you are a candidate for our peripheral neuropathy recovery program.