Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy Overview:

Peripheral neuropathy is a syndrome involving one or more of the peripheral nerves. it involves variable degrees of sensory impairment, pain, muscular weakness, atrophy, vasomotor symptoms, reduces reflexes in the tendons, or a combination of any of these symptoms.

 

Aetiology:

+ Alcoholism

  • Vitamin deficiencies

+ Autoimmune Conditions

  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelenating polyneuropathy
  • Necrotizing vasculitis

+ Diabetes

  • More than half of people with diabetes will develop neuropathy at some point

+ Heavy Metal or other Toxic Exposure

  • A number of substances can result in neuropathy

+ Infection

  • Lyme Disease
  • Shingles
  • HIV
  • Epstein-Barre
  • Herpes virus
  • Hepatitis C
  • Leprosy
  • Diptheria
  • HIV

+ Traumatic Injury

  • Common in sporting or motor vehicle accidents

+ Vitamin Deficiencies

  • B vitamin deficiency (especially B1, B6, and B12)
 

Symptoms:

Stabbing, Burning, Or Tingling Pain

Weakness

Lack of coordination

Extreme Sensitivity To Touch

Musle Weakness or Paralysis

Altered Sweating

Bladder Dysfunction

Bowel Dysfunction

Changes In Blood Pressure

Dizziness

 

Diagnostic Considerations:

  • Electrodiagnostic testing to assess electrical activity in the nerves. 

Blood Tests

  • Vitamin B12 and folate levels
  • Thyroid Function Testing
  • Liver function testing
  • Kidney function testing
  • Blood glucose testing
  • Antibodies to nerve components
  • Antibodies related to celiac disease
  • Lyme disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis B and C
 

Therapeutic Aims:

1. Address The Suspected Cause

  • Antimicrobials (Tabebuia impetiginosa)
  • Antinflammatories (Boswellia serrata, Curcuma longa, Salix alba, Filipendula ulmaria)
  • Antioxidants (Vitis vinifera, Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Peripheral Circulatory Stimulants (Ginkgo biloba, Vitis vinifera, Pinus pinasta)
  • Nutritional (Vitamin B12, Folate, Fish oil, Phosphatidylserine, Phosphatidylcholine)

2. Encourage Nerve Repair

  • Nutritional (Essential fatty acids, Phosphatidylserine, Phosphatidylcholine, B Vitamins, Zinc)
  • Nervine Trophorestoratives (Avena sativa, Ginkgo biloba, Hypericum perforatum)

3. Manage Pain

  • Analgesics (Eschscholtzia californica, Piscidia erythrina, Corydalis ambigua)
  • Rubefacients (Capsaicin topical salves)
 

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Diabetes mellitus
 

Comorbidities/Risk Factors:

  • Burns and skin trauma
  • Infection
  • Falls/bone fractures
  • Diabetes mellitus
 

Cautions:

Always rule out the possibility of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus.

 

Herbs For Peripheral Neuropathy:

  • Muira puama
  • piper methysticum
  • Cannabis sativa
  • Centella asiatica
 

Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: November 2017


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