Patients come to your clinic for help managing the discomfort and pain of peripheral neuropathy. And they often bring a host of questions about the condition. Chief among these remains: Is neuropathy curable? These patients may experience numbness, weakness, or constant tingling sensations. These symptoms may leave patients feeling desperate for answers. Or, at the very least, in need of a plan to better manage their symptoms.
Currently there is no cure. The extent that symptomatic relief can occur depends on many factors. Factors that influence the management and treatment of this condition vary. They include everything from the willingness of the patient to comply with therapeutic recommendations to the cause and location of the neuropathy. Here’s what your patients need to know about therapeutic interventions.
Neuropathy refers to dysfunction or damage to one or more nerves, causing discomfort or pain. The affected area may exhibit muscle weakness, burning, pins-and-needles feelings, or numbness. For most patients, neuropathy first manifests in their hands and feet. Over time, it impacts other regions of the body, too.
Peripheral neuropathy impacts the network of nerves located outside of your central nervous system. What do patients need to know about how the central and peripheral nervous systems work together? Tell them to think of their central nervous system like Grand Central Station in New York City. From this station, tracks (nerve networks) lead across the city (the body), delivering trains (information signals) back and forth to the central station.
What happens when the tracks of this imaginary transit system get damaged or a train derails? It upsets neuron communications between the peripheral and central nervous systems. Variations may exist in terms of the type of damage caused. For example, neuropathy could disrupt many peripheral nerves throughout the body, causing a condition referred to as polyneuropathy. But there’s also multifocal neuropathy, which affects a combination of nerves in one location, and mononeuropathy, upsetting one nerve or type of nerve.
Different Types of Peripheral Neuropathy
Patients must understand that peripheral neuropathy comes with different symptoms, depending on the nerves involved. The peripheral nervous system contains three primary kinds of nerves, which all serve vital roles in health and well-being. The three types of nerves include:
As for autonomic nerves? They handle automatic body functions like digestion, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, bladder control, sweating, and sexual arousal. These nerves also monitor for bodily needs and external stressors.
Is Neuropathy Curable?
The short answer is no. Once diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, identifying and treating the underlying medical cause comes next. Diabetes is often the culprit. But other conditions may also contribute to neuropathy, including infections. The underlying cause has a direct correlation with its treatability. What’s more, patients should know many treatment options abound. But they’re not all created equal.
The best option? For many, a focus on proper nutrition (especially nitric oxide levels). We suggest testing patients’ nitric oxide levels at every visit as well as recommending an excellent nitrate supplement. When you couple your patients’ existing Neurolight Treatment protocols with testing and supplementation, they’ll optimize this therapeutic approach. Find out more about Neurolight Treatment devices and how they function to release the nitric oxide into the bloodstream.