The Different Types of Neuropathy & How To Treat Them

All types of neuropathy involve damage to the nerves. Neuropathy is divided into five different categories, though, that are defined by which nerves have been damaged. Regardless of which type of neuropathy you’re dealing with, you want to seek out professional medical attention to treat it. Neuropathy treatment will help reduce the amount of pain you’re in and can halt the progression of the damage. Let’s look at these different types of neuropathy and how they can be treated.

Peripheral Neuropathy

The most common type, peripheral neuropathy, is defined by damage to the nerves in the extremities: your fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, and legs. It can be caused by a number of different injuries and conditions. It’s a common side effect of diabetes, but usually, getting your blood sugar levels under control helps reduce or eliminate peripheral neuropathy. If you have nerve damage from other causes, alternative and complementary therapies have been proven to be quite effective.

Proximal Neuropathy

Another fairly common form of neuropathy is proximal neuropathy. It’s defined by damage to the nerves located in the thighs, gluteal areas, and hips. Normally, proximal neuropathy only affects only one side, but it can spread to both sides if it’s not treated.

Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic Neuropathy affects the involuntary nervous system which is made up of the nerves that relate to digestion, circulation, the heart, sweat glands, the bowels/bladder, and the sexual organs. Like peripheral neuropathy, this type of neuropathy is often caused by diabetes and other types of health conditions rather than damage to the nerves. Autonomic neuropathy is also a side effect of certain medications.

Cranial Neuropathy

Cranial neuropathy damages one or more of the twelve nerves connected to the brain or brainstem. These conditions include Bell’s palsy, microvascular cranial nerve palsy, third, fourth, and sixth nerve palsy, and multiple cranial neuropathies. Cranial neuropathy most often affects the eyes and face. Some of these conditions, such as microvascular cranial nerve palsy, are related to diabetes.

Focal Neuropathy

Focal neuropathy is not as common as some of the other types of neuropathy, but like peripheral and cranial versions, it can also be caused by diabetes. Unlike other forms of neuropathy, focal neuropathy or mononeuropathy is defined by a single nerve being damaged. This nerve is often found in the foot, wrist, or thigh, though other nerves can be affected. Just because only one nerve is being damaged doesn’t mean focal neuropathy isn’t serious. It is, and the pain and other side effects can be just as bad as those you might experience from other types of neuropathy.

Getting Treatment for Neuropathy

No matter which type of neuropathy you have, you need to treat it. Trying to reduce the effects with over-the-counter painkillers and other medications may make you more comfortable now, but it won’t stop the nerve damage. This damage will only continue until you address the root cause of the problem.

For medical conditions such as diabetes, that means controlling your blood sugar levels. If your neuropathy is caused by alcohol abuse, you will need to cut back on your drinking by going to rehab. You may need to work with a specialist to manage your autoimmune disease or other condition. If you’re dealing with neuropathy caused by medication, you can talk to your doctor about switching to another drug.

Make an Appointment with Us

You also need to see a neuropathy specialist. Here at Fox Integrated Healthcare, we can help you deal with the symptoms of neuropathy while you determine the cause and begin treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.