Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the most distal nerves in the body. It typically starts in the feet with symptoms such as numbness, burning, tingling, or other odd sensations. It may affect balance and in some instances may cause weakness. The most common causes of peripheral neuropathy are diabetes and hereditary factors. Other causes include toxic (alcohol, medications, toxic exposures), autoimmune, nutritional, and infectious. In roughly 25% of patients, no cause will be discovered. Diagnosis is typically made by a detailed physical examination, lab testing, electrodiagnostic testing (EMG), or rarely nerve biopsy. Treatment is often centered around pain/symptom control, but occasionally, reversible causes are discovered.
For more information about peripheral neuropathy, please visit: Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy.
Local support group: West Michigan Peripheral Neuropathy Support Group.
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