Reversible, Partially Reversible and Irreversible Neuropathy
Different kinds of Neuropathy
Neuropathy has become a very common ailment. There are different kinds of neuropathies, but all of these have common symptoms. The five common symptoms of neuropathy include tingling sensation, loss of sensitivity, burning, numbness and pain.
The peripheral nerves of body are generally affected the most by the condition of Neuropathy. Nerve damage interferes with the functionality of the affected body part and gives rise to complications. In many instances, neuropathy arises because of other diseases like diabetes, cardiac ailment, cancer, thyroid and more. Toxins, trauma and immune system dysfunction can also cause direct damage to the nerves.
Anyone who is afflicted with neuropathy may want to know if his or her neuropathy is reversible or not. It is important to note that permanent damage to the nerves is not reversible in most cases. However, most patients can get relief from symptoms by treating the condition under the guidance of a medical practitioner. Some patients who follow the treatment plan religiously are even able to reverse or partially reverse the damages.
Let us discuss the reversible, intermediate or irreversible neuropathy in further detail.
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Certain types of Neuropathy
A. Reversible neuropathy
Some kinds of food allergies are found to cause neuropathies. Such neuropathies are reversible once you avoid the allergens that incite the condition. Studies indicate that almost all cases of neuropathy due to food allergies can be reversed with the help of modification of diet. The damaged nerves begin to function normally after a few weeks of curtailing intake of the food with allergens.
There are certain types of neuropathies that are caused because of the constant use of some kinds of drugs. Neuropathy due to chemotherapy in cancer patients is a prominent example of this type of neuropathy. Other drugs for treating different ailments also have adverse effects on the peripheral nerves. Neuropathy due to drugs can be stopped by discontinuing the drugs or reducing the dosage of the drugs.
Neuropathy due to Guillain-Barre syndrome is also an example of reversible neuropathy. This condition affects the autonomic nervous system of the body. With adequate treatment, the neuropathy can be reversed albeit it may take as long as a year for the condition to be reversed. Patients of this type of neuropathy have to take medications to avoid longer term damages and complications.
A patient afflicted with hypothyroidism can have entrapment neuropathy. This type of neuropathy can be reversed provided treatment of hypothyroidism is instituted at an early stage of development of the condition. In some cases, the patient may have to go for thyroid hormone replacement to improve their nerve condition and general well-being.
Neuropathy due to carpal tunnel syndrome is also fully reversible if it is treated at the initial stage of the disease. Recommended treatment for this ailment involves resting the wrist. Drugs can also be used to treat the disease. NSAID drugs like ibuprofen and injectable steroids provide good results in patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Another reversible neuropathy is the one that is caused by the vitamin deficiency. A treatment to this condition is replenishing the body with the particular vitamin. You can take oral supplements of the vitamins in order to ensure your body has a regular supply of deficient vitamin.
There are two types of diabetic neuropathies that are reversible. These are mononeuropathies and radiculopathies. The former involves damage to a single nerve only and the latter involves damage to the nerve roots. These types of neuropathies do not require any specific treatment or drugs. Only lowering of the blood sugar level can provide respite to the affected person.
B. Partially reversible neuropathy
Some type of neuropathy due to carpal tunnel syndrome may not be fully reversible despite surgical intervention. This happens when the nerves suffer some permanent damages. Thus, the damage in this condition is only partially reversible.
There are some types of neuropathies that are caused by vitamin deficiency that may not be fully reversible. This happens when the body suffers for vitamin deficiency for a long time. For instance, long term deficiency of vitamin B can often cause permanent damage to the nerves which may only be partially reversible with the treatment.
C. Irreversible neuropathy
Most types of neuropathies that are caused by some other systemic ailments give rise to irreversible neuropathy that is hard to treat. The most notable example of such neuropathy is diabetic neuropathy. In fact, diabetic neuropathy can be reversible, partially reversible or irreversible. This is because diabetes mellitus is subjected to different patterns of nerve damage.
When one nerve is affected by diabetes, the ailment may be reversible or partially reversible. When the lower limbs are affected by diabetes, then the case becomes irreversible in most cases. The most important thing to avoid serious complications is to control the blood glucose levels. This can help a long way in preventing further complications.
Neuropathy is becoming very common today. Some patients of neuropathy are able to reverse their condition with the help of right treatment. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to take this condition seriously and see a doctor immediately. Continuous treatment and attention can make the condition of patient better.
Peripheral Neuropathy and Its Common Forms
Neuropathy involves damage to a single nerve or a group of nerves leading to a variety of symptoms like loss of sensation, pain, loss of motion and function, etc. Approximately 33% of neuropathy cases have no known etiology. Researchers have still not been able to find out how and why these symptoms develop in particular patients. About another 33% of neuropathy cases are caused by diabetes. In some cases, neuropathy is caused by traumatic injuries to the nerves, autoimmune diseases, infections, etc. Neuropathy cases are divided into some common forms based on its causes, severity, affected nerves and affected areas. These are discussed below in the article.
Sensory Neuropathy: It is considered to be the most common form of peripheral neuropathy, and it involves the nerves that carry information to and from the brain to different parts of the body. In majority of the cases, this neuropathy develops in the patient’s feet and gradually progresses upwards.
Lumbar Neuropathy: Lumbar neuropathy is yet another very common form of neuropathy and is often caused by type-II diabetes. It is also known as Lumbar Radiculopathy or Thoracic Radiculopathy. It generally affects the chest, abdomen or torso on one or both sides.
Compression Mono-neuropathy: Compression mono-neuropathy is caused by damage to a single nerve. The damage to nerve can be of two types. It can either be caused by pinching of a nerve or compression by a bone, tumor, lump, etc. It may even be caused by diabetes that hinders the proper blood flow through the nerves. One of the most commonly experienced compression mono-neuropathy is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This neuropathy is caused by the pinching of a nerve in the forearm at the wrist.
Autonomic Neuropathy: This condition affects the nerves that control the bladder, intestines and genitals. The symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include bladder paralysis, gastrointestinal problems, issues with urination and erection. It can be difficult to recognize the exact cause of the symptoms manifested by this form of neuropathy.
Distal Symmetric Poly-neuropathy: This form of peripheral neuropathy has its effects on both sides of the body symmetrically in the legs, feet and hands.
Neuropathic Arthropathy: Neuropathic arthropathy is also known as Charcot’s Joint problem. Because of nerve damages to the area, the joint starts to degenerate and causes problems for the patients. Typical symptoms include loss of sensation and feeling. The most commonly affected area in this neuropathy is the foot.
Cranial Neuropathy: The sensitive nerves attached to the brain are affected in this form of neuropathy. These nerves include the ones controlling the vision, audio controls, taste, etc. The symptoms of this form of neuropathy manifest in the form of pain near the eyes that may eventually result in ocular muscles getting paralyzed.
Peripheral neuropathy has several forms and they affect almost every part of the body with different signs and symptoms. If you are suffering from any of the above signs, you must consult your doctor immediately. Those suffering from diabetes should be extremely careful about their condition as they are more susceptible to the problem.