Reversible, Partially Reversible, and Irreversible Neuropathy

Updated on April 8, 2017
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I have many years of experience in helping and managing fibromyalgia and neuropathy through fitness & supplements!

Different Kinds of Neuropathy, Common Symptoms

Neuropathy has become a very common ailment. There are different kinds of neuropathies, but all of them have common symptoms. The five common symptoms of neuropathy include:

  • tingling sensation
  • loss of sensitivity
  • burning
  • numbness
  • 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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3 Types of Neuropathy

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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    • profile image

      Sophia 

      2 months ago

      I was in a motorcycle accident and needed up with Brachialis Plexus enjurty with avulsion of the nerve. A few months ago I had the Oberlin Surgery. Still no movement in the arm. Has anyone had this happen?

    • profile image

      Timothy N Carpenter 

      3 months ago

      I had pacemaker surgery on May 4th,2018. Ever since I have had a burning pain from my crotch up. Also, a rash and redness in multiple areas. Could the surgery have caused the nerve damage which is the reason for the neuropathy?

    • profile image

      Wendy Fritch 

      10 months ago

      I was hospitalized Sept 25-27 due to lithium toxicity. My psych has since taken me of all dosages of the drug and have not been on any bipolar-polar medications since my hospitalization. My question is will I be back to "normal" anytime soon? I still have "bad" days where I can barely walk and my husband has to assist me in doing so. I have a scheduled neurology appoinment for December 12 @3pm with a neurologist in Easton, MD. Could this possibly be pheriphal neuropathy and can one work with this diagnosis if in fact this is what I have.

      Wendy Fritch, Salisbury, MD

    • profile image

      What about Autonomic Affecting Heart/breathing? 

      13 months ago

      What about Autonomic Affecting Heart/breathing?

    • profile image

      Herman Naas 

      16 months ago

      I have been diagnosed via an EMG with bilateral sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy. I am being weaned off of dilantin and also have been diagnosed with MGUS.

    • profile image

      daniel 

      16 months ago

      i have an arm that has no feeling and cant move how would someone explain this for me (burning, numbness and no movement)what can i do to fix this

    • profile image

      Mary Mortensen 

      16 months ago

      I don't have diabetes, I am having burning,tingling in my feet and legs, I have been to many doctors and they say they don't know what is going on, I am 59 and for God sake I don't want to live like for very much longer, I would love to know what Doc has to say.

      Thank you, Mary Mortensen

    • profile image

      John 

      17 months ago

      My feet and legs hurt so much, I'm thinking about having them taking off. Then maybe I can live a pain free life.

    • profile image

      Di 

      17 months ago

      My husband is suffering terribly. Tried so many things, including accuputure, Chiropractor, neurologist, drs at pain center, etc ... no pain relief. Now doctor has suggested the implant. This pain is reaching the point of being untolerable. God help all who suffer so much and no pain relief in sight. "Holding on, praying for strength."

    • profile image

      Paul Niggemyer 

      19 months ago

      Been suffering from pain, tingling, numbness, and tenderness to touch of my right foot.

    • profile image

      Nick 

      19 months ago

      I have perioheral motor neuropathy resulting from MVA trauma. Have tried various treatments over the years (eg. IVIG), but much of what is said here makes more sense. Have recently started intense vitamin therapy and changed diet. Where can I get more info, go where for different testing, where can I go for immediate help? Desperate for natural alternatives to help. I live in Toronto, Canada.

    • profile image

      Corrie 

      20 months ago

      Hello

      I have pain and weakness running down my right arm and into hand, as well as all the way down my right left into foot.

      A brain scan (without contrast) was done, no abnormal results.

      What kind of neuropathy could this be? Thank you.

    • profile image

      chuck 

      22 months ago

      my alcohol abuse neuropathy resolved itself after stopping drinking, eating a diet rich in veggies and whole grained, taking vitamin B1 andB12 and vitamin E supplements. Took over 6 weeks.

    • profile image

      mccarterw 

      23 months ago

      What about neuropathy due to alcohol abuse? Can it be reversed if drinking alcohol is stopped?

    • profile image

      Lewis 

      2 years ago

      I have had issues with SIBO, Candida and leaky gut for several years now. I also have a border line A1-c around 6.5. I think I am also starting to have issues with pancreatitis due to some gut pain. Recently I have been experiencing issue with numbness, pain and tingling in my legs and feet. I hope its not too late to reverse the neuropathy.

    • profile image

      Andrew leach 

      2 years ago

      Wish I had known all this years ago

    • Madoline Balle profile image

      Natalie Ball 

      2 years ago from West Newton, PA

      Informative post. I have fibromyalgia and neuropathy with it, but I found the cranial neuropathy most interesting as I have eye pain with no issues with my eyes other than blurred vision. Thanks for posting!

    • profile image

      Jory 

      3 years ago

      The truth just shines thugorh your post

    • profile image

      Is Diabetes Reversible 

      4 years ago

      the bes way for Is Diabetes Reversible is too make treatment and follow up with pils

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