Neuropathy is a disorder that affects millions of people in the United States. Neuropathy is a general term for disorders that are caused by nerve damage. It can be caused by genetic diseases, diabetes, liver failure, hypothyroidism, exposure to heavy metals, lupus, multiple sclerosis, leprosy, vitamin deficiency, physical trauma, exposure to radiation and many more. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, tremors and pain. Many treatments are available for those experiencing neuropathic pain.
Neuropathy is a disorder that affects more than one system in the human body. Since nerves depend on regular blood supply, and blood vessels depend on nerves, vascular disorders and nervous disorders usually go hand in hand. As such, diagnosing neuropathy requires thorough examinations. Doctors usually begin with a very detailed medical history. Some tests relating to your muscular system will follow. Tests on reflexes, muscle strength and feeling are common. Urinalysis and blood tests may also be done to detect vitamin deficiency.
Some over-the-counter drugs may help with the milder symptoms that neuropathy patients experience. For the more serious symptoms, prescribed painkillers may be required. You may be prescribed opiates like codeine. But these are always prescribed with caution, as it may lead to dependence and constipation.
Antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs
Doctors may prescribe antidepressants to non-depressed neuropathy patients. Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline are commonly used to relieve neuropathic pain. The dosage is usually kept very low as to not cause dependence to antidepressants. Some drugs usually prescribed for seizures are commonly used to treat nerve pain. Gabapentin is one such drug that is also known to help with neuropathic pain.
Some alternative treatments and methods are also used when dealing with neuropathic pain. Some people experience relief by going to acupuncture sessions. There was also a lot of research done on the effects of cannabinoids on neuropathic disorders. Studies show that Nabilone, a synthetic oral cannabinoid has been proven to be helpful for those who are allergic to commonly prescribed treatment.
A change towards a healthier lifestyle might do your neuropathy good. If you have diabetes, it is very important to take care of your feet. Make sure they are always clean and healthy. Look for blisters and cuts daily. It will also help if you exercise regularly. Ask your doctor for an exercise routine that would not worsen neuropathic pain. It will also be very helpful if you quit smoking and decrease alcohol intake.