Peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy: Definition, 4 Types, Risk Factors, Causes, and Symptoms

5/5 - (1 vote)

Peripheral Neuropathy Definition

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that occurs due to damage to the peripheral nervous system. Such damage causes the signal delivery process between the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system to be disrupted.

The peripheral nervous system connects the central nervous system in the brain and spine to the entire organ of the body. Damage to the peripheral nervous system can interfere with its normal functioning. One example is not being able to send pain signals to the brain, even if something hurts the body. Or vice versa, it sends a sick signal even if nothing causes pain.

Peripheral Neuropathy Types

The main types of peripheral neuropathy, among them are:

  • Sensory neuropathy or damage to nerves that bring messages of feeling, temperature, pain and other sensations to the brain
  • Motor neuropathy, i.e. Nerve damage that controls movement
  • Autonomic neuropathy, in the form of autonomic nerve damage (nerves that control the body’s processes without consciousness), such as digestion, bladder function and blood pressure control
  • Mononeuropathy, or damage to a single nerve outside the central nervous system

Individuals who experience peripheral neuropathy, may have more than one type of nerve damage at the same time. The combination of sensory and motor neuropathy (sensory polyneuropathy) is a common type of neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy Risk Factors

Risk factors for peripheral neuropathy include

  • Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.
  • Alco**hol abuse.
  • Vitamin B Deficiency
  • Infection
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Impaired kidney, liver or thyroid.
  • Exposure to toxins.
  • Repetitive movements.
  • Family history of neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy Causes

Peripheral neuropathy is not a single disease, but rather nerve damage caused by a number of conditions. Health conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy include:

Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases, such as Sjorgen syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillan-Barre syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and vasculitis.


More than half of diabetics develop some type of neuropathy.


Infections, whether by viruses or bacteria, such as Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C, leprosy, diphtheria, and HIV.

Congenital disorders

Congenital disorders, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.


The growth of malignant and benign tumors can develop on nerves or compressed nerves.

Bone marrow disorders

Bone marrow disorders, such as abnormal proteins in the blood, a form of bone cancer (myeloma), lymphoma, and amyloidosis.

Other diseases

Other diseases, such as kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders and an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

Peripheral Neuropathy symptoms

The main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are:

Pain and numbness

Tingling and heat in the arms and legs can be one of the symptoms of nerve damage. These feelings often begin in the toes. You can feel pain, usually occurring in the legs.

You can be numb to the legs and arms that make you feel unconscious stepping on top of sharp objects. You also can’t feel anything when touching objects that are too hot or cold.

Numbness can make it difficult to recognize movements from your feet that can lead to loss of balance.

Muscle problems

Nerve damage can cause difficulty in controlling muscles and cause muscles to weaken. You can feel symptoms when moving parts of your body. Small things like buttoning a shirt can be more difficult. You can also feel muscle spasms or cramps. Your muscles can shrink.

Problems with organs

Here are the problems in the organs of the body that are symptoms of this condition:

Digestive problems.

You can feel the satiety and the heat in the stomach even if very little food comes in. Sometimes you can spew back undigested food.

Heart problems.

If the heart nerve is damaged, you can feel dizziness or fainting while standing. Angina or chest pain is a warning of heart disease and heart attack. Nerve damage to the heart can hide these warning signs. You should be aware of warnings of heart attacks, such as sudden fatigue, sweating, short breaths, nausea, and vomiting.

Read also:
Cure For Heart Disease

Other symptoms

  • Burning or punctured sensation in the affected area
  • Loss of balance and coordination

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary and can develop quickly or slowly.

There are several possible symptoms that have not been mentioned above. If you feel agitated about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

Last Updated on August 23, 2020 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

Sharing is caring!