Neuropathy (Also known as peripheral neuropathy) isn’t typically a life-threatening condition on its own. However, its impact on quality of life can vary greatly. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, and the underlying cause. It may even affect your memory.
Neuropathy symptoms may include numbness, tingling, pain, muscle weakness, or difficulty with coordination.
Some forms of neuropathy may even lead to disability if the condition is severe and left untreated.
If the underlying cause can be identified and treated, these symptoms may improve or even resolve over time.
- If neuropathy is caused by diabetes, blood sugar management can often significantly help with the symptoms.
- If a vitamin deficiency causes it, proper supplementation can often help.
- If it’s caused by certain medications or toxins, removing these from the body can often naturally improve a person’s condition.
Causes of Neuropathy
Several things can cause neuropathy. These may include:
- Autoimmune Diseases (Lupus)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hereditary disorders
- Exposure to toxins
- Certain medications, and more.
Identifying the cause of neuropathy is crucial in managing this condition, as treatment of the underlying cause can often lead to improvements.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Neuropathy
Symptoms of neuropathy can vary widely depending on the nerves affected. These may include:
- Tingling sensation in the hands or feet.
- Numbness or loss of sensation in the hands, feet, or limbs.
- Sharp, jabbing, throbbing, freezing, or burning pain.
- Extreme sensitivity to touch.
- Lack of coordination and falling.
- Muscle weakness or paralysis (if motor nerves are affected).
- Heat intolerance and altered sweating.
- Bowel, bladder, or digestive problems (if autonomic nerves are affected).
- Changes in blood pressure cause dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Sexual dysfunction, particularly in men.
If you notice these symptoms getting out of hand, visiting your local family doctor may be in order.
Impact of Neuropathy on Lifespan
While neuropathy isn’t typically life-threatening, the underlying conditions causing it can sometimes impact life expectancy.
For instance, diabetes and autoimmune diseases are common causes of neuropathy, which may even shorten lifespan if not properly managed.
Thus, it’s not the neuropathy itself but the related health conditions that should be a concern in terms of lifespan.
Management of Neuropathy Symptoms
Management of neuropathy symptoms plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality of life for individuals with this condition.
Proper symptom management, which can involve medications for pain relief, physical therapy for muscle weakness, or assistive devices for mobility issues, helps people with neuropathy to lead active lives. Thus indirectly affecting a person’s lifespan (In a positive way) by promoting overall health, and wellness.
Regular Monitoring and Treatment Adjustments
Living with neuropathy requires regular monitoring of the condition and adjustments to treatment as needed. With the right management plan, individuals with neuropathy can control symptoms and prevent further nerve damage.
Staying in regular contact with a healthcare provider ensures that any changes in condition can be addressed promptly, and this proactive approach can contribute to a longer, healthier life.
Changes in Lifestyle
Lifestyle changes can also play a significant role in managing neuropathy and influencing how long one can live with the condition. For example:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Staying physically active
- Eating a balanced diet
- Avoiding tobacco and excess alcohol
These can all help manage symptoms and prevent the worsening of neuropathy.
Psychological Support and Neuropathy
Living with chronic conditions like neuropathy can sometimes have psychological impacts, such as causing stress, anxiety, or depression.
Getting psychological support through counseling or support groups can help individuals cope with the challenges of living with neuropathy, enhancing their quality of life and potentially their lifespan.
Mental health is a crucial part of overall health, and tending to it is especially important when dealing with a chronic condition like neuropathy.
Chronic Neuropathy and Its Complications
Some people’s neuropathy is chronic and may not improve much, even with treatment. For these people, the focus is often on managing the symptoms and preventing further damage. Although studies have shown Lion’s Mane can accelerate nerve generation which may help overall, it’s still too early. That said, some people do prefer trying the natural route versus heavy prescriptions, etc.
Chronic neuropathy can lead to severe complications, like skin trauma or infection, due to reduced sensation, especially in the feet. It can also affect mobility and increase the risk of falls.
So, while neuropathy itself isn’t usually directly life-threatening, it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, and it can potentially lead to severe complications if not properly managed.
However, it’s also important to remember that each person’s experience with neuropathy can be quite different, and many people can lead long, fulfilling lives even with this condition.
Consulting Healthcare Professionals
As always, any concerns or questions about personal health should be addressed with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance based on a thorough understanding of the individual’s overall health condition.