Understanding the Different Types of Neuropathy

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy, also known as nerve damage, can result from various factors. Patients with this condition often suffer from debilitating conditions such as tingling, numbness, and discomfort in the extremities. As the condition progresses, symptoms can escalate to sharp or stabbing pains, muscle weakness, and difficulty walking or performing fine motor tasks. Moreover, this condition can cause sensitivity to touch or temperature changes, resulting in heightened pain responses even from minor stimuli.

Different types of nerve damage can manifest differently, so it is important to understand how they differ. We are BEST Health System – a team of medical professionals devoted to helping patients find meaningful relief from chronic pain. We have found that neuropathy, and nerve-related pain in general are incredibly difficult for patients to manage. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of neuropathy and how to manage them. 

How are Different Types of Neuropathy Different?

Although neuropathy is the general umbrella term for nerve damage, each type manifests unique symptoms. It is important to recognize these differences to ensure you are an educated patient and understand how to manage your condition. The different types of neuropathies are distinguished based on their causes and specific nerve fibers affected.

Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy affects the autonomic nerves which control the involuntary functions of the body such as digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, and bladder function. It typically occurs as a complication of other conditions such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders. The symptoms can vary widely depending on which organs are affected, but commonly include constipation or diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, orthostatic hypotension, urinary incontinence or retention, sexual dysfunction, and even difficulty regulating body temperature. 

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy refers to a group of nerve disorders that are caused by excessive and long-term high blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. It is estimated that around 60-70% of diabetics will develop some form of neuropathy during their lifetime. The condition typically affects the peripheral nerves, particularly those in the feet and legs, leading to numbness, tingling sensations, pain, or weakness in these areas. Over time, diabetic neuropathy can also lead to problems with digestion, urinary tract function, sexual response, and blood vessels. 

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to a condition characterized by damage or dysfunction of the peripheral nerves, which are responsible for transmitting signals between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. This disorder may arise due to various factors such as diabetes, chemotherapy treatment, infections, vitamin deficiencies, or even genetics. 

Focal Neuropathy

Focal neuropathy, also known as mononeuropathy, is a specific type of nerve damage that affects a single nerve or a group of nerves. Unlike other forms of neuropathy that involve widespread nerve damage throughout the body, focal neuropathy is local and typically occurs in the limbs or head. 

Treatment Options with BEST Health System

BEST Health System is a modern ambulatory center offering chronic pain and neuropathy solutions to patients in need. Patients who have tried medications but have not been able to find relief may consider spinal cord stimulator treatment. This is a surgically implanted device that sends signals to prevent pain from affecting patients. This is an effective treatment route that has helped countless patients find relief from their chronic pain. 

At BEST Health System, we offer premium services to inquiring patients. Our solutions plan allows patients to try spinal cord stimulation before committing to the implanted device. This increases the control that patients have over their healthcare journey. We are changing the overall approach to patient care while introducing new, advanced medical treatments. Contact us today to learn more.