What Are the Symptoms and Risk Factors of Peripheral Neuropathy?

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy might include:

  • Gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands, which can spread upward into your legs and arms
  • 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

If autonomic nerves are affected, signs and symptoms might include:

  • Heat intolerance and altered sweating
  • Bowel, bladder or digestive problems
  • Changes in blood pressure, causing dizziness or lightheadedness

Risk factors
Peripheral neuropathy risk factors include:

  • Diabetes mellitus, especially if your sugar levels are poorly controlled
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Vitamin deficiencies, particularly B vitamins
  • Infections, such as Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C and HIV
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, in which your immune system attacks
  • your own tissues
  • Kidney, liver or thyroid disorders
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Repetitive motion, such as those performed for certain jobs
  • Family history of neuropathy

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