A number of factors can cause neuropathies, including:
Dec. 02, 2014
- Alcoholism. Poor dietary choices made by alcoholics can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
- Autoimmune diseases. These include Sjogren's syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and necrotizing vasculitis.
- Diabetes. More than half of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy.
- Exposure to poisons. Toxic substances include heavy metals or chemicals.
- Medications. Certain medications, especially those used to treat cancer (chemotherapy), may cause peripheral neuropathy.
- Infections. These include certain viral or bacterial infections, including Lyme disease, shingles (varicella-zoster), Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, leprosy, diphtheria and HIV.
- Inherited disorders. Disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are hereditary types of neuropathy.
- Trauma or pressure on the nerve. Traumas, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports injuries, can sever or damage peripheral nerves. Nerve pressure can result from having a cast or using crutches or repeating a motion many times, such as typing.
- Tumors. Growths, cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign), can develop on the nerves themselves or they can put pressure on surrounding nerves.
- Vitamin deficiencies. B vitamins, including B-1, B-6 and B-12, vitamin E and niacin are crucial to nerve health.
- Bone marrow disorders. These include abnormal protein in the blood (monoclonal gammopathies), a form of bone cancer (osteosclerotic myeloma), lymphoma and amyloidosis.
- Other diseases. These include kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders and an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
- Peripheral neuropathy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm. Accessed Sept. 28, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. Peripheral neuropathy (adult and pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Rutkove SB. Overview of polyneuropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 28, 2014.
- Feldman EL, et al. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 28, 2014.
- Steps to prevent or delay nerve damage. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/neuropathy/steps-to-prevent-or-delay.html. Accessed Sept. 29, 2014.
- Evening primrose oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 29, 2014.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 29, 2014.
- Fish oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 29, 2014.
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