May 14-18, 2012 is Neuropathy Awareness Week
What is Neuropathy? It is a nerve disease. Human body is connected with the brain to work and interact as required in certain situation and that happens when brain sends message to the parts of the body via nerves. Body’s ability to communicate with the muscles, skin joints and internal anatomy is interrupted with Neuropathy due to nerve disorder.
According to the latest statisticsalmost 30 % of Peripheral Neuropathy is connected with diabetes complication, however, it has several other forms and some of those are:
- Autonomic Neuropathy
- Cancer related Neuropathy
- Compressive Neuropathies
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Drug induced and toxic Neuropathy
- G I and nutrition related Neuropathies
- Hereditary Neuropathies
- Infectious diseases and Neuropathy
- Neuropathy Pain
- Chemotherapy induced Neuropathy
And to add to this it is said that there are several other ( almost 30 % more) peripheral neuropathies and causes for those are unknown.
Neuropathy is the leading cause of medical disability in United States. More than 20,000,000 or one in fifteen Americans are affected by neuropathy but because of the hidden nature of this disease it is described in such a way by the sufferer that its diagnosis, early treatment and prevention or slowing of the progression comes late in many cases.
Awareness of Neuropathy is extremely important for this disease, so a person may know when it starts developing. The awareness campaign for this disease started in 1995, with a neuropathy association to provide and understand the perception of this disease, but so far it is not a commonly known disease for proper disease diagnosis and neuropathy treatment. Therefore more effective and stronger campaigns are needed. Federal Government health Calender has dedicated third week of May in the calender for a stronger campaign. This post is my dedication to Neuropathy awareness.
During Neuropathy Awareness week, all efforts are made by the medical professionals, patients, caregivers, educators to take this disease and its awareness campaign to the next level. Since it is a diabetic complication, and cancer related disease, it becomes very important for everyone to know about it.
I will request the readers here to do the same and pass the information to friends and family also, as Awareness is preventing the disease for each other and ourselves. Once better informed we can know if it ever impacts anyone around, the awareness can help the person with early treatment and recovery. So, here are some of the common symptoms of Neuropathy.
Symptoms differ from person to person and it also depends on the the individual neurological condition of the nerves that started getting this disease.
- Motor nerve damage symptoms are muscle weakness cramps loss of balance and coordination.
- Sensory nerve damage causes tingling, extreme sensitivity to touch and numbness in legs and hands.
- Autonomic nerve damage can cause abnormal blood pressure and heart rate, reduced perspiration, constipation, bladder or sexual dysfunction and creates causes of erectile dysfunction in men.
This is a general term for a series of malfunction that results from damage to the body’s peripheral nervous system. This system sends messages from the brain to the spinal cord, that is the central nervous system for all over the body. There are several reasons for peripheral neuropathy that includes diabetes, kidney failure, inflammations, poor nutrition and certain medications, particularly those used to treat cancer and HIV/Aids.
Public awareness of pripheral neuropathy is very low. Patients are told that there is nothing that can be done and they will have to live with it. Some patients have been told it is in their mind and there is no obvious health problem that can be noticed. Patients often feel they have nowhere to turn for treatment. Even their families do not understand their pain and suffering and that is why public awareness for neuropathy has become extremely important.
A survey conducted in 1999 to know the neuropathy awareness reported that only 7% of the population know about this disease and its treatment where as it is estimated that almost 20 million Americans suffer with this disease.
Early detection and neuropathy treatment can control this disease to a minimum, and that is why it is important for neuropathy patient to be aware of the disease if and when it attacks. Becoming an informed person and being an active partner in managing your personal health care is very important.
There are several medicines available for neuropathy, and your medical expert will suggest the one that suits you the best. Besides there are detailed comprehensive treatment programs that consists of several steps.
Diabetic neuropathy treatment depends on the kind of neuropathy a patient has.
a. The treatment focuses reducing the current symptoms and preventing the condition from getting worse.
b. The most important step is to maintain regular blood sugar levels to normal (a1c test)
c. Feet and diabetes care are closely connected,as numbness in the feet does not make the patient feel all the problems, but once a little infection sets in it can become problem and if neglected can even cause imputation.
The treatment plans for neuropathy consists of the following
1. Nutrition analysis and diet education
2. Manual massage techniques
3. Exercise and rehab techniques
4. Spinal therapy
5. Clinically tested rebuilder – electrotherapy
6. Reducing inflammation
Early detection and neuropathy treatment can control this disease to a minimum, and that is why it is important for neuropathy patient to be aware of the disease if and when it attacks. Becoming an informed person and an active informative seeker in managing your personal physical needs. Let us spread the neuropathy awareness this week.
The sole purpose of this information is health awareness. This information is real and based on facts. It is not a substitute for medical care from your doctor or health care provider. Please check with your doctor on any related matter that concerns you for your health and well being.