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Symptoms » Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy: Introduction

Peripheral neuropathy is an abnormal condition in which the peripheral nerves are damaged. The peripheral nerves spread out from the brain and spinal cord, and peripheral neuropathy results in unusual or abnormal sensations of the extremities, especially the feet.

Peripheral neuropathy is a common condition and can result from certain metabolic disorders, infections, malignancy, inflammation, vitamin deficiencies, toxins, inherited conditions, and other abnormal processes. A very common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include alcoholism, vasculitis, vitamin B deficiency, vitamin E deficiency, chemotherapy, and exposure to certain toxins, such as insecticides, lead, mercury, and arsenic.

Peripheral neuropathy generally develops slowly over a period of months. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include a sensation of pain, numbness, tingling, or prickling that begins in the feet. In later stages of peripheral neuropathy, the hands can be affected as well. In some cases, the abnormal sensations can extend to the arms, legs, and trunk. Peripheral neuropathy can also affect the muscles resulting in weakness and atrophy. There are other symptoms that can accompany peripheral neuropathy, depending on the disease, disorder or condition that causing it. For more details about symptoms and complications, see symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy and its root cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination, including a neurological examination. A neurological exam evaluates the nervous system and such functions as reflexes, sensation, movement, balance, coordination, vision, and hearing.

Tests may include an electromyography (EMG) which tests the nerve and electrical activity of muscles. A nerve conduction test may also be performed to test how fast the nerves transmit impulses.

Making a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy also includes performing a variety of other tests to help to diagnose the underlying disease, condition or disorder that is causing peripheral neuropathy. A biopsy of a nerve in the ankle may be performed. This involves taking a small sample of the nerve to examine under a microscope.

Other tests may include blood tests to check for vitamin deficiencies and blood glucose testing to check for diabetes.

A diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy and its cause can easily be delayed or missed because symptoms develop very gradually. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of peripheral neuropathy.

Treatment of peripheral neuropathy involves diagnosing and treating the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Some conditions can be easily and successfully treated and cured, while others may require more intensive treatment and may not have an optimal prognosis. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of peripheral neuropathy....more »

Peripheral neuropathy: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy and its cause may be delayed or missed because peripheral neuropathy generally develops very gradually and people with the condition may be unaware of it. Peripheral neuropathy is a symptom of many different conditions, so a thorough medical evaluation is needed to ensure an accurate diagnosis of the reason for peripheral neuropathy. ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Peripheral neuropathy:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Peripheral neuropathy. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Peripheral neuropathy: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Peripheral neuropathy

Home medical tests possibly related to Peripheral neuropathy:

Causes of Types of Peripheral neuropathy:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Peripheral neuropathy:

Review causes of more specific types of Peripheral neuropathy:

Peripheral neuropathy: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Peripheral neuropathy, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Peripheral neuropathy Treatments

Treatment plans for peripheral neuropathy are individualized depending on the cause, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the underlying cause and helps to minimize the pain and abnormal sensations of peripheral neuropathy and the risk of developing gangrene and other ...Peripheral neuropathy Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Peripheral neuropathy may include:

  • Treatment depends on the underlying cause
  • Chromium - possibly used for treatment of related chromium deficiency
  • Vitamin B1 - possibly used for related vitamin B1 deficiency
  • Vitamin B6 - possibly used for related vitamin B6 deficiency
  • No medical treatments now exist that can cure inherited peripheral neuropathy. However, there are therapies for many other forms. Any underlying condition is treated first, followed by symptomatic treatment. Peripheral nerves have the ability to regenerate, as long as the nerve cell itself has not been killed. Symptoms often can be controlled, and eliminating the causes of specific forms of neuropathy often can prevent new damage
  • Clonidine
  • Apo-Clonidine
  • more treatments...»

Review further information on Peripheral neuropathy Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Peripheral neuropathy

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Peripheral neuropathy may include:

Stories from Users for Peripheral neuropathy

Real-life user stories relating to Peripheral neuropathy:

Peripheral neuropathy: Animations

Medications or substances causing Peripheral neuropathy:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Peripheral neuropathy as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Peripheral neuropathy:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Peripheral neuropathy as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Stavudine and hydroxyurea interaction
  • Zerit and hydroxyurea interaction
  • Zerit XR and hydroxyurea interaction
  • Stavudine and didanosine interaction
  • Zerit and didanosine interaction
  • Zerit XR and didanosine interaction
  • Thalidomide and chloramphenicol interaction
  • more interactions...»

Peripheral neuropathy: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Peripheral neuropathy may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Peripheral neuropathy

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Peripheral neuropathy:

Peripheral neuropathy: Deaths

Read more about causes and Peripheral neuropathy deaths.

In-Depth Reports: Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis

Diabetes diagnosis and misdiagnosis (In-Depth Report): Detailed report on diabetes misdiagnoses, rare curable types, and less common diagnostic full report »

Misdiagnosis and Peripheral neuropathy

Metabolic syndrome often undiagnosed: Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is an often overlooked medical condition that causes a cluster of chronic symptoms. There are often four symptoms and conditions more »

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, more »

Underactive thryoid may be misdiagnosed as depression: Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is an endocrine gland disorder that is more common in women. It can mimic many diseases, including depression. The patient often has depressive type symptoms, and may more »

Cluster of diseases with difficult diagnosis issues: There is a well-known list of medical conditions that are all somewhat difficult to diagnose, and all can present in a variety of different more »

Poorly healing leg rashes a classic sign of chronic disease: Recurring leg rashes, or poorly healing leg rashes, are a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes, more »

Leg cramps at night a classic sign: The symptom of having leg muscle cramps, particularly at night, is a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes. However, there are also various more »

Obesity-related conditions undiagnosed in children: A variety of conditions are associated with obesity (see obesity), but these tend to be undiagnosed more often in child patients than more »

Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as more »

Peripheral neuropathy: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Peripheral neuropathy

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Peripheral neuropathy:

Peripheral neuropathy: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Peripheral neuropathy: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Peripheral neuropathy listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Peripheral neuropathy as a symptom include:

Article Excerpts about Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a common neurological disorder resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves. It may be caused by diseases of the nerves or as the result of systemic illnesses. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Peripheral Neuropathy Information Page: NINDS)

Peripheral neuropathy is a common neurological disorder resulting from... (Source: excerpt from NINDS Peripheral Neuropathy Information Page: NINDS)

Definitions of Peripheral neuropathy:

Diseases of the peripheral nerves external to the brain and spinal cord, which includes diseases of the nerve roots, ganglia, plexi, autonomic nerves, sensory nerves, and motor nerves.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Detailed list of causes of Peripheral neuropathy

The list below shows some of the causes of Peripheral neuropathy mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Peripheral neuropathy?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Peripheral neuropathy. Of the 299 causes of Peripheral neuropathy that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 5 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 9 causes are "common" diseases
  • 5 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 1 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 7 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 285 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Peripheral neuropathy:

The following list of conditions have 'Peripheral neuropathy' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Peripheral neuropathy or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W X Z



















Conditions listing medical complications: Peripheral neuropathy:

The following list of medical conditions have Peripheral neuropathy or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.







  • Lupus ... peripheral neuropathy








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Causes of Peripheral neuropathy Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Peripheral neuropathy based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Classifications of Peripheral neuropathy:

    Subtypes of Peripheral neuropathy:

    Sensory peripheral neuropathy (1 cause)

    Medical Conditions associated with Peripheral neuropathy:

    Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Digestive symptoms (5299 causes), Abdominal symptoms (5930 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Pancreas symptoms (271 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Upper abdominal symptoms (2707 causes), Diabetes-related symptoms (327 causes)

    Symptoms related to Peripheral neuropathy:

    Tingling fingers (36 causes), Tingling toes (16 causes), Numb toes (21 causes), Numb feet (45 causes), Neuropathy (78 causes), Diabetes mellitus (66 causes), Vitamin B12 deficiency, Subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, Intermittent claudictaion, Arterial ischemia, Cervical rib, Pancoast tumour

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Peripheral neuropathy

    Medical research papers related to Peripheral neuropathy include:

    Research More Evidence-Based Medicine at

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Peripheral neuropathy:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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