Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to your peripheral nerves, often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body. Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes mellitus.
It is estimated that there are numerous causes of peripheral neuropathy including genetic/hereditary, autoimmune disorder, nutritional imbalance and toxic exposure. These causes combined account for approximately 40% of cases. The other major cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes (30% of cases); for the remaining 30% of cases the cause is unknown (The Neuropathy Association 2012).
Surgical treatment may be recommended for people with nerve damage from injury or nerve compression. Mobility aids, such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair, may be helpful. People with diabetes should learn to control their blood sugar. For pain, doctor may prescribe pain medication.
In Norway, it is estimated that acupuncture and low dose gabapentin effectively treat paclitaxel induced peripheral neuropathy and prevent chemotherapy dose reduction.