Tingling like in an anthill
Many patients say the first symptoms felt like the arm or leg was in an anthill. Later, it can lead to sudden or persistent pain that also occur at rest, as well as to numbness to paralysis.
Neuropathy can basically affect all nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. However, they occur especially on the longer nerve tracts of the body, ie on the connections to the hands and feet.
Fault in the line
Similar to a cable whose insulation is defective, the sheath of the nerve processes is destroyed in polyneuropathy. As a result, ultimately neither signals are reported to the brain nor get commands to the muscles. Motor nerves that supply the muscles can cause muscle weakness, muscle atrophy or muscle cramps.
If the autonomic nervous system is damaged, it affects nerves that lead to organs, vessels and glands. The following symptoms may then occur and be the first signs of neuropathy:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Change from constipation and diarrhea
The two most common causes of this disease are diabetes mellitus and chronic alcohol abuse.
Causes of polyneuropathy
In addition, there are many other diseases that can lead to polyneuropathy. These include infectious diseases, metabolic diseases or cancer. Persons who suffer from severe maladies, numbness or paralysis should therefore undergo neurological examination. The sooner the patient and the doctor are clear about the causes, the sooner a targeted therapy can be started.
Diabetes as a cause of nerve damage
More than half of the approximately six million diabetics sooner or later develop nerve damage if they have been suffering from the disease for more than ten years.
If one takes all diabetics of type 1 and type 2 together, according to estimates of the German Diabetes Society about one third suffer from neuropathy. These impair the perception of stimuli and the function of the organs.
The nerve damage does not set in when the first symptoms appear, but it usually begins insidiously, so that those affected for a long time not notice.
In no case should the fear of an unfavorable diagnosis deter people from going to the doctor. Because either the symptoms are really harmless or they are first signs of a disease that needs to be recognized and treated.