What causes Peripheral Neuropathy?

Posted on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 in General Health
Question: My wife has Peripheral Neuropathy and she is concerned that the numbness she is feeling up to her waste will have an effect on her inside organs. Is this something that is a possibility for her to be concerned about? If so what are the symptoms?
Answered by Dr. Prasad 1 hour later
Brief Answer: She can get them checked... Detailed Answer: Hi, Peripheral nerves are of 3 varieties - one that controls sensations, motor movement (muscle movements) and autonomic functions (heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, digestion, bladder and bowel functions). It's possible that these internal functions can be altered secondary to her peripheral neuropathy and hence your wife's concerns are genuine. I will recommend that you visit her local physician who can check her pulse, blood pressure (in sitting, standing and lying down position), take a detailed history of her digestive, bladder and bowel functions to make sure they are working right. However symptomatically if she has no recurring dizziness, palpitations, increased perspiration, no significant bladder and bowel issues, chances of internal (unseen) issues from peripheral neuropathy is unlikely. Besides checking those, I will also insist you know what's causing the peripheral neuropathy. Since it is not diabetes, may be there is another cause which can be treated to prevent progression. Hope this makes sense. Let me know if you need clarifications. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Prasad 33 minutes later
She has a good appetite and her bodily functions appear to be working just fine. Blood pressure is higher than usual for the last week or so but that does not seem to make the pain in her feet any worse or better. She is on Lisinopril 2.5mg, Furosemide 20mg, Levothyroxine 88mcg, Liothyronine SOD 5mcg, Warfarin Sodium 2mg or as required by results of INR blood work. The Liothyronine and Warfen are taken in the evening. Are there any medications available that may help? She has been through the Gabapentin regimen and it gave her other problems that made the situation worse so far as her walking ability. Appreciate your quick response; thank you very much.
Answered by Dr. Prasad 57 minutes later
Brief Answer: Options available... Detailed Answer: There are numerous group of drugs belonging to two groups - anticonvulsants and antidepressants that are used to control pain and numbness from neuropathy. Gabapentin and pregabalin are the most commonly used drug. Carbamazepine and topiramate are the next best alternatives. Since all these 4 group belong to the same group - anticonvulsants, they all have similar side effects. So I would choose the next group antidepressants to treat her, in such cases. Amitriptyline, duloxetine, desvenlafaxine have been tried and used extensively. Nevertheless all these drugs are listed to cause some side effects. The effects and side effects are dose dependent and varies individually. It will need some time before a physicians experiments and finds the right drugs, dosage and frequency. With the help of a competent neurologist it is possible to find the best. Don't loose hope yet. It is also important that the cause is treated too. Based on the details provided it seem to be underactive thyroid, but her doctors should have investigated other factors too. Learn about those and work on improving them. Hope its clear. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Prasad

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3356 Questions


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