Your cholesterol was elevated so your doctor prescribed statins…
You work in a manufacturing environment…
You’ve been exposed to lead, mercury or thalium in your job…
You have a history of drug or alcohol abuse…
Any of these things can cause one of the most difficult types of peripheral neuropathy
to diagnose –
If you have any of these problems with your feet:
Or if you suffer from
- Difficulty walking
- Shooting pain in your muscles
You could be suffering from toxic neuropathy. You need to see a health care provider very familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral neuropathy in all its forms, preferably a NeuropathyDR® clinician.
It is vitally important that you obtain a diagnosis and start treatment as quickly as possible to prevent permanent nerve damage.
What Causes Toxic Neuropathy?
Toxic neuropathy is basically nerve damage caused by exposure to toxic substances. The two most common causes of toxic neuropathy are drug abuse and exposure to chemicals on the job. Any type of prolonged exposure to toxins in the environment can cause toxic neuropathy. Even prolonged exposure to some organic insecticides or certain herbal medications can cause toxic neuropathy. Some Chinese herbal medicines are particularly high in mercury and arsenic, both of which can cause peripheral neuropathy.
Why Is Toxic Neuropathy So Difficult to Diagnose?
Patients with toxic neuropathy often present with very subtle pain or mild weakness. Because initial symptoms are fairly mild, it’s harder to pinpoint a diagnosis. When symptoms are more pronounced and painful, there may be a lag time between the exposure to the toxin and the onset of significant symptoms. The symptoms come on so gradually that it’s harder for the patient to give the doctor a clear picture of what they may have been exposed to.
The difficulty in diagnosing toxic neuropathy is one of the reasons that it is so important to consult a healthcare provider who specializes in treating neuropathy, like a NeuropathyDR®. Because this is your NeuropathyDR® clinician’s field of expertise, he or she is more likely to pick up on subtleties that will allow a faster diagnosis. Faster diagnosis means faster treatment and that means less chance for permanent nerve damage.
What is the Treatment for Toxic Neuropathy?
Your NeuropathyDR® clinician’s initial goal will be to confirm the diagnosis and then determine the toxin that caused your toxic neuropathy. Once you know that caused the problem, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will sit down with you and formulate a plan to remove or minimize your exposure to the toxin.
The next step is to devise a treatment plan. If your toxic neuropathy was caused by drug use or abuse, the first order of business will be to stop the drug use.
If the cause of your toxic neuropathy was environmental, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you to formulate a plan to decrease or eliminate your exposure to the toxin.
Then you can begin treatment. Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will
- Advise you to take over-the-counter pain medication unless your symptoms are severe enough to warrant prescription pain medication.
- If you are already suffering nerve deficits that are affecting your ability to perform basic daily tasks due to loss of sensation, you will need to take safety precautions to avoid falls.
- Treat you with nerve stimulation and manual manipulation of your skeletal system to get your body back into alignment and alleviate your nerve pain.
Remember, toxic neuropathy can develop even after short term exposure to toxic chemicals or drugs. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms we’ve discussed and you know or suspect you’ve been exposed to chemicals or you have or have had a drug problem, contact your local NeuropathyDR® clinician immediately. Toxic neuropathy is treatable but any kind of neuropathy is very unforgiving of delay and your nerve damage could be permanent.
For more information on diagnoses, treatment and coping with toxic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.