Friday, 25 October 2013

Testing For Neuropathy - General Information

Today's post from (see link below) is a general post about how doctors normally test for neuropathy, as well as providing some useful information for people new to the condition. 
Unfortunately however, many people need more than the simple life style changes suggested here to improve their neuropathy but the suggested changes are nevertheless valuable for all neuropathy patients. When first faced with neuropathy many people just want some simple information to help them understand what's happening to them, and this article fits the bill. There are many more to be found by checking the alphabetical list of posts to the right of this blog.

Testing for Neuropathy and the Effect Neuropathy Could Have on one’s Life
Posted on October 10, 2013

What is neuropathy? 

Neuropathy is a condition of the nerves. Neuropathy develop when damaged to the peripheral nervous system occurs. The peripheral nervous system refers to the part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord; when damage occurs to the nerve cells or nerve axons, it is called peripheral neuropathy. It is important that if one feels he or she may be experiencing neuropathy symptoms that he or she seeks the advice and counsel from a medical professional. Diagnosing neuropathy can be tricky and is a rather lengthy process so if there is reason for concern it is imperative that you seek out medical attention quickly to begin the diagnosing process. The first step a physician will take in diagnosing neuropathy will be to administer a full body physiological exam. Your doctor will want to compile your medical history compare it with your physical results before going further with testing.

If there is a need for further testing, one can assume the following tests will be administered:

Detailed neurological exam that focuses on tendon reflexes and coordination. The test results will either prove or disprove if the nerves are responding correctly.

An Electromyography (EMG) – this records muscle tissue and its electrical activity. An EMG test can determine if the symptoms you are expressing concern over are truly neuropathic related or a muscle disease.

Nerve Conduction Test (NCV) – this tests the speed of which impulses travel through the nerves.

Once a diagnosis has been made, follow-up care will be needed in order to discuss neuropathy treatment and how to cope with life after diagnosis.

Neuropathy And The Effect On One’s Lifestyle

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that will have an effect on an individual’s life and if not treated could have a severely negative effect. The pain and symptoms that are common place with neuropathy limit one’s mobility and ability to function in normal life situations. For instance, numbness is a symptom of neuropathy and can limit the patient’s ability to sense or feel terrain changes – risking further injury. Neuropathy symptoms have an implication on one’s social, vocational and functional life possibly causing the neuropathy patient to suffer with feelings of anxiety and depression.

Normal everyday activities and hobbies become threatened as neuropathic pains creep in and begin to signal painful sensations throughout the damaged nerves. Household responsibilities as simple as washing dishes become bothersome and painful. Fun leisure activities like dancing and walking on the beach become sidelined until something can be done about the chronic pain. Sitting down and reliving pressure from the feet are how most neuropathy patients treat neuropathy pain. However, though staying off sore, numb feet may sound comforting the truth is the less use the limbs and joints receive the less ability they will have to work.

When muscles are not exercised (or even used), they become stiff and lose their range of motion. Neuropathy can cause muscle weakness as well as muscle stiffness which means if not treated neuropathy could lead an individual into a life of immobility and complete loss of freedom. It may be bothersome to stay on ones feet while experiencing neuropathy in feet, however the alternative is much worse I can promise you that. Adding a few simple changes into your lifestyle can help reduce the pain felt in the hands and feet making movement easier to deal with as well as maintain freedom and mobility.

Implement Changes

Living a healthy lifestyle will help improve health overall, but for those who have been diagnosed with neuropathy making a few simple lifestyle changes could drastically reduce or completely eliminate neuropathy pain and symptoms. If neuropathic patients make the commitment to adhere to the following suggested lifestyle changes, they would see great improvement not only in their neuropathic pain but their overall health as well.

Implement a diet where vegetables and fruits are the main
Eat foods full all antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients
Stop smoking
Stop drinking
Morning stretching to help keep muscles from stiffening and causing more pain and possibly immobility
Attempt low impact exercises daily such as swimming and walking
Focus on learning different sitting and sleeping techniques to help alleviate pressure on the joints, hands and feet
Administer daily foot checks to determine if foot injury has occurred
Wear appropriate foot wear such as loose fitting socks and correctly fitting shoes. Avoid tight fitting hosiery, shoes and socks that will hinder circulation.

Eating right, exercising and neuropathy treatment are the three most effective methods for managing life with neuropathy and establishing a new form of normal. Neuropathy patients do not have to sacrifice everything they love because of their diagnosis; make the needed changes and get back to enjoying an active and pain free life!

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