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9 Most Common Causes of Neuropathy

Neuropathy prevented the world-famous artist from playing the guitar. And the likely causes were the addictions that he's since managed to overcome. Here's his story.

Renowned musician Eric Clapton had to cancel all of his shows back in 2013 due to back pain. Not long after, he wanted to cancel part of his tour because of severe nerve pain.

By Clapton's account, the pain began in his lower back and quickly extended down his legs. He said that it felt as if someone was sending electric shocks through his lower limbs.

The condition made standing up very hard, if not outright impossible, when the pain became too severe. And Clapton found that playing the guitar under such pain was "hard work."

Since he was suffering from nerve pain, the rock legend came to terms that his condition might not improve.

That said, Clapton is grateful to have lived to remember the roaring 70's. But the substance abuse evidently took a toll on him.

An excessive lifestyle isn't the only cause of nerve pain. The sections below explore some of the most common causes, including overconsumption of alcohol and other toxins.

1. Diabetes

Spikes in blood sugar in those who have diabetes can hurt the nerves in the lower extremities. That's why nerve damage often occurs in a patient's feet.

But if diabetics can keep the glucose levels under control, they significantly reduce the chances of nerve pain and damage. This is critical because uncontrolled levels could damage one's nerves beyond repair and even lead to amputation.

But how exactly does blood sugar trigger nerve pain?

With type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar can eat into the minute blood vessels. Commonly, these are the blood vessels in one's legs connected to the nerves. After recognizing the damage, the nerves send pain signals to the brain, and people enter a vicious cycle.

Aside from pain, some of the symptoms may include loss of sensation in the affected area and numbness. The risk of permanent damage and pain increases if a diabetic is also overweight, over 40, or has hypertension (high blood pressure).

That's why keeping blood sugar at an optimum and improving one's overall health is vital to preventing nerve pain.

2. Physical Injuries

Trauma to certain parts of your body is among the common causes of nerve pain. Injury to the body also hurts the nerves, triggering pain and numbness.

These injuries could be bone or spine fractures, falls, automotive accidents, etc.

But it's important to point out that inactivity may also cause a physical injury that leads to nerve pain. When that happens, the pain might not be as pronounced as with severe trauma. It usually starts with mild numbness or limited mobility of certain joints like the wrists or ankles, which are the commonly affected areas.

But the numbness won't go away on its own. And it becomes tough for people to improve the mobility of their joints. Thereon, the pain starts to kick in and it's likely to keep growing if left untreated.

Given that injuries are sometimes unavoidable, nerve pain sufferers need to seek proper treatment and medication. Additionally, if you are not particular active or injury-prone, you can still prevent nerve pain by making a conscious effort to break away from a sedentary lifestyle.

3. Autoimmune Disorders

Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that may cause chronic inflammation in the entire body, could trigger nerve damage.

The good news is that this condition is rarely systemic. This means that lupus usually affects one part of your body, rather than various tissue and organs simultaneously.

Rheumatoid arthritis can also be the reason behind nerve damage.

But it's not only about the damage from autoimmune disorders.

As indicated, these conditions lead to chronic inflammation. And inflammation exerts pressure in certain areas, which, in turn, leads to nerve pain. Commonly affected areas are the extremities, both lower and upper.

You should also know that some viruses can cause nerve pain. These include the following:

  • Epstein-Barr
  • Herpes simplex
  • Varicella-zoster

If the cause of your nerve pain is viral, sufferers usually experience brief episodes of intense pain. And like Clapton, they often report shooting pain in the extremities.

4. Some Forms of Medications

Medications that may trigger nerve damage include:

  • Certain antibacterials
  • Cancer treatment drugs
  • Seizure medications (anticonvulsants)
  • Certain blood pressure drugs

In addition, the Journal of Family Practice recently published a study indicating that statins may damage nerves. These are medications for cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol.

With that in mind, you should know that nerve damage is a known adverse effect of the listed medications. But this doesn't necessarily mean that these medications are the wrong choice for treating the primary conditions, or that it would affect everybody the same way.

But there are patients who have had adverse responses, often due to other comorbidities.

Always consult your physician to determine the root cause. Your doctor may change your medication or offer additional treatment to battle the nerve pain that arises from it.

5. Overconsumption of Alcohol or Other Toxins

If consumed in excess, alcohol will become toxic and hurt nerve tissue. Of course, the same goes for most controlled substances.

And the longer substance abuse goes untreated, the greater the risk of developing neuropathy.

The alarming thing is that other chemicals affect your body the same way. Prolonged exposure to certain types of solvents, glues, and insecticides can damage nerves. The same goes for exposure to mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.

People who are exposed to these chemicals at their workplace need to take extra precautions. It's necessary to wear protective gear and keep away from direct contact with these chemicals.

And at the first signs of symptoms such as pain and numbness, one should seek medical help

6. A Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Insufficient vitamin B12 levels may cause serious damage to your body. And this doesn't only apply to the nerves.

It may trigger an imbalance of other nutrients and affect your metabolism and cardiovascular system. Some of the symptoms are shortness of breath, fluttering heart, muscle ache, fatigue, etc.

And in your nervous system, vitamin B12 plays a vital role because it keeps the myelin layer strong. The myelin layer is a protective sheath around your nerves. Without sufficient vitamin B12 levels, the sheath becomes more fragile and prone to damage. And that can lead to nerve pain.

7. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is yet another condition known to cause nerve pain.

Here, the kidneys lose their ability to remove fluids and waste. Consequently, fluids and waste accumulate in the body and cause kidney failure.

When that happens, excessive salts and chemical imbalance in the body can lead to neuropathy.

8. Chemotherapy

There are two types of neuropathy (nerve pain) - polyneuropathy and mononeuropathy.

Polyneuropathy means that many nerves in one's body are damaged, whereas mononeuropathy means only one nerve is affected. Unfortunately, chemotherapy may damage many nerves and cause polyneuropathy.

Chemotherapy drugs for myeloma, bowel cancer, or lymphoma are among the most common causes of nerve pain. And radiation treatment could have the same effect

Luckily, a lot of cancer patients get over nerve pain after the treatment is over. Also, some of their damaged nerves may recover as well.

9. Idiopathic

Unfortunately, experts don't know the exact cause of idiopathic nerve pain. Often, this condition affects patients who don't suffer other conditions and may even be leading a healthy lifestyle.

Despite the lack of underlying cause, this neuropathy can be treated. Patients receive the same treatment as those with a known cause. However, it's possible that they may need to try a few different treatments before finding one that works.

Lead a Painless Life

Nerve pain can be debilitating and limit your ability to lead a normal life. Since there are so many different causes, determining what exactly triggered the pain can be tricky.

But there are certain things you can do to prevent it. For diabetics, it's important to keep tabs on their glucose levels and avoid severe nerve damage.

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, make it your mission to stretch and move around. Do it at least every couple of hours. And it's also vital to keep your vitamin B12 levels at an optimum.

But what can you do if the pain is already there?

Of course, you should find a remedy that has the right mix of active ingredients to stop the pain.

Nervexol contains Nerve Support vitamins D3, B12, B1, and B6. Plus, it includes antioxidants and a herbal mix to provide the most potent solution without any negative effects

Why suffer more pain? Check out our website and find Nervexol for you.

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