Neuropathy: Peripheral neuropathy is a result of damage to peripheral nerves. This often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body. The peripheral nervous system sends information from the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of the body. It can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes mellitus. People generally describe the pain as stabbing, burning or tingling. Symptoms can improve, especially if caused by a treatable condition. Medications can reduce the pain of peripheral neuropathy. It can affect one nerve (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different areas (multiple mononeuropathy) or many nerves (polyneuropathy). Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of mononeuropathy. Most people with peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy. Seek medical attention right away if there is unusual tingling, weakness or pain in your hands or feet. An early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling your symptoms and preventing further damage to the peripheral nerves.
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