Neuropathy & Nerve Disorder

If the peripheral nerves become damaged, the condition is referred to as neuropathy. We can help.

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The peripheral nervous system transports signals from the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body. If the peripheral nerves become damaged, the condition is referred to as neuropathy. It is characterized by pain, numbness, or weakness – usually in the arms or legs. At Mecklenburg Neurology, our doctors diagnose peripheral nerve disorders so patients can discover the cause of their condition and treat it appropriately. Our entire team is committed to providing high-level care to individuals and families in our Charlotte, NC and surrounding communities. If you are looking for a nerve specialist near you, contact our office for a consultation.

Neuropathy Symptoms

There are various nerves in the peripheral nervous system – each with a specific function. Symptoms depend on which nerves were damaged, and to what extent. Common neuropathy symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Burning or throbbing pain
  • Sharp, stabbing pain
  • Numbness, tingling, or prickly sensations
  • Lack of coordination
  • Possible paralysis (only if motor nerves are affected)
  • The sensation of wearing socks and gloves, even when you aren’t
  • In some cases, the autonomic nerves are affected. If this occurs, symptoms may include:
  • Incontinence
  • Digestive issues
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Sudden lightheadedness
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Problems with sweat glands (excessive sweating or not sweating at all)

What Causes Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a nerve damage that is connected to a number of underlying diseases and disorders. Some of these conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Infections
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Inherited disorders
  • Bone marrow diseases
  • Benign or cancerous tumors

In addition to medical conditions, there are also environmental causes of peripheral neuropathy. These may include:

  • Certain medications
  • Alcoholism
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Nerve trauma

Neuropathy Risk Factors

As with any condition, neuropathy cannot be entirely prevented. However, there are certain factors that can increase your risk for developing the condition:

  • Family history of neuropathy
  • Vitamin deficiencies, particularly B
  • Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune diseases
  • Disorders of the liver, kidneys, or thyroid
  • Repetitive motions
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Lyme disease, hepatitis, HIV, and other infections

The best way to reduce the risk of neuropathy is to treat the underlying conditions that place you at risk. Your Charlotte, NC neurologist can help you make the lifestyle changes necessary to improve your overall health.

Diagnosing Nerve Disorders

Our doctors at Mecklenburg Neurology can diagnose your condition during a comprehensive neurological evaluation. In addition to reviewing your symptoms and medical history in full, a number of tests may be recommended. These may include imaging tests, blood tests, biopsies, or nerve function tests.

Treating Neuropathy

To alleviate neuropathy symptoms, the underlying condition must be treated. Oftentimes, once this occurs, the nerve problems diminish over time. If your condition is ongoing, there are certain medications that can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Some of the most common include:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers
  • Topical treatments, such as lidocaine patches or capsaicin cream
  • Anti-seizure medications such as gabapentin and pregabalin
  • Antidepressants, which can alter brain chemicals that lead to pain

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

If you are experiencing neuropathy or nerve pain, find a nerve specialist near you. Our Charlotte, NC team is always available to answer any questions you may have. To learn more about nerve disorders, or to schedule an appointment at one of our four convenient locations call us at (704) 335-3400.