Common Causes

What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?

There are numerous reasons for nerves to malfunction. In some cases, no direct cause can be pin pointed. This is because most cases involve a combination of factors, each of which must be addressed carefully. It has been well established, however, that all neuropathies involve the following conditions:

Although we know these are the “end stages” that lead to slow nerve degradation, we must actually see what is “causing the causes”. What is it in our daily lives that directly contributes to poor circulation and oxygen starvation?

Most Common Daily Causes

1) Dramatic changes in glucose and insulin in the blood (diabetes) that displace oxygen.

2) Side effects from drugs, such as those for cholesterol, blood pressure and arthritis that change the metabolism of the nerves thus altering the way they use oxygen. (ex: Pravachol Amytriptyline) Common drugs like statins (to reduce cholesterol) can eat away the myelin sheath of the nerves which is composed mostly of cholesterol. Statins also thin the blood, which means less oxygen and nutrients get to the nerves. High blood pressure medicine can cause neuropathy by decreasing blood flow at the extremities, like the feet or hands.

3) Exposure to toxic compounds that makes oxygen unusable. Especially solvents (ex: benzene, 1 1 1-Trichloroethane, M.T.B.E, chlorine, etc.) and metals (lead, arsenic, mercury, cadnium, etc.) other toxic compounds include, Nitrous oxide, glue, ammonia, some food dyes, and fluoride!!!, etc..)

4) Inflammation in the lower back, hip, joints which reduces blood flow to the nerves in the spinal column. Arthritis sufferers often suffer from peripheral neuropathy as well.

5) Infectious conditions, such as AIDS, cancer, hepatitis, tick fever, diphtheria Guillain-Barre syndrome, HIV, lyme disease, polyarteritis nodosa, sarcoidosis, syphilis, lupus, amyloidosis, etc. There are MANY viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can invade our nervous system!

6) Nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin B1, B12, B2, B6, folic acid, and omega oils 3 & 6.

7) Excessive cigarette and alcohol use.

8) Food Allergies. Especially the artificial sweetener Aspartame. This is very toxic to the body, including nerves and brain. As it metabolizes in the body, it transforms into Wood alcohol. TERRIBLE FOR DIABETICS!!!!

9) Chemotherapy that affects cancer and other fast growing or functioning cells like hair and nerves.

10) Sciatic nerve entrapment (piriformis entrapment) caused from standing on concrete too much, sitting too long in one position putting pressure on the sciatic nerve or its blood supply, and aging, where muscles lose tone.

11) Trauma & Inflammation: Sometimes physical effects from trauma or inflammation in the lower back can restrict blood flow to the legs and can compress the sciatic nerve, which can directly affect the nerves in the legs/feet. Even subtle repeated trauma like knuckle ‘cracking’ (leads to inflammation) or long term typing can physically damage nerve cells. Rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis that can cause inflammation can impinge (pinch) nerves.

12) Surgery complications which can lead to severe inflammatory conditions, excessive drug use. Even allergic reactions to anesthesia can affect nerves.

13) Old age. Let’s face it… our bodies wear out. As circulatory function becomes less and less effective at delivering oxygen and nutrients, our peripheral nerves suffer.

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