If you or a loved one have peripheral neuropathy, there are some dangers that you should be aware of. One of the symptoms of neuropathy is numbness of your feet and loss of balance. This makes sense, because if you can’t feel the bottoms of your feet, it will affect your balance. This will lead to the risk of falling. Falls are never good, but falls for seniors are particularly dangerous. One out of three adults over the age of 65 fall each year. 20% to 30% suffer moderate to sever injuries from falls, and 10% are FATAL. Falls are the leading cause of injury death for people over the age of 65.
Peripheral neuropathy is a degenerative condition. If left untreated, the condition worsens over time, potentially leading to amputation. Each year in the United States there are about 86,000 diabetes / neuropathy-related amputations, one of the most feared complications of the disease.
Here are some potential consequences of untreated peripheral neuropathy:
- Increased Severity of Symptoms: If you don’t address or manage the underlying cause, neuropathy symptoms like numbness, tingling, burning, and pain may worsen over time.
- Risk of Falls and Injuries: Loss of balance and coordination, common symptoms of neuropathy, can lead to an increased risk of falls and injuries. This is especially concerning for seniors, as falls can have severe consequences.
- Sleep Disturbances: Neuropathy symptoms, such as pain and discomfort, can interfere with sleep, leading to insomnia or poor sleep quality.
- Reduced Mobility: Progressive neuropathy may lead to a decline in mobility, making it difficult for individuals to walk and perform daily activities.
- Emotional Impact: Living with chronic pain and the challenges associated with neuropathy can contribute to emotional distress, including anxiety and depression.
- Complications Leading to Amputation: In severe cases, where peripheral neuropathy is associated with conditions like diabetes, the risk of complications, including infections and non-healing wounds, may increase. This can lead to the need for amputation in extreme cases.
- Decreased Quality of Life: The cumulative impact of untreated peripheral neuropathy, including physical and emotional symptoms, can significantly reduce overall quality of life.
What can be done for peripheral neuropathy?
For most patients suffering with peripheral neuropathy, the first person they see is their primary care physician. The first thing they will likely offer you is medication.
The most common medications prescribed for peripheral neuropathy are Gabapentin and Lyrica. These medications were not created to treat neuropathy. They are anti-seizure medications. So what is an anti-seizure medication going to do for neuropathy, you may ask? What it does is slow your brain down so you stop feeling the pain signals from the damaged nerves. It doesn’t keep it from getting worse and it does not heal the nerves. All it does is mask the symptoms, and your neuropathy keeps getting worse!
When that doesn’t work, your primary care physician will refer you to a neurologist, who will likely prescribe nerve testing and more medications.
After all of this, you may be told “nothing can be done” and “you have to live with it”. Just “living with it” can lead to all the dangers we discussed above: numbness, tingling, burning, cramping, pain, lack of sleep, balance problems and falling, and eventually, amputation.
Our physicians have been treating peripheral neuropathy successfully for over 20 years. Our typical results are a 60-90% improvement in your symptoms.
Imagine being able to:
- Sleeping through the night peacefully
- Walking with confidence and feeling steady again
- Taking trips and enjoying family outings again
- Feeling like you’re 10 years younger
If you are concerned about your neuropathy, don’t delay. The peripheral neuropathy doctors near you are at Waters Edge Medical and Spa, located at 1700 66th St. N., Suite 304, St. Petersburg, FL 33710. Neuropathy is a degenerative condition that will get worse over time. Call us: (727) 550-0855 or click here to schedule a free consultation.
We will do a thorough evaluation, take thermal images of the affected area to determine the level of degeneration that has occurred, and then create a custom neuropathy treatment plan to treat your peripheral neuropathy.