Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that occurs when there is loss of normal nerve function. This condition is most often associated with diabetes, chemotherapy, trauma and alcohol abuse. However there can be many other causes as well.
Types of Peripheral Neuropathy
There are 3 types of peripheral nerves:
1. Sensory nerves direct the ability to feel temperature and touch
2. Motor nerves direct muscle function
3. Autonomic nerves are associated with homeostatic functions such as sweating.
It is important to remember that peripheral neuropathy affects all three of these types of nerves. Perhaps the most noticeable is the effect on sensory nerves. That’s the burning, tingling or numbness you feel, especially in the feet and legs.
However, when motor nerves are affected, you may experience poor balance or weakness, even muscle wasting.
Less well known is the effect of peripheral neuropathy on the autonomic nerves which can result in dry, flaky or cracked skin.