Your body contains a wide net of nerves, which send signals from the “main center” (the brain and spinal cord) to the whole body, giving you ability to move, feel and function properly.
There are three main types of nerves in human organism. Sensory nerves keep under the control your feelings, including pain, sense of touch, cold and heat. Motor nerves allow you to move and talk. And autonomic nerves, in turn, regulate involuntary processes, like digestion, heart beating etc.
Numerous health conditions may damage these tiny fibers, causing different symptoms.
Dysfunction of the communicative nerve net is medically called peripheral neuropathy.
Specialists say that more than 20 million Americans suffer from this disorder.
Diabetes was recognized as the most common culprit of neuropathy.
However alcohol misuse, exposure to toxic chemicals, autoimmune errors, cancer, kidney disease and certain medications may also impair conduction of nerve signals.
Symptoms depend mainly on the location and type of damaged nerves.
Be aware that having any of these symptoms may mean that your peripheral nerves fail to work properly:
#1. Painful cramps – if motor nerves get affected, you may suffer from painful spasms, which are often accompanied by uncontrolled visible muscle twitching (fasciculations).
READ MORE: 11 health red flags to see a doctor about
#2. Feeling like wearing gloves and/or socks – once larger sensory nerves are damaged, you may feel like you're wearing socks and gloves, while you are not.
#3. Oversensitivity – painless stimuli, like touching the skin, may be perceived as severe pain. This occurs because of dramatically increased sensitivity of the pain receptors, located in the skin.
#4. Digestive problems – impaired conduction between autonomic nerves may sometimes result in constipation, incontinence or diarrhea.
#5. Tingling in the limbs – numbness, pins and needles in the hands or feet are rather common symptoms, which indicate problems in sensory nerves.
#6. Muscle weakness – damage of the motor nerves may lead to weakness and shrinkage of the muscles. But be aware that sudden weakness anywhere in the body may be a warning sign of the stroke.
#7. Abnormal sweating – autonomic nerves regulate sweating and allow you keep optimal body temperature. If something goes wrong in your body, changed sweating may contribute to heat intolerance.
#8. Blood pressure swings – your blood vessels may expand or contract abruptly, if your autonomic nerve fibers get damaged. This often leads to changes in blood pressure. It's not uncommon that moving from seated position to standing causes drop in blood pressure, dizziness and even fainting.
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