Peripheral neuropathy affects the nerves outside of the brain or spinal cord and can cause changes to sensation, movement and involuntary functions. The nerve damage from this condition can have lasting effects that can impact your everyday life. Here are just a few of those effects.
The Long Term Effects of Peripheral Neuropathy
Reduced Feeling: Peripheral neuropathy affects three types of nerves: sensory, motor and autonomic. The sensory nerves send information to the brain, but when these nerves are damaged by peripheral neuropathy, you can experience nerve pain, burning sensations or tingling. You may even experience numbness that starts in the feet and moves up in the body. With this numbness, you may have reduced feeling in your limbs, which can affect your ability to sense changes. If the injury goes untreated, you could end up with an infection.
Problems Moving: Since peripheral neuropathy can affect the motor nerves, you could end up with a partial or total loss of movement and muscle control. It can also cause muscle atrophy, in which you could lose some muscle tissue. You may also have a lack of muscle control and dexterity, which can affect your ability to do tasks such as writing with a pen.
Weight Loss: If you have peripheral neuropathy you could lose weight due to the autonomic nerve damage symptoms. You could even lose more than 5 percent of your body weight. You may have nausea and vomiting after meals as well. The autonomic symptoms of peripheral neuropathy cause you to feel full after eating a small amount of food, which can also affect weight. Motor nerve damage in your throat can affect your ability to swallow, which may cause you to eat less.