Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

How Your Autoimmune Disease Contributes to Your Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy affects the normal functioning of nerves that exist outside your brain and spinal column. There are about 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy, many of which affect the sensory nerves. These are the nerves that help your brain identify certain sensations your skin feels, such as temperature, texture, and pain.

The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) estimates that about 20 million Americans have one or more forms of peripheral neuropathy. As a highly respected pain management specialist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, John S. Michels, MD, is often called on to treat patients struggling with the debilitating effects of peripheral neuropathy.

Read what this talented, award-winning expert has to say about peripheral neuropathy and its relationship to autoimmune diseases.

What are autoimmune diseases and how do they affect nerves?

Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy tissue in your body. Some of these diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, attack nerve tissue directly.

Others cause a cascading effect that damages nerves. Type 1 diabetes, for instance, destroys your pancreas’s ability to produce insulin. This makes it impossible for your body to process blood glucose (sugar) normally. Over time, high blood sugar damages nerves directly and injures the blood vessels that carry oxygen and other vital nutrients to your peripheral nerves.  

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:

These symptoms commonly begin in the feet and hands and then spread upward into the arms or legs as the nerve damage progresses.

What autoimmune diseases contribute to peripheral neuropathy?

Autoimmune diseases commonly linked to peripheral neuropathy include:

Classified as a metabolic disorder rather than an autoimmune disease, Type 2 diabetes is the most common underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy.

How do you treat peripheral neuropathy?

We help our patients manage pain by first identifying the underlying cause of the pain and designing treatment strategies that target the issue as well as the symptoms.

In the case of peripheral neuropathy, for instance, we may encourage tighter control of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc., via dietary changes, physical therapy, and other measures designed to effectively treat autoimmune disease.

For pain caused by damaged peripheral nerves, we may recommend:

Dr. Michels notes his overriding goal as a physician is to provide treatments that relieve your pain and enable you to live an active and rewarding life. If you’re struggling with pain and other symptoms related to peripheral neuropathy, schedule a visit with Dr. Michels today. Call our Dallas, Texas, office or request an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding Pain Management

Are you having problems with neck, back, or other chronic pain issues? Wondering if a doctor who focuses on interventional pain management can help? Find out what an award-winning expert can do to help you experience life without pain.

What Causes Upper Back Pain?

Upper back pain is a common condition, and the possible causes are as diverse as the individuals who experience it. Learn more about upper back pain and what issues may be driving your symptoms.

What to Expect During Your Rhizotomy

Despite its odd-sounding name, a nonsurgical rhizotomy is a fairly common, highly effective procedure that can provide long-lasting relief from pain in your neck, back, and/or knees. Find out what you can expect during and after a rhizotomy.

5 Treatment Options for Your Neck Pain

Having problems getting through your day because of pain and stiffness in your neck? The good news? You don’t have to live with it. Find out what a pain management physician can do to help relieve your discomfort and get you moving again.

Solutions for Painful Peripheral Neuropathy

Are you having problems living with the sometimes stinging, sometimes burning, sometimes stabbing pain associated with peripheral neuropathy? Expert care by a pain management specialist may be your solution. Learn more about available treatments.