In Brain Tune Up!

Are you experiencing strange tingling in your feet and hands? Are the edges of everyday life fraying because you can’t rely on your limbs to do some of the most basic tasks? Were those numbness and pains a sign that something bigger was happening beneath the surface, but nobody could tell you what it was? If so, then welcome. You’re entering an unknown world where understanding your neuropathy is now mission-critical. At Sharlin Health and Neurology, we want to help unlock this daunting puzzle by unfolding its secrets bit by bit with insight into causes and various treatment options so that you can be one step closer to relief.


What is Neuropathy? – SPRINGFIELD

Neuropathy refers to diseases or conditions affecting peripheral nerves, which are responsible for sending sensations from your skin, muscles, and tendons to your central nervous system (spinal cord and brain) and receiving information from the central nervous system to control muscle movement and tension. Neuropathy is not a symptom but rather a pathology indicating disease in a peripheral nerve or group of nerves.


Many people mistakenly use the term “neuropathy” when describing symptoms like numbness, tingling, or pins and needles.


So many people come to us thinking they have neuropathy when what they really have is a weird, tingly feeling or numbness in their extremities. While it could be due to peripheral neuropathy, it’s important to remember that the nervous system is vast and complex, so before jumping to conclusions, a neurologist needs to carefully assess where the issue is originating from.

Types of Neuropathy – SPRINGFIELD

There are three main types of neuropathy:

  1. Mononeuropathy affects a single nerve and is commonly seen in conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve) or ulnar neuropathy (ulnar nerve).
  2. Multiplex neuropathy affects multiple nerves in an asymmetric pattern and can be caused by infections or vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels nourishing the nerves).
  3. Polyneuropathy is typically symmetric, affecting the longest nerves first (usually the feet) and progressing upward. As the condition worsens, the hands may also be affected, resulting in a stocking-like or glove-like distribution.


Investigating Neuropathy

A proper neurological history and physical examination are crucial for determining if the problem is indeed a peripheral nerve issue. Neurologists may use tests like nerve conduction studies and electromyography to confirm the diagnosis and gather information about the cause of the neuropathy.

The neurologist checks if the issue is related to peripheral nerves by examining various sensations. They might test temperature or vibratory sensation, using a vibrating tuning fork on the toe or finger. If the person can’t feel the vibration, they’ve lost some sensation. 


Another test involves checking position sense (proprioception). The neurologist moves the patient’s finger or toe up or down and asks them to identify the direction. If they can’t, they’ve lost proprioception.


Sometimes a sharp object, like a broken Q-tip, is used to test sharp versus dull sensations. The neurologist gently touches the patient with the sharp and soft ends of the Q-tip and asks them to identify which is which. If they can’t, it could be a sign of neuropathy.

The neurologist may also check for changes in sensation distribution. They move the Q-tip up or down the leg to see if the patient can feel the sharp end. If the sensation changes, it suggests peripheral neuropathy.

Following these tests, the neurologist may order blood work to investigate specific causes of neuropathy. 

They will probably schedule you for what’s called a nerve conduction test, electromyography (EMG). Ultimately, the test will confirm the diagnosis of neuropathy. It may also lend some information on what the cause of the neuropathy might be. Additionally, they may investigate whether the primary issue is the loss of myelin (the fatty coating around nerves that enhances electrical conduction) or damage to the axon (the long arm of the nerve). This information can help determine the underlying cause of the neuropathy.

Causes of Neuropathy – SPRINGFIELD

Neuropathy has numerous potential causes, including:

  • Diabetes, which is a significant contributor to neuropathy worldwide
  • Kidney failure
  • Trauma or genetic conditions (e.g., Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease)
  • Inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis)
  • Metabolic or hormonal issues (e.g., hypothyroidism)
  • Nutrient deficiencies (e.g., vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Autoimmune conditions (e.g., Guillain-Barré syndrome or Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy)
  • Underlying or hidden cancers (e.g., multiple myeloma): Sometimes, cancer can make its presence known by causing issues in the nervous system, like peripheral neuropathy. It’s like starting from the symptom and tracing it back to find out that there’s an underlying cancer in the person’s body.


To put it simply, when someone says they have neuropathy (numbness), it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s caused by an issue with their peripheral nerves. Numbness can come from different sources in the nervous system, like the spinal cord, brain, or compressed nerve. So, it’s important to consider other possibilities before concluding that it’s neuropathy.

Neuropathy and Functional Medicine

Conventional treatments are a great start, but why stop there? It’s time to give your wellness the tune-up it deserves.


While conventional treatments can address neuropathy, integrating a functional medicine approach like the Brain Tune-Up Program can provide a more comprehensive treatment plan. This can be integrated into the overall treatment plan and, in some cases, used as the only treatment plan because most of us don’t want to have to take medications. This method aims to address the root causes of the condition, reducing the need for medications and promoting overall health.


In conclusion, neuropathy can be an intimidating diagnosis; it’s no wonder that many might find themselves feeling overwhelmed by the unknown. By understanding what neuropathy is, its various forms, and its potential causes, our goal is that you will find yourself more educated and empowered to start navigating your journey toward treatment. Although research may take time and patience, there’s something incredibly freeing about having the information we need to make informed decisions. Functional medicine looks at the “bigger picture” of health concerns to provide individuals with personalized treatment plans that are tailored specifically to them. If you’re looking for a place to start; why not consider scheduling a discovery call now? It can be one of the most beneficial steps toward combating neuropathy.


Hey there, friend! Are you dealing with neuropathy and all the frustrating side effects that come with it? Let us lend a hand and schedule a free discovery call with you. During our chat, we’ll dive deeper into your symptoms and create a personalized plan just for you. 


Plus, don’t forget to join our Private Facebook Group for even more support. 


DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional

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