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A Look at the Causes and Risk Factors of Peripheral Neuropathy

Last updated 3 years ago

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when damage to the peripheral nervous system impedes communication from the brain and spinal cord to certain areas of the body. There are many different types of peripheral neuropathy that may be caused by a wide range of different conditions. This article will take a look at just a handful of the causes that may lead to peripheral nerve damage that could cause increased or decreased sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, or strange sensations in the extremities.


The most common cause of nerve injury is sudden trauma from auto accidents or sports injuries. These types of injuries might crush, sever, or compress nerves and potentially detach them from the spinal cord.


Aside from injuries, systemic diseases are the biggest source of nerve damage. Diabetes is the most likely, as 60-70% of patients with diabetes have some type of nerve damage resulting in peripheral neuropathy.

Kidney disorders

When the kidneys are not functioning properly, high levels of toxic substances can remain in the blood and damage nerve tissues. Liver disease can cause damage of a similar nature, as the liver also serves as a filtration system within the body.


Autoimmune disorders and infections may cause the body to mistakenly attack nerve tissue. Some of the most common disorders of this nature include HIV, Lyme disease, and the shingles virus.

Vitamin deficiencies

Vitamins such as E, B1, B6, and B12 are essential for nerve function, so deficiencies of these nutrients could pose a risk for nerve damage. Poor diet and heavy alcohol use are both frequent contributors to vitamin deficiencies, which may be identified through a simple blood test.

Are you experiencing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy? Northside Hospital can help you find the right type of care through our orthopedic or neuroscience institute. You can reach us on our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 598-9586 to find a physician to address your symptoms. 


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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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