What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy? Ask a South Park Podiatrist

November 18, 2018

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition characterized by pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness that can manifest in both the hands and feet. While we know what peripheral neuropathy feels like, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing it. In fact, there are a variety of underlying conditions that are now being linked with peripheral neuropathy. With that being said, let’s jump right into some helpful peripheral neuropathy information.

Diseases and Disorders

Autoimmune diseases (such as Sjogren’s, Lupus, and Celiac Disease) are known to cause peripheral neuropathy. This is due to the fact that these diseases cause the immune system to attack the body, resulting in nerve damage.

Similarly, Type 1 Diabetes, which causes the immune system to attack pancreatic cells, results in the body being unable to produce insulin. Without insulin, glucose cannot be created for energy to keep cells properly functioning. When this happens, nerve cells suffer the consequences, leading to peripheral neuropathy.


There are a number of medications on the market that are known to create neuropathy symptoms. Meds that are used during chemotherapy and to treat HIV/AIDS can cause neuropathy, as can blood pressure and heart medications and those used to treat certain skin conditions.

The good news is that, once these meds are no longer taken, neuropathy symptoms generally go away on their own. However, in rare cases, damage is irreversible.


Severe bacterial and viral infections that go untreated can lead to peripheral neuropathy. Lyme disease, for example, is caused by bites from infected deer ticks and quickly spreads throughout your entire body. However, peripheral neuropathy tends to only manifest in the third stage of Lyme disease, which can be effectively treated when detected early on.


As we all know, alcoholism can take a massive toll on the body. With alcoholic neuropathy, peripheral nerves are damaged either as the direct result of alcohol excessively consumed over long periods of time or by the nutritional deficiencies that result from alcoholism.

Unfortunately, alcoholic neuropathy tends to be permanent. The earlier you can detect and treat your symptoms, the better outlook you will have for recovery.

Vitamin Deficiencies

As any South Park foot doctor would tell you, vitamins (especially B, E, and niacin) are extremely important for maintaining nerve health. We need water-soluble B vitamins to grow our cells.

When our bodies don’t get enough of these vitamins, nerve damage can happen. While it is incredibly difficult to get these levels back in check, doing so can help to reduce the severity of peripheral neuropathy symptoms. This is why we recommend that you see oour friendly podiatrist in South Park; the sooner we treat these symptoms, the better.

Peripheral neuropathy is complex and hard to treat on your own, but oour South Park foot doctor can help! We encourage you to call us for more peripheral neuropathy information.

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