What is Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a set of symptoms that are caused by damage to the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves are the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. These nerves carry sensations to the brain and control the movement of our arms, legs, hands, feet, and control function of the bladder and bowel. These nerves are surrounded by tiny blood vessels that supply the nerves with oxygen and nutrients. When these blood vessels become damaged, the nerves slowly start to die as their source of oxygen and nutrients is diminished When the nerves become damaged the signals to and from the brain are no longer transmitted properly, resulting in a wide array of signs and symptoms that are referred to as Peripheral Neuropathy.
Those with peripheral neuropathy may notice the following:
- Numbness in the hands or feet
- A tingling sensation
- A feeling of “pins and needles”
- Burning pain
- Diminished ability to feel hot or cold
- Lack of coordination
- Balance issues
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Chemotherapy, radiation, and other drugs that are used to treat cancer can damage the peripheral nerves throughout the body. When this damage occurs, it is referred to as Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy. Although chemotherapy can be very useful for the treatment of cancer, it is known to cause damage to healthy cells within the body, including the nerves. This condition is a very disabling side effect of chemotherapy and is a progressive condition, meaning the neuropathy symptoms continue to worsen over time. There are over a hundred other causes of peripheral neuropathy including tumors, diabetes, alcohol use, low vitamin B levels, autoimmune disorders, exposure to toxic chemicals, poor circulation, HIV, shingles, surgery, and infections that affect the nerves.
Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy
Conventional medicine lacks viable long term solutions when it comes to treating peripheral neuropathy. Many patients are prescribed anti-convulsion medications such as gabapentin (Neurontin) or pregabalin (Lyrica) to manage the often-painful symptoms of the condition. For many, the dosages continue to increase as the neuropathy progresses and worsens because the medications do not aim to treat the neuropathy, they simply manage the pain. Some peripheral neuropathy sufferers turn to amputation when all other management options have failed. Unfortunately, the pain does not always end with amputation, for some they continue to suffer with what is known as Phantom Limb Pain even after the extremity has been physically removed. Other peripheral neuropathy sufferers are forced to undergo amputation as the result of gangrene from an infection. Those with neuropathy are much more likely to have an infection go unnoticed and untreated because of the lack of sensation in the area.
Hope for Neuropathy Sufferers
Those with Peripheral Neuropathy are usually left feeling hopeless and frustrated as attempts to manage the condition often result in increased medication dosages with little relief. If you are suffering from neuropathy, there is hope. At Abundant Life Health Center, we have had immense success in helping people to heal and reverse their neuropathy naturally. Our team of doctors conducts a thorough 16-step examination to determine which nerve fibers are affected, as well as the severity and prognosis of the neuropathy. Each case of neuropathy is unique affecting everyone in a different and specific manner. We focus on the underlying cause of the neuropathy, the dying nerve, allowing our patients to heal 70-100% of the time. If you are suffering from neuropathy, contact our office to see if we can help you.