Peripheral Neuropathy is composed of nerves that branch out of the spinal cord to the rest of the body.
The peripheral nerve cells are made of three parts: the cell body, axons, and dendrites. The axon is the part that transmits signals from nerve cell to nerve cell. Damage to the axon is the most common. Myelin is the substance that surrounds the axon, which allow the signal transmission.
Damage to these nerves interrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body and can impair muscle movement, prevent normal sensation in the extremities, and cause pain.
Peripheral Neuropathy would be associated with a number of different diseases, poor nutrition, or trauma.
Diabetic neuropathy is a peripheral nerve disorder caused by diabetes.
People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but the longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk.
Diabetic neuropathy also appears to be more common in people who have had problems controlling their blood glucose levels, in those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure, in overweight people, and in people over the age of 40.
Occasionally, diabetic neuropathy can flare up suddenly and affect specific nerves so that an affected individual will develop double vision or drooping eyelids, or weakness and atrophy of the thigh muscles.
Diabetic neuropathy can also cause changes in strength and feeling in different body parts, ability of the heart to keep up with the body's needs, ability to digest food and ability to have an erection (in men).
Nerve damage caused by diabetes generally occurs over a period of years and may lead to problems with the digestive tract and sexual organs, which can cause indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, bladder infections, and impotence.
These disorders can originate from numerous causes, such as diabetes, alcoholism, HIV, toxin exposure, metabolic abnormalities, vitamin deficiency, or adverse effects of certain drugs.
Diabetes-related nerve damage can be painful, but it isn't severe pain in most cases.