Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy in the Elderly

The human body is comprised of several hundred peripheral nerves, and when something damages even one of them, the individual can experience everything from mild discomfort and numbness to debilitating pain. It is a common misconception that the only cause of peripheral neuropathy in the elderly is as a complication from diabetes mellitus. While this is common, there are other potential causes, so a full assessment should be completed for anyone dealing with peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Here are a few other causes that could have affected the nerves:

  • Immune system issues- An autoimmune response may cause the nerves to be attacked.

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy in the Elderly

  • Trauma- If you have recently suffered a fall or were involved in an accident, you could have nerve damage related to the injury.
  • Compression- Gravity takes its toll on everyone, with the elderly often facing compression issues that result in pinched nerves.
  • Toxins- We live in a world full of chemicals and even natural toxins that can cause nerve irritation and damage. Even things we consume, such as alcohol, can put nerves at risk.
  • Deficiencies- It can become harder to eat healthy as one ages due to other common issues in the elderly, resulting in deficiencies in nerve function support.
  • Various diseases- In addition to diabetes, liver disease, cancer, and thyroid issues can lead to diseased nerves.
  • Infection- There are various bacteria and viruses that can damage nerves.
  • Medical treatments- Radiation therapy and some chemotherapy drugs have been found to cause neuropathy.

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can vary widely, since there are different types of nerves that can be affected by the causes noted above. It also depends on where the signals are being sent. The best thing to do if you are noticing any symptoms is to work with a professional who will work diligently to find the underlying cause so the correct treatment can begin.

At Complete Rehab, we are known for our genuine and compassionate care. We’ll take the time to help you understand what has caused your peripheral neuropathy and what can be done to alleviate your symptoms. You do not need a referral from your physician to reach out to us, and we happily accept Medicare. Contact us today to learn more.