Neuropathy is a complicated health condition that has many different symptoms and causes. There are also five different categories of neuropathy, and each type depends on which nerves become compressed, defective, or damaged. Here is a brief introduction to each and how they affect the body:
- Peripheral neuropathy—This is the most common type of neuropathy and results from damage to the peripheral nervous system. Patients with this type of neuropathy may experience discomfort in their toes, legs, fingers, hands, and arms.
- Proximal neuropathy—The second most common type of neuropathy, proximal neuropathy encompasses nerve damage to the hips, thighs, or gluteal areas of the body. While it usually only impacts one side of the body, it can spread to both sides.
- Cranial neuropathy—This condition occurs when damage is done to any of the 12 cranial nerves, or the nerves that travel from your brain or brain stem. Cranial neuropathy can be categorized further into different types, which include Bell’s palsy, third nerve palsy, fourth nerve palsy, and others.
- Autonomic neuropathy—This type of neuropathy occurs when the nerves that control your involuntary nervous system become damaged. Diabetes is the most common cause of autonomic neuropathy, but other conditions and infections can trigger this type of neuropathy, as well.
- Focal neuropathy—One of the less common types of neuropathy, focal neuropathy only affects a single nerve. For example, it can affect a nerve in the thigh, wrist, or foot.
There are more than 30 different types of neuropathy that fall under one of these 5 categories.