Peripheral nerves carry information to and from the brain. They also carry signals to and from the spinal cord to the rest of the body.
Peripheral neuropathy means these nerves don't work properly. Peripheral neuropathy may occur because of damage to a single nerve or a group of nerves. It may also affect nerves in the whole body.
Peripheral neuritis; Neuropathy - peripheral; Neuritis - peripheral; Nerve disease; Polyneuropathy; Chronic pain - peripheral neuropathy
Neuropathy is very common. There are many types and causes. Often, no cause can be found. Some nerve diseases run in families.
Other health conditions that may cause neuropathy are:
- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Chronic kidney disease
- Infections such as HIV/AIDS, shingles, hepatitis C
- Low levels of vitamin B1, B6, B12, or other vitamins
- Metabolic disease
- Poisoning due to heavy metals, such as lead
- Poor blood flow to the legs
- Underactive thyroid gland
- Bone marrow disorders
- Certain inherited disorders
Other things that can lead to nerve damage are:
- Trauma or pressure on a nerve
- Long-term, heavy alcohol use
- Glue, lead, mercury, and solvent poisoning
- Drugs that treat infections, cancer, seizures, and high blood pressure
- Pressure on a nerve, such as from carpal tunnel syndrome
- Being exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time
- Pressure from bad-fitting casts, splints, a brace, or crutches