The nerves that travel from the spinal cord innervate the muscles and sensory endings of the rest of the body. There are many causes for damage to these nerves which can lead to a variety of symptoms including numbness, tingling
, loss of muscle mass, weakness, and changes in your reflexes. Heavy metal intoxication is a definite cause for peripheral neuropathy. Other causes include poorly controlled diabetes, B12 deficiency, shingles, alcohol abuse, vascular problems, autoimmune diseases, and certain medications. Depending on the cause of the peripheral neuropathy, it may or may not be reversible. If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, you may have decreased sensation in your legs which can lead to irritation and damage to the skin on your feet. If left unchecked, this cause lead to very severe problems including infections, skin breakdown and necrosis. If you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy, make sure that you visit a podiatrist
regularly to ensure that your are not developing ulcerations. Your primary care doctor
will be better able to evaluate your concerns and your medical history. Based on their findings, your PCP may want to send off more studies, prescribe medications to improve your level of comfort, or arrange a nerve biopsy to better assess the cause of your peripheral neuropathy.