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Peripheral Neuropathy Causes & Risks


Many diseases and conditions can cause peripheral neuropathy. The damage may occur due to:

  • Lack of oxygen
  • Malnutrition
  • Compression
  • Cancer
  • Trauma
  • Inflammation
  • Toxins
  • Medications
  • Unknown causes

Diseases that can damage peripheral nerves include:

Compression commonly occurs when nerves are pinched or trapped somewhere along their course, such as:

Toxins that can damage the peripheral nerves include:

Many medications can lead to peripheral neuropathy. A partial list includes:

Other causes of peripheral nerve damage include:

Risk Factors

These factors increase your chance of developing this condition. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Diabetes (about 60% of people with diabetes have peripheral neuropathy)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or celiac sprue
  • Family member with peripheral neuropathy
  • Exposure to toxins or medications known to cause neuropathy
  • Vitamin deficiency (thiamin and vitamin B12)
  • HIV infection
  • Pressure on a nerve (may occur with repetitive stress injuries)
  • Hospitalization treatment in the intensive care unit

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2024 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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