Psychiatry

Polyneuropathy

Polyneuropathy is a defeat of peripheral nerves. Usually symptoms of polyneuropathy – violations of sensitiveness, which are distributed evenly on both sides of body, more frequent in both extremities. Sensitiveness in area of brushes and feet is violated to a greater extent than in other parts of the body. In addition, there are paresthesia (numbnesses, feeling of crawl of small ants), weakening of sensitiveness to pain and violation of functions of different organs.

Symptoms

  • Hypoesthesia (decreased skin sensitivity).
  • Paresthesia (numbnesses, feeling of crawl of small ants).
  • Weakening of sensitiveness to pain.
  • Violations of functions of organs.
  • Muscle paralysis.

Causes

Causes of polyneuropathy are very different. The most widespread causes of this disease are chronic alcoholism and diabetes. It is necessary also to mention a wrong feed, deficit of certain nutritives, vitamins, some infectious diseases and poisonings (for example, by lead). Other possible causes are medications, metabolic diseases and inherited neuromuscular diseases. However, in about 20% of all cases the cause is not clear.

Treatment

First of all, it is necessary to treat the underlying disease. If a man is patient with saccharine diabetes, it is important to control the concentration of glucose in blood. Depending on the type of diabetes, a patient must observe the proper diet and (or) take medicine (insulin), reducing the level of glucose in blood. At alcoholic polyneuropathy a patient should completely abandon the use of alcohol. It is also necessary to abandon the drugs that can cause polyneuropathy – more often somnolent or anesthetic preparations. Medicinal treatment of polyneuropathy more frequent is ineffective. In addition, doctors try to conduct treatment with fat acids, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants. For softening of symptoms of polyneuropathy electrotherapy can be used.

If a patient suffers from alcoholism, he must give up an alcohol. At presence of diabetes it is necessary to follow a diet.

At any violations of sensitiveness, which are not passing a long time, it is necessary to appeal to the doctor.

A doctor will examine a patient, turning the special attention on a skin, reflexes of tendons, will expose violations of sensitiveness. For confirmation of diagnosis he can measure speed of distribution of impulse on nerves, and also perform the biopsy of muscles and examine a sample of muscle tissue under a microscope.

Course of the disease

There are different forms of polyneuropathy. The most widespread symptoms of polyneuropathy are irritations feet and violations of functions of lower extremities, for example, a patient feels burning feet, muscles hurt at pressing, and there are gastrocnemius cramps and paresthesia. Consequences are especially serious, if there is weakening of sensitiveness to pain. Often a man does not even notice a trauma, as a result, almost without symptoms the processes of destruction of soft and bone tissues may progress a long time. These processes at a late discovery considerably more difficult respond to treatment. However, it is yet worse, if due to polyneuropathy there is violation of innervation of the internal organs, which results to cardiac arrhythmia, disorders of the stomach, bladder, etc.