What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy in Hands and Feet?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nerves, which are responsible for
sending signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. It can cause numbness,
tingling, burning, and even pain in the hands and feet. While there are many potential causes of
peripheral neuropathy, understanding what causes it can help you better manage your symptoms.

Common Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage
the nerves in your hands and feet over time, leading to numbness or tingling sensations. Other
common causes include:

• Vitamin B12 deficiency
• Alcoholism
• Certain medications
• Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
• Exposure to toxins such as lead or arsenic
• Infections such as HIV/AIDS or Lyme disease

Less Common Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

In addition to the more common causes listed above, there are some less common causes of
peripheral neuropathy that may be responsible for your symptoms. These include:

• Inherited disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
• Trauma or injury to a nerve
• Tumors that press on a nerve
Diagnosing Peripheral Neuropathy

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in your hands and feet, it’s important
to see a specialist for an accurate diagnosis. They will likely perform a physical exam and ask
questions about your medical history before ordering tests. These tests measure how well your
nerves are functioning and can help pinpoint the underlying cause of your symptoms.

Treatment Options for Peripheral Neuropathy

Once you have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, your doctor will work with you to develop
an individualized treatment plan that best meets your needs. Treatment options may include
medications to reduce pain and inflammation, physical therapy to help improve mobility, lifestyle
changes such as quitting smoking or limiting alcohol consumption, vitamin supplements if needed,
and alternative therapies like acupuncture or massage therapy. In some cases, surgery may be
necessary if other treatments aren’t effective.

Taking Care of Yourself with Peripheral Neuropathy

Living with peripheral neuropathy can be challenging but there are steps you can take to make life
easier. It’s important to take good care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise,
managing stress levels, avoiding activities that could cause further injury or damage to nerves (such
as contact sports), wearing protective footwear when necessary, and seeing a specialist regularly for
checkups. With proper care and management of symptoms, you can live a full life despite having
peripheral neuropathy in your hands and feet