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Peripheral neuropathy is a condition resulting from damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This damage disrupts normal nerve function, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness, primarily in the hands and feet. Various factors, including diabetes, infections, inherited disorders, and exposure to toxins, can lead to peripheral neuropathy.
Mononeuropathy is a type of neuropathy that affects a single nerve. Mononeuropathy is localized and usually results from direct injury, prolonged pressure, or entrapment of the nerve. Common forms include carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve palsy. Symptoms are typically confined to the specific area served by the affected nerve, causing pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.
Polyneuropathy is a condition where multiple peripheral nerves malfunction simultaneously. It's often caused by systemic diseases like diabetes or can be idiopathic, meaning its cause is unknown. Polyneuropathy typically leads to symmetric numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands and feet, spreading upwards into the limbs. It can also impair balance, muscle strength, and autonomic functions.
Autonomic neuropathy is a form of peripheral neuropathy that affects the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and sweating. This condition can stem from various causes, including diabetes and other systemic illnesses. Symptoms vary widely, ranging from abnormal heart rate, blood pressure changes, gastrointestinal issues, and bladder dysfunction to sexual dysfunction.