With neuropathy patients reporting higher rates of disability, doctors are increasingly looking at alternative treatment options.
But how do you treat patients with symptoms that aren’t related to neuropathy?
Dr. Andrew McNeil, a neurologist at the University of Toronto and co-founder of the Canadian Neuropathy Treatment Forum, has been studying these patients for more than a decade.
He says it’s possible to treat neuropathy with a variety of medications, and there are many treatments for neuropathy that are effective.
McNeil said patients with neuropathy tend to have symptoms that are related to other conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, and some forms of depression.
He said these patients tend to be more likely to experience difficulty sleeping, have a lower-than-average immune system, and have difficulty with pain.
McNeill also said neuropathy is more common in people with an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis or celiac disease, and that people who are already having trouble digesting foods or drinking water may be more susceptible to the symptoms.
McNeil added that neuropathy affects up to 10 per cent of the population, and the symptoms vary from person to person.
Some people may be able to tolerate the symptoms and feel better, but others will have to do more to keep up with the pain.
For example, if you have a mild form of neuropathy, you can’t just walk, eat, and get by without taking medications, McNeil said.
“It may take a couple of months of doing that before you feel like you’re going to get back to your normal self,” he said.
McNNeil said there are two types of treatments for people with neuropathies.
He recommends taking medication to ease the pain or pain caused by the symptoms, but that’s not always possible for all people with a neuropathy diagnosis.
He said if you’re not feeling better, you may want to seek medical treatment.
If you have an autoimmune condition like rituximab, he said you may also want to consider taking a medication to help control the immune system and to slow the healing process.
McNeils research also shows that people with certain forms of diabetes, such as Type 1 or Type 2, are more likely than others to develop neuropathy.
A study from McGill University showed that people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes were more likely (16 per cent) to report that they have severe neuropathy than those with Type 2 diabetes, and those with both Type 1 and Type 2 had the same incidence of severe neuropathic pain.
According to the University, neuropathy may be an autoimmune disease, but there’s no known treatment or cure for the condition.
However, there is a drug, called Rituxan, that may be effective for some types of Type 1 diabetics.
It’s also worth mentioning that while the symptoms of neuropathia may vary from one person to another, people with these conditions generally report less pain and less fatigue than those without neuropathy or are suffering from other health problems.