In our last post, we discussed hypoxia and neuropathy, specifically the chronic pain that results when nerve signal propagation is reduced between adjacent nerve cells due to insufficient oxygen being available to support nerve cell “health” (metabolism). This situation is responsible for many neuropathy and chronic pain cases. The remaining 10% are caused by physical trauma.
As such, it appears the main precipitating factor is hypoxia and demineralization of the synaptic fluid which creates shrinkage of the nerve cells thus widening the gap between these cells making it more difficult for normal sensations to propagate, and loss of electrical conductivity in the synaptic fluid itself.
A temporary hypoxia of nerve tissue can be traced to most causes of neuropathy and chronic pain. The primary negative effects are as follows:
• A defensive contraction of the nerve cell resulting in oversize synaptic junctions
• A loss of electrical conductivity of the synaptic fluid between nerve cells
• A defensive change in the electrical potentials of the cell membrane resulting in a higher resting state of the trigger level which effectively limits the sensitivity to incoming sign
When nerve signals can no longer jump the enlarged synaptic gap, the electrical tension that normally holds these minerals in place is absent, causing the synaptic fluid to leach out its mineral content. Electrical conductivity is reduced, thereby inhibiting the transmission of the normal nerves’ electrical signals across this gap.
Common short term remedies with prescription drugs only ameliorate the pain temporarily and do little or nothing to mitigate or cure the underlying condition. They may provide some level of temporary relief, but as the disease progresses, the effective dosage of the drug needed to continue suppressing the pain increases concurrently.
The side effects of these types of drugs are difficult to deal with and add to the patient’s discomfort. When the increased drug dosage reaches a threshold level, the patient can become confused, ataxic, constipated, confined to a wheelchair or may become bedridden. Symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s may soon follow.
If you suffer from neuropathy or chronic pain, it is important that you discuss all of your treatment options with your healthcare providers. And as always, our NeuropathyDr clinicians are here to help answer any questions you may have.
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