Very often, patients who are faced with an acute onset of peripheral neuropathy or other devastating disorder have difficulty deciding what to do first.
So what I would like to do today is outline some of the critical steps that we find helpful; things you seriously need to take a look at if you or a loved one are confronted with peripheral neuropathy or another serious illness.
Primarily, it is essential to identify any true medical emergency. This, of course, would be the sudden onset of pain, fever, swelling, extreme fatigue, et cetera. Regardless of your past history, it is essential that you obtain as accurate a diagnosis as possible, as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this is becoming more difficult.
There still is no substitute for a major medical center for diagnostic purposes.
Next, regardless of the underlying diagnosis, sometimes initial medical care is essential. For example, in cases like inflammatory neuropathy or acute autoimmune diseases, periods of medication or even hospitalization may be necessary. It is during this phase that things such as laboratory diagnoses and electrodiagnostic studies like EMGs, and possibly even PET scans, are conducted. If you are evaluated at a hospital or medical center, you will likely see many different specialists; this is okay, if necessary.
But from a simple, patient-centered perspective, we find the most important thing to do is to take a serious look at our own health habits. Unfortunately, most of us don’t pay attention until we are confronted with a serious illness or health issue. If you smoke, consume too much sugar in the form of candy, soda, et cetera, it is essential that you stop these habits immediately.
Next time, we’ll talk about more of what these options may be. Join the conversation on Facebook!