There is No Single Neuropathy Lab Test as Neuropathy is often a “Symptom” of Many Conditions.
One of the things that surprises many patients new to peripheral neuropathy and many other forms of chronic pain, is that is there is no single neuropathy or pain causing lab test to identify their problem.
In fact there is no single laboratory tests by itself, which is hundred percent accurate for so many disorders.
This of course is difficult not only for patients, but their families AND the physicians and therapists like ourseslves who treat peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain.
As we talk about often, neuropathy is most often a “symptom” of other conditions and as in the case of chemotherapy, toxic, or drug related neuropathy possibly caused by treatment. It is not necessarily a primary diagnosis.
So what this means is that very careful attention needs to be paid to multiple factors at the same time. This also often includes multiple laboratory tests.
For the patient new to neuropathy or chronic pain, this will oftentimes include blood tests. If it’s possibly related to a structural or spinal condition then MRIs, x-rays, CAT scans, and other tests may also be necessary.
One of the most important things your clinician will do is to conduct a very detailed physical examination.
Only after ALL of these things are done and then put together by an expert, can you most accurately identify what maybe going on.
This is NOT a one step or simple process!
So realize that in order to maximize your recovery, EARLY good care must still be administered ESPECIALLY when an accurate diagnosis is not possible! As we spoke about last time, waiting to act on correctable factors while obtaining a “perfect” assessment is the worst thing you can do.
And many times neuropathy and chronic pain patients are frustrated with negative or nearly normal tests. But as I tell my patients all the time, this is often the sign of a much better prognosis!
So of course you should work with your doctors and therapists in establishing an accurate diagnosis.
But don’t be surprised if this is not possible.
Often times there are several different conditions and lifestyle factors that work together to cause neuropathy and chronic pain. Typically these are stress, obesity, smoking and poor physical conditioning.
This is why it is so important that you address ALL these things together with your NeuropathyDR Clinician to give your body the best shot at any possible improvement or recovery!
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