No, all the peripheral neuropathies are not the same. However, we find that the patients who present with peripheral neuropathy, regardless of the cause, do have remarkably similar symptoms.
The good news with our treatment program has been that even in the presence of similar symptoms from different etiologies (causes), the corrective care for peripheral neuropathies is often remarkably effective, regardless of the primary cause. That is the beauty of the treatment system that we employ.
In order to find out what components of peripheral neuropathy you have, your doctor will conduct a very thorough evaluation. This will include things such as taking your vital signs, body mass index, the mobility and range of motion of your lower back and hips, and the overall health of your feet, skin, nails and hair, blood vessels, and circulation. This might include Doppler ultrasound, which is a simple painless test to check for blood flow or blockages.
As the doctor performs her clinical examination, she’ll also perform a very thorough neurological examination including reflexes, muscle-testing, and sensation to touch using a device as simple as a pin, a brush, or perhaps even a pinwheel. Doctors commonly will also check your vibration sensation, which very often is disturbed in peripheral neuropathy. This is done painlessly and very easily through the use of simple tuning forks. Your balance will also be assessed.
Laboratory tests may very well be performed. These would include things such as a chemistry panel, and kidney and liver function. Your doctor will also want to double check your blood sugar levels and more than likely perform a hemoglobin A1c.
This particular test is very good at identifying patients who may be borderline diabetic. I have found many patients who present with neuropathy symptoms have yet to be diagnosed with diabetes, but may very well suffer from what’s called metabolic syndrome. This is when your body abnormally handles blood sugar, which may unfortunately lead to the development of neuropathy and other diabetic complications well before the formal diagnosis is made.
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