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Peripheral Neuropathy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is peripheral neuropathy (PN)?

PN is a type of nerve damage that can develop when your peripheral nerves are damaged. Peripheral nerves are located outside of the brain and spinal cord. These nerves send information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. Damage to these nerves can slow or stop their ability to send signals. PN is most common in the hands and feet. It can also affect body functions, such as urination or digestion.

What causes PN?

What are the signs and symptoms of PN?

Your symptoms depend on the types of nerves damaged and where they are located. The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms:

How is PN diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. He or she may ask you about your other health conditions and about your family health history. Your provider may touch your skin in different areas with a cotton ball or a pin to check your sense of touch. He or she may also check how well you can feel hot and cold. Your provider will ask you to do simple movements. For example, he or she may ask you to walk or to move your fingers. You may also need any of the following:

How is PN treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I manage PN?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor or neurologist?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.