Top Causes for Neuropathy

Top Causes for Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a condition that results from damage to one or more nerves in the body’s nervous system. Symptoms of neuropathy may vary depending on nerves that have been affected and the extent of damage, but common symptoms often include tingling in the feet or hands, sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, pain, lack of coordination, and/or paralysis. There are many different causes of neuropathy, but the top causes are described in the sections that follow.

Autoimmune Disorders

There are a number of autoimmune disorders that can cause neuropathy including, but not limited to, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain Barre syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. A broad range of infectious diseases can cause neuropathy as well including such health issues as shingles, chickenpox, hepatitis C, West Nile virus, HIV, syphilis, and Lyme disease.


In the United States, diabetes is currently the number one cause for neuropathy, and between 60 and 70% of persons who have diabetes develop neuropathy. The most common form of neuropathy that is associated with people who have diabetes is known as small fiber neuropathy which is a condition that can lead to painful burning sensations in the patient’s feet and/or hands. For the ones who experience foot pain, Protalus insoles for neuropathy can ease pain and symptoms by stimulating the nerves and providing cushioning support to areas of pain.


Types of cancer that affects bone marrow can also lead to neuropathy. These issues typically include myeloma (bone cancer), monoclonal gammopathies (abnormal blood protein), lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes), and amyloidosis (another form of abnormal blood protein). Tumors or growths, whether malignant or benign, that press on nerves or develop on nerves can cause neuropathy as well. Additionally, when cancer negatively affects the immune system, polyneuropathy can result.

Medications and Vitamins

There are a variety of medications that can cause neuropathy including some HIV medications, certain anti-seizure medications, and some antibiotics. Various medical treatments that damage peripheral nerves (such as radiation and chemotherapy) can also cause neuropathy. Finally, abnormally low levels of vitamins that are necessary for nerve function can lead to neuropathy. These vitamins include vitamins B1, B6, B12, and niacin.


Neuropathy can also be caused by various inherited disorders, but the most common inherited disorder that can lead to neuropathy is known as Charcot Marie Tooth disease, or CMT. People with CMT most often experience weakness in their feet and/or the muscles of their lower legs, but some people also experience issues with the muscles in their hands. Other inherited disorders that can lead to neuropathy include Fabry disease, familial amyloidosis, and metachromatic leukodystrophy.

Vascular Disorders

Vascular disorders can decrease the rate of blood flow to a person’s arms or legs due to such things as blood clots, inflammation, or other blood vessel issues. When this occurs, nerve cells are deprived of oxygen which can cause nerve damage or nerve cell death resulting in neuropathy. Vascular disorders are most often the result of such things as smoking, vasculitis, and diabetes.


Another top cause for neuropathy is trauma. This can include injuries that occur due to such things as sports injuries, car accidents, falls, or fractures. Repetitive stress is a common issue that compresses nerves and can lead to varying degrees of neuropathy as well. Finally, when the spaces through which nerves are located become smaller due to trauma or stress, neuropathy can result.

Neuropathy is a troubling health issue that can result in a variety of symptoms that range from tingling in the feet or hands to extreme pain or even complete paralysis in the affected part of the body. There are many things that can cause neuropathy, but the top causes are described briefly in the sections found above. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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