What Does Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy Mean?

Share
Copy

Question: Hi. I'm Janice. I have peripheral neuropathy, but the doctor says it's idiopathic. What does that mean?

Answer: Janice, that is a great question. What idiopathic neuropathy really means is that your doctor and me have no idea why you have pain, or why you have neuropathy. Idiopathic means that there's no explanation for it that we can measure. Doesn't mean it's not real; doesn't mean that you really do not have this neuropathy. Keep in mind that there are 50 or so different conditions that we know of that can cause damage to your nerves, that can cause a neuropathy or a dysfunction of your nervous system so that it doesn't work right. Not all neuropathy is painful. For instance, diabetic neuropathy, oh about 30 percent of patients have pain from their neuropathy. High blood sugars somehow damage the nerves -- we don't completely understand. Idiopathic neuropathy means that something has happened to your little peripheral nerves -- that they're not working right, and we just don't know the answer. You're feeling a real pain, or numbness, or tingling, or whatever you may be feeling, but we don't have an explanation for it, and it's rather common.

null

Next: What Can I Do If I Need Calcium Supplements, But I'm On Neurontin And Prilosec?

Previous: How Can I Quickly Get Through The Maze Of Referrals To A Pain Management Center?

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4171536. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4171536. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4171536.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: The fake baby a man was carrying as he and another woman tried to sneak into the mother and baby unit at Mercy Medical Center in Merced, Calif., hospital officials said.
Dignity Health Security/Mercy Medical Center Merced
PHOTO:
dpa, Jens Wolf/AP Photo
PHOTO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston stopped a would be smuggler from bringing nearly 7 ounces of cocaine into the country in tamales, Aug. 22, 2014.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
PHOTO: Giant panda Bao Bao celebrates her first birthday at the Smithsonians National Zoo, Aug. 23, 2014.
David Galen, Smithsonians National Zoo