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Child Neurology Consultants of Austin

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of damage to the nervous system. It occurs when there is a problem with a child's peripheral nervous system, the network of nerves that transmits information from the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body. It often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet but can also affect other areas of the body.

Overview of Peripheral Neuropathy

Symptoms

There are many causes of Peripheral neuropathy has many different causes. Some many inherit the condition from their parents, others develop it because of an injury or medical problem such as kidney disease, vitamin deficiency, or diabetes.

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary. Motor neuropathy symptoms may include: Muscle weakness, Cramps, Muscle twitching, Loss of muscle.

Sensory neuropathy symptoms may include: Numbness, Loss of sensation or feeling in body parts, Loss of balance or other functions as a side effect of the loss of feeling in the legs, arms, or other body parts.

Autonomic neuropathy symptoms may include: Inability to sweat properly or abnormal sweating pattern, loss of bladder control, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation or incontinence related to nerve damage in the intestines or digestive tract, difficulty eating or swallowing, and life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or irregular heartbeat.

Diagnosis

If your doctor suspects nerve damage, he or she will take an extensive patient history and conduct a number of neurological tests to determine the location and extent of nerve damage. Sometimes a Nerve Conduction Study/Electromyography can be performed in the office to aid in the diagnosis.

Treatment

Peripheral neuropathy often cannot be cured, but there are ways to reduce the symptoms. If an underlying condition like diabetes is the cause, your doctor will treat that first and then treat the pain and other symptoms of neuropathy. Other symptom relievers may include over-the-counter or prescription medicines and supportive care with physical therapy and orthotic braces to prevent worsening.

Resources

For a complete evaluation of your child’s peripheral neuropathy health, look no further than Child Neurology Consultants of Austin. We are the only pediatric neurology group in Central Texas, with locations in Far West and Cedar Park. Our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained child neurologists and nurse practitioners are standing by ready to help.

Call (512) 494-4000 for an appointment or submit an online appointment request form to get started.