Peripheral Neuropathy

More than 2 million Americans have peripheral neuropathy.

This painful condition results from damage to the nerves that carry signals

from the hands and feet. These nerves are long and fragile and therefore easily damaged.

It is one of the Accepted Symptoms of Agent Orange, however the VA has managed to make it Very

Difficult to approve a claim. It has to be reported within one year of leaving Vietnam.

For those of us who were young and didn’t mention any numbness or loss of feeling,

We loose, which is not an uncommon loss for the Vietnam Veteran!

What causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
The most common causes of peripheral neuropathy are:



autoimmune disease,

exposure to toxic substances, such as Agent Orange



medications, and

vitamin deficiencies.

Some cases of peripheral neuropathy are due to pressure on a nerve,

such as occurs with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Often, however, no cause for neuropathy can be found.

What are the symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:

numbness and tingling, especially involving the toes and slowly spreading up the leg

the sensation of wearing a glove or sock,

a burning or freezing pain,

extreme sensitivity to touch,

muscle weakness, and

loss of balance and coordination.


How is Peripheral Neuropathy treated?
The treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on the cause.

If neuropathy is caused by a lifetime disease such as diabetes or lupus,

treating the disease might keep neuropathy from getting worse, although

it might not eliminate it.

If no clear cause for neuropathy is found, treatment can be difficult. It often

includes pain relievers, anti-depressant medications, and anti-seizure medication.

Experimental drugs might also be tried.

If you have Peripheral Neuropathy:

Take care of your feet by wearing soft, loose cotton socks and padded shoes.

If you have burning pain in your feet or hands, soak them in cold water (not icy) for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day, especially in the evening before bed.

Massage your feet or hands to improve circulation to the nerves.

Use mild exercise to improve circulation and help relieve pain. If you have pain in your feet, walk around. Getting involved in activities also helps you distance yourself from the pain.

Take good care of yourself in general. Decrease stress, caffeine, and nicotine because these can aggravate symptoms.

If you are a Vietnam Veteran, File a Claim for compensation.

Even it is to be turned down, it will show that many of us have it and they should change the ruling.

As always, consult your own doctor for any concerns about your health.

If you have a question about the information

presented, you may write to:
"Ask the Doctor"
PO Box 9190
Pittsburgh, PA  15224



Peripheral Neuropathy:
The Silent Disease That Can Shout With Pain

It’s called the "silent disease" because so few people talk about it or have even heard its name.

Yet millions endure the ravages of the painful and sometimes disabling nerve disorder known as

peripheral neuropathy (PN). Now there is an important new book to help them -- Numb Toes and

Aching Soles: Coping with Peripheral Neuropathy.

The book was written straight from the heart of one of its victims. When seeking help he found there

was little information available on PN. "Many who suffer peripheral neuropathy have no idea what makes

their feet ache, hands throb or muscles weaken," according to the author, John Senneff. He points out

that those afflicted can also experience dizziness, bladder problems, constipation and sometimes-sexual


"People don't know what to do when they finally discover they have the malady," Senneff says.

He wrote the book to share with others all he had learned from his extensive research.

"It also reflects valuable inputs from twelve of the country's leading neurologists," he adds.

The book lays out how PN affects your body, its causes, symptoms, tests, and treatments -- both

conventional and alternative. Additionally, over 200 patients reveal which treatments worked for them

and which ones didn't. (Everyone is different!) New, experimental drugs are also covered. There are

special sections dealing with diabetic and HIV-related neuropathies

(up to half of people in these groups get PN). Finally the book is filled with ideas on how someone

with the disorder can get through each day more comfortably.

Dr. David A. Greenberg, Vice-Chairman of Neurology at the University of
Pittsburgh, says Numb Toes and Aching Soles "is a superbly researched and readable book.

" Dr. Laurence J. Kinsella, Chief of Neurology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, lauds it as "an

informative and exhaustive work" which should prove to be "a valuable resource for patients

and physicians alike." Another reviewer says the book is a "must" for PN victims and that it

"should be mandatory reading for every medical student, doctor, nurse and therapist!" t, doctor,

nurse and therapist!"

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