Peripheral neuropathy symptoms can come in many forms and it is important to know the difference between peripheral neuropathy and multiple sclerosis so that you can properly identify the symptoms you see. The Neurology Center of Excellence near The Villages knows that MS and peripheral neuropathy can appear to be similar and that is why it is so critical to receive neuropathy treatment from an expert. Contact us today to learn more.
Peripheral Neuropathy & Multiple Sclerosis Basics
The first thing that must be addressed about peripheral neuropathy and multiple sclerosis is that they are both conditions that deal with the nerves. However, they do not deal with the same set of nerves. Peripheral neuropathy is as its name states—it affects only the nerves in the periphery of the body. That is, those that are outside the brain and spinal cord. Typically, these would be the ones in the feet, hands, and lower legs.
Meanwhile, MS deals with the nerves of the central nervous system. This means that it affects the nerves in your brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve. Here, the nerves sustain damage over time which causes an interference between the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The damage then causes abnormal sensations, pain, and numbness that can be considered indistinguishable from that caused by peripheral neuropathy.
That is why it is so critical that you have your nerve pain looked at by a doctor. It is not just a matter of a frayed nerve. Rather, it is a complicated diagnosis wherein the doctor must not only determine whether you have MS or peripheral neuropathy but must then determine what of the over one hundred types of peripheral neuropathy or four types of MS you have.
MS & Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms
MS and peripheral neuropathy have very different underlying causes and as a result, may produce slightly varying symptoms. For instance, diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy in America but other culprits are alcohol abuse, HIV infection, and chronic kidney disease. On the other hand, the most common MS is caused by lesions in the brain and spinal cord that result from inflammation from a person’s immune system attacking the myelin sheath of particular nerves.
With different underlying causes, different courses of treatment will be selected. For those who exhibit peripheral neuropathy symptoms, they can end up receiving neuropathy treatment in the way of simply addressing the cause itself. For instance, in the case of diabetes, your doctor would focus on getting your blood sugar under control. In the case of MS, you would receive medications to combat the inflammation which causes the lesions and medications to manage symptoms.
The Neurology Center of Excellence is located near The Villages and we have been providing neuropathy treatment for its residents for years. We know what it takes to make sure that your symptoms are under control and the source of your pain is addressed. To learn more, contact us at Neurology Center of Excellence today.