When we think of pain and nerve damage, we usually think of traumas such as motor vehicle accidents, falls and sporting injuries. However, nerve damage can arise due to other reasons too.
Neuropathy can be caused by several factors. Health problems such as tumours, kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorder, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases and viral as well as bacterial infections can also lead to nerve damage. Other causes for nerve damage include genetic disposition, medications, toxins, alcohol abuse and nutritional imbalance particularly B vitamins.
In addition to that, researchers say that about 20% of all cases of nerve damage are due to unknown causes. While there are many ways in which the nerves can get damaged, there are some very common factors nowadays that increase the likelihood of this happening.
Common risk factors today
One of the biggest risk factors for nerve damage is diabetes, a disease that is a growing problem all around the world and accounts for more than 30% of all cases of nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy, as it is known, occurs because of the higher-than-normal amount of sugar in the blood which harms the nerves.
All of us today are actually at some risk of getting nerve damage simply because of our day-to-day lifestyles. Prolonged sitting, wearing high heels and repetitive activity that most of us do daily such as typing and cooking could potentially put pressure on nerves and lead to nerve damage. So too can being overweight and poor posture. Such seemingly innocent things can put pressure on a nerve or compress it, causing it to become damaged over time.
The unhealthy diet of many people today is yet another culprit. In particular, nerve damage can occur where there is a deficiency of B vitamins – which are essential for maintaining healthy nerves. For example, this can happen to vegetarians, especially vegans and other people who don’t eat sufficient meat, fish, milk, eggs and other food sources of these vitamins.
Read more about the benefits of vitamin Bs, click here.
The information contained in this article is not intended or designed to diagnose, prevent, treat or provide a cure for any condition or disease, to ascertain the state of your health or be substituted for medical care. Merck encourages you to seek advice from your doctor or healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns arising from the information in this article.
- Peripheral Neuropathy: Symptoms and Causes. 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peripheral-neuropathy/symptoms-causes/dxc-20204947 Accessed on 31 March 2017
- Landmann G. Diagnostik und Therapie der schmerzhaften Polyneuropathie Fortbildung. Ars Medici 2013; 1:18-20.