What is polyneuropathy?

We explain what polyneuropathy is all about:

Polyneuropathy is a disease of the peripheral nervous system associated with muscle weakness, pain and numbness. The body can no longer exchange messages between the brain and spinal cord. The result: pain, numbness and muscle aches. Furthermore, the sense of touch, the sensation of heat and cold and the sense of pain can be impaired. However, the symptoms of the disease can vary depending on the affected nerve region and type. A distinction is made in polyneuropathy between the sensitive (area of ​​the skin/sensory disturbances), the motor (area of ​​the muscles) or the mixed-sensitive-motor. The symptoms usually first appear in the area of ​​the toes or hands.

What are the causes of polyneuropathy?

Polyneuropathy is usually preceded by another disease. Among other things, tumors, rheumatic diseases, diabetes, vitamin B deficiency, infectious diseases ( e.g. Lyme disease , HIV or typhus) but also alcoholism or poisoning can be decisive for the disease.

How does polyneuropathy develop?

The nerve fibers of the peripheral nervous system arise from the spinal cord and from there – in a healthy body – send information to muscles, internal organs or the skin. They get the information from the brain. In the case of polyneuropathy, this exchange of information is disturbed.

How does the doctor recognize the disease?

Among other things, the doctor examines the type of nerve damage, the function of the muscles, the reflexes or takes blood. Furthermore, gastrointestinal, bladder and erectile disorders, a high resting heart rate and disorders of the pupil function are alarm signs. Sensitive polyneuropathy can manifest itself as extremely dry skin, swelling, ulcers or reduced sweat production.

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How is polyneuropathy treated?

The treatment of the disease depends on the decisive pre-existing condition. If the cause is diabetes, attempts are made to treat the diabetes. If the disease is based on an immune disease, it must be treated with special medication. If the polyneuropathy comes from alcoholism, it needs to be hooked into there, etc.

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