FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Minnesota Neuropathy Association’s Mission Statement is: “Providing hope and a better qualify of life by educating and connecting members to medical resources and emerging technologies.”  To that end, we would like to help answer the many questions you may have regarding this disease. If you have further questions regarding neuropathy or the Minnesota Neuropathy Association please contact any of the Board Members listed on the “Who Are We” page.

Note: The Minnesota Neuropathy Association strives to provide current and accurate information whenever possible.  We can’t however, guarantee or warranty that the information included in this web site is accurate.

What is Neuropathy, Peripheral Neuropathy or Poly-Neuropathy?

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Neuropathy is a debilitating disease that affects over 20 million people. There are many causes of neuropathy. The most common cause is diabetes. Other causes are alcoholism, lead toxicity, cancer chemotherapy, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, arthritis and direct nerve injuries from sprains and fractures. The symptoms of neuropathy have been described as pain, numbness, tingling, cramping in the toes and arches of the feet, loss of balance, and pain radiating from the feet to the legs (sometimes the hands).

Peripheral nerves are all the nerves in the body that are outside the brain and spinal cord. These are the nerves that give us feeling and sensitivity. They also tell us about movement, pressure, hot and cold. Neuropathy is a disease that affects the peripheral nerves. If the nerve becomes injured due to chemical or physical damage, the nerve makes you aware of this by sending you warning signals in the form of pain, tingling, and numbness.

Can Neuropathy be cured?

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Not at this time. Neuropathy tends to be a slow debilitating disease (though it can move rapidly in some patients). There are however two diseases (Vitamin B deficiency and Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome) that when treated, the neuropathy may go away.

Can you do anything for the pain?

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Today patients suffering from neuropathy have more choices then ever. From prescription and non-prescription drugs, to surgery, to complementary therapy (electric and light wave stimulators) today’s patients have a far better chance at pain relief and a much better quality of life.

The Minnesota Neuropathy Association holds monthly meetings where we hear from experts in this field who provide the latest updates for treating this disease. We also provide resources you can use to work with your doctor and others to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.

My doctor doesn’t seem to know a lot about Neuropathy, what should I do?

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Many doctors, even Neurologists, are unfamiliar with Neuropathy. This often leads to misdiagnoses or the conclusion that nothing can be done to help your condition.

Fortunately, the Minnesota Neuropathy Association has resources that can assist you in finding medical facilities familiar with your disease and the tools you need to make your doctor visits productive.