About the disease
Nerve damage is the condition when nervous system of the person becomes damaged. Nervous system is responsible for your body strength, your sensory feeling of cold and heat, and regulation of your breathing. Generally, there are three main types of nerves in the human body. They include autonomic, motor, and sensory nerves. Autonomic nerves control breathing, heart beat, digestive system, and regulate your temperature. Motor nerves control the way you move by sending information from the brain and spinal cord to all other parts of your body. Sensory nerves are responsible for carrying information from your skin to your brain. This way you are able to feel everything you touch. During nerve damage you may experience partial or full loss of these functions, depending on the type of nerves that were disrupted. Thus, symptoms of nerve damage also vary according to the nerve type damage.
Symptoms of autonomic nerve damage include:
- Twitching in the body
- Loss of bladder control
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Excessive sweating
Symptoms of motor nerve damage include:
- Muscle atrophy
- Paralysis of certain part of the body
Symptoms of sensory nerve damage include:
- Pain in certain parts of the skin
- Loss of sensitivity
- Inability to feel pain in atrophied parts of the skin
Overall, there are more than 100 types of nerve damage known to modern medicine. Only in the USA there are almost 20 million people who suffer from some kind of nerve damage. The most contributing factor is diabetes. It is estimated that 70% of diabetic patients have nerve damage, varying from mild to severe stage. It can also be caused by autoimmune diseases and traumas.
- CT scan is an imaging test, which is used to determine if something is pressing on the nerves.
- Blood test is needed to see if there is disruption of the blood circulation, which is an indicator of autonomic nerve damage. It can also determine the blood sugar level.
- Nerve biopsy is used to examine the nerves under the microscope and determine the type of damage person is experiencing.
- Electromyography is a test which measures the electrical activity of the nerves, which becomes abnormal because of the nerve damage.
- Electronic nerve stimulation is a procedure, during which electrodes send small amounts of electricity to the skin. This is done to prevent the nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain and brain cord.
- Acupuncture is an ancient treatment, used for relieving the pain from the nerve damage with the use of thin needles inserted into the damaged part of the body.
- Surgery is used after the exact location of the damaged nerve was determined. In this case surgeon uses insulation, which is created around both ends of the nerve. After that nerves are sewn together. The insulation cover is then saved to allow new fiber grow and make the nerve work properly again. Nerve graft, obtained from the donor, is also sometimes used as a surgical solution for nerve damage.