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Overview by M.C.& modification by I.K. USA page -1
AESTIMATED 15 to 20 million people in the United States over age 40 have some type of peripheral neuropathy. In many, the impairment is predominantly in small nerve fibers, and the clinical presentation consists of pain, burning, tingling, and numbness in a length-dependent or stocking-glove distribution.Autonomic neuropathy or small fiber neuropathy is caused by damage to the smallest nerves that supply sensory feelings, help regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration and digestion, among other functions. Neuropathy means damage to your nerves. Autonomic small fiber neuropathy is are often due to diabetes, autoimmune diseases, infections or toxic conditions. Your nerves transmit messages between your brain and your organs. Damage to your autonomic nerves results in faulty communication with your brain and the affected parts of the body .Your nerves are composed of many types of fibers and the smallest fiber is affected by this neuropathy so it is called small fiber neuropathy. The condition is fully and easily reversible.
Signs and symptoms are variable on which nerves are affected but can range from dizziness to trouble with digestion and urination to sexual difficulties. Treatment involves addressing the underlying cause, if possible, and managing the signs and symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of autonomic neuropathy depend on which parts of your autonomic nervous system are most affected. They may include:
Severe drop in blood pressure on standing: This is caused when the heart rate fails to accelerate on standing up.
- A drop in blood pressure on standing (orthostatic hypotension), which can cause dizziness and fainting
- Trouble with urination, including diminished sensation, overflow incontinence and inability to empty your bladder completely, which can lead to urinary tract infections
- Male impotence or weak erectile function.
- Numbness in toes very common and may be the earliest and only symptom, feet or genitals, abdomen. Tendency to trip easily. Burning sensation on skin. Difficulty in judging accelerator position while driving.
- Trouble focusing eyes.
- Vaginal dryness and difficulties with arousal and orgasm in women
- Difficulty digesting food (gastroparesis), which can cause diarrhea, constipation, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, feeling full after eating little and loss of appetite
- Cardiovascular problems, such as heart rate abnormalities
- Heat intolerance, especially during exercise, and usually decreased sweating or increase sweating.
- Sluggish pupil reaction to light and dark
- Exercise intolerance, which causes your heart rate to remain unchanged instead of increasing and decreasing in response to your activity level
- Lack of the usual warning signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which include shakiness, sweating and palpitation
Signs to remember you may not get all of these signs.
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Erectile dysfunction in diabetes: Keys to prevention
- Vaginal dryness
- Diabetic gastroparesis
- Cardiovascular disease 101: Know your heart and blood vessels
- Numbness feeling in toes, fingers or abdomen. Burning and pain.
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