Neuropathy Specialist

Bharat Tolia, MD -  - Neurologist

Comprehensive Neurology

Bharat Tolia, MD

Neurologist located in Pontiac, MI

Neuropathy often causes uncomfortable numbness and tingling, as well as potentially severe pain. Patients shouldn't ignore these symptoms because the underlying problem could worsen without prompt medical care. Dr. Bharat Tolia at Comprehensive Neurology Headache and Sleep Center has extensive experience accurately diagnosing the underlying cause of neuropathy and helping his patients get relief from their symptoms. If you have symptoms or questions about neuropathy, please call his office in Pontiac, Michigan, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.

Neuropathy Q & A

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy refers to injury or disease in the nerves. Since it’s such a broad category, neuropathy is classified according to the types of nerves affected or the disease causing the problem. The most common types of neuropathy include:

Peripheral neuropathy

The problem lies in the nerves that travel from your spine to the rest of the patient's body. Damage often affects toes, feet, legs, arms, hands, and fingers.

Diabetic neuropathy

High blood sugar damages nerves, frequently affecting the feet and eyes. Diabetes causes about 30% of all peripheral neuropathies.

Autonomic neuropathy

Affects nerves that control the heart, circulation, digestion, bowel, and bladder function

Proximal neuropathy

Nerve damage in the shoulders, thighs, hips, or buttocks

What causes neuropathy?

The underlying cause of neuropathy is unidentifiable in nearly 30% of all cases. Many potential causes exist, including, but not limited to:

  • Trauma or injury including repetitive stress
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
  • Metabolic and endocrine disorders such as vitamin deficiency and thyroid disease
  • Chronic kidney or liver disease
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Medications

What symptoms develop from neuropathies?

While tingling and numbness are common symptoms caused by neuropathy, patients can develop diverse symptoms depending on which nerves are affected. This list offers only a few examples of potential symptoms that occur when different peripheral nerves are damaged:

  • Sensory nerve damage: Tingling, numbness, or pain that’s sharp or burning sharp
  • Motor nerve damage: Muscle weakness, difficulty walking, muscle cramps
  • Autonomic nerve damage: Irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and bowel, bladder or digestion problems

How is neuropathy treated?

Following your initial examination, Dr. Tolia may schedule a follow-up appointment to perform electromyography (EMG). An EMG can detect abnormal electrical activity and help differentiate between muscle and nerve disorders.

Dr. Tolia may prescribe one of the many possible medications used to treat the symptoms of neuropathy. Mild pain may be relieved with analgesics, but neuropathy medications come from unexpected drug classes such as anticonvulsant medications, antidepressants, and antiarrhythmic medications.

In many cases, treating or managing the underlying cause of the patient's neuropathy can reduce the risk of future nerve damage. One of the best examples is diabetes: Keeping blood sugar within normal limits can prevent or stop the progression of neuropathy.

If you experience any symptoms of a nerve problem, book an appointment online or contact Dr. Tolia as soon as possible – early diagnosis and treatment may prevent neuropathy from worsening.