Nervous pain can be a symptom of various conditions, including cancer, HIV, diabetes, and shingles. Nerve pain is frustrating for some; nerve pain is devastating and life-changing for others.
Whether it feels like fire, pinpricks, or abrupt electric shocks, nerve pain can interfere with your home and work life. It can restrict your moving power. It can grind you down over time. Studies show that the levels of sleep problems, anxiety, and depression are higher in people with nerve pain.
If you have a serious medical condition such as cancer or HIV, it can be especially difficult to deal with the added discomfort of nerve pain. But the good news is there. Although it is not always possible to relieve nerve pain, it can be treated and many good options are available.
Here are some solutions if you deal with nerve pain caused by diabetes, leukemia, HIV or another disease.
What Causes Nerve Pain?
In the body, countless nerves transmit stimuli, like pain, to the brain. It has an important function, although we may not like pain very much: this prevents injury. It is the sense of pain that alerts your brain to the danger as your foot starts to step on a nail.
That’s at least how it should work. But this communication system does not work well for people with nerve pain. Your brain receives a signal of pain, and you feel the pain, but there is no apparent cause. Instead, without a reason, it’s just pain— and there’s no immediate way to relieve it.
Who causes this action of the nerves? It is generally the damage caused by physical injury or disease.
Cancer and other tumors can cause pain in the nerves. Tumors can press on the surrounding nerves as they develop. Cancers themselves can also develop out of the nerves. Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy drugs, can sometimes damage the nerves, contributing to pain.
HIV can do painful harm to the nerves. Nerve pain affects up to one-third of HIV patients, and the first symptom that occurs is often nerve pain in the hands and feet. Antiretroviral therapy may also cause pain-causing nerve damage.
Diabetes is a common cause of damage to nerves in the United States. High blood glucose levels (blood sugar) can damage the nerves over time.
Shingles can be followed by a painful condition called postherpetic neuralgia. This form of pain in the nerves can be especially severe and sudden.
Physical injuries can lead to twisted, broken, or severed nerves.
These are just a few examples of nerve damage and nerve pain caused by diseases and conditions. Others include excessive stress, vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalances, heart disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, syndrome of Guillain-Barre, persistent polyneuropathy, Lyme disease, alcoholism, and more. In some cases, there is no apparent reason for experiencing nerve pain.
Nerve Pain Symptoms
Nerve damage symptoms can vary from person to person. The nerves sometimes get hypersensitive. It becomes uncomfortable something that usually feels painless — a breeze on your leg, the sensation of a sheet of bed on your body
Damage to the sensory nerves is not just causing pain. It can also contribute to:
- Loss of reflexes
Nerve damage can cause paralysis in extreme cases and affect things such as digestion and respiration.
The severity of nerve pain is usually associated with the underlying disease frequency. So in general, as people get older, nerve pain appears to get worse.
You need to see the doctor now if you feel you may have nerve pain. Sometimes the cause may be fairly clear, especially if a condition known to cause nerve pain, such as HIV, cancer, or diabetes, has already been diagnosed.
But in other cases, it may be difficult to sort out the source of nerve pain. Because so many factors can cause nerve pain, a variety of laboratory tests may need to be done by your physician. You will also need a thorough neurological examination and possibly other tests, such as CT scans, MRIs, and studies of nerve conduction and electromyography. A doctor can suggest a skin biopsy or a nerve be examined the nerve endings.
Care of nerve pain When a disorder such as diabetes, HIV or cancer triggers nerve pain, care for the underlying disease is clearly the priority.
But underlying disease medications may not necessarily help with your pain. Nerve pain may need a special diagnosis for the disease that causes it, apart from medication.
The most successful and sufficient treatment of nerve pain varies as it depends on the circumstances— such as the health of the patient, the underlying cause, the risks of potential side effects, and the costs. Physicians, however, typically use the same set of nerve pain remedies, whether caused by cancer, Aids, diabetes, or other conditions. Here is a rundown of the basic options.
Topical treatments. Many topical treatments that are over-the-counter or prescribed — such as creams, lotions, gels, and patches — can relieve nerve pain. They tend to work best for discomfort in specific areas of your skin that is isolated.
Anticonvulsants. Initially, these medications were developed to treat epilepsy, but some also help control nerve pain. These are often used in conjunction with antidepressants to improve their effectiveness. With all types of nerve pain, these might not function as well. Gabapin is used with other medications to prevent and control seizures. It is also used to relieve nerve pain following shingles (a painful rash due to herpes zoster infection) in adults. Gabapin is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug.
Antidepressants. Several types of antidepressants may be helpful for nerve pain. Research has shown that using them together with anticonvulsants may have greater advantages than using them on their own. Nevertheless, some studies have shown that while tricyclic antidepressants can help with diabetic nerve pain, they may not help with HIV or cancer chemotherapy-induced nerve pain.
Painkillers. In patients with particularly severe cancer pain or nerve pain caused by cancer, strong opioid painkillers may be the first option. However, doctors usually first try anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers for other types of nerve pain, or antidepressants and/or anticonvulsants. Opioids may have severe side effects.
Electrical stimulation. Some therapies use electrical impulses to suppress pain signals sent by nerves that have been damaged. These include both non-invasive and painless TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Some other solutions to electrical stimulation are more complicated and need surgery.
Other techniques. In some cases, doctors may prescribe anesthetic injections or, occasionally, surgery to relieve nerve pain.
Complementary treatment. Some people find that complementary approaches — such as acupuncture, meditation, and massage — can help alleviate nervous discomfort. Talk to your doctor first if you are interested in dietary supplements for nerve pain.
Lifestyle changes. Although they’re not going to cure nerve pain, making some changes to your habits could help you feel better and alleviate some of your discomforts. Eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and spending time practicing relaxation techniques could all help.
You can feel terribly alone with nerve pain. After all, it is not an accident you can see from your family or friends. If they can’t understand what you think, you can feel frustrated.
But as long as you may feel lonely, you’re not. Experts believe that 40 million Americans are suffering from nerve pain. There is a huge effect on nerve pain. Both the healthcare system costs and wage loss and efficiency are staggering.
Despite the high cost of nerve pain and the millions of people dealing with it, experts believe it is still under-diagnosed and under-treated. Studies show that even people who are looking for treatment often don’t get the right treatment. Too many rely on medications, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, which are unlikely to help.
So if you have nerve pain due to diabetes, cancer, Aids, shingles, or another disease, you need to treat it seriously. Don’t believe it’s going to go away on its own. Do not believe that it will be cured after the diagnosis of the underlying disease. Instead, talk directly to your doctor about the treatment of nerve pain.
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