Finding your path back to life with our helpThe nerves in our body disperse from our spinal cord like the ever-smaller branches of a tree. Through these nerves the brain stays in contact with our muscles, skin and all internal organs. All of the important commands from our “control centre” run through our nerves to the organs that carry them out. And in the opposite direction, the peripheral nerves report all of sensory information back to the brain for further processing, such as touch, pain and other stimuli.
If these nerves are damaged or destroyed, this sensitive flow of information is disturbed. This is referred to as polyneuropathy.
Our experienced specialists at Schoen Clinic first accurately determine whether you have polyneuropathy or whether the symptoms are due to another medical condition. In the second step, we look for the cause in order to give your nerves the opportunity to heal with individualised treatment.
Causes & symptoms
Polyneuropathy – causes: how does a nerve disease develop?There are many different reasons why polyneuropathy may develop. In some, the cause is treated and in others the symptoms are treated. The most important step is to first establish a complete diagnosis in order to discover treatable causes. In addition to (possibly not yet diagnosed) diabetes or alcohol use, certain medications, metabolic diseases, and vitamin deficiencies may also damage the nerves.. Inflammations or longer stays in intensive care can also result in polyneuropathy. Lastly, there are also genetic forms of polyneuropathy which are innate, but are only exhibited later in life.
Polyneuropathy – symptoms: signs of polyneuropathyDamage to sensory nerves
Impaired sensation in the arms and legs occurs. You will have tingling, stinging or electric and cold or warm sensations. It may also feel like there is swelling or that the part of the body is constricted. Because the longest nerve fibres are affected the most, the feet (toes) often develop symptoms first. If sensory nerves are already severely damaged, there may be evidence of failure, such as coordination difficulties while running. Diminishing sensitivity to temperature and pain increases the risk of injury.
Damage to motor nerves
Muscle impairment or failure is typical. Muscle cramps or spasms may occur, as well as paralysis, muscle weakness, and muscle loss.
Damage to vegetative nerves
In this case control over organs is disrupted. The heart and lungs, as well as the bowel and genitals, lack important information to perform their normal functions.
Diagnosis: how polyneuropathy is diagnosedFirst, our specialists at Schoen Clinic will always conduct a detailed interview with you or your family members. They will ask about the exact type of symptoms you have and how they developed. We will find out when and in what context they started and what sort of effect they have. We also investigate other existing medical conditions and perform a thorough physical examination.
There are also special technical examinations, such as electroneurography (measurement of the nerve pathways), extensive lab testing including an examination of the spinal fluid and, depending on the individual case, various imaging techniques (e.g. magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound). Then we can get to the bottom of what is causing the disease.