- Heavy metal poisoning
- Vitamin B complex deficiencies
- Genetic diseases
Isolating the causative factor can be very difficult and in many cases impossible. Blood test and nerve conduction tests can help point us in the right direction by ruling out some factors and identifying others.
Complete numbness is extremely dangerous due to the lack of protective sensation. Protective sensation is the ability to identify pain associated with irritation, trauma, or infection. This is can be tested easily at any doctor’s office with the use of a specialized plastic monofilament called the Semmes-Weinstein Monofilament.
Treatment options are mainly targeted at the symptoms. The medications are aimed at dulling or eliminating the amount of uncomfortable sensations a patient feels. These treatments are often successful but can cause some significant side effects that are intolerable to some. The side effects can include dizziness, upset stomach, and nausea among others. Some individuals describe a feeling of intoxication with these medications. With adjustments in the prescribed dosages one can usually overcome the side effects and a therapeutic level can be achieved.
Complete resolution of PN is often virtually impossible and is dependent on the cause and the individual. This is because nerves have a very low and slow healing capacity. In some cases such as vitamin B complex deficiencies, replenishment of these vitamins can significantly decrease the unpleasantness of the symptoms without medications.