Peripheral neuropathy happens when the nerves that run from your spine to your limbs — your peripheral nerves — are damaged. Peripheral neuropathy can manifest as pain, numbness, or tingling in your arms, legs, hands, and/or feet.
Diabetes, smoking, traumatic injuries, infections, and vitamin insufficiencies can all contribute to neuropathy-inducing damage. Believe it or not, hormonal imbalances can also contribute to nerve pain. Regardless of what’s causing your nerve pain, our team at Wynn Over Pain wants you to know that neuropathy treatment is available at our National City and Chula Vista, California, locations.
In the meantime, Brenton Wynn, MD zeros in one particular cause of neuropathy: hormonal imbalances.
What’s the connection between hormonal imbalances and neuropathy?
Your hormones are chemical messengers that play a big role in a myriad of body functions, from regulating your body temperature to managing complex processes like reproduction and growth. If you have too much or too little of a certain hormone, it can disrupt the entire delicate balance. Imbalanced hormones can contribute to weight gain, skin issues, fertility issues, mood changes, irritability, and even neuropathy.
Diabetes 一 a condition in which your body doesn’t make or use a hormone called insulin properly 一 is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy. Insulin allows glucose to enter your cells, but when there isn’t enough insulin (or your body doesn’t use it properly), you end up with high blood sugar levels. Over time, unmanaged high blood sugar damages your nerves, leading to neuropathy.
Testosterone and estrogen
Studies show that low testosterone can also contribute to nerve pain. Additionally, low estrogen levels can also increase your risk of developing neuropathy. Unfortunately, both of these hormones tend to decrease with age, so it’s even more important to manage risk factors of neuropathy that you can control. This includes weight management, smoking cessation, and regular exercise.
Low progesterone can also impact your nerve health. Low progesterone increases your risk of neuropathy because progesterone supports the healthy formation of the myelin sheath 一 a protective cover that surrounds your nerves.
Untreated hypothyroidism can also contribute to peripheral neuropathy. Because hypothyroidism can cause fluid retention, this edema (swelling) can put too much pressure on your nerves. The pressure from swollen tissue can damage your nerves and cause pain.
Balancing your hormones
For the sake of your nerves (and your overall health), you can implement many strategies to promote healthy hormone function. These include:
- Regular exercise
- Practicing sleep hygiene
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Managing stress
- Consuming enough protein, including fatty fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids
- Managing any underlying hormonal imbalances such as diabetes or thyroid disorders
Although balancing your hormones is important, sometimes it’s not enough to reduce your neuropathy symptoms. But you don’t have to keep suffering from nerve pain. Potential treatment options at Wynn Over Pain include:
- Oral medication
- Physical therapy
Get relief from neuropathy today. Call one of our offices or book an appointment online and start exploring your treatment options.