9 Neuropathic Risk Factors You Didn't Know

neuropathic risk factors neuropathy pain

Neuropathy is a painful condition that develops as a result of nerve dysfunction or damage. It usually begins in your feet or hands and can affect your balance and ability to do simple tasks such as picking objects. Several causes of this condition can be diagnosed by the Balanced Pain Management team of pain experts who help patients manage neuropathy in Walnut Creek. However, the condition of neuropathy is a complex one, and several risk factors are associated with it, including the following. 

1. Chemotherapy 

If you are a cancer patient, you are likely to experience chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Research shows that about 68 percent of those undergoing chemotherapy experience CIPN within their first month. You can experience impaired movement, severe pain, breathing troubles, balance problems, paralysis, changes in blood pressure and heart rate, and even organ failure. 

2. Diabetes 

When your nerves are encapsulated by sugar, its conductive properties are altered or slowed down, making the nerve electrical impulses not function properly. This causes diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which affects 12%-50% of people with diabetes. Therefore, if you have diabetes, you can experience pain and weakness on your feet and a progressive sensation change. As the condition progresses, you can experience a loss of sensation in the affected area. 

3. Age 

Age as a natural process can be associated with several health complications. Although neuropathy is present in about 2.4 percent of the general population, it is more prevalent in people aged 55 and above. The pervasiveness increased with age can be related to an increased risk of chronic illnesses as you get older. 

4. Autoimmune Disorders 

Autoimmune diseases and disorders are populous, affecting about 23.5 million Americans, and have been found to increase the risk of neuropathy among those with the condition. Therefore, if you have lupus, vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, celiac disease, or any other autoimmune disease or complication, you are at a higher risk of neuropathy. 


Research has found that those who live with HIV/AIDS are at a high risk of neuropathy due to the effects caused by the virus and the medications used to manage the disease. The symptoms experienced include pricking, stiffness, burning, and tingling. 

6. Infections 

Most infectious diseases increase the risk of neuropathy. For example, herpes zoster increases the risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia with age. For those who have Lyme disease, about 12% of them develop neurological symptoms. 

7. Repetitive Stress, Trauma, And Inflammation 

Injuries or swelling can put pressure on your nerves, causing functionality disruptions and can lead to neuropathy. Injuries to your spinal cord or the peripheral nerve as a result of trauma can cause neuropathy. 

8. Malnutrition, Vitamin Deficiencies, And Alcohol Abuse 

If your nerves get deprived of nutrients, they may fail to function properly, raising neuropathy risks. This can result from poor diet, disorders, diseases, and drugs that affect the absorption of nutrients in the body and alcohol abuse. Note that alcohol also affects the absorption of nutrients. 

9. Genes 

Certain forms of neuropathy are passed from parents to children. Therefore, it means that depending on your genes and family medical history. You can inherit neuropathy. In this case, the condition mainly affects the extremities and can cause muscle weaknesses and atrophy. 

New Neuropathy Risks Now

It's possible you might even have more neuropathic risk factors than the 9 listed above. You can speak to the Balanced Pain Management Team, who can also help diagnose and treat your condition.

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