The danger of neuropathy in seniors. Neuropathy is a condition where the nerves in your body don’t work properly. It can cause a number of different symptoms, including weakness, numbness, and pain. In seniors, neuropathy can be caused by diabetes or other medical conditions. This article will cover what neuropathy is and how to recognize the symptoms of this condition in seniors—as well as the treatments available for it.
What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a general term for any disorder that affects the nerves. Many different conditions can cause neuropathy, including diabetes, alcoholism and kidney failure. Neuropathy can cause numbness, weakness and pain in the affected area.
It’s important to recognize early symptoms of neuropathy because it will affect how you live your life and how you care for your loved ones who are suffering from this condition.
Causes of Neuropathy
Neuropathy is caused by damage to nerves. The most common causes of this damage are:
- Vitamin deficiency (particularly B12)
- Alcohol abuse
It’s also possible for a person to develop neuropathy as a result of trauma, such as car accidents or falls.
Symptoms of Neuropathy
Symptoms of neuropathy in seniors include:
- Loss of feeling in the feet. You may not be able to tell if something is hot or cold, sharp or dull, hard or soft. Your feet might also feel heavy and tired.
- Tingling, burning and numbness in the feet. This means that the nerves that supply sensation to your skin are damaged so they no longer send signals back to your brain correctly (a condition called “peripheral neuropathy”).
- Pain in the feet that gets worse when walking or standing on them for long periods of time–this can happen even when nothing seems obviously wrong with them! If you’re experiencing this kind of discomfort, make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible so they can rule out any serious conditions like diabetes mellitus type 1 (diabetes) which causes nerve damage all over your body including inside organs such as kidneys; pancreas; heart muscle tissue etc…
Home Treatment for Neuropathy
- Physical therapy
- Heat and cold therapy
- Medication, like pain relievers, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants (medications that can control seizures) can help with neuropathy symptoms if you have them. However, it’s important to talk with your doctor before taking any medications. Your doctor may also recommend dietary changes in order to reduce inflammation that can cause nerve damage such as avoiding alcohol, caffeine or spicy foods.
Causes of Muscle Weakness in Seniors
There are many reasons why seniors experience muscle weakness. The most common causes include:
- Arthritis and other joint problems
- Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack or stroke
- Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS)
How to Help a Senior with Neuropathy
- Keep your loved one hydrated. Dehydration can exacerbate the pain of neuropathy and cause additional complications such as constipation, which is especially dangerous for seniors with diabetes or other health problems that make them more susceptible to infection.
- Keep their feet dry and clean. Wet socks are a breeding ground for bacteria, so make sure your loved one has dry shoes and socks every day–and change those shoes if they get wet on the outside from rain or snow! Be sure you’re using antimicrobial soap when washing your feet (or have someone else do it), too; this will help prevent infection caused by fungus or other microorganisms living in the skin folds around our toes.* Avoid tight clothing and shoes.* Make sure they have the right shoes for their feet.* Make sure they have the right socks for their feet.* Make sure they have an insole placed inside any type of shoe that might rub against sensitive areas like ankles or heels (this is especially important if you know someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis).
You can help your loved one deal with neuropathy.
If your loved one is dealing with neuropathy, there are a few things you can do to help. First and foremost, be patient. It may take them longer than usual to get dressed or brush their teeth, so don’t rush them or assume that they are being difficult when they don’t move as fast as you do.
Second of all, ask questions! If there’s something that catches your eye about the way your loved one is acting (i.e., more irritable than usual), ask how he/she is feeling before jumping to conclusions about what might be wrong with him/her physically–the last thing anyone wants is for someone else to think that he/she has lost control over his/her emotions due solely because of an illness like neuropathy!
Thirdly (and most importantly), don’t ever hesitate to ask for help if needed; whether it’s getting groceries delivered on days when walking around town seems too much work or simply having someone accompany you when traveling somewhere unfamiliar like visiting family members across town during holidays…these things can make such a difference in quality-of-life overall! Last but certainly not least: keep talking openly about these topics until everyone feels comfortable enough sharing openly without worrying about offending anyone else”
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of neuropathy and its symptoms. We also want to remind you that it’s not just a medical issue; there are many ways that you can help your loved one deal with it at home. Remember that they may not always be able to communicate their feelings or needs clearly, so if something seems off–even if they don’t say so–don’t hesitate! Even if it turns out nothing is wrong after all (which happens often), spending time together can still be beneficial for both parties involved.