Neuropathy often feels mysterious. You’re suddenly dealing with persistent pins and needles or unexplained numbness. Something burns or feels extra sensitive and you don’t know why. If these symptoms sound familiar, you might be living with neuropathy.
You develop neuropathy when something adversely affects your nerves. Anything from pressure from surrounding tissue to a toxic substance buildup near the nerve can cause it to send signals to your brain that cause your symptoms. And while neuropathy can stem from a variety of causes, one of the leading contributors is an issue with your hormones.
Here at Hawai’i Pain and Spine on the Windward side of Oʻahu in Kailua, Dr. Jonathan D. Carlson applies his specialty in neuropathy to figure out what’s causing your symptoms and how to alleviate them.
Since hormones can play such a big role here, let’s take a look at their connection to neuropathy.
First off, it’s worth mentioning one of the leading causes of neuropathy: diabetes.
You might not necessarily think of diabetes as a hormone-related issue, but at its core, it is. You develop diabetes when a certain hormone in your body — insulin — doesn’t act the way it should, or your body simply doesn’t make enough insulin. Either way, this hormone-related issue leads to sugar building up in your blood.
Over time, that excess blood sugar can damage your nerves, leading to diabetic neuropathy.
While diabetes leads the pack in terms of hormone-related neuropathy causes, it’s not the only player in the game. Hypothyroidism, which causes a shortage of the hormones your thyroid makes, can cause fluid retention and tissue swelling that lead to neuropathy.
Similarly, if your body makes too much growth hormone, you can develop acromegaly. This condition can cause your joints to grow larger, putting pressure on the surrounding nerves and causing neuropathy.
If your reproductive hormones — like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone — are out of balance, you might also experience neuropathic symptoms. This hormone-related neuropathy gets more common as you get older.
All told, a lot of people who are living with neuropathy have their hormones to blame.
Fortunately, no matter what’s causing your uncomfortable symptoms, Dr. Carlson can work with you to help you find relief. With a broad range of treatments, from lifestyle modifications to regenerative medicine and spinal cord stimulation, he partners with you to find the best path to symptom-free living.
To get started, call our office to schedule your appointment today.