What is nerve damage?

There are three main types of nerves in the body. sensory nerves they are the ones that send information to our brain regarding our tangible surroundings, and comprise our sense of touch. motor nerves they send information to the muscles that govern our voluntary movements. Our autonomic nerves they control involuntary bodily functions like our heartbeat. Nerve damage is any type of injury, whether minor or severe, that occurs to nerve fibers in any area of ​​the body. Various causes may be responsible for nerve damage, which generally occurs in one of three forms: neurotmesis, neurapraxia, and axonotmesis.

There are dozens of different types of nerve damage, but almost all can be described by one of the three categories above. neurotmesis It is the most severe form of nerve damage, resulting in a complete loss of nerve function and continuity. It can be caused by severe bruising, tears, or stretching of the nerve or surrounding tissue.

axonotmesis It is a less severe form of nerve damage, seen primarily as a result of injuries where the nerve is crushed or placed under too much pressure. The nerve axon is interrupted, but the structural integrity of the nerve remains intact. This type of injury allows for the possibility of regeneration, which may take months or years to complete.

neurapraxia it is the mildest type of damage and usually allows full recovery in days or months. It is usually the result of pressure on a nerve that prevents it from working and blocks the transmission of signals. Loss of blood supply can also cause neurapraxia.

The specific situational causes of nerve damage are as varied as the disorders that humans suffer from. Some conditions, however, are well known for their ability to cause nerve damage. Diabetes is one of the main ones, often causing the type of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy . This term is not specific and refers to many types of nerve damage caused by diabetes. About two-thirds of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can affect any part of the nervous system, but there are some common signs to look out for. Pain, tingling sensations, and numbness in the extremities, as well as muscle atrophy in the feet and hands, are some of the classic signs of this form of nerve damage. Digestive symptoms and sexual dysfunction, as well as general weakness, are also somewhat common for neuropathies of this type, although many sufferers do not experience any noticeable symptoms.

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