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Peripheral neuropathy occurs when your peripheral nerves (like those in your hands and feet) become damaged. Neuropathy is rather common, and causes numbness, weakness, and pain for about 40 million Americans. [1]


Causes of neuropathy can vary. The chart below shows the most prevalent types of peripheral neuropathy:


Many people experience neuropathy related to diabetes. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) affects 60-70% of people living with diabetes.

Idiopathic peripheral neuropathy doesn’t have a determined cause. For example, we know neuropathy caused by diabetes is diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but with idiopathic, we don’t know for certain what’s causing your neuropathy.

Patients with cancer who have undergone chemotherapy may also develop neuropathy. Some chemotherapy drugs have a negative effect on your nervous system, which can cause your peripheral nerves to become damaged.

Patients with HIV or AIDS are also at an increased risk of developing neuropathic damage. In fact, some estimate that 1 in 3 people with HIV or AIDS experiences peripheral neuropathy. [1]


Neuropathy treatment options will vary based on the cause of your neuropathy. The key is the underlying cause (if known) of your specific type of neuropathy. Patients with diabetic neuropathy may receive different treatment options and medications than patients with chemo-induced neuropathy.

Talk with your healthcare provider here at Horizon Family Medical Group to determine whether medication, pain relievers, creams, or other options are available to treat your specific type of neuropathy. [2]


The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy has a lot of great resources and information. We’ve included this great brochure they put together that provides additional information and resources for you:



  1. https://www.foundationforpn.org/what-is-peripheral-neuropathy/facts-risk-factors/
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peripheral-neuropathy/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20205118
  3. https://www.foundationforpn.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/RevisedFPNPatientMiniBrochure2_1.12.2013.pdf