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WHAT IS IDIOPATHIC NEUROPATHY?


The definition of a riddle is “a problem for which it is hard to find the answer, especially one which people enjoy trying to solve as a game”. It usually demands a mental effort and acuity for its solution. It can be fun, but if you don’t find the solution of the riddle it might become an annoying and frustrating task. When it comes to health, not being able to find the solution for a problem can turn out to be very off-putting. This can also be the case for some diseases. Identifying the present symptoms of a patient is usually one of the doctor’s first steps. This can be tough especially for peripheral neuropathy, because the symptoms can be extremely variable and may also be subtle, but sometimes it can be even harder to identify the cause. This can then become the doctor’s riddle. For some health conditions, modern medicine is still not able to find a specific cause and in this case the disease might be defined as “idiopathic” which stands for “of unknown cause”.

Peripheral neuropathy can be an idiopathic condition too.


Patients with idiopathic neuropathy might also experience symptoms like numbness or tingling, similar to patients with a known cause of neuropathy. They can feel a lot of pressure due to the challenging situation they live in. Not knowing the cause of their disease might make them feel uncertain of what is happening to them. Idiopathic neuropathy is not as unusual as you might think: even after a thorough examination and investigation around 22% of the total cases of neuropathy have an unknown origin. The “idiopathic group” is even the second most common cause of neuropathy after diabetes, which is responsible for around 35% of all the cases. Even if the cause of the peripheral neuropathy is not known, in many cases the symptoms of this idiopathic condition can still be treated.


Every day, scientists are discovering new mechanisms that govern our body and may help to uncover some causes of neuropathy that now are not clearly or completely understood.

 

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