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What are some treatments for axonal neuropathy?

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Quick Answer

Treatment of the underlying cause, such as diabetes, is the ideal way to treat axonal neuropathies, says the Neuropathy Action Foundation. If the cause cannot be found or treated, then treatment consists of pain medication, exercise programs, acupuncture, and massage. Supportive braces to improve function can also be used in some cases. In severe cases, canes, walkers, or even a wheelchair may be necessary to allow the patient to ambulate.

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Full Answer

The most common cause of axonal neuropathy in the United States is diabetes, according to the Neuropathy Action Foundation. Treatment of diabetic axonal neuropathy revolves around establishing better control of blood sugar levels. Another common cause of axonal neuropathy is lupus, an autoimmune disease.

Lupus is treated with a number of different drugs intended to suppress the immune system's attack on the body, says Mayo Clinic. Other treatable causes of axonal neuropathy include infections, such as Lyme disease and leprosy, vitamin B deficiencies and hypothyroidism, says the Neuropathy Action Foundation. However, approximately 30 percent of patients with axonal neuropathy are diagnosed with idiopathic disease, meaning that no underlying, treatable cause is apparent.

Peripheral neuropathy is a disease process affecting the nerves outside the spinal cord and brain. It is classified as either axonal, meaning the disease process is affected the axons of the nerves, or demyelinating, meaning the disease process is affecting the insulating sheath around the axons, notes the Neuropathy Action Foundation.

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