What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy (PN)?
PN is one of the most common complications of diabetes, but may also be caused by circulatory problems, certain drugs, chemotherapy, alcohol abuse, anemia, AIDS, back problems, surgery, and by unknown causes (referred to as idiopathic neuropathy). Research now shows one cause of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) is poor microcirculation to the nerves in the feet, legs and hands. In addition, recent studies have suggested an important molecule called nitric oxide (NO) may be in short supply in the blood vessels of people with diabetes. This molecule is critical for opening the blood vessels with each beat of your heart. Combine high blood pressure, high cholesterol or plaque build-up in your blood vessels with low amounts of NO (all common in diabetes), and the result is significantly reduced blood flow to the areas furthest from your heart. The nerves and tissues in those areas are not getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. The result can be pain, numbness, slow