What Causes Neuropathy?

Neuropathic pain is a result of diseased nerves and is not the result of trauma or injury, and it cannot be treated in the same way as normal pain. Dr. Vinik has determined that much of the pain that patients suffering from neuropathic pain and peripheral nerve damage experience is the result of oxidative stress. The nutrients in NutriNerve® work at the cellular level to reduce this oxidative stress and decrease the pain and inflammation that it produces.

About 30% of neuropathy cases are considered idiopathic, which means they are of unknown cause. Another 30% of neuropathies are due to diabetes. In fact, about 50% of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy. The remaining cases of neuropathy, called acquired neuropathies, have several possible causes, including:

  • Trauma or pressure on nerves, often from a cast or crutch or repetitive motion such as typing on a keyboard
  • Nutritional problems and vitamin deficiencies, often from a lack of B vitamins.
  • Alcoholism, often through poor dietary habits and vitamin deficiencies
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Shingles
  • Tumors, which often press up against nerves
  • Other diseases and infections, such as kidney disease, liver disease, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Inherited disorders (hereditary neuropathies), such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and amyloid polyneuropathy
  • Poison exposure, from toxins such as heavy metals, and certain medications
  • Cancer treatments such as Chemotherapy (Chemo-Induced)
  • Certain kinds of Cancer

Types of Neuropathy

Neuropathy is usually classified based on the part/area affected, or on the causes behind it. The causes of neuropathy may vary from genetics to deficiencies or certain conditions like diabetes or as a side effect to chemotherapy. There are vast varieties of neuropathy, however, they can be broadly grouped based on the way they affect the nerves: Peripheral, Autonomic, and Focal.

Learn More About Peripheral Neuropathy >


Diagnosis of Neuropathic Pain

A thorough exam by a physician is necessary. One may be asked a couple of questions regarding the pain felt, as well as about the occurrence of pain and if there is anything in particular that triggers the pain.


Watch Dr. Vinik explain what neuropathy is on dLife,  a popular show about diabetes.