Marilyn Kupnick, 70, first discovered she had diabetic neuropathies at age 35 when she visited a neurologist with symptoms of numbness, pain and tingling in her lower legs and feet. We shall see. Look at the list below and make a note about any symptoms you have. Damage to the sensory nerves can mean tingling or numbness in the hands, feet and legs; damage to motor nerves that control the muscles causes loss of strength and balance; damage to the autonomic nervous system, which regulates automatic functions, affects things such as heart rate, blood pressure, bladder control and digestion, along with a host of other involuntary responses. Autonomic neuropathy: A condition which is characterized by a functional disturbance or pathological change in the autonomic nervous system. I use a rollator around the house for safety to make sure I don’t fall and I use a cane when I have my son to lean on outside. By Ilene Raymond Rush. He gave me salt and propranolol, but I was too sick for my stomach to tolerate the salt and I only took one propranolol and gave up on it. Erica's Story - Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy. A dedicated exercise regime definitely helps and water therapy is a plus. Suddenly it seemed important to do something symbolic to defy aging, so I turned my morning walk in the woods into a morning run. During the summer of 2009 while home from college and working in a research lab, I woke up one day with a fever, headache, body aches, and nausea and emailed my boss to say that I thought I had a 24-hour bug. As we were to learn, the nervous system is composed of two parts. Autonomic Nervous System Testing; Nerve/Skin/Muscle Biopsy; Computerized Axial Tomography Scan (CAT) Electrodiagnostic Testing; Lumbar Puncture Tests; Medical Imaging ; Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) Peripheral Neuropathy Treatments; Peripheral Neuropathy Risk Factors + Facts; Patient Stories; Glossary of Terms; Additional Resources; Living Well with PN. The exercises that build up strength and promote balance can help preserve and improve the condition of the nerves, postponing their deterioration. I felt relief at knowing what was going on, but fear at knowing that this was a CHRONIC illness. See detailed information below for a list of 20 causes of Autonomic neuropathy, Symptom Checker, including diseases and drug side effect causes. I have walking and balance issues without pain but I feel like I have lead feet. Robert and I have peripheral neuropathy that is “idiopathic,” which simply means that there is no known cause. Jordan's Story - Neurocardiogenic Syncope. Through the exceptional capabilities and caring spirit of its people, Vanderbilt will lead in improving the healthcare of individuals and communities regionally, nationally and internationally. Although dangerous, it is not considered fatal. Surely I would be better in a day or two. Goals help. In May of last year, we hiked in Sicily again. We had been hiking along the Volcano Route: Vesuvius, Amalfi’s Trail of the Gods, Vulcano, Etna. Marilyn Krupnick, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in childhood, showed symptoms of neuropathy in her 30s. Continue exercising and keep the spirits up. Trying to stay abreast of breakthroughs in treatment and ideas about the prevention of further deterioration is not as hard as we might have feared. PN encompasses damage to the nerves that deliver messages to or from the brain. I had more blood drawn than I can remember. Autonomic neuropathies can either be hereditary or acquired in nature; acquired can further be divided into primary and secondary diseases. Among the various forms of DAN, cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN) is the most severe and studied form. With the loss of balance, walking without support is risky, stepping over the cat can be deadly, and picking up the grandkids becomes just a memory. But patients might not understand that they have PN because their condition is often called by other names, such as nerve damage or nerve disease or diabetic nerve pain, making it harder for them research ways to cope with worsening symptoms. Diabetic neuropathy is one of the major complications of diabetes, and it increases morbidity and mortality in patients with both type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and type 2 diabet Doctors cannot fix peripheral neuropathy, they don’t know how to treat it, and in many cases they don’t know what caused it. I have autonomic neuropathy and it takes a while to learn to live with it. Back in Rome for a few days before our flight home, he was aware of weakness in his feet and lower legs. As you began sharing about your husband, I thought you were talking about me! Mine is not diabetic. I have come to really hate the word “idiopathic.” My first recollection of a problem was back in 2009 when I had difficulty climbing a hill on a golf course and my friend had to pick me up with the golf cart. I think that helps. Exercise can ameliorate some of the effects of nerve damage. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action. And PN is a disease that generally attacks older people, who make terrible poster children. Within a few weeks, my lower back began bothering me, and I returned to walking. It was scary to be sick, but even scarier that none of my doctors had any idea what was wrong with me or why my heart was beating so fast. It can lead to many different symptoms, like dizziness, night sweats, and constipation. His shoes slapped the sidewalks as if they were too big. I also have peripheral neuropathy. Metals, chemicals, organic compounds, dozens of substances including mercury, arsenic, pesticides, herbicides and lead were tested for, and none turned up in unacceptable levels in our drinking water. I am so sorry that you, too, are now suffering from PN. For such a widespread malady, little research is being funded. Bring this list to your next office visit. When my neurologist learned that my husband also had PN, he immediately advised me to have our well water tested. All of their stories give us hope. © Copyright 2016 The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy. I was a month shy of 64 in 2017 when I decided I should start running again. Leg braces have helped keep me walking and my wife and I are still traveling. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or seek emergency medical help immediately.