Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a complex condition that can cause many different symptoms. This is because the damage can be to any part of the peripheral nervous system, which includes sensory nerves, motor nerves and the autonomic nervous system. Often more than one type of nerve is affected. Symptoms are usually mild in the beginning, but get worse over time for some people.

Learn more about:


Sensory nerves

What these nerves do

These send messages from the body to the brain, carrying information about pain, temperature, touch, vibration, and where the body is in space (important for balance and coordination).

Symptoms of damage

  • not being able to feel hands or feet (numbness)
  • tingling (“pins and needles”) in hands or feet
  • pain in hands or feet – these may be burning or shooting pains, “like walking on hot sand”
  • feeling light touch as pain, especially at night
  • confusion about temperature, e.g. feeling heat as cold, or not being able to tell if something is hot or cold
  • loss of awareness of where your body is in space, making you feel clumsy, especially when walking on uneven surfaces
  • trouble keeping your balance when walking
  • loss of hearing, or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

Motor nerves

What these nerves do These carry messages from the brain to the muscles to control movement.
Symptoms of damage
  • finding it hard to do up buttons or pick up small objects
  • trouble walking up stairs or getting up out of a chair
  • muscle loss
  • weakness, e.g. not being able to open a jar
  • cramps
  • muscles twitching under skin
  • poor handwriting
  • unsteady way of walking (gait)

Autonomic nervous system

What these nerves do This carries messages between the internal organs and the brain. It controls processes that happen automatically, including blood pressure, heart rate, temperature control, digestion, and bowel and bladder functioning.
Symptoms of damage
  • constipation
  • feeling bloated
  • diarrhoea
  • dizziness when changing position from lying down to sitting up, or from sitting to standing
  • blurred vision
  • trouble getting or keeping an erect penis

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    Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy

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Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
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Sony Reader

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Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
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Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in January 2020
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