What Causes Neuropathy?

by Waden E. Emery III MD FAAN, – Neuromuscular Neurologist
Board Certified in Neurology, Asst Clinical Professor in Neurology
Miller School of Medicine University of Miami

What causes neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a result of damage to one or more nerves in the Peripheral Nervous System. There are over a hundred different causes of damage to these nerves that result in neuropathy, some known and some unknown, not unlike other diseases of major body systems. The most common causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Diabetes,
  • Glucose Intolerance,
  • Vitamin deficiencies or toxicity (in the case of B6),
  • various surgeries,
  • Celiac Disease,
  • Alcohol Abuse,
  • Ciguatera Poisoning,
  • Malfunction of the Autoimmune System,
  • Vasculitis,
  • Bacterial Infections,
  • Virus Infections,
  • Lyme disease,
  • Cancer,
  • Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatments,
  • Tumors,
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders,
  • Renal Failure,
  • Thyroid Disease,
  • Hereditary / Genetic Disorders,
  • Drugs toxic to the neurons or Schwann cells of the Peripheral Nervous System,
  • Toxins,
  • Chemicals (especially Herbicides such as Agent Orange),
  • Drug Abuse,
  • Trauma, traction, compression of systems of the nerves to the upper or lower body,
  • Unknown Causes – referred to as Idiopathic Neuropathy.