What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is the damage, death, or dysfunction of nerve cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems. This leads to symptoms like numbness, tingling, pain, and muscle weakness. They often start in the extremities, like hands and feet, but can affect other parts of the body as well. Neuropathies can be caused by traumatic injuries, infections, inherited problems, or metabolic disorders such as diabetes. 

One of the earliest applications for medical cannabis was neuropathy and neurodegenerative diseases under the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP).

How Can Neuropathy Affect Your Life?

Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, i.e. peripheral nerves. It affects more than 20 million Americans every year and tends to get worse over time. However, it can be difficult to pinpoint the condition in the body as it builds gradually. This is why people are often reluctant to seek treatment and medication for neuropathy, including medical cannabis and other options.

There are five stages to peripheral neuropathy:

  1. Numbness and Pain
    In the early stages, neuropathy is likely to cause a little tingling, numbness, and pain. These symptoms will be intermittent rather than persistent.
  1. Consistent Symptoms
    It’s difficult to put a finger on exactly when peripheral neuropathy progresses from stage one to stage two, but this is when your numbness and pain become more persistent. When neuropathy is identified and treated at this stage, there are high chances of curing the nerve damage.
  1. Significant Pain
    During stage three, you may experience pain almost every day. It begins to affect your lifestyle and normal function. Over-the-counter pain treatment medications aren’t as helpful for stage three neuropathy. If the condition is arrested at this point, some of the nerve damage may be reversed. Doctors may prescribe medical cannabis for persistent neuropathy symptoms like residual chronic pain.
  1. Perpetual Numbness
    When your nerves begin dying and irreversible damage sets in, you may experience a decrease in pain, but your hands and feet are likely to become very numb. Keeping your balance and walking become progressively more difficult. It’s critical to seek out urgent treatment for stage four neuropathy to prevent it from getting worse.
  2. Total Loss of Sensation
    The last stage of neuropathy is characterized by a complete loss of feeling in the feet and lower legs. There won’t be any pain, just total numbness, since the brain can’t communicate with those areas anymore. Walking and keeping your balance tend to become very difficult. While there is significant permanent damage at this point, it may still be possible to rejuvenate some of the nerve fibers.

Other examples of neurodegenerative diseases include Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Huntington’s disease among others. All of these and over a hundred other neurodegenerative disorders qualify for treatment via medical cannabis in Texas.

Medical Cannabis for Neuropathy

Research has shown that cannabis has a number of potential benefits for chronic pain. Cannabinoids can help reduce pain perception and are considered to be potent anti-inflammatory agents. This may be useful for neuropathy patients with some level of nerve damage that’s causing them persistent pain, and who don’t want to turn to prescription opioids to alleviate it. 

Another reason medical cannabis is for neuropathy is that it’s thought to have some neuroprotective effects. Cannabis may help reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in the brain, potentially helping reduce nerve damage. Furthermore, constant pain and numbness can sometimes lead to follow-on symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that medical cannabis can help with depressive disorders, anxiety, and insomnia. This is another benefit of cannabis for neuropathy.

Qualify for Medical Cannabis in Under a Minute

Texas 420 Doctors makes it easy for eligible Texans to access the cannabis medicine they need. If you suffer from neuropathy or any other qualifying neurodegenerative disease or condition, you can book an appointment to get evaluated by one of our physicians. Each of them is board-certified, CURT-registered, and qualified to address your concerns. Our services include everything from providing you with your medical cannabis approval letter, dispensary recommendations, follow-up consultations with your physician, and more. Contact us today to understand more about why cannabis medication is a treatment option for neuropathy.

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