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Margo’s Honest Ischemic Total Peripheral Neuropathy Story

Margo developed neuropathy when, during surgery, she lost too much blood and her nerves were permanently damaged. Listen to this inspiring woman as she talks about her road to recovery, living with Ischemic Total Peripheral Neuropathy, and her experiences with the Calgary Neuropathy Association.

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Margo’s Story of Living With Neuropathy

About Ischemic Total Peripheral Neuropathy (ITPN)

Ischemic Total Peripheral Neuropathy (ITPN) is a condition characterized by damage to the peripheral nerves due to insufficient blood supply (ischemia). Peripheral neuropathy refers to dysfunction or damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, often resulting in symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected areas.

In ITPN, the inadequate blood flow to the peripheral nerves deprives them of oxygen and nutrients, leading to nerve damage and dysfunction. This condition typically arises from atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty deposits (plaques) build up in the arteries, narrowing or blocking blood flow. Atherosclerosis commonly affects arteries supplying blood to the legs and feet, resulting in reduced circulation to the peripheral nerves in those areas.

The symptoms of ITPN can vary depending on the severity and location of nerve damage but may include:

  1. Persistent pain, often described as burning, stabbing, or throbbing, especially in the legs and feet.
  2. Numbness or tingling sensation in the affected areas.
  3. Muscle weakness or loss of coordination.
  4. Sensitivity to touch or temperature changes.
  5. Changes in skin color or texture, such as thinning or shiny skin.
  6. Worsening of symptoms with physical activity or prolonged standing.

Diagnosis of ITPN typically involves a combination of clinical evaluation, nerve conduction studies, electromyography (EMG), and imaging studies such as Doppler ultrasound or angiography to assess blood flow to the affected areas.

Treatment for ITPN focuses on improving blood flow to the affected nerves, managing symptoms, and preventing further complications. This may include lifestyle modifications (such as regular exercise and smoking cessation), medications to improve blood circulation (such as antiplatelet agents or vasodilators), pain management strategies (such as analgesics or neuropathic pain medications), physical therapy, and in some cases, surgical interventions to restore blood flow or relieve nerve compression.

Overall, ITPN is a serious condition that requires prompt diagnosis and appropriate management to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications, and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Related CNA Resources:

Causes of Neuropathy

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