What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a term that refers to damage or disease affecting the nerves. Nerves are important for transmitting information between the brain and the rest of the body, and when they are damaged or diseased, it can lead to a range of symptoms.

There are different types of neuropathy, including:

Peripheral neuropathy: This type of neuropathy affects the nerves that carry information to and from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. It can cause weakness, numbness, and pain in the arms, hands, legs, and feet.

Autonomic neuropathy: This type of neuropathy affects the nerves that control the automatic functions of the body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. It can cause a range of symptoms, including dizziness, constipation, and bladder problems.

Focal neuropathy: This type of neuropathy affects a specific nerve or group of nerves, leading to symptoms in a specific area of the body.

The causes of neuropathy can vary, and may include diseases such as diabetes, alcoholism, and multiple sclerosis, as well as injuries, infections, and certain medications. Treatment for neuropathy may include medications to manage pain and other symptoms, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.


The symptoms of neuropathy can vary depending on the type and cause of the condition. Some common symptoms of neuropathy may include:

  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands, feet, or other areas of the body
  • Pain, which may be sharp, dull, or aching
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Difficulty with coordination and balance
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Changes in skin color or temperature
  • Problems with bladder and bowel control
  • Difficulty with digestion
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Difficulty with sexual function

It is important to note that the symptoms of neuropathy can range from mild to severe and may be temporary or permanent. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment.


There are many potential causes of neuropathy, and the specific cause can depend on the type of neuropathy. Some common causes of neuropathy may include:

  • Diabetes: Diabetes is a common cause of neuropathy, particularly peripheral neuropathy. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves over time.
  • Alcoholism: Alcohol abuse can lead to nerve damage, particularly in the hands and feet.
  • Vitamin deficiency: Deficiencies in certain vitamins, such as vitamin B1, B6, and B12, can cause neuropathy.
  • Infection: Some infections, such as HIV and Lyme disease, can cause neuropathy.
  • Trauma or injury: Physical injury to the nerves can lead to neuropathy.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and certain antibiotics, can cause neuropathy as a side effect.
  • Inherited disorders: Some inherited disorders, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, can cause neuropathy.
  • Other medical conditions: Other medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and kidney disease, can also cause neuropathy.

It is important to note that in some cases, the cause of neuropathy may not be identified. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


The treatment of neuropathy depends on the underlying cause and the specific symptoms that an individual is experiencing. Some common treatment options for neuropathy may include:

  • Medications: There are several medications available to help manage neuropathic pain and other symptoms. These may include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as well as prescription medications, such as tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to improve strength and mobility, and may also help to manage pain.
  • Lifestyle changes: Making certain lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and managing blood sugar levels in the case of diabetes, can help to improve symptoms and reduce the risk of neuropathy.
  • Complementary and alternative therapies: Some individuals may find relief from neuropathy through the use of complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and herbal remedies. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any complementary or alternative therapies.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or remove damaged nerves.

It is important to work closely with a healthcare team to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to an individual’s specific needs and goals.


If you have neuropathy, it is important to take certain precautions to help manage your symptoms and reduce your risk of complications. Some precautions to consider may include:

  • Follow your treatment plan: It is important to follow your treatment plan as prescribed by your healthcare provider. This may include taking medications as directed, attending physical therapy appointments, and making necessary lifestyle changes.
  • Protect your feet: Neuropathy can cause numbness in the feet, which can increase the risk of injury. It is important to protect your feet by wearing shoes that fit properly, avoiding walking barefoot, and inspecting your feet regularly for cuts, blisters, or other injuries.
  • Manage blood sugar levels: If you have diabetes, it is important to manage your blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication to reduce the risk of neuropathy.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol can worsen neuropathy, so it is important to avoid alcohol or limit consumption to a moderate amount.
  • Stay active: Regular physical activity can help to improve strength and mobility, and may also help to manage pain. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.
  • Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to manage symptoms and improve overall health.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can worsen symptoms of neuropathy, so it is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Neuropathy can cause sensitivity to temperature changes, so it is important to avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures to prevent injury.
  • Manage stress: Stress can worsen symptoms of neuropathy, so it is important to find ways to manage stress, such as through relaxation techniques, exercise, or counseling.
  • Seek support: It can be helpful to seek support from friends, family, and support groups to help manage the challenges of living with neuropathy.

Can I treat my neuropathy with medical marijuana in New York?

In New York, medical marijuana is legally available for the treatment of neuropathy. The New York State Medical Marijuana Program allows individuals with neuropathy to use medical marijuana to manage symptoms such as pain and muscle spasms.

To qualify for medical marijuana treatment in New York, individuals must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition and have a certification from a registered medical practitioner. Qualifying conditions include chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and several other conditions.

It is important to note that medical marijuana is only available through the New York State Medical Marijuana Program and is not available through other means. It is also important to discuss the use of medical marijuana with a healthcare provider to determine if it is appropriate for you and to receive proper guidance on its use.


Even if your condition is not listed in this article, you might still get the medical marijuana card, provided you are recommended by a registered marijuana physician in New York. However, if you are experiencing any life-threatening medical condition or adverse effects of medical marijuana, you should not hesitate to contact the emergency service.

Note: This article’s content is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or queries regarding laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult a lawyer, physician, or other licensed practitioner.