Neuropathy, which doctors refer to as peripheral neuropathy or PN, signifies a problem with the functionality of the peripheral nerves responsible for the transmission of signals from the central nervous system to the rest of the body and from the body back to the brain. Depending on which type of peripheral nerve is affected, PN may produce a wide variety of symptoms with varying degrees of severity. In a lot of cases, other health conditions perpetuate PN, and thus, it can be both a symptom and disease unto itself.
If peripheral neuropathy affects the sensory nerves, a person may experience numbness and tingling in localized areas of the body. This occurs because the nerves that carry messages of sensation -- touch, pain, temperature, and so on -- are not performing optimally. Numbness generally occurs in the lower half of the body, with an increasing loss of perception in the region. Tingling signifies a mild, prickly feeling of localized magnitude.
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