Neuropathy, also called peripheral neuropathy, is a condition caused by nerve damage. Neuropathy can affect movement, sensation (e.g., temperature, pain, touch), and functions, such as breathing and digestion.

Peripheral neuropathy can occur with no known cause, but the disorder often is associated with diabetes (called diabetic neuropathy) and other medical conditions. Neuropathy can result in neuropathic pain and chronic numbness, tingling, and weakness.

Here are some questions to ask your doctor (e.g., neurologist) about peripheral neuropathy. Print this page, mark the questions you would like to have answered, and bring it with you to your next appointment. The more you know about neuropathy, the better you will be able to make informed decisions about your condition.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Neuropathy

  • What do you suspect is the underlying reason for my neuropathy?
  • Might my peripheral neuropathy be related to an undiagnosed condition, such as diabetes?
  • What are other common risk factors for developing neuropathy?
  • What are the most common signs and symptoms of neuropathy?
  • What should I do if my condition worsens or I experience new symptoms?
    Telephone number to call:
  • How will you determine for sure if I have peripheral neuropathy?
  • What types of diagnostic tests will be performed?
  • How should I prepare for these tests?
  • Is the underlying cause for my neuropathy curable? Is it treatable?
  • How will my condition be treated?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and possible complications of this treatment?
  • Will my neuropathy be treated with prescription medications? If so, how will these medicines be administered?
  • What are the side effects of these drugs?
  • What should I do if I experience severe medication side effects?
    Telephone number to call:
  • If left untreated, what are the possible complications of peripheral neuropathy?
  • If prescription medicines are ineffective, what other treatment options are available?
  • Might any alternative treatments be effective? If so, what do these treatments involve?
  • Can you recommend any resources for support or additional information for people who have neuropathy?
  • Next appointment:
    Doctor: Date: Time:

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Mar 2009

Last Modified: 19 Jul 2011