Endocrinologic causes of peripheral neuropathy. Pins and needles in a stocking-and-glove pattern and other symptoms.
In the Western world, diabetes is the biggest cause of peripheral neuropathy, usually distal symmetric polyneuropathy but some times another polyneuropathy or a focal neuropathy. In addition, hypothyroidism and acromegaly can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and other sensory complaints. A complete blood cell count, nerve-conduction tests, thyroid-function tests (needed in all patients with carpal tunnel syndrome), and when necessary, needle electromyography can help confirm the diagnosis. Treatment of underlying disease is the most successful management approach: Tight glucose control in diabetic patients, thyroid hormone replacement therapy in patients with hypothyroidism, and removal of the pituitary adenoma in patients with acromegaly are of proven benefit. Significant symptomatic relief of dysesthesias can be obtained with use of capsaicin cream, tricyclic antidepresants, anticonvulsant agents, or an antiarrhythmic drug.
Perkins, AT; Morgenlander, JC
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