Small fiber neuropathy (SFN) is also known as small fiber peripheral neuropathy, C fiber neuropathy and sometimes as small fibers sensory neuropathy. As the name says, this is the disease affecting the peripheral nervous fibers. These small fibers are near the surface of our skin and they transmit the information about the temperature and the pain. Small fibers don’t have the insulation (called myelin) around them, as some other nerves, and they also conduct the sensations from the skin slower than other nerves.
Some of the first symptoms of small fiber neuropathy include insensitivity to the heat or cold, but some people might also experience tingling and numbness. There is a possibility to feel some really uncomfortable pain because of the neuropathy, something that might resemble small electric shocks or ice picks. Severe form of the small fiber neuropathy may cause some people to hurt themselves, without realizing that, causing some bleeding or other injuries.
Common causes of small fiber neuropathy are Fabry disease, diabetes, alcoholism, but sometimes, it might also be a complication in people suffering from HIV/AIDS, complex regional pain syndrome, erythromelalgia, autoimmune conditions or sarcoidosis. There could also be no explanation for this medical condition, and these patients are sometimes known to have an idiopathic small fiber neuropathy.
One of the most common causes for this medical problem is abnormality in the glucose metabolism, caused either by being overweight or by diabetes.
How to Treat SFN
It’s always better to prevent some medical condition than to treat it, and it is no different with this condition. If you ever happen to experience some decrease in the sensitivity to the heat, cold or pain on your skin, it is best to consult your doctor. This condition might be easily treated if diagnosed on time, otherwise it might cost you a lot of money and become a real problem.
Once the small fiber neuropathy is diagnosed, your doctor will look into the causes of this condition. After that, he/she will decide the treatment, aiming to stop the progression of the disease and ease the existing symptoms. Your doctor might recommend and prescribe some OTC painkillers, antidepressants and in some cases anti-convulsant drugs or even narcotic painkillers. Never use any medication to treat this condition without the prior consultation with your doctor.
Natural treatment is also a possibility and people suffering from this neuropathy should also try it. If the condition is caused by the problem in glucose metabolism, the best thing you can do is to exercise and maintain the healthy lifestyle. Regulate your weight, maintain it in the healthy limits, try to eat healthy and practice regular physical activity. Be aware that the pain you are experiencing could cause unwillingness to exercise or even depression. Try to resist and if necessary, consult your doctor about that, too.