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Watch Out For Peripheral Neuropathy!

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Beth Faiman, CNP

Peripheral neuropathy is a change in feeling in the hands, fingers, legs, toes, or other body parts.  It can be a symptom of myeloma or related to the use of medications used to treat myeloma, such as thalidomide (Thalomid) or bortezomib (Velcade).  Taking care of peripheral neuropathy is very important and requires that you pay careful attention to any symptoms and discuss them fully with your health care provider.  There are two types of peripheral neuropathy which most often affects myeloma patients  - sensory, motor.

Symptoms of sensory peripheral neuropathy include numbness, tingling, numbness or pain in the hands or feet, trouble hearing or ringing or buzzing in the ears, or weakness all over.  Symptoms of motor peripheral neuropathy include trouble fastening buttons, difficulty opening jars or trouble walking.  

You should always inform your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms.  They may modify your treatment plan if these symptoms occur.  Your healthcare provider may also prescribe pain medications, physical therapy, or suggest other measures such as nutritional supplements such as folic acid, B-complex, or amino acid supplements.  You should always check with your healthcare provider before taking any new medications or supplements.

For more information about managing peripheral neuropathy, please see the IMF Patient Education Fact Sheet on Peripheral Neuropathy.

Beth Faiman, MSN, APRN-BC, AOCN
Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
Multiple Myeloma Program
Cleveland, OH

Editor's Note:  You can also view a video of Dr. Paul Richardson of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute speaking about peripheral neuropathy at the 2009 International Myeloma Workshop, held in Washington, DC.   This is a presentation to an audience of doctors and scientists, so it is a bit technical.
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2 Comments

I much prefer natural products as my skin is very sensitive and I cannot use the OTC items. Natural products really are better for you in the long run.

My wife Annette has mm. She is not going conventional at this point.I support her in her all out efforts in controlling mm.The research being done my manywho share their results is much appreciated. I believe that mm will be defeated shortly. Do not give up the fight.The answer to mm is near. Keep the faith.

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