Neuropathy describes several diseases of, damage to, or malfunctions of the nervous system.
The nervous system is made up of two systems: the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (all other nerves, for example, legs, feet, toes, arms, hands and fingers).
The peripheral nerves are also divided into two systems: the somatic or voluntary nervous system (connected to the skin, muscles, and senses) and the autonomous or automatic nervous system (controlling the breathing, heartbeat, digestion and sex organs).
Generally, neuropathy usually refers to peripheral neuropathy, which can be caused by several other conditions. These include diabetes, injury, toxins and poisons, infection, certain vitamin deficiencies, some medications and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Most peripheral neuropathies are indicated by numbness, weakness, pain and/or tingling, and in some types, loss of muscle control.