DEAR DOCTOR K: I have peripheral neuropathy. I know that people with diabetes often get neuropathy, but I'm not diabetic. What else can cause this condition? And what can I do about it?
DEAR READER: Neuropathy is a medical term that means nerve damage. The type of nerve damage that people with diabetes get involves specific nerve fibers in all nerves, particularly the nerves that travel to the legs and feet. (There are other conditions in which a single nerve leading to the legs and feet is pinched, causing pain. An example is what is often called a "slipped disk" or "herniated disk" in the lower part of the spine.)