Toxic Exposure: Exposure to toxic chemicals or heavy metals such as lead or mercury can damage nerves.
Medications: Use of some medications can lead to peripheral neuropathy, including chemotherapy drugs, HIV drugs, and some statins for cholesterol. Edema: Fluid build-up, also known as edema, is not a disease itself but is a side effect of many other health conditions. The swelling can cause or worsen neuropathy by putting pressure on nerves and also by decreasing circulation to the nerves.
Autoimmune Diseases: When the body attacks its own tissues, the resulting inflammation can damage nerves and also the small blood vessels that deliver oxygen to the nerves. Common autoimmune diseases that can lead to neuropathy include lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Guillain-Barré syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and vasculitis.
Infections: Many viral and bacterial infections can damage nerves, including Lyme disease, hepatitis C, HIV, shingles, diphtheria, and Epstein-Barr virus.
Genetic Disorders: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an example of an inherited disease that leads to neuropathy.
Trauma or Injury to the Nerve: Causes of trauma include motor vehicle accidents, spinal injuries, falls, repetitive strain injuries (such as from using a computer daily).
Vitamin Deficiencies: Neuropathy can occur when people are deficient in certain vitamins, especially B12, B6, and B1.
Kidney Disease: With kidney dysfunction, toxic substances can build up in the blood and lead to nerve damage. Most dialysis patients will develop some degree of neuropathy.
Other Diseases: Liver disease, hypothyroidism, connective tissue diseases, and certain bone marrow disorders can lead to peripheral neuropathy.