I suffer from a painful problem called small fiber neuropathy. Then you may not know what the hell that is, but it’s a relatively common problem that is associated with several well-known systematic conditions. These include diabetes, vasculitis, and HIV.
But they aren’t all that serious, and it can be symptoms like painful burning feet, changes in temperature and pain perception, numbness or feeling of sunburn in specific areas of the body (often linked with shingles), and many others.
They all come under the class of peripheral neuropathies, and they basically involve changing how different populations of nerve fibers in the body act. Even restless leg syndrome is an example of this.
I want to quickly talk to you today about the problems I have, and how I still get on with my life, including bodybuilding and working out, so that you can see how you can overcome it as well.
The Clinical Presentation Of Small Fiber Neuropathy
There are differences between large fiber neuropathies and small-fiber neuropathies. With large fiber ones, there’s often numbness, weakness, tingling, and a loss of deep tendon reflexes due to damage in the central nervous system.
However, not everyone falls into that group, and many patients have small fiber neuropathy problems. Most of these people with peripheral neuropathy issues still show evidence of large fiber involvement.
The complaints are nearly always around tingling, weakness, numbness, and changed reactions in one or more areas of the body. That’s the problem I had.
What happened with me was that I had a burning, prickling, stabbing sensation all at one leg or the other. It turns out to be a sort of sciatica or restless leg syndrome problem, to be honest, they aren’t really sure.
But it’s affected my quality of life because it’s quite severe at times and I need strong painkillers. This can affect my mental performance, and my physical abilities as well.
Thankfully, it hasn’t affected my bodybuilding much. I think my core strength has really helped to overcome the problem. I’ve also done a couple of SARMs courses (one cutting, one bulking) which also help me to trim excess fat and gain significant core strength, which seems to have also helped alleviate the problem.
Wondering What The Main Small Fiber Disorders Are?
You might be wondering what the small fiber disorders are in the real world, what are the terms that people use, what the most common disorders?
The most serious is HIV, which can lead to significant nerve damage. Then you have many other conditions including vasculitis and diabetes.
However, whatever the condition actually is, and many never get classified and diagnosed properly, they all have one thing in common. They are all related to nerve damage in the peripheral nervous system.
You see, outside the central nervous system, you have peripheral nerves in places like the hands, feet, and arms. They deal with things like sensation, controlling muscle responses, and even autonomous nerves which help to regulate things like bladder control.
Usually, there is an underlying condition that starts to damage the peripheral nervous system, and in many people that undiagnosed diabetes. In many developed countries, it’s the main cause of peripheral nerve damage.
But peripheral nerve damage can also be caused by conditions like shingles. In fact, this is another condition that people can have without getting the tell-tale rash. Rashless shingles is another condition that can over time damage nerves under the skin, and in other parts of the body.
How My Life Has Altered Because Of This Problem
This is what happened to me. I had undiagnosed diabetes for five years. I had no symptoms at all, I did sometimes get really thirsty, had the need for sugar, and felt exhausted. I never put it down to diabetes.
I worked hard at the gym. I would really push myself. Then I used supplements, natural bodybuilding supplements to enhance my performance.
The next level up was SARMs. I did cutting and bulking Stack’s to enhance the loss of fat and bulking up my muscle tone.
None of this seems to be related to me developing small fiber neuropathy because of diabetes, and because I was so strong and healthy, I just didn’t notice. That’s why recommend you get checked out if you have any small suspicions.
My life has changed because I’m diabetic. I also have some minor nerve damage in my hands and feet due to this, but not enough to get a loss of sensation. Mainly it’s just tingling and irregular sensations during feeling.
So thankfully my problem hasn’t been that bad, and I’ve been able to continue working out as hard as I want. It’s really helped me with my confidence as well, and thank God that the diabetes was noticed, although it was accidental, spotted through a blood test when I was feeling fatigued.
Getting Treatment For Things Like This (Restless Leg Syndrome And Other Similar Problems)
There are several new techniques the application of various methods to help with small fiber neuropathy problems.
Some of these include utilizing a neuronal antibody to the protein gene product. Fiber loss and degeneration can be identified and understood better by basically sustaining them to spot where the problems are.
However, most people who have common problems in this class, for example, restless leg syndrome, you may not get such a high-tech and invasive diagnosis.
The treatments usually consist of anticonvulsants, anti-inflammatory medications, immunosuppressants, opioid pain relievers, topical agents, nerve-blocking medication, stimulating medication, physical therapies, and even antidepressants for people with chronic conditions.
For me, it’s a daily injection. But for many, it’s worse than that, and thankfully for me, I’ve learned to live with it and continue working out and developing the body despite these problems. However, it has made developing and consuming a good bodybuilder’s diet much more challenging because of the limits I have on what I can eat.