Diseases That Cause Nerve Damage


Nerve damage can occur as a result of autoimmune disorders, infection and problems with blood sugar levels. If left untreated nerve damage can be permanent.


  • Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue, fever, arthritis, rash and kidney problems. Lupus fluctuates between active illness and remission. Nerve damage is caused by autoantibodies, called antinuclear antibodies (ANA), which are produced by the immune system that attack the body's healthy tissue and cells. Peripheral neuropathy, a nerve inflammation disorder, causes damage to the sensory nerves in people with lupus.


  • Nerve damage resulting from diabetes is known as diabetic neuropathies. This damage can affect any nerve in the body, including those running to the heart and digestive tract. Risk factors for developing nerve damage due to diabetes include uncontrolled blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and obesity. Common symptoms include numbness, pain, weakness and tingling in the extremities.

Lyme Disease

  • Lyme disease is an illness passed to people by a tick carrying the bacteria borrelia burgdorferi. Damage to the motor and sensory nerves occurs during the late or chronic stage. Symptoms caused by nerve damage from lyme disease include numbness, pain, loss of sensation, burning and tingling.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome is another autoimmune disorder caused when the body's immune system attacks the nerves. The nerve damage caused by Guillain-Barre can produce symptoms such as weakness, tingling in the extremities, paralysis of muscles and numbness.

Myasthenia Gravis

  • Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is another autoimmune disorder that attacks the nerves and muscles. Nerve damage occurs because the immune system attacks a key receptor between the nerve ending and the muscles. The relay of information between nerve and muscle is interrupted leading to a lack of muscle control, both voluntary and involuntary. Speech may be effected as well as the ability to walk, swallow and grip an object with the effected hand.

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