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Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)

What is CIDP?

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a rare neurological disorder that causes inflammation of your body’s nerves. Though your immune system generally keeps you healthy by fighting off germs, with CIDP, your immune system does not recognize parts of your nerves and attacks them.

Specifically, the immune system mistakenly attacks your nerves’ protective myelin. When the myelin is damaged or removed, messages transmitted to and from the brain are disrupted and may never make it to their final destination.

Over time, this may cause gradual weakness, numbness and a loss of feeling in your arms and legs. If left untreated, CIDP can cause permanent damage to the nerves.

The symptoms of CIDP include numbness, weakness and tingling of the arms and legs.

What is Myelin?

Nerves are responsible for sending messages to and from the brain, like when you want your hand to grasp an object or when your hand tells your brain the stove is hot. Healthy nerves are wrapped in a sheath called myelin, much like electric wires wrapped in rubber insulation. The insulation allows electric impulses to travel efficiently along.

CIDP Patient Elizabeth Thirtyacre

Living with CIDP

Elizabeth Thirtyacre is living with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, also known as CIDP. The rare neurological disorder can cause muscle and nerve damage and lead to pain and weakness among other symptoms. She advises patients like her to listen to their body.

Watch Elizabeth's tips

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