Numbness is often a feature of peripheral neuropathy, and this can affect the body's ability to protect itself. For example, you may not be aware of an injury because you will be unable to feel the body's warning sign: pain. Damage to the body's more important nerves can be even more severe. You may suffer from life-threatening complications if the peripheral neuropathy affects your breathing or heartbeat. This kind of damage may also make you experience trouble eating and digesting food.