Alcoholic Neuropathy: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

what is alcohol neuropathy

The medical community has recognized that addiction is a disease and some people are predisposed to it. As a result, it is usually necessary to alcohol neuropathy stages get medical help to manage alcohol use disorder. Avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol is the primary way to prevent alcoholic neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Medicines may be needed to treat pain or uncomfortable sensations due to nerve damage. They will be prescribed the smallest dose of medicine needed to reduce symptoms. This may help prevent drug dependence and other side effects of chronic use. Alcoholic neuropathy is a severe condition caused by excessive alcohol use.

what is alcohol neuropathy

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Alcoholic neuropathy is not typically fatal, but it can cause serious complications due to loss of nerve function.
  • If you have questions or concerns about the health of your feet, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.
  • This can cause your ligaments, tendons, and muscles to become inflamed and swollen.
  • In an animal study, it has been found that chronic alcohol consumption in rats resulted in a significant depletion in thiamine diphosphate (TDP), the active coenzyme form of thiamine.
  • The authors noted that Danish beer at the time of the study contained thiamine and vitamin B6.
  • Alcoholic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by the toxic effect of alcohol on nerves.

If your doctor confirms a diagnosis of alcoholic neuropathy, they will discuss treatment options, including help for alcohol use disorder. This article provides an overview of alcoholic neuropathy, including symptoms, causes, and diagnosis. It also discusses treatment options, including how to get help for alcohol use disorder. Alcoholic neuropathy damages the nerves due to prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption.

How can alcohol-related neurologic disease be prevented?

  • Initially, they may be barely noticeable but can progress to more severe and disabling conditions if alcohol consumption continues.
  • At Healthgrades, our Editorial Team works hard to develop complete, objective and meaningful health information to help people choose the right doctor, right hospital and right care.
  • For instance, getting your blood sugar under control can help halt the progression of nerve damage and improve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
  • Generally the process will start with your physician taking down a patient history that includes a description of your complaints, as well as a physical examination to check the functioning of the area in question.
  • Alcoholic neuropathy damages the nerves due to prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption.

Sometimes symptoms get better, especially if caused by a condition that can be treated. Constant pain in the hands or feet is one of the most bothersome aspects of alcoholic neuropathy. The pain can feel like burning, throbbing, or sharp pins and needles. As the condition progresses, the pain may vary in intensity, sometimes diminishing for months before worsening again. People with a lengthy history of alcohol misuse might experience loss of balance, pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness after drinking alcohol. Alcoholic neuropathy signs and symptoms can progress gradually and are usually subtle at first.

  • There’s a lot to manage when you have diabetes — from monitoring your glucose levels and taking medications to carefully planning meals and going to medical appointments.
  • Electrophysiologic and pathologic findings mainly indicate axonal neuropathy with reduced nerve fibre densities.
  • However, in the case of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, the nerve damage can be temporary.

what is alcohol neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins. Nerve damage typically affects the axons, which are the projections that send electrical signals from one nerve to another. It also impacts the myelin, which is the fatty coating that protects the nerves. Symptoms can include numbness in hands and feet, digestive issues, and loss of balance due to loss of nerve function.

what is alcohol neuropathy

This suggests that these pathways are potential targets for novel pharmacological agents for the treatment of inflammatory as well as neuropathic pain [71]. A qualified and trained healthcare provider can diagnose it, but the diagnosis process almost always involves some form of diagnostic, imaging or laboratory testing. You may suspect you have peripheral neuropathy based on the symptoms you experience, but you should see a healthcare provider to be sure. Peripheral neuropathy is most likely to be permanent with chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases and genetic conditions. However, this can still vary, so it’s best to ask your healthcare provider about what’s most likely in your case.

what is alcohol neuropathy

Relationship between alcoholic neuropathy and thiamine deficient neuropathy