Alcoholic Neuropathy: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

how much alcohol causes neuropathy

There are, therefore, no ethical concerns with regard to this study. Use of this website and any information contained herein is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement. Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask about symptoms.

  • Epidermal nerve fibre density was assessed in two studies, both of which supported decremental nerve fibre density distally in the lower limb, anecdotally supportive of a length-dependent pattern [53, 63].
  • Evidence-based addiction treatment can lead to positive health outcomes for those struggling with alcohol addiction.
  • Nerve damage can also make it difficult for you to carry out the functions of daily life.
  • Medicines may be needed to treat pain or uncomfortable sensations due to nerve damage.
  • However, experts still do not have a full understanding of how alcoholic neuropathy happens, which can make treatment challenging.
  • Damage to the nerves leads to unusual sensations in the limbs, reduced mobility, and loss of some bodily functions.

Conditions That May Mimic Alcoholic Neuropathy

Alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy appears to be characterised by severe loss of myelinated fibres; and although profound small fibre loss can also be present, this appears to occur more variably [3, 51, 53, 59, 85]. The data indicates that there is both small and large fibre loss in alcohol-related neuropathy, but that small fibre loss is generally predominant [3, 51, 53, 56, 59, 63, 86]. Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage or disease of the nerves that carry messages to and from the brain or spinal column and the rest of the body. More recent research, however, suggests that alcohol can directly damage nerves.

Other areas of the body

With fewer of these nutrients to go around, the body has to prioritize where the existing nutrients go. This often means the nerves, especially those farther away from the heart, become deficient. In total, 585 papers did not meet the inclusion/exclusion criteria and were excluded.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

how much alcohol causes neuropathy

As a result, it is usually necessary to get medical help to manage alcohol use disorder. While not specifically approved for the treatment of alcoholic neuropathy, antidepressant medications are often prescribed to help control the pain. Anti-seizure medications are sometimes prescribed as a way to manage pain. alcohol neuropathy stages In general, it takes years for alcoholic neuropathy to develop, so a long-standing history of heavy alcohol use is typical. Some people experience a faster onset and progression of alcoholic neuropathy than others. It’s not completely clear why some people are more prone to this complication than others.

  • However, some people notice an improvement in symptoms a few months after discontinuing alcohol intake.
  • Progression of the disease leads to symmetrical ascending motor and sensory deficits.
  • Medical News Today publishes that medical procedures and therapies, medications, and adjunctive and alternative therapies are commonly used to treat alcoholic polyneuropathy.
  • Alternative therapies like chiropractic care, body manipulation, acupuncture, meditation, and massage therapy can be helpful in managing pain and symptoms of alcoholic polyneuropathy.

how much alcohol causes neuropathy

Alcoholic neuropathy is a condition in which the nerves become damaged as a result of years of heavy alcohol consumption. Symptoms include burning pain in the body, hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain), and allodynia (a condition in which normal stimulus, like a soft touch, produces pain). Fortunately, after receiving a diagnosis, people with alcoholic neuropathy can make healthy changes to minimize symptoms and receive help for chronic alcohol use. However, it is known to be directly related to heavy and long-term alcohol consumption.

Define what your health means to you and stop living life in pain!

  • Seeking help for addiction may seem daunting and possibly even scary, but there are several organizations that can provide support.
  • A program that caters to co-occurring disorders ensures that the alcoholism is being treated and so are any other medical or mental health issues.
  • One patient with grade III neuropathy responded with the correction of low circulating vitamin B6.

Progressive & Permanent Side Effects

  • For the most part this review consists of non-interventional studies for which generally accepted tools to evaluate risk of bias are not available.
  • Fox Integrated Healthcare offers a variety of treatments that are proven to combat neuropathy without medication.
  • The prevalence of denervation findings on EMG ranged from muscle to muscle, with the highest being in the muscles of the lower limbs suggesting a length-dependent pattern [35, 45, 52, 59].

How Does Alcohol Damage the Nerves?

How to Prevent Alcoholic Neuropathy

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