Alcoholic neuropathy is a condition that affects people who consume large amounts of alcohol over an extended period. It is a type of nerve damage that can cause various symptoms, including pain, tingling, numbness, and limb weakness. The condition is caused by the toxic effects of alcohol on the nerves, which can result in nerve damage and inflammation.
AspenRidge, a rehab center based in Denver, recognizes the devastating impact that alcoholism can have on an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Alcoholic neuropathy is just one of the many health problems resulting from chronic alcohol abuse and can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life.
This article will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for Alcoholic Neuropathy. We will also discuss how AspenRidge’s comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment program can help individuals overcome their addiction and manage the health consequences associated with chronic alcohol abuse.
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When an individual takes excessive alcohol, they may feel a sensation in their limbs. It is often a tingling sensation when alcohol damages the peripheral nerves. Alcoholic neuropathy occurs when there is a large intake of alcohol, leading to a damaged peripheral nerve.
The onset of peripheral neuropathy from alcohol is often prolonged. It often leads to an alteration in the body’s level of nutrients. Some symptoms of alcohol neuropathy may be similar to alcoholic polyneuropathy, which develop in the distal upper and proximal lower extremities. Alcohol neuropathy
What Is Alcohol-Induced Neuropathy?
Alcohol neuropathy occurs when an individual consumes too much alcohol, leading to damaged peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves transmit signals between the brain, body, and spinal cord. Too much intake of alcohol will affect the nutrients required for proper nerve function.
Heavy alcohol use can affect the delicate nerve fibers, thereby resulting in damage to the protective sheath. The damage will affect the smooth transmission of electrical impulses resulting in neuropathy.
How Much Alcohol Consumption Can Lead to Alcoholic Neuropathy?
It is difficult to estimate the amount of alcohol that can lead to alcohol neuropathy because it varies in every individual. Factors such as the amount consumed over a lifetime and the duration of heavy drinking can influence the development of alcohol neuropathy. According to a study, taking 100g daily over a couple of years can cause peripheral neuropathy.
How Is Alcoholic Neuropathy Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of this condition strongly relies on physical examination, comprehensive history, and supporting lab tests. Currently, there are no specific tests to detect alcohol neuropathy specifically. Some of the tests that can help to rule out an alcohol neuropathy diagnosis are:
- Tests on thiamine, vitamin B12, and folate levels
- Liver function tests or tests for possible cirrhosis
- Syphilis tests
- Diabetes tests
- Nerve conduction tests
- EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
Can Alcoholism Cause Permanent Nerve Damage?
Yes! Binge or heavy drinking can permanently damage the nerve and cause alcoholic cerebellar degeneration. It can also lead to worse symptoms, such as disability, if drinking continues. A damaged nerve is one of the toxic effects of heavy alcohol drinking.
Symptoms of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is when an individual has an uncontrollable desire to drink, leading to serious health issues. It often leads to alcohol dependence which affects the individual in various ways. Some of the symptoms of alcoholism are:
- Blurry vision
- Slurred speech
- Slow reaction times
Effects of Neuropathy Due to Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol neuropathy occurs when an individual consumes excessive alcohol over a long period. The individual may present some It is a nerve disease that causes a damaged nerve which leads to some effects such as:
- Decreased Sensation: It leads to alcoholic sensory neuropathy, which causes a decrease in the sensation of the feet. This can lead to consequences such as infections, bleeding, and alcoholic motor neuropathy, like impaired motor skills.
- Muscle Weakness: One of the effects of alcohol neuropathy is severe motor weakness. When alcohol neuropathy damages the nerve, some muscles cease to function properly.
- Muscle Weakness: Severe alcohol neuropathy tends to cause the individual to develop a weak motor due to the damaged nerves. It causes weakness in the feet and hands.
Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy from Alcohol
The peripheral nerves manage several vital motor and sensory functions in the body. Alcohol neuropathy damages these nerves due to heavy drinking over a long period. It takes years to develop, along with a standing history of heavy use of alcohol.
Another cause of alcohol neuropathy is deficient nutrition and a build-up of toxins in the body. Alcohol causes a decrease in the absorption of vital nutrients such as Vitamin B12 and Vitamin A, leading to deficits in the body.
What Is Alcohol Neuropathic Pain?
Alcohol neuropathic pain occurs when long-term heavy drinking results in alcoholic nerve damage. It is often characterized by allodynia and spontaneous burning pain in various body parts.
Symptoms of Alcohol-Induced Neuropathy
The symptoms of alcohol neuropathy are often subtle at first and progress gradually. Some of the symptoms are:
- Loss of balance
- Bruises and skin infections on the feet and fingers
Does Quitting Help Improve Alcoholic Neuropathy?
There is no way to rebuild a damaged nerve due to excessive alcohol consumption. Hence alcohol neuropathy is often permanent and can affect the quality of life. Quitting alcohol can only help to prevent further deterioration of the nerves.
Alcohol rehabilitation is a treatment process that may occur in a facility for individuals experiencing alcohol addiction. It often includes the combination of psychotherapy and several medical treatments. Rehab aims to help you improve your abilities and quality of life.
What Are the Treatment Options for Alcoholic Neuropathy?
There are treatment options for alcoholic neuropathy available at addiction rehab Denver, such as:
- Inpatient detox: The first step to treating alcohol neuropathy is detox. An inpatient detox will help flush the alcohol out of the individual’s body system.
- Treatment plan: When treating alcohol neuropathy, it is best to have a treatment plan that may involve vitamin supplements. The treatment plan should include physical therapy, over-the-counter pain relief, and medicines for urinary problems.
- Community-based support: At rehab centers, community-based support groups help reduce anxiety and stress. It helps with recovery by improving your coping skills.
Are there Any Lifestyle Changes that Can Help with Alcoholic Neuropathy?
Yes! There are lifestyle changes that can help with alcoholic neuropathy. Some of these lifestyle changes are:
- Regular exercise
- Avoid excess alcohol
- Taking more nutritious meals
Can Physical Therapy or Exercise Help with Alcoholic Neuropathy?
Yes! Physical therapy or regular exercise can help with alcoholic neuropathy. Alcoholic neuropathy can lead to motor loss and loss of coordination. Physical therapy such as swimming helps to bring blood flow to the affected areas of the body.
FAQ – Alcoholic Neuropathy
How Does Alcoholic Neuropathy Differ from Other Types of Neuropathies?
All neuropathies are often grouped depending on the number of affected nerves. Alcohol neuropathy occurs when there is damage to the nerves that emerge from heavy drinking of alcohol.
Can Medications Help with the Pain Associated with Alcoholic Neuropathy?
Some medications can help with alcohol neuropathic pain. There are over-the-counter medications that can help to treat nerve pain. These medications help with minor discomfort that occurs as a result of alcoholic neuropathy.
Can Alcohol Neuropathy be Cured or Reversed?
No! Alcohol Neuropathy cannot be cured or reversed. Alcohol neuropathy occurs when excessive alcohol drinking results in a permanently damaged nerve. The damaged nerve is one of the major effects of alcohol neuropathy.
Can Supplements or Vitamins Help with Alcoholic Neuropathy?
The deficiency of nutrition in the body also causes alcohol neuropathy. It results in the build-up of toxins, thereby decreasing the absorption of nutrients such as vitamins. Increasing your intake of vitamins and supplements will help with alcoholic neuropathy.
AspenRidge Recovery – Alcohol-Related Diseases
AspenRidge Recovery is Colorado’s leading alcohol addiction recovery center helping thousands to overcome excessive drinking and alcohol use disorder. Our various programs aim to treat AUD using different approaches, including dual diagnosis therapy, substance misuse help, cognitive therapy, holistic approaches, group therapy, and more.
The Joint Commission also certifies our center, and our licensed counselors are trained, specifically, in substance misuse and addiction. We offer the following programs:
We can help guide you through the different stages of alcohol rehab and next steps. It’s also critical to understand that treatment is different for everyone and, therefore, a tailored treatment approach is important. Contact us today for more information about Colorado alcohol rehabilitation at 855-281-5588.