You may suspect you have peripheral neuropathy based on the symptoms you experience, but you should see a healthcare provider to be sure. Pain from peripheral neuropathy is usually the most disruptive symptom, but medications or other treatments may help. Autonomic symptoms are among the most serious because they involve your body’s vital functions. When those don’t work correctly, it can have very severe — and sometimes dangerous — effects. How peripheral neuropathy develops, particularly the timeline of its progress, depends very much on what causes it.

The sural nerve was the most commonly reported nerve [2, 3, 5, 11, 27, 37–39, 51, 53, 59, 63, 68]. Motor function of the tibial nerve was the next common [3, 11, 51, 54, 59, 63]. Only one study examined radial nerves which reported reduced SNAP [53]. Finally, one study examined the strength-duration time constant (SDTC) and rheobase in median nerves of those with alcoholic peripheral neuropathy [69].

Differential Diagnosis

People who drink heavily on a regular basis are at risk of developing this condition. Most patients with alcohol neuropathy initially present with symmetrical polyneuropathies in the lower distal extremities, however; heavier abuse can progress to distal upper extremity symptoms. The most common findings are sensory related and are varied to include pain, numbness, and paresthesias. Pain seems to be consistent through the literature to be one of the most common complaints and can be the first clinical indication of the disease. Keeping this disease process high on the differential with the right history is essential. Progression of the disease leads to symmetrical ascending motor and sensory deficits.

what does alcohol neuropathy feel like

One of the many inhibitory effects of chronic alcohol use is malnutrition. Patients who abuse alcohol tend to consume fewer calories and have poor absorption of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract. There are also direct toxic effects of alcohol and its metabolites on neurons affecting cellular cytoskeletons and demyelination of neurons. Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances in the world. Among patients with chronic alcohol use disorder, neuropathy is the most common harmful sequelae.

Other areas of the body

This nerve damage causes an individual to experience pain and motor weakness, first in the feet and hands and then progressing centrally. Alcoholic polyneuropathy is caused primarily by chronic alcoholism; however, vitamin deficiencies are also known to contribute to its development. This alcohol neuropathy disease typically occurs in chronic alcoholics who have some sort of nutritional deficiency. Treatment may involve nutritional supplementation, pain management, and abstaining from alcohol. Protein kinase C (PKC) is a family of protein kinases consisting of approximately 10 isozymes.

Finally, alcohol may raise your blood sugar levels, further damaging your nerves and worsening your neuropathy. By Heidi Moawad, MD

Heidi Moawad is a neurologist and expert in the field of brain health and neurological disorders. Dr. Moawad regularly writes and edits health and career content for medical books and publications. Some of the symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy can be partially reversed.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

The information they provide will be the most accurate and relevant for your specific case and circumstances. Some treatments can greatly reduce or even stop symptoms, but this varies. Your healthcare provider is the best source of information on the outlook for your case and what you can do to help. Your peripheral nervous system carries motor signals, which are commands sent from your brain to your muscles. These signals are what make it possible for you to move around. Your muscles need nerve connections to the brain to stay healthy and work properly.

No matter the cause of your neuropathy, getting the right treatment is important. In addition to any doctor-prescribed therapies, medications, or surgeries, you should also invest time in helpful and non-invasive pain management treatment options. Alcohol can make it more difficult for your body to obtain the nutrients that help it to function. Thus, your nerves are less likely to receive the nutrients they need and can become damaged or even die. Alcohol also alters the function of the stomach, liver, and kidneys in ways that prevent the body from properly detoxifying waste material, which then builds up and harms many regions of the body, including the nerves.

The alcohol will continue to circulate in the bloodstream and eventually affect other organs. It usually develops as symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy go away. B vitamins such as B1, B6 and B12 are known to help with neuropathy symptoms…. We recommend limiting your alcohol intake to ensure you enjoy the highest quality of life possible.

Effective Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment to Relieve Nerve Pain – Health Central

Effective Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment to Relieve Nerve Pain.

Posted: Thu, 21 Sep 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

One common comment that I read about relative to nerve pain is the effect of sugar on nerves. Don’t know how true this is but it apparently slows down the healing of a damaged nerve. Peripheral neuropathy is an umbrella term for any condition, disease or disorder that affects your peripheral nerves, which are all the nerves outside of your spinal cord and brain. There are many different ways that peripheral neuropathy can happen, so this condition is common. If you have symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, you should see a healthcare provider as soon as possible. In some cases, peripheral neuropathy symptoms start before the condition causes permanent changes or damage, so it may be possible to limit the effects or even reverse them.