Alcoholic Neuropathy: Introduction
Alcoholic neuropathy is a complication of alcohol abuse or alcoholism. In alcoholic neuropathy, the nerves are damaged due to long-term ingestion of alcohol. Alcoholic neuropathy can affect many parts of the body including the muscles, legs, feet, bladder, gastrointestinal system, and reproductive system.
Alcoholic neuropathy generally develops slowly over a long period as ongoing ingestion of alcohol damages the nerves of the body. Symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy can include sensations of pain, numbness, tingling, or prickling. Symptoms may also include numbness and muscle weakness.
Other symptoms can affect the function of certain organs, such as the bladder and organs in the gastrointestinal system. Alcoholic neuropathy can also lead to complications. For more details about complications and symptoms, see symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy.
Diagnosing alcoholic neuropathy begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination, including a neurological examination. A neurological exam evaluates the nerves and the nervous system and such functions as reflexes, sensation, movement, balance, coordination, vision, and hearing.
Tests may include an electromyography (EMG), which tests the nerve and electrical activity of muscles. A nerve conduction test may also be performed to test how fast the nerves transmit impulses.
A diagnosis of alcoholic neuropathy can be delayed or missed because symptoms develop gradually and for other reasons. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of alcoholic neuropathy.
Prevention of alcoholic neuropathy is very important because there is no cure or treatment that can repair the permanent damage that has been done to the nerves. Treatment of alcoholic neuropathy includes treatment of alcoholism. For more information on prevention and treatment, refer to treatment of alcoholic neuropathy. ...more »
Long term excessive consumption of alcohol can have a toxic effect on nerves and hence results in decreased nerve function. The nerve damage caused by alcohol is often permanent. Sufferers may feel burning and tingling sensations, weakness or numbness. ...more »
Alcoholic Neuropathy: Symptoms
People with alcoholic neuropathy can experience a variety of symptoms that include abnormal or unusual sensations. Symptoms include sensations of pain, numbness, pins and needles, tingling, or numbness. Alcoholic neuropathy can also affect the muscles, resulting in muscle weakness, muscle cramps, muscle spasms and muscle pain. If alcohol ingestion continues, ...more symptoms »
Alcoholic Neuropathy: Treatments
The first step in the treatment of alcoholic neuropathy is prevention. Alcoholic neuropathy cannot be cured, and the damage done to the nerves cannot be repaired, so it is vital that people prevent its occurrence.
Treatment of alcoholic neuropathy generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses alcoholism and minimizes the pain and abnormal sensations of alcoholic neuropathy ...more treatments »
Alcoholic Neuropathy: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of alcoholic neuropathy and its cause may be delayed or missed because alcoholic neuropathy develops gradually. People with alcoholic neuropathy may be unaware of unusual sensations or numbness because of the effects of high levels of alcohol in their blood and alcohol intoxication. In addition, some symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy, such as weakness and difficulty walking or ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy
- Numbness in legs and feet
- Weakness in limbs especially legs
- Ulcers on legs and feet
- Sores on legs and feet
- more symptoms...»
See full list of 17
symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy
Treatments for Alcoholic Neuropathy
- Cessation or decrease of alcohol consumption
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
- Psychotherapy or self-help/support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous
- more treatments...»
Read more about treatments for Alcoholic Neuropathy
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