Do you have someone in your life that relies consistently on alcohol to get them through the month, the week or the day? If you answered yes to this question, then it is time to learn what alcoholic neuropathy is, what the symptoms are and how you can be treated in order to save your health or the health of someone close to you. The term neuropathy itself refers to nerve damage in general.
This can mean alcoholic neuropathy symptoms can include anything from numbing of limbs, tingling sensations and so on. As the neuropathy progresses unchecked, the symptoms will become more intense and more debilitating. The term alcoholic neuropathy directly relates any alcoholic substance utilized on a frequent basis to the neuropathy displaying itself within the person. Within this article we are going to outline many frequently asked questions about this condition and provide you with the answers. This will help outline what the condition is, what symptoms to be on the lookout for and treatment options.
Q: What are Alcoholic Neuropathy Symptoms?
A: Excessive drinking over the years can take its toll on your body. Over enough time and enough alcohol, alcoholic neuropathy may present itself. Although alcoholism symptom affects a person on psychological and social levels as well, we are now referring to the physical side effects of this chronic behaviour.
Neuropathy of this kind generally starts with tingling hands and feet and leads to numbness which then leads to ulcers on the hands and feet as well. This is just the beginning stages and there will be more information on the symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy as you read further on. The basic definition of alcoholic neuropathy refers to a chronic alcoholic who has spent years drinking excessively. Your nerves begin to malfunction and if left unchecked, lifelong disabilities become possible.
Q: What are the symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy?
A: If you currently know someone in your life with an alcohol problem it is wise to make yourself aware of the warning signs of alcoholic neuropathy. Just as with any neurological condition, the faster it is discovered and treated the less threatening the symptoms neuropathy causes and their consequences can be. Here are some of the symptoms to keep an eye out for:
Tingling in the hands, legs and feet
- “Pins and Needles” sensation in hands, legs and feet
- Development of ulcers and/or sores on hands and feet
- Calf cramping on a regular basis
- Burning sensation in feet
- Weakening of leg muscles
- Lack of coordination will appear
- Impotence for men
- Increased heart rate
These are the initial symptoms and warning signs that are most noticeable in the beginning before a diagnosis from a physician. If two or more of these symptoms become present it is time to get your loved one to a health care professional for a complete physical exam.
Q: What specifically causes Alcoholic Neuropathy?
A: Individuals who have been drinking excessively for at least 10years have put themselves at a high risk for alcoholic neuropathy. It is the excessive alcohol the body has been forced to sustain over the years as well as the nutritional deficiencies alcoholism causes that make this form of neuropathy a serious risk factor. What many people do not realize is that alcohol has a directly toxic effect on the nerves and over time this causes the nerves to malfunction so to speak. Next, long term alcohol abuse prevents your body from absorbing the necessary nutrients your nerves need to properly function. With this being said, you can see how neuropathy becomes inevitable for long term alcohol abusers.
Q: How can the risk be lowered:
A: Whether you have been in contact with your physician for yourself or a loved one and decided it is time to do what you can to lower your risk factors before it is too late, there are a few things you can do. First and foremost is to of course limit the amount of alcohol you consume on a daily basis. Men should not be in taking more than 2 drinks per day and women no more than 1. Next, a well-balanced and healthy diet is essential to try and regain nutrients lost. Multi-vitamins may be a great addition to your diet as well to help boost your vitamins and minerals from all angles to get back on track. If you find you cannot limit your alcohol consumption, professional help may be required to get you to where you need to be in order to avoid alcoholic neuropathy.
Q: Can this condition affect internal organs as well as nerves?
A: Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. There are nerves known as autonomic that help control the function of the heart and all other internal organs. When your alcoholic neuropathy gets this far and reaches these nerves a wide array of new symptoms will occur resulting from the malfunctioning of internal organs. Most commonly, the nerves that supply the gastrointestinal tract are affected and when this happens your body cannot properly move the foods you consume and therefor constipation becomes a major and constant symptom. Autonomic nerves control your blood pressure as well and when these nerves are affected, hypertension can become a new condition for the patient. As you can see, it easily can become out of control when your neuropathy reaches this level of severity.
Q: How is Alcoholic Neuropathy treated?
A: The key to treatment is to deal with the alcohol problem directly. Of course there are certain prescription medications that can be prescribed in order to help with the nerve pain and perhaps even reverse some of the damage that has been done. It is hoped that someone with this severe of an alcohol problem will realize what they are doing to their body long before it reaches this stage but this is not always the case. Seeking professional help may be the key to help reduce the risk of alcoholic neuropathy and/or stop the progression of this disease before it is too late. Alcoholic neuropathy symptoms should be considered warning signs and taken seriously.