Patient Education

Alcoholic Neuropathy

Alcoholic neuropathy is nerve damage as a result of chronic alcohol abuse. The condition causes numbness, loss of sensation, pain, tingling, and weakness in the hands and feet that worsens over time. Alcoholic neuropathy can also affect other body parts and systems, including the brain. Drinking alcohol excessively can damage nerve tissue as a result of the ethanol found in alcoholic beverages; in addition, the problem may be compounded by a lack of vitamins and the poor diet alcoholics usually consume. The resulting nerve damage can become permanent if it is not properly treated.
To treat alcohol neuropathy, the underlying cause of alcoholism must be addressed so that the damaging alcohol consumption stops. In addition vitamin supplementation, particularly B vitamins, may restore the damaged nerves. Prescription medications are also available to alleviate the pain (always seek the advice of a doctor before taking any medication). In some cases, galvanic stimulation is administered to help improve nerve function. Magnetic therapy is another treatment option.

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