Drinking Heavily Over Time Can Cause Alcoholic Neuropathy

Drinking Heavily Over Time Can Cause Alcoholic Neuropathy

Alcoholic Neuropathy is a very serious form of nerve damage that can develop if a person drinks heavily over a long period of time. The actual cause of alcoholic neuropathy isn't known for sure but this a painful medical condition that around half of the people that drink heavily over a long period of time have developed. The symptoms can affect a person's quality of life and progressively gets worse as time goes on unless treatment is sought.

Heavy Drinking and Poor Nutrition

Most people that drink heavily don't eat right so they're not getting the proper nourishment they need and alcoholics lack important nutrients that end up compromising their health. Certain vitamins and minerals are essential for overall good health such as vitamin B1, B6, B12, B3, A, folic acid, panthothenic acid and biotin.

For example vitamin B1 also known as Thiamin, is a very important vitamin that helps the cells in our body turn carbohydrates into energy but it also plays an important role in keeping our heart, muscles and nervous system functioning properly. A deficiency in B1 is commonly found in people suffering from alcoholism in the U.S.

Excessive drinking over a period of time can change the way the body uses and stores important vitamins and minerals as well. Between poor nutrition and the fact that alcohol damages the nerves, excessive drinking over a long period of time may be the cause of alcoholic neuropathy.

Symptoms Associated With Alcoholic Neuropathy

There are various symptoms alcoholics may experience if they have developed this form of nerve damage due to heavy drinking over an extended period of time. The symptoms of alcohol neuropathy can be uncomfortable, painful and serious and can include numbness and pain in the arms, hands, legs and feet. Tingling sensations often referred to as 'pins and needles' feelings can be experienced with alcohol neuropathy. People can experience weakness of the muscles, muscle spasms, achy muscles or even muscle cramps. Impotency in men is another symptom of alcohol neuropathy. Another major concern can be problems with urination.

Alcoholic neuropathy is associated with long term heavy drinking and the lack of important nutrients our bodies need to remain healthy. The nerve damage caused from alcoholic neuropathy is permanent most of the time unfortunately and if left untreated, will only continue to get worse. Alcoholism is a serious disease and people that have struggled with this illness ten years or more are at risk of developing alcoholic neuropathy which ends up causing irreversible damage.

Treating Alcoholic Neuropathy

It's important for a person to stop drinking if they develop alcoholic neuropathy and seek help from a medical professional to keep nerve damage from getting worse. Medical tests will help determine the severity of nerve damage that's taken place and other problems long term heavy drinking has caused. This will help them to know how to proceed in treating the symptoms. Proper nutrition is extremely important in treating alcoholic neuropathy too. Medical treatment includes supplementing the individual's diet with folic acid, thiamine and other vitamins.

Medline Plus

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