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What Is Alcoholic Neuropathy?


Published: September 21, 2023

At some point in life, many individuals have enjoyed a glass of wine, beer, or spirits. However, when consumption crosses the line, the consequences can be severe and extend far beyond hangovers or liver problems. One such consequence is alcoholic neuropathy. This condition affects the nervous system and can lead to pain, weakness, and mobility issues.

Causes of Alcoholic Neuropathy

Alcohol can profoundly impact the body, including the nervous system. Excessive drinking over an extended period may lead to the development of alcoholic neuropathy. Consumption impacts nerve cells, damaging their protective coating and disrupting their normal functions. Alcohol also affects the body’s ability to absorb vitamins from food, leading to malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. A lack of vitamin B-12, in particular, has been linked to a greater risk of developing alcoholic neuropathy.

Symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy

The impacts of alcohol on the nervous system can remain even after drinking has ceased. Alcoholic neuropathy is a degenerative disease, meaning symptoms can get worse over time if not treated or managed correctly. Common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Tingling or burning sensations
  • Numbness, especially in the hands or feet
  • Increased sensitivity to touch
  • Muscle weakness or atrophy
  • Coordination and balance problems
  • Difficulty moving limbs

Tips for Managing Alcoholic Neuropathy

Living with alcoholic neuropathy can be challenging, but certain lifestyle changes and strategies can help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been navigating this condition for a while, these tips can help make daily life more comfortable and fulfilling.

Prioritize Safety at Home

For those living with alcoholic neuropathy, enhancing home safety is paramount. Ensure all areas, especially hallways, staircases, and bathrooms, are well-lit to minimize the risk of accidents due to poor visibility. Maintaining a tidy living space free from trip hazards such as loose rugs and clutter is essential. Additionally, consider installing handrails in areas like bathrooms and stairs for added support. To safeguard against slips and falls, opt for shoes with a good grip, even indoors, as neuropathy can cause foot numbness that affects stability.

Engage in Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is instrumental in managing alcoholic neuropathy symptoms by offering therapeutic exercises and balance activities that enhance mobility and coordination. Therapists design exercises to bolster muscle strength and improve motor skills, reducing the risk of falls. Techniques like massage, heat therapy, and TENS also alleviate pain, promoting better functionality. For optimal results and improved quality of life, always pursue physical therapy under a certified professional’s guidance.

Join a Support Group

Support groups for those with alcoholic neuropathy offer an invaluable platform for sharing experiences, gaining practical advice, and receiving emotional support from peers. This communal setting can dispel feelings of isolation, foster hope, and provide insights into symptom management. Simultaneously, group therapy, facilitated by qualified therapists, emphasizes mental health and coping skills. These sessions delve into emotional challenges, offer tools to navigate stress and anxiety and promote healthy lifestyle habits essential for mitigating symptoms and enhancing overall well-being.

Seek Help With Rockland Treatment Center

If you’re struggling with alcoholic neuropathy, remember you are not alone. At Rockland Treatment Center, we are committed to guiding you on your journey to wellness. Our comprehensive rehabilitation services are designed to address alcoholism and substance abuse, providing all the support you need to regain control of your life.

Our team of professionals is ready to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and the severity of your condition. Don’t let alcohol dictate your life any longer. Contact us today to book an appointment and start your journey toward recovery and renewed health.

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