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Alcoholic Neuropathy: How Alcohol Affects The Feet

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Most people know that alcohol can be harmful to the body, but many have never heard of Alcoholic Peripheral Neuropathy.

Alcoholic Peripheral Neuropathy is a nerve loss condition similar to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.

The difference is that Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is caused by diabetes, while Alcoholic Peripheral Neuropathy is caused by the prolonged consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol causes peripheral neuropathy because Ethanol, the alcoholic component in alcoholic beverages, is toxic to nerve tissue. After consuming alcohol over time, the nerves in the feet and hands can be damaged by the Ethanol, resulting in a loss of sensation.

The nerve damage caused by the consumption of alcohol is permanent. Those who suffer from Alcoholic Peripheral Neuropathy have the same risks as those who suffer from peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes and, therefore, should follow some of the same guidelines for foot care as far as keeping their feet healthy.

There are some treatments to help reduce pain and to keep the peripheral neuropathy sufferer’s feet from getting worse. Keep in mind that you should always consult a physician before taking any medication.

Some treatments for peripheral neuropathy caused by alcohol are:

  • Vitamin B-12 injections
  • Topical ointments
  • Magnetic Therapy
  • Galvanic Stimulation (the therapeutic use of electric current, used to stimulate nerves and muscles)

You can also take certain oral medications to ease pain caused by burning in the feet, which has been linked to heavy use of alcohol in some patients.

If you believe you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy and would like to set up an appointment with us, you can call our office at 615-220-8788 or request an appointment online.

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