How Much Alcohol Consumption Causes Neuropathy?

There are a number of different illnesses and conditions that can cause neuropathy, including consuming large amounts of alcohol. Alcoholic neuropathy is very common among those who drink heavily, but few people realize that the pain and tingling they feel in their extremities is another symptom of their drinking. Fortunately, by reducing their alcohol intake and seeking out peripheral neuropathy treatment, these symptoms can often be reversed. If you drink alcohol, it’s important to understand how much alcohol can cause neuropathy and how to deal with this issue if you begin experiencing its symptoms.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?

It can be difficult to say exactly how much alcohol causes neuropathy because every person’s body chemistry is different. This is why you may feel drunk after three drinks, but someone else may only feel slightly tipsy after the same amount. Alcoholic neuropathy generally only develops in those who have drank excessively for a considerable amount of time. This excessive drinking damages the nerves and can lead to a number of symptoms. It usually takes years to reach this point, although heavy binge drinking can accelerate the onset of alcoholic neuropathy.

How Does Alcohol Damage the Nerves?

Alcohol causes neuropathy by making it more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients, including B12 and protein. With fewer of these nutrients to go around, the body has to prioritize where the existing nutrients go. This often means the nerves, especially those farther away from the heart, become deficient.

Heavy alcohol use can also impact how the kidneys, stomach, and liver function. This leads to a build-up of toxins in the body because the system that flushes these toxins is no longer working correctly. These toxins can also damage the nerves and other parts of the body.

What Are the Symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy?

Alcoholic neuropathy has many of the same symptoms as peripheral neuropathy. For most, this includes a tingling, burning, or painful feeling in their legs, feet, arms, and hands. They may not feel strong sensations in these areas, either, due to the damage to the nerves. They may notice a weakness in their hands or that they have lost some of their coordination. Their balance can be affected due to the nerve damage in the legs and feet.

Other symptoms are similar to what the person experiences when drunk, which can make it difficult to recognize alcoholic neuropathy. For example, when drinking, you may feel dizzy, have trouble walking in a straight line, and feel unsteady while walking. If you notice these symptoms while sober, you may think you’re still slightly drunk or that you haven’t fully recovered from a hangover.

How Is Alcoholic Neuropathy Treated?

Alcoholic neuropathy can be treated, and if it’s caught early enough, it can be partially or fully reversed. The biggest thing you need to do when dealing with alcoholic neuropathy is to stop drinking. This will halt the damage being done to the nerves and allow them to begin regenerating themselves. You also need to begin eating a healthy diet, and you may need to take vitamin supplements to improve your levels of B12, thiamine, Vitamin E, and folate.

While becoming sober and improving your diet will help your body heal in the long-term, neither will immediately help you deal with the pain and other symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy. Fortunately, there are a number of different treatments that can help lessen the pain, improve your balance, and promote nerve regeneration without medications. Fox Integrated Healthcare offers a variety of treatments that are proven to combat neuropathy without medication. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with alcoholic neuropathy.