Alcoholic Neuropathy Link Between Alcohol & Nerve Damage

She  also developed an understanding of various detox protocols, and the ability to identify the withdrawal symptoms unique to each substance. She also supports a holistic philosophy through her understanding that recovery requires care for the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of each patient. Assuming leadership responsibility alcohol neuropathy stages in 2013 as the Clinical Nurse Manager, addiction treatment has become Melinda’s passion. Excessive, long-term consumption of alcohol can lead to malnutrition as well as nerve damage, and both contribute to the development of alcoholic neuropathy. Our muscles need to receive a message from nearby nerves in order to function.

The prevalence of PN ranges from 2.4% to 8% per 100,000 individuals worldwide. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy and the US Food and Drug Administration estimate that 20 million people in the US experience PN. Neuropathic syndromes may develop from diabetes mellitus, vasculitis secondary to immune-mediated diseases, genetic disorders, malignancies, infections, vitamin deficiencies, medications, toxins, trauma, compression, and chronic heavy alcohol consumption.

Medical Professionals

These individuals draw the majority of calories from calorie rich alcoholic beverages with low nutritive value. Chronic abuse of alcohol depletes the pool of liver proteins which are consumed for energy production and insufficient intake of proteins only worsens this imbalance. Resulting disturbances in protein and lipid metabolism lead to undernourishment which adversely influences other metabolic pathways, including those influencing the function of the nervous system. As the Clinical Nurse Manager for Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat since 2013, Melinda’s nursing career began when she graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 2003. Relocating to Hemet in 2006, Melinda took a position on the Telemetry Unit at Hemet Valley Medical Center, as well as a Per Diem position at Hemet Valley Recovery Center. Having a limited understanding of Substance Use Disorder, Melinda gained valuable experience caring for those seeking treatment for the abuse of alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates, amphetamines, and the combinations of these and many more.

Alcohol administration protocols that induce nervous tissue damage vary from a four-day acute intoxication (Crews et al., 2004) to 40 weeks of chronic consumption (Dlugos, 2006). In this study, we utilized a protocol with free access and choice between a bottle containing alcohol solution and another containing water. The free access to the alcohol bottle was on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The position of the ethanol bottle was alternated in each drinking session to avoid the interference of conditioned place preference, according to Hwa et al. (2014). The ethanol solution (20% v.v.) was prepared with filtered water and 95% alcohol (Hwa et al., 2014).

Alcoholic Neuropathy Diagnosis

If you notice you are developing any signs of alcoholic neuropathy (such as numbness after drinking alcohol), in addition to seeing a doctor, try to stay away from alcohol altogether. If you are having difficulty avoiding alcohol, there are resources that can help you quit. While not specifically approved for the treatment of alcoholic neuropathy, antidepressants are often prescribed to help control the pain.

In one clinical study, aimed at studying distinct clinicopathologic features of alcoholic neuropathy, 64 patients were assessed. In 47 of these patients sural nerve biopsy was performed, with discrimination in terms of their thiamine status [3]. The ethanol consumption of these patients was more than 100 g day–1 for more than 10 years.

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