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Alcoholic Neuropathy

Old 09-14-2022, 11:09 AM
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Alcoholic Neuropathy

Does anyone have experience with alcoholic neuropathy? I have some things going on with my hands and feet and even my speech I am dropping things a lot, my gate has changed to where it feels like I am off-balance a lot and my enunciation is really bad. This is the only explanation left, we have not been able to find a medical reason for it.
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Old 09-15-2022, 02:08 AM
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Hi, HonestlyTrying. Perhaps you may be having a form of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, also known as PAWS for short? PAWS can take many forms, where no apparent cause can be found other than consuming alcohol on a regular basis for "a long enough time". "A long enough time" is pretty vague, I drank for probably 25 years and quit about 25 years ago without having any PAWS problems, while others who did what I did most certainly do have PAWS problems.

Take a look at the thread "For those tortured by PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) and who fear they might go mad"? Go to the very beginning of that thread on 5-11-2016, where the author ttamelbon has a list of his symptoms, which is followed by the lists of symptoms that others have had, or are still having.

It may be helpful if you could add a bit more detail about your experience with alcohol, such as how long you were drinking, how much, what forms of alcohol you used (such as straight vodka, or strictly 3.2% alcohol beer) and how long ago your last drink was. The reason for asking about what you drank is because the higher the alcohol content per drink, the greater the potential for causing nerve damage, as well as all kinds of other problems.

The body initially handles alcohol by the liver converting it to acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical that damages nerves and other parts of the body. When someone has been drinking alcohol, it is acetaldehyde that is most noticeably smelled on the breath, not ethanol, and it is both acetaldehyde and ethanol together that are responsible for the intoxicating effects of having consumed alcohol beverages, not the ethanol alone. It is acetaldehyde that is responsible for painful hangovers, which is how the prescription drug disulfiram (also called Antabuse) works, by causing a buildup of toxic acetaldehyde in the body.

I hope someone here can come up with something that will help with what is happening to you. Good Luck!

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Old 09-15-2022, 02:24 AM
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Hi HonestyTrying

That's all concerning stuff.
by 'we' do you mean you and your Doctor?

D
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Old 09-15-2022, 12:10 PM
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I don't think it's PAWS, I have been sober for 10 years. I had a Primary doc suggest it might be that, and also a physical therapist, but there's not much info out there about it.That's why I 'm looking for someone who is familiar with the condition. I was told it doesn't matter how long ago I quit; the damage is done.
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Old 09-15-2022, 12:11 PM
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doctor and a physical therapist both suggested it's possible.
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Old 09-15-2022, 02:44 PM
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There’s so many things it could be, and I understand how scary it is to not know the cause.
If your current doctors and therapists aren’t giving you answers maybe a second opinion is called for HT?

D
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Old 09-18-2022, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by HonestlyTrying View Post
Does anyone have experience with alcoholic neuropathy? I have some things going on with my hands and feet and even my speech I am dropping things a lot, my gate has changed to where it feels like I am off-balance a lot and my enunciation is really bad. This is the only explanation left, we have not been able to find a medical reason for it.
This happened to my husband. His hands and feet were going numb. He went to rheumatologist and they gave him all kinds of meds, then to a hand doctor who did surgery...nothing helped. THEN they suggested a neurologist. It ended up one of his vertebrae (C3) was pressing right on his spine and causing this. They did surgery quickly because they said it could of resulted in paralysis. This was the root cause after trying to figure it out for over a year. I'm not giving medical advice just relating this story I sure wish it would have been suggest to go to a neurologist first. His feeling is slowing coming back but will most likely never return to normal.
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Old 09-19-2022, 05:27 PM
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Yes, if you've been sober ten years and just now experiencing the changes, it sounds like a medical problem, not alcohol related, but I suppose it could be.
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Old 09-23-2022, 09:58 PM
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Have you seen a doctor?
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Old 10-30-2022, 10:47 AM
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After 9 years being a highly functional alcoholic, I ignored / accepted those symptoms that have been around for 7 years. I can't write anymore, Sometimes, I can't use my left arm to bring a cup to my mouth. Pain in the feet/hands and a big one in the back between my shoulder's blades and of course to my liver. The last two symptoms go away after a few days off the booze, but not the pain/numbness in my hands and feet. I feel that I have been very stupid to disrespect and abuse my otherwise very resilient body. Two days sober and extremely mad at myself.
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Old 11-01-2022, 02:41 PM
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I'm sober almost 13 yrs and have had really bad neuropathy for the last year. My doctor never said it could be alcohol related tho I suppose it could be. All I know is that it's awful. Both feet are numb all the time and they hurt badly at night and often wake me up with the pain in my feet. I don't have it in my hands, so guess I'm lucky.... I'm on the second med prescribed for me and it's not helping either.
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Old 11-02-2022, 11:17 AM
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Sorry to hear, Least. It can be so debilitating. I have a tremor in my right arm that was made worse by years of regular drinking. Drinking the last of a can of soda is an embarrassment due to the shaking, lol. It crept up on me the last 5-10 years when I kept relapsing.
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Old 11-02-2022, 04:30 PM
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That scary stuff. My sponsor had the same thing, they told her had she be in a car accident of suddenly jolted it would have paralyzed her too. Mine isn'trelated to the stenosis in the cervical; neck vertebra. they sill can't figure what's causing it. it isn't pain, it's LACK OF FEELING, NUMBNESS, DEADNESS.
THANK GOD THERE ISN'T PAIN CONNECTED TO IT... BUT THAT POSES IT'S OWN DANGERS
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Old 11-02-2022, 04:37 PM
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ADDICTION IS A TOTAL BITCH ISN'T IT? I haven't relapsed on drugs/alcohol but food is my nemesis now, I keep relapsing on sugar.I started a 12 step workshop with Herb K on zoom and it is INTENSE. Look him up on You tube or podcasts, he's got a lot of them out there now. Now I understand why relapse is SO SO COMMON... IT'S MIND BLOWING, i'm learning things I've NEVER heard after 10 years and working the steps prob six times....
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Old 11-02-2022, 04:40 PM
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Love that least - I'd rather live in my car with my dog than anywhere without him!!
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Old 11-02-2022, 04:46 PM
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Same suggestion I replied earlier ... This is a game changer if you can't sop, it is for ANY and all addicitions, no charge, free will donation.(I forgot to mention the one I'm doing is 6 months - he does some that are a whole year!)
I started a
12 step workshop with Herb K on zoom and it is INTENSE. Look him up on You tube or podcasts, he's got a lot of them out there now. Now I understand why relapse is SO SO COMMON... IT'S MIND BLOWING, i'm learning things I've NEVER heard after 10 years and working the steps prob six times....
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Old 11-02-2022, 04:49 PM
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yes, I've seen several and they are slowly doing the process of elimination. Just had steroid injection in my neck today. i'm supposed to feel results over the next 5-7 days... we'll see
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Old 12-11-2022, 04:47 PM
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Alcoholic Neuropathy is definitely real, I know, I got it. I have been a heavy drinker for 20 years, and three years ago what began as tingling in my feet turned into numbness and sometimes outright pain. I was professionally diagnosed and was told symptoms improve and sometimes go away by stopping drinking. I quit for a few weeks and guess what, my symptoms improved greatly. However then the pandemic hit, I began drinking vodka again, and the symptoms came back in a couple weeks. I am in the process of quitting again and I suspect they will diminish again. The reality is though they likely will still be residual effect, but I am proof the symptoms do improve and can become just an annoyance.

Alcoholic Neuropathy is a nervous system issue. What happens is alcohol robs the body of Vitamin B, and you become malnourished. For whatever reason, this causes the pulses from your brain to become diminished and when they get to your toes they are not strong enough. Regardless of the details your nervous system is impacted. While its not fatal, it certainly is a pain.

While there is no guarantee of improvement, one thing my neurologist guaranteed is it will get worse if you drink. That is true. Sometimes in bed I awaken terrible pain in my feet. There is medication that helps greatly, the issue is there are side effects. When I took the meds my wife would have to help me to the bathroom in the middle of the night because the meds made me completely out of it. With a family at home, I really can't be in that condition in the middle of the night in case they need me, so I just tough it out. If you are interested in the meds I can probably dig up the name.

Yes, Alcoholic Neuropathy and its more common than you think, my neurologist said patients come in virtually every week, and the advice is the same, stop and they can improve, or don't stop drinking and they will get worse.

Good luck.
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