What are the symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy?

Alcoholic neuropathy may result in a number of symptoms, all of which are related to nerve damage and can vary in intensity. Symptoms of muscle weakness and sensitivity to touch typically develop on both sides of the body. These symptoms occur more often in the legs than in the arms and gradually become worse over time.

Common symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy

You may experience alcoholic neuropathy symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these nerve symptoms can be severe and will depend on the nerves affected:

  • Altered thinking and decision-making (poor cognition)
  • Impaired coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling in legs or arms
  • Pain in arms and legs
  • Visual disturbances (decreased vision, double vision, etc.)

    Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

    In some cases, alcoholic neuropathy can be a serious condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these serious symptoms including:

    • Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment
    • Fainting or change in level of consciousness or lethargy
    • Severe pain
    • Severe weakness


    What is alcoholic neuropathy?

    Alcoholic neuropathy is a disease associated with chronic alcohol abuse that is characterized by damage to the nervous system. Alcoholic neuropathy can affect the brain as well as nerves situated anywhere in the body including the feet, hands, muscles, gastrointestinal system, and reproductive system. Although the exact cause of alcoholic neuropathy is not known, it is thought to result from al... Read more about alcoholic neuropathyintroduction


    What causes alcoholic neuropathy?

    Alcoholic neuropathy is a disease characterized by impaired nerve function caused by excessive drinking of alcohol and nutritional deficits related to alcohol abuse. Individuals who have suffered from alcoholism for 10 or more years or who drink excessive amounts of alcohol regularly have a high risk of alcoholic neuropathy.

    Alcoholic neuropathy is caused by multiple factors. Alco... Read more about alcoholic neuropathycauses


    How is alcoholic neuropathy treated?

    Treatment for alcoholic neuropathy begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider and addressing any alcohol problem you may have.

    Vitamin supplementation treatments for alcoholic neuropathy

    Vitamin supplementation and medications to reduce pain and discomfort are the mainstays of treatment for alcoholic neuropathy. If you have alcoholic neuropathy, sup... Read more about alcoholic neuropathytreatments

    Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

    This Article is Filed Under: Brain and Nerves