Alcohol Neuropathy???

Posted by purplewillow @purplewillow, Jan 21 2:38pm

Hello All, I just found this group and I am so thankful to have found this! I am so frustrated with our medical system here is Santa Rosa, Ca. It takes months to get an appointment with anyone…. Please read my story and any feedback or information would be so helpful. So I live in Wine Country, and last year beginning in Oct. 2017, I lost four family members, my baby brother, two sister-in-laws and my best friend just in July 019. I started to drink more and more wine everyday. Sometimes up to a bottle a night. On Jan. 2, 2020 I decided to stop, cold turkey. By the fourth day, I woke up at 3:00 am with stabbing, burning pain going up and down my legs and the bottom of my feet. My calf muscles were so sore as if I had run a marathon the day before. I went in (on a Saturday to a doctor, not my primary care physician), and explained my symptoms and that I had quit drinking just recently. She gave me a referral to have a nerve conduction test and physical therapy. I had blood work done and I don't have diabetes and my Vitamin B-12 level was VERY high, I think because I had taken vitamin B-12 supplements the day before the blood test, but all in all my blood test results were all good. I can't get an appointment for the nerve test until the end of March! In the meantime, I went to my chiropractor and explained everything to him, he said all that nerve pain was from going through alcohol withdrawal. He said I should have weened myself off instead of cold turkey. So, I went home and had a glass of wine and the next day I felt better. BUT, I am so nervous that I have damaged my nerves and I can't get help for another 6-8 weeks. Has anyone experienced this? Could this nerve pain be something else?

Liked by johnhans

Hello @purplewillow, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I think it would be hard for anyone to go through the loss of family and friends like you did and not be affected. I have idiopathic small fiber peripheral neuropathy and used to drink alcohol but I quit once I was diagnosed because it can cause nerve damage. I have not heard that stopping drinking of alcohol would suddenly cause the neuropathy symptoms. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy has some information on alcohol and neuropathy here: https://www.foundationforpn.org/what-is-peripheral-neuropathy/causes/alcohol/

I'm by no means an expert and have no medical training but the withdrawal symptoms you are describing don't sound like typical alcohol withdrawal. Mayo Clinic has some information here that describes alcohol withdrawal symptoms: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-use-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20369243

I'm tagging our moderator @lisalucier to see if we can move your post to another discussion on the same topic here where you can meet other members discussing neuropathy and alcohol:

> Groups > Neuropathy > Small fiber peripheral neuropathy and alcohol
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/small-fiber-peripheral-neuropathy-and-alcohol/

It's understandable that you are nervous about having damaged nerves but the good thing is that you are actively seeking help and learning as much as you can about your condition. Have you thought about checking back with your doctor and explaining your fears to see if you can get your appointment moved up?

Liked by johnhans

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@purplewillow we are not doctors so cannot diagnose. I can say the biggest cause of neuropathy in Germany is alcoholism. There are, however, many causes of neuropathy. I do not have diabetes and my tests all came out normal. You would need a neurologist to try and get a detailed analysis of possibilities. My neuropathy cause remains unknown. I understand you have not done the tests to even see if you have neuropathy so it may prove to be something else. Please keep us posted on your progress in getting a diagnosis.

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@johnbishop

Hello @purplewillow, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I think it would be hard for anyone to go through the loss of family and friends like you did and not be affected. I have idiopathic small fiber peripheral neuropathy and used to drink alcohol but I quit once I was diagnosed because it can cause nerve damage. I have not heard that stopping drinking of alcohol would suddenly cause the neuropathy symptoms. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy has some information on alcohol and neuropathy here: https://www.foundationforpn.org/what-is-peripheral-neuropathy/causes/alcohol/

I'm by no means an expert and have no medical training but the withdrawal symptoms you are describing don't sound like typical alcohol withdrawal. Mayo Clinic has some information here that describes alcohol withdrawal symptoms: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-use-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20369243

I'm tagging our moderator @lisalucier to see if we can move your post to another discussion on the same topic here where you can meet other members discussing neuropathy and alcohol:

> Groups > Neuropathy > Small fiber peripheral neuropathy and alcohol
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/small-fiber-peripheral-neuropathy-and-alcohol/

It's understandable that you are nervous about having damaged nerves but the good thing is that you are actively seeking help and learning as much as you can about your condition. Have you thought about checking back with your doctor and explaining your fears to see if you can get your appointment moved up?

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for your reply. I have emailed my doctor and told them how frustrating it is to have to wait so long for an appointment. I didn't get a reply. I think it's time for me to find another primary care doctor. I did ask for a referral to see a neurologist and that also is a least a two month wait, however, in the meantime, being here is so helpful! I am exercising, stretching and eating real healthy. I am slowing weaning myself off wine. Once that is out of my system, I'll have a better idea of the pain, I don't have as much pain when I have wine. Bless you!

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Looking at your post about whether the nerve pain you've had may have been from going off of alcohol consumption, @purplewillow. How is your pain now? Did you get into another primary care doctor or to a neurologist?

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