Peripheral Neuropathy: Does alcohol make walking harder?

Posted by sunnymarie @sunnymarie, Dec 9, 2021

I have a new issue, lack of walking ability when I have alcohol. Has anyone else had this problem

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Neuropathy group.

@sunnymarie, welcome to the Neuropathy group. What a lovely picture of you. I hope you'll add it to your profile.

I see you described your new issue in more detail in your profile bio where you said
– "My PN is about 20 yrs long. I’ve gotten along about the same until recently when I started having a lot of trouble walking without a cane. Now I notice a glass of wine with dinner makes it impossible to walk. What is going on?"

I found this related discussion with @jeffrapp @bkruppa @kimchi19 @wisfloj @johnbishop that you will find informative and helpful.

> Groups > Neuropathy > Small fiber peripheral neuropathy and alcohol

Marie, You recently started having more problems with walking and now use a cane. Additionally, having an alcoholic beverage makes walking even worse. Have I got that right? How is your neuropathy affecting your mobility? In other words are you unable to walk because you have pain? Numbness? Lack of coordination? All of the above?


Hello @sunnymarie, I've had idiopathic small fiber peripheral neuropathy for 20+ years myself and once I found out that alcohol can make it worse I gave it up. I did enjoy beer on a hot summer day and loved wine in the evening with a meal but just didn't want to make my neuropathy worse. I think the answer to your question has a lot of variables – your specific neuropathy diagnosis, age, general health and more. Here is more information on the topic – What causes alcohol-related neurologic disease?:


Alcohol does have an effect on equilibrium and even more so, when drank w/ certain medications. I am not aware of any medical benefit obtained from ingesting alcohol.

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