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
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/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?

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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?: https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol-related-neurologic-disease#causes

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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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