Small fiber peripheral neuropathy and alcohol
I'm fairly new to the forum. I've searched for this topic in previous discussions, but I've been unable to find it. If I've goofed, perhaps @johnbishop can direct me. Also , I'd appreciate directions as to how to search the forum in the future.
At any rate, I'm 74 y/o, diagnosed with idiopathic small fiber PN about 2 years ago. I've had the million doctor w/u at UCSF, including a positive skin biopsy, so I'm 98% certain that the diagnosis is correct, although, of course, I'm still searching and hoping for a specific, treatable diagnosis. My symptoms are mostly allodynia manifesting as sometimes severe burning of the feet when wearing shoes and/or socks, and burning or irritation of the legs when wearing heavy pants like jeans or even from bed sheets. I'm on multiple meds. The only thing that helps for sure is warm weather.
My question involves alcohol. At least one of my many MD's think it's likely that the cause of the PN is drinking. Others disagree. My consumption had been 3-4 drinks per evening for many years (a martini and 2 or 3 glasses of wine). As a trial, I stopped drinking completely for about 3 months, yet the PN progressed up my legs and got worse. Currently, I reduced my consumption to a martini and glass of wine (2-3 drinks per evening). My diet is pretty good. I'm active and productive.
Does anyone have an informed opinion or experience similar to mine. In particular, I would appreciate a reference to a good article which addresses this subject.
I understand that alcohol is a neurotoxin, so the simplest answer would simply be to stop drinking. However, I enjoy my martini and glass of wine. Furthermore, my evening drinks distract me somewhat from the pain. At my age, I'd hate to give them up if it's not really going to make a difference. On the other hand, I would do so gladly if I were convinced that it would stop the progression of the PN, or even allow my nerves to heal somewhat.
An additional question is if anybody can refer me to a practitioner (not necessarily an MD) somewhere near me who they have had a good experience with. I live in the wine country north of San Francisco. @johnbishop may want to convert this to a separate topic.
Thanks in advance.