Can Alcohol Cause Numbness In Extremities?
Question: I am a 57 year old retired executive. I have been a social drinker all my life but since retiring, I have upped my drinking to about 8 or so ounces of vodka spread over the day. About three months ago, I noticed a kind of numbness in my feet. Is this from alcohol? The doctor says it is.
Answer: I believe your doctor is right. Alcohol has a direct toxic effect on the nerve fibers in the legs and arms. Alcohol can cause the degeneration of the myelin insulation of the nerve fiber as the nerve “dies back” from the feet and hands toward the upper leg and arm. Also, painful feet and weakness of the thigh muscle are part of the progression of this alcoholic polyneuropathy. Alcohol is the cause–no alcohol is the treatment.
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