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Alcohol May Trigger Neuropathy, Even in Those With Diabetes
Oct 20, 2021 | Medscape
Picture - Alcohol May Trigger Neuropathy, Even in Those With Diabetes

Alcohol use may cause or accelerate neuropathy even in people with diabetes, two endocrinologists point out in a commentary.

So it's important to ascertain if a person with distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSP) uses alcohol excessively because neuropathic symptoms are unlikely to improve if that use continues.

And attempted treatment may be dangerous, as some of the most common drugs used to treat neuropathic symptoms can suppress respiration when combined with alcohol, Alabama endocrinologists David S.H. Bell, MB, and Edison Goncalves, MD, explain in their piece, recently published in Diabetes Therapy.

They note that diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy, and alcohol the second-most common. In people with diabetes who drink, both may contribute to worsening neuropathy symptoms. Those symptoms — including numbness, tingling, pain, and early motor involvement of the toes — are nearly indistinguishable between neuropathy caused by diabetes and by alcohol.

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