Public awareness about the relationship between diabetes and peripheral neuropathy continues to grow. But fewer people are familiar with the condition’s linkages to chronic alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, alcohol remains one of the most common causes of neuropathy. In fact, researchers believe upwards of 66 percent of individuals with chronic alcohol abuse also exhibit the symptoms of alcoholic polyneuropathy.
Fortunately, knowledge can help your patients make better decisions when it comes to managing this condition. Keep reading for what your patients need to know about alcohol and peripheral neuropathy so that they can make better decisions about managing their health.
Alcohol and Peripheral Neuropathy
Why is alcohol overconsumption one of the most frequent causes of neuropathy? Because alcohol has a toxic effect on nerve tissue. Moreover, chronic alcoholism contributes to vitamin and nutritional deficiencies. These often include insufficient levels of B1 (thiamine), B12, folate, other B vitamins, and nitric oxide.
People suffering from alcoholic neuropathy may alleviate some of their current symptoms by cutting alcohol out of the equation. But the damage often proves permanent. However, abstinence may prevent further nerve damage and deterioration, making it well worth a patient’s efforts to participate in an alcohol abstinence abuse program or support group.
The Symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy
How do the symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy compare to those of peripheral neuropathy? They share very similar characteristics that may include:
Your patients should know about these symptoms and how to recognize them. After all, early detection and intervention translate into better quality of life and greater independence. Various tests and assessments may also help detect the condition and the level of damage done to nerve cells. When your pharmacy partners with NeuropaCalm to bring our highly effective Care Program to your patients, we’ll provide you with the resources and tools needed for effective and efficient neuropathy detection.
What Your Patients Need to Know
Peripheral neuropathy treatment outlook varies based on factors such as the underlying cause and the nerves damaged. While some patients may improve over time if the underlying cause is addressed and treated, others will not. That’s why early detection remains the first line of defense for your patients.
Because the initial stages of neuropathy may not have life-altering impacts, some patients ignore the condition until it becomes more severe. These patients should understand that, left untreated, peripheral neuropathy progresses unchecked. Loss of sensation leads to foot wounds or ulcers. Sadly, even a minor injury can develop into a large ulcer with a heightened risk of infection. Should the infection damage tissue or bone, it could mean amputation and a wheelchair.
Help Your Patients Take Back Their Lives
What else do your patients need to know about peripheral neuropathy and alcohol? Its detrimental effects don’t end at amputation, although this procedure represents one of the most devastating consequences. Neuropathy also contributes to loss of independence and a patient’s driver’s license. It can elevate fall risk, necessitate dependency on walking devices, and reduce recreational activities. These factors greatly reduce quality of life.
Fortunately, your pharmacy can change lives by getting the word out about alcohol and peripheral neuropathy. Early detection and addressing underlying factors remain critical to better outcomes. There’s no more effective way to achieve these goals than with the NeuropaCalm Care Program. Contact us now to learn more about our proven Care Program and how you can bring it to your pharmacy, ramping up revenues without DIR fees, medication adherence, or contracts.