View Full Version : Recovering alcoholic with possible nerve damage
04-07-2012, 04:52 PM
I was a binge drinker for many years. I had my first drink when I was 11. I drank off and on ever since, but never really developed a serious problem with alcohol 'til 2007. At that point in my life I was drinking heavily every weekend--to the point of passing out. I drank everything; beer, wine, hard liquor. But mostly vodka. I had periods of sobriety as I tried to stop drinking but I would always relapse. It wasn't until last year that I finally kicked the addiction. Now, I have about 6 months of sobriety and feel very proud. I am realizing now though that all those years of drinking may have possibly given me some neurological damage. For a couple of years I have had tingling in my arms and legs, sometimes they will fall asleep and I will have to wiggle my fingers or toes to "wake" my limbs up. I can walk fine and experience most of these issues at night. Second, I have some heart damage most likely caused by alcohol, this includes two leaky valves--the Tricuspid and Mitral. The leaks are minor and my cardiologist is not too concerned with them. I am also dealing with a bladder problem. I cannot fully empty it and feel as though the sensation to go is just not as strong as it once was. I know when I need to urinate though and I don't have any accidents or leaks. I have been to several doctors, have had blood work to check for diabetes, infection, std's & my thyroid (all negative/normal). I have had ultrasounds done on my pelvic area & a full kidney and bladder scan. But still don't have a diagnosis. Doctors seem baffled. I suspect a neurological issue. I have always taken a multivitamin but I am still worried that perhaps I need more. I read in other postings about some of the supplements you all suggest but I want to see if anyone thinks I need something in particular for my case. Please help if you can, I am becoming very depressed not knowing what to do or where to turn.
Welcome to NeuroTalk:
I invite you to visit our PN forum... alcohol comes up fairly often.
This is our B12 thread:
Most testing misses the subtle nerve needs that your have to explore.
1). If you are low in B12 you need attention to this.
Ideally you should get a B12 test to see what your numbers are.
If at 400 or below, you need to supplement this.
2). Another nutrient that helps with alcohol damage is benfotiamine-- a special form of thiamine B1. This is a cofactor in alcohol metabolism and be depleted with abuse.
Here is a benfotiamine post:
It is from a supplement thread which has other suggestions:
Don't expect to understand everything at once. Read it slowly several times over a few days, and then it will be more understandable.
Most alcohol damage can reverse with good nutrition, good food, and abstinence.
You could have LOW blood sugars during the day, and this can cause tingling and numbness. Doctors are rather clueless about this and only a 4 or 5 hr glucose tolerance test will show the LOWs. Lows starve nerves. Typically for diabetes, doctors look to highs out of range, but ignore the lows. Lows indicate insulin resistance and depending on your age, this could be a pre-diabetic state.
So you need to look at things in a slightly different way, and consider some supplements. Read up on the Supplement thread and then ask the questions you need to air.
04-08-2012, 07:21 PM
Whoa, deja vu....
I have pretty much the same situation and I started doing the research and then found this site...MrsD posted some vitamins and I got a second opinion (MrsD was spot on btw) and started the regiment about a month ago.
Improvement for sure. But, the key is the right vitamins and ABSTINENCE. I have been sober now 8 months after 20+ years.....
Have a look here to see what I posted and what was recommended in my situation.
Good luck and it can get better.
04-09-2012, 11:53 AM
Thank you, Icehouse and mrsD!
I will be trying out that exact regimen and feel so optimistic. I feel comforted in knowing that it can get better. I am smiling, actually SMILING and it has been way too long since I could genuinely do that.
Thanks so much to the both of you for taking the time to reply & help me out!
boy of misery
04-29-2012, 08:40 PM
I feel for you man..
05-05-2012, 06:29 PM
Any news here?
05-09-2012, 01:59 PM
boy of misery: thanks, it has been a long & hard road.
icehouse: I have been taking the suggested supplements but have not noticed any major changes. I do admit though that the numbness & tingling are not as bad anymore. But my neurogenic bladder/retention is still present. I am seeing a urologist for this. I am still sober, which has surprisingly not been too hard to maintain because I'm too busy worrying about my health. Thanks for asking, and sorry it took me so long to reply. I haven't been on here lately. I hope you are doing well. I will check your posts for updates.
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