Psychology and Psychiatry

Alcoholic neuropathy

Alcoholic neuropathy - is a neurological pathology caused by dysfunction of peripheral nerve endings. The described pathology occurs in individuals suffering from alcoholism. Due to the harmful effects on the nervous structures of toxic substances, which alcoholic and intoxicant beverages are rich in, as well as the subsequent disruption of metabolic processes, pathological transformations are formed in the nerve fibers. According to statistical studies, approximately ninety percent of alcoholics are susceptible to this ailment. Often the consequence of the violation in question, in the absence of adequate and timely therapeutic measures, is disability.

How to treat alcoholic neuropathy? The first step is to eliminate alcoholic beverages, that is, the root cause for which the body is constantly under the influence of harmful substances. The subsequent therapeutic strategy is aimed at the regeneration of the immune system, the digestive organs, the restoration of the nervous system, the elimination of painful symptoms.

Symptoms of alcoholic polyneuropathy

Emphasis should be placed on a few interesting facts regarding the ailment in question. Firstly, it is proved that every second subject, tormented by alcoholism, has manifestations of polyneuropathy. Secondly, the female sex is exposed to this ailment much more often than the male. Thirdly, the risk of pathology is increased if more than 100 milligrams of ethanol is consumed per day.

Since alcoholic polyneuropathy of the lower extremities basically has several causes, the disease is characterized by variability in clinical symptoms. The following are the most significant manifestations of the disease:

- burning algia in the distal parts of the lower extremities;

- spasms of the gastrocnemius muscles, with pressure or at night, aggravated;

- paresthesia (goose pins, pin shots);

- amyotrophy;

- weakness of the muscles of the lower limbs, resulting in impaired walking;

- decrease in sensitivity in the distant parts of the legs;

- imbalance due to lesion of the cerebellum;

- dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (for example, frequent urination);

- circulatory disorder, as a result of which the limbs are constantly cold;

- change the tone of the skin (the skin becomes a marble color or blue).

Alcoholic polyneuropathy of the lower extremities in addition to the above leading symptoms also has minor manifestations: increased sweating in the extremities, speech disorders (it is not clear, due to the defeat of the vagus nerve).

If certain musculoskeletal or cranial nerve fibers are damaged, memory may be disturbed, hallucinations and spatial disorientation appear.

With a more clinically severe course of the disease, trophic ulcers appear, the outer cover of the legs is dry and flaky.

There are several variations of the course of the disease, depending on the clinical symptoms: sensory, motor, atactic and mixed forms.

Sensory form is characterized by algia in the distal segments of the extremities, especially the lower ones, there is a burning sensation, chilliness or numbness, spasms of the gastrocnemius muscles, pain sensations at the site of passage of nerve cell trunks. In the distal zones of the extremities, an increased or decreased pain threshold, temperature sensitivity are often noted, segmental sensitivity disorders are possible. Sensory dysfunctions, in most cases, are accompanied by vegetative-vascular defects, such as: marbling of the skin, increased sweating, acrocyanosis. Tendon reflexes are often reduced.

The motor form is expressed by peripheral paresis, which, mainly, overwhelms the lower limbs, since the large and peroneal nerve fibers are damaged. She is accompanied by mild sensory disturbances. Difficulties with plantar flexion, turning the foot inward, problems with walking on the toes are observed with the destruction of the trunk of the tibial nerve, while the extensor dysfunction of the distant limb is found with a lesion of the fibular nerve. In addition, there is muscle atrophy and hypotension in the area of ​​the foot and lower leg. Achilles reflexes are reduced or completely absent, and knee - more often elevated.

For the mixed form, sensory defects and motor dysfunctions are also characteristic. This form is characterized by flaccid paresis, reduced or exacerbated sensitivity in the damaged areas, soreness or numbness in the zone of large nerve fibers, paralysis of the distant extremities. There is hypotension and the expression of deep reflexes. Atrophy of the forearm muscles and muscles of the hands is observed.

Atactic form is represented by sensitive ataxia (coordination of movements and gait are disturbed), numbness in the limbs, decreased sensitivity in the distant leg segments, inaccessibility of the knee and Achilles reflexes, and palpation of pain in the area of ​​the nerve trunks.

Some authors distinguish vegetative and subclinical forms.

In addition, the disease in question can be classified according to its course into a chronic form, characterized by slow development and progression of symptoms, subacute and acute forms, characterized by rapid development.

Rarely observed in patients suffering from alcoholism, asymptomatic course of the disease.

Treatment of alcoholic neuropathy

The therapeutic resistance aimed at getting rid of a neurological ailment is mostly conservative. In this case, there are two significant principles, the observance of which will allow to achieve a quick positive result. The first principle of effective therapeutic effects involves the complete abdication of the use of alcohol-containing liquids.

Treatment of alcoholic polyneuropathy of the lower extremities as a whole will be useless if the described condition is not observed. Also, do not hope for a possible regression of symptoms. If an alcoholic does not intend to refuse to drink alcohol-containing beverages, his relatives will only spend money on medicines in vain.

The second principle is to ensure proper and full-fledged nutrition, which will allow to create ideal conditions for the speedy cure of the body, as well as provide the necessary amount of biologically significant substances, in particular, vitamins.

In general, the success of corrective action depends on the timeliness of the cessation of the use of alcoholic substances.

Treatment of alcoholic polyneuropathy of the lower extremities must necessarily be comprehensive, containing pharmacopoeial drugs and non-drug measures. The latter include physiotherapy procedures, such as: electrical stimulation of the spinal cord and nerve tissue, magnetic therapy. Physiotherapy and massage techniques, as well as acupuncture, are prescribed to revitalize muscle tone.

Alcoholic neuropathy treatment drugs include the following: vitamins, antioxidants, blood circulation enhancers, nootropics, neurotropic substances, hepatoprotectors.

Of the vitamins, the administration of folic acid, pyrodoxin and thiamine is practiced. In the last decade, preference has been given to the fat-soluble analog of thiamine, benfotiamine, since it can have a greater effect at low dosage.

Among the drugs that improve blood circulation in the peripheral nerves, facilitate venous blood flow, strengthen the capillaries shows the use of Vinpocetine Emoxipin, chimes.

In the role of antioxidants, thioctic acid derivatives are used, for example, berlition, thiogamma.

Nootropes affect the bioenergetic processes and metabolic reactions that occur in the nerve cell elements, and also interact with neurotransmitters, improve nucleic acid metabolism, accelerate the synthesis of ATP and ribonucleic acid. It is proved that nootropic drugs, increase the concentration of adenylate cyclase in the neuron.

Neurotropic drugs have a positive effect on the nervous system, so that they can significantly minimize the manifestations of polyneuropathy.

Hepatoprotectors are used to normalize the health of the liver, ensuring optimal absorption of biologically significant substances from the stomach.

Also, neuromidine, a cholinesterase inhibitor, is prescribed to activate nerve conduction. This stimulant affects the conduction of excitation through the nerve tissues.

Alcoholic polyneuropathy is prescribed exclusively by a specialist. Self-treatment is the path to nowhere.

At the stage of therapeutic treatment, it will help to overcome the craving for the use of alcohol-containing liquids, traditional medicine, namely: tincture on herbs of thyme, motherwort and valerian. However, they should be used with extreme caution and solely according to the recommendations of the therapist.

Positive persistent dynamics can be achieved only with therapy lasting several months and with absolute abandonment of strong drinks. In addition, an important value have a balanced full-fledged diet and physical exercises aimed at strengthening muscles.

Alcoholic polyneuropathy treatment drugs, in addition to directly affecting the pathogenesis, are used and symptomatic, aimed at relieving pain in areas of injury. Algia alleviate this disease is quite difficult. Therefore, the following groups of drugs are prescribed in a complex: antidepressants (Paroxetine, Amitriptyline), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (for example, Diclofenac, Ibuprofen), anticonvulsants (Carbamazepine, Neurontin).

Thus, alcoholic neuropathy is prescribed in order to optimize nerve conduction and improve muscle activity.

It should also be noted that the pathology under consideration is successfully cured with a comparatively small duration of abuse of alcohol-containing beverages. When deep pathological changes in the nerve fibers have occurred, they cannot be fully regenerated. In such a situation, only the achievement of reducing the severity of symptoms and stabilizing the destructive process is available. If the patient continues to have alcoholic libations and does not take adequate medical therapy, this will lead to severe disability. Certain reserves for the restoration of the state are always available. The main thing is to stop drinking libations.

How to treat alcoholic neuropathy? The only answer is an immediate cessation of alcohol use, since this ailment is a consequence of the pernicious influence of toxic substances coming as a result of drinking hop liquids. In addition, it should be borne in mind that without adequate corrective action, the symptoms will increase.

Polyneuropathy, found in the early stages of development, is better curable. All clinical symptoms of the disease may undergo regressive development. However, when the patient returns to the use of alcoholic substances, all manifestations and disorders of function return again.

Thus, the most important for a favorable outcome is to prevent the natural course of the disease, since this will inevitably lead to dangerous, and in some circumstances, irreversible consequences. Only a healthy lifestyle will return the patient's health.