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DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64412
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, health, prevention, complementary medicine, etc.
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Are there any neurologists available? I have been abusing alcohol

Customer Question

Are there any neurologists available? I have been abusing alcohol for many years and approximately 3 months ago I developed hightened sensitivity to pain on the finger tips and bottom of my feet accompanied by pins & needles on the latter. I was seen by an urgent care doctor about 3 months ago who stated there was no cure & a referral to a neurologist for a nerve conduction test would be painful. I initially significantly curtailed alcohol intake, going one to two weeks before having a limit of 2 beers. Approximately one week ago I noticed a perceived sense of slight instability in my legs when walikng, crouching, etc. although I have full range of motion & muscle strength seems fine. In short, it seems I have to somewhat "pay attention" as opposed to walking etc. being almost automatic. Needlees to say, I haven't touched a drop in the past week nor willI I from now on since I am very scared. Blood work from 3 months ago does not show any B vitamin deficiency (although I am taking a daily B complex now). My question is would this be considered eary stage neuropathy, and if so, is it reversible as much of the info on the internet proclaims ? What I have read states axonal regenerarion begins upon cessation of alcohol. Since I have just begun to experience very slight motor nerve symptoms have I caught it in time since the autonomic system has not yet been effected? Thirdly, what do you recommend I do, oher than the obvious abstaining from alcohol, to maximize the chances of a good prognosis ? Sensory symtoms are merely an annoyance, but motor symptoms elicit concerns of disability that I will do whatever I can to avoid at all cost.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 2 years ago.
Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and I'm ready to help.
long term alcohol abuse can cause more than just B vitamin deficiency.
it can cause low folate levels and also low vitamin D levels and low magnesium levels which can affect the nerves
you should take a multivitamin instead of a B complex daily to help restore any of these possible vitamin deficiency
and stop drinking alcohol all together
and start to eat a healthy diet
your symptoms could be early neuropathy.
there are nerve tests which are not painful such as a brain MRI scan and a spine MRI scan to check your nerves.
you should see a neurologist
you might benefit from physical therapy to help strenthen your back muscles and leg muscles which can help your instability.
it doesn't sound like your autonomic system has been affected yet.
let me know if you have questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I would like a response from a neurologist
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 2 years ago.
Hello. This situation is not simply a visit to a neurologist requirement at all. Almost no one can simply abstaine from alcohol. In addition, neuropathy can be from alcohol heavy metals, B vitamin deficiency, liver disease, kidney disease, hidden infection, hidden malignancy, idiopathic, and other causes, a number related to alcohol as well. Your start her is an internal medicine assessment , as these doctors cover neurology and all of the other areas as well. You testing should not be just blood tests, but other tests, and imaging according to exam. And you must stop drinking with a comprehensive program, including, your internist an his referrels, including an addition medicine doctor if needed, psychologist, twelve steps, and proper nutrition. Nutrition needs to be evidence based an supervised. I am a double board certified US internal medicine doctor with over twenty years taking care of patients such as yourself. Please click a positive rating and let me know if you have more details or more question.