What is alcoholic neuropathy?
Between 10% and 50% of alcoholics develop alcoholic neuropathy though in many it is asymptomatic.
Usually it develops in alcoholics with prolonged and severe (>100 g/day) alcohol use.
As a result, it is difficult to distinguish the direct effects of alcohol from the secondary effects of chronic malnutrition.
Clinically, alcoholic neuropathy presents with dull aching or burning in the feet, hyperesthesia and/or sensory loss, distal hyporeflexia, and thin muscles with mild weakness in the feet sometimes with associated autonomic symptoms.
Electromyography/nerve conduction velocity (EMG/NCV) would show a length-dependent axonal neuropathy.
Symptoms can slowly improve with reduced alcohol intake and a balanced diet.