Alcoholism and the Feet


Chronic excessive alcohol use can have numerous effects on the feet.  We'll review some of of the most common. 

Neuropathy is a term used to describe the nerve damage that often results from alcohol abuse.  The nerves may develop a diminished ability to feel sensations, and complications often develop.  For example, acute injuries to the feet may go unnoticed, infections may develop, deformities such as Charcot foot and other chronic problems may result without the patient even being aware of the damage.  Indeed, alcohol abuse is the second most common cause of neuropathy today, behind only Diabetes

Alcohol abuse can also diminish a patient's nutritional status.  This may result in diminished barrier to disease and injury, as well as poor healing ability.  Coupled with neuropathy, the inability to feel there is a problem, diminished nutritional status can be devastating.  

Another common effect of alcohol is Liver Disease.  This can cause the patient to develop problems using prescription medications, anaesthesia, and to rid the body of toxins--each of which may have effects on the feet.



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The Achilles Foot Health Centre
S. A. Schumacher, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S., F.A.C.F.A.O.M.  
Dr. S. A. Schumacher, Podiatric Corporation  

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