Dear Ask The Doctor: I am having trouble with fine motor response in my legs, primarily in the upper legs and somewhat in the lower legs. I am an alcoholic but I have been sober for 4 days and the symptoms persist. They are no different regardless of my drinking. They are similar to symptoms I have had when I was sober for 3 months as well as at other times. I have experienced hypokalemia in the past but that was when my diet was not really right at all. Recently I have had a healthy appetite and been sure to balance my diet witha heavy emphasis on fruits and vegetables. I have, for several years exhibited symptoms of something neurological, but I am not sure. Should I just keep up the healthy diet (With good blood test numbers on electrolytes) and pray? or is it time to see a nurologist. My K and Mg are fine from a month ago and liver and kidney functions are improving.
Dear Matt: According to your description, most likely the neurological symptoms that you are experiencing are due to chronic alcohol abuse. There are multiple causes of tingling and numbness of the extremities (hands and feet): vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin B12), nerve compressions at the level of the spine, problems with the peripheral nerves of hands and feet, and metabolic causes as problems with the Thyroid gland and Diabetes. In your case, you have a strong previous history of heavy alcohol consumption over the years. The alcohol withdrawal symptoms may go from mild to severe depending on how heavy you used to drink. You may experience: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, numbness and tingling, motor problems, rapid heart rate, pulsating headaches, sweating, problems to sleep, hand tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, visual hallucinations, agitation, movements of eyelids, and Delirium Tremens. I strongly recommend you to get not only a quality medical alcohol treatment, neurologist assessment, nutritionist support but also psychological support, you can go through the alcohol Detox process under the supervision of a trained addiction specialist and doing it this way you will increase your possibilities of successfully quit drinking for good.