Peripheral Neuropathy due to alcoholism

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Does anyone here suffer with this condition.  My son is an alcoholic.  After years of drinking, he decided to go into rehab for a couple of months, a year ago.  He is now suffering with peripheral neuropathy.  Has anyone here suffer with it or familiar with this condition.

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  • Posted

    It's very common among heavy drinkers. The likely cause of his peripheral neuropathy is Thiamine Deficiency. Excessive alcohol consumption causes this. Thiamine deficiency is also a cause of alcohol-related dementia so he should try and get this resolved as soon as possible. He could ask his GP to prescribe Thiamine tablets or he could buy them at a chemist. He ought to notice a fairly swift improvement in his symptoms if he is taking thiamine and NOT drinking. The problem with drinking as well is that his thiamine level would not rise as quickly while it was being affected by the alcohol still.
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    • Posted

      Hi paul

      i tried to find thiamine tablets in a well known health shop and was told you can only get them with a prescription from your GP, which I thought was a bit odd.

      spent about half an hour in boots looking for them without success . I asked an assistant who told me it was the generic name for vitamin b complex!!! I take a once a day vitamin b tablet. I've got an appointment with my GP in a couple of weeks, but wanted them now. What exactly should I ask for in a chemist? Thanks,

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    • Posted

      Search Google for Thiamine tablets and you will see a response for H&B on the firs page and can order them online.

      Vitamin b complex/compound is not the same thing. Thiamine helps against memory loss. Vitamin b complex/compound helps the liver recover when you have stopped drinking. I know they are not the same thing because I have a bottle of thiamine pills sitting right here in front of me and a packet of vitamin b compound as well, I've just wandered downstairs to get them amongst my various other prescriptions.

      Vitamin b complex/compound does not contain a high enough dose of thiamine b to be effective. My thiamine tablets are 100mg, as are the ones sold by H&B. The vitamin b complex/compound does contain thiamine, but only 4.85mg.

      Thiamine and vitamin complex/compound are two different things that do different jobs.

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    • Posted

      Thiamine is Vitamin B1. Vitamin B Complex contains some thiamine as it is mixture of the various B Vitamins, you can get Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) over the counter in chemists and health shops.
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    • Posted

      Hi Paul, thank you for your reply and for your advice. 

      After he came back from rehab a year ago, he saw his GP.  He had always thought he had diabetes but the GP told him that in fact it was APN that he had.  He prescribed Thiamine (Vitamin B1) as well as the B-complex.  He takes these daily and buys them from the health food shop, H&B. Is it okay to take both.

      I have done some research on this and all indications are that it is a life long condition.  He has good days and bad days.  Is this condition regarded as a physical disability because I can see that he feels quite disabled on his feet.

      Thank you for your advice once again and all the advice you have given in the past.

      Kind regards

       

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    • Posted

      It is perfectly okay to take both, I have them both on prescription, from my doctor. I know you can buy them over the counter, the point being that my GP and the hospital when I was there, were giving me both, along with a load of other drugs/prescriptions.

      Yes if it gets to a certain stage, he will have to keep taking them indefinitely, I no it is no comfort to you, but I have about eight prescription that I will be taking indefinitely and those two are some of the 'lighter' ones.

      As for diabetes, what was the score on his HbA1c test? If your GP hasn't given it to you, ask for it and I can explain where abouts he is on the diabetes scale. There are three sections, non diabetic, pre diabetic (heading towards diabetes, action needs taken) and diabetic.

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    • Posted

      I've been in two boots stores and two large supermarket pharmacys and been told in all four that they don't keep vitamin B1 in stock. I spoke to the duty pharmacists who confirmed what the assistant had told me was correct. They could order it for me if I knew what dose I needed. One showed me their computer screen and there must have been at least twenty different strengths including tablet form and a few oral varying strengths drops. One said I needed to see my GP as I would need an LFT to assess what strength I needed. Another suggested altering my diet and eating more foods like grains, cereals etc which contain thiamine. Talk about confused!!!
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    • Posted

      my post about being unable to get vitamin B1 is being moderated for some reason. All the chemists and pharmacies I've been to have said they don't keep B1 (thiamine) in stock. They can order it in for me, but I need to have an LFT from my GP to ascertain what dose I need and what format, tablet or oral. In the moderated post I mentioned the name of the chemist and the name of the health store. Would that be a reason for it to be moderated?
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    • Posted

      Put thiamine tablets in Google, scroll down 'til you get to H&B, order on line.

      Posts with any links get moderated, do you post a link?

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    • Posted

      Hi my last left was 75 was told its too high, what was your last one Vicky if u had one.
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    • Posted

      No there was no link, just the name of a large well known pharmacy. RHGB I  wish I had read your post before wasting most of today listening to people who obviously had no idea what they were talking about.

      ive been trying to find vit B (thiamine tablets) over the weekend. No problem getting vit B complex. Local chemist was no good. Spoke to supermarket pharmacists in two separate supermarkets who both said I first needed to go to my GP for an LFT to determine the dose of B1  I would need. Must admit I was a bit puzzled as to why I needed an LFT for memory loss, but assumed I'd got the two muddled up. I did go to H&B but asked for thiamine rather than B1. The assistant there hadn't heard of them, apparently checked on their system and comfirmed they didn't stock them. Came home, read post from RHGB, went online, ordered them job done, so many thanks indeed. Had you not posted the right info I would have spent ages getting a GP apt tomorrow, along with making myself look stupid, wasting dr's time and mine. Thanks again.

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    • Posted

      Just to clarify, for you or anyone else reading this. Thiamine = B1 and does not require a prescription or testing nad is usually 100mg, which is what I take on prescription, I only have it on prescription, because it is what the hospital gave me and what my GP recommended I keep taking, after my 12 month reviw in June this year. My liver is not good, I was jaundiced in hospital (went orange, like a fake tan) and had 10 litres drained due to ascites.  H&B tablets are the same 100mg.

      So if I can take it, anyone can because I have cirrhosis. Even my psychiatrist asked if i was taking it, when I had a relapse, because it is so important for your mental faculties.

      The vitamin b complex/compound, is a range of vitamin Bs (all the different numbers) and does have thiamine (b1) but usually 4.85mg, it is like a multi-vitamin of all the vitamin Bs. It is generally given to people who have damaged their liver and have stopped drinking and it helps the repair process. Whereas it's most important to take thiamine whilst you are drinking and probably not eating well and can be taken for a while after until your body can start getting the required amounts through eating normally and healthily.

      I despair at the lack of knowledge of people who are meant to be knowledgeable. I saw it in hospital as well, with the nightshift people, twice I had to correct them, for what was basic stuff, one of which I learnt whilst I was there, and in that patients case, it could have killed him if I had not insisted that she speak to someone more senior to correct her mistakes.

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    • Posted

      That may be the reason. VickyLou. This forum, quite rightly, discourages advertising of any kind and mention of a particular commercial entity could be seen as advertising. You can get Thiamine (Vitamin B1) from a number of online pharmacies as well as high street chemists and health stores.
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    • Posted

      Hello RHGB

      Totally agree with you regarding the conflicting advice given by some so called 'professionals'. (NOT PAUL TURNER!!!)

      Two qualified pharmacists in different shops catagorically told me in order to get vit B1 tablets, I needed to see my GP for an LFT in order to get a prescription for the correct dose needed for me. I am so cross with myself for not questioning them as to why I needed an LFT for memory loss. As I said before, I assumed I'd got it wrong.

      The third pharmacist asked if i was on any medication. I'm on 20mg citralapam. He said there were contra-indications and too much vit B1 could cause problems and to see my GP first, but he would suggest eating foods containing high levels of B1 rather than relying on supplements. What made it worse, one of them asked if my GP had told me to take them. Like an idiot, I said it was recommended on an online forum to which he replied ignore any online second hand advice! Very ironic when RHGB and Paul Turner from the 'second hand' online forum provided me with the correct information.

      I asked my daughter to bring the latest BNF book home as i feel really concerned and annoyed and wanted to make sure I'd got all my facts right as I want to make a complaint, which I know will be a waste of time, and in the end I probably  won't do anything.

       

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    • Posted

      "but he would suggest eating foods containing high levels of B1 rather than relying on supplements."

      The problems is, that whilst drinking, it inhibits the body from absorbing thiamine properly, this is then compounded by the fact that people who drink heavily, do not eat healthily anyway. They're not going to have porridge for breakfast, fruit for lunch and a salad for their evening meal. They'll get a bowl of soup down if they're lucky, and if they're really lucky, they'll manage a piece of sliced buttered bread with it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul, just wanted your advice on the maximum dose of V-B1 my son should be taking.  He takes I think 100gm, 3 times a day plus the complex.

      He says he takes this amount because of the problems of neuropathy which affect his feet and lower legs.  Thanks

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    • Posted

      Up to 300mg can be given daily for a severe deficiency of Thiamine (Vit B1) but I wouldn't advise anybody to take that long term without getting a blood test done to find out if they are still thiamine-deficient.

      Thiamine IS used to treat peripheral neuropathy but, if he isn't already doing so, he should be supervised in this by a doctor. Serious deficiency needs proper medical help.

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