Alcohol is a potent neurotoxin (toxin that works on nerves). Excessive alcohol consumption can cause nerve damage, resulting in numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. This type of nerve damage is called peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy usually begin in the legs and feet, since longer nerves are more easily injured than shorter ones. Nerve damage in the feet may cause twitching, cramping and lack of muscle control. In addition, the feet may experience numbness or a burning sensation. Because nerve cells can repair and regenerate, the condition can be treated and if managed correctly may resolve over time.
Get rid of your bad habit; alcohol is an underlying cause of nerve damage in the feet. Abstinence reduces the toxic effects of alcohol. Sign up for Alcoholics Anonymous or arrange for other support.
Improve your diet. Eat foods with vitamin B complex to help maintain a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B-rich foods include cereal grains, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk, legumes and vegetables.
Treat any other conditions that may also be causing nerve damage in the feet. For example, diabetes and kidney problems are responsible for many cases of peripheral neuropathy.
Get plenty of exercise. Exercise can reduce cramps, improve muscle strength and prevent muscle wasting in paralyzed limbs. According to a National Institutes of Health study, the number of nerve fibers increased in patients with nerve damage who stayed on an exercise regimen for one year.
Consult your doctor about medications that can reduce pain in the feet. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, no medical treatments are available for severe cases of nerve damage. However, doctors can prescribe analgesics, antidepressants, anti-epileptic drugs and other forms of medication for pain in the feet. In addition, consider getting orthopedic shoes to improve walking and help prevent foot injuries.