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Numbness in the stomach due to excess alcohol consumption - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Excellent Posted in: Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2270 Questions
User :   hi, my friend (really, lol) drinks quite a bit of alcohol on a daily basis for some time / yrs. Today she mentioned a numbness in her stomach when pushing on it with her fingers and had to use her nails really to feel anything... what could this be. i believe she will need medical help to be able to stop drinking, but she doesn't seem to want to .. thanks docs.
Doctor :   Hi Dr here
User :   hi doc..
Doctor :   may i know your friends age ?
User :   kinda worried about my friend i think the years of alcohol are getting to her. i would say early 40's
Doctor :   and how long has she been drinking ?
Doctor :   ok
User :   geez, i would say she drinks everyday for 10+ years
Doctor :   once a person gets addicted it becomes even harder to get out of it
User :   agreed
Doctor :   a strong mind has to be in the patient themselves to improve
User :   yes, she knows she has a problem.. first step, just never gets to the 2nd step..
Doctor :   ok
User :   just really concerned what the numbness could be..
Doctor :   any sort of intervention by friends and family can be done
Doctor :   she can go to rehab for a few weeks which may help her to kick the habit
User :   she showed me today by pushing with her hand on her stomach.. she is a friend that i have known for a couple years. not sure she would be receptive to intervention.
Doctor :   some of her family and friends can meet and discuss and then plan for a intervention
User :   i mean today i saw her and she probably had 10 shots when i walked in, can hardly tell that she was drinking..
Doctor :   i do understand that it is difficult
User :   i will be talking to her friends and asking them.. but she is a bartender, many of her friends are drinkers.. i rarely drink..
Doctor :   ok , the job has its side benefits and she makes proper use of it
Doctor :   first she will have to change the job
User :   what would cause the physical numbness she feels to the touch..?
Doctor :   probably neuropathy due to vitamin B deficiency
Doctor :   thiamine deficincy to be specific
User :   i agree on the job, but i believe it's the only thing she really knows and have done since 18
Doctor :   ok
User :   im writing this down.. is there thiamine pills she could take.. sorry if that sounds dumb or just vitamin b pills ? what should she do..
Doctor :   she can take Vit B complex pills
Doctor :   thiamine supplemets as a separate medication may be available , but are not necessary
User :   i will have her start doing that, although i realize the drinking is starting to harm her physically.
Doctor :   it may end up damaging her liver and then her heart
User :   she seems to have lost lots of muscle, she is thin.. but skin kinda flabby..
User :   the vit. B deficiency could end up causing liver and heart probs ?
Doctor :   yeah those are early changes due to liver issues and protein loss
User :   wow.. that is probably what is happening to her..
Doctor :   protien loss can cause muscle atrophy
User :   she has a heart of gold, i hope she can get the help or wants the help out there..
User :   would a protein supplement also help..
Doctor :   yes some time patients want help from others
Doctor :   yes
Doctor :   it will
Doctor :   usually alcoholics avoid good nutrition
User :   yeah, very true.. she eats like a bird and not very healthy for sure... ive seen this coming and called physical issues to result..
Doctor :   hence they lose more protein
User :   gotcha..
User :   yeah her legs when i saw her this summer were very thin, and flabby for someone who walks a lot and on their feet.
User :   and someone of her age.
Doctor :   ok
User :   thanks so much.. i am going to contact her close friend.. discuss this with her and see what she thinks. i would hate to see anything physically more happen to her. best money ive spent in a while.. thank you again !!
Doctor :   you are most welcome
User :   bye...
Doctor :   please leave your feedback
User :   sure will..
Doctor :   thanks for consulting me here
Doctor :   take care and bye for now
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