Alcoholic myopathy is a condition that causes loss of function and strength in your skeletal muscles in response to long-term or heavy drinking. It can come on suddenly after binge drinking or can happen over time after regular alcohol use.
Alcoholic myopathy happens in about one-third of people who have alcoholism. It’s more common in people who have other alcohol-related diseases like liver cirrhosis.
There are two types of alcoholic myopathy: acute and chronic.
- Acute alcoholic myopathy. This type happens after binge drinking 4 to 5 alcoholic drinks that cause a blood alcohol level of 0.08 grams per deciliter or more. It can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition called rhabdomyolysis, in which alcohol causes muscle tissue to break down and release into your blood.
- Chronic alcoholic myopathy. This type of muscle condition is linked to a lifetime of drinking high amounts of alcohol. Over time, too much alcohol leads to tissue damage and deficiencies in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, and vitamin D. This causes problems converting protein into muscle and repairing muscle. (Source: WebMD)
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