The question “Can alcohol cause seizures?” has a simple answer. Yes. Alcohol abuse and addiction can lead to alcohol related seizures. While alcohol itself may not always cause them, they can be a side effect of alcohol abuse. Seizures can lead to brain damage and life altering effects that can follow you throughout your life.
Alcohol consumption does not mean that you will have a seizure, but there may be some underlying conditions that could possibly lead to seizures. When it comes to alcohol related seizures, you never know when they can occur. And you never know how you would be affected by a seizure caused through alcohol consumption.
Risks of Alcohol Related Seizures
The risks that can occur as a result of a seizure caused by alcohol can be severe. These seizures generally come as a result of too much alcohol, or withdrawal from it. When your body becomes accustomed to the toxins and effects of alcohol, it leads to addiction and dependence. Then when the alcohol is abruptly removed, some severe withdrawal symptoms can occur. The most severe of these is seizures. When a seizure occurs, it takes control and affects the whole brain. Similar to a movie, a person can fall and begin to convulse. This type of fall, especially if there is no one else around, can lead to head trauma or other injury.
Alcohol Seizures and Brain Damage
One of the biggest dangers that can occur due to seizure caused by alcohol and alcoholism is brain damage. As previously stated, with the occurrence of seizures comes the risk of falling. Hitting your head can result in potentially devastating injuries that can affect your brain’s overall functionality. Brain injury can be severe and make everyday life extremely difficult.
Alcohol caused seizures also come with the possibility of reaching status epilepticus. This means that a seizure occurs for a five minute period, or there is more than one seizure that has occurred in a five minute period, where the person did not reach a normal level of consciousness between the episodes. Experiencing status epilepticus can lead to irreversible damage to the brain or it can even lead to death.
Does Binge Drinking Affect Alcohol Related Seizures?
If you have epilepsy, binge drinking alcohol can cause seizure risk to be greater. It doesn’t take many drinks for those who are managing a seizure disorder to fall victim to another seizure. Again, drinking alcohol does not mean you are going to have a seizure, however excessive amounts of alcohol, and withdrawal from it can lead to seizures. Often, those who are on seizure medications can feel the effects of alcohol quicker, which can sometimes lead to an overdose and potentially seizures as a result of drinking.
Alcohol Poisoning and Seizures
While too much alcohol comes with its own risk of seizure, poisoning from alcohol can cause seizure risk to be much greater. Because of the potential for alcohol poisoning causing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, seizure risk is heightened. Low blood sugar can lead to seizure if it is not medically addressed, and treated. As a result of slowed, shallow breathing, hypoxia can occur. When hypoxia happens, it can lead to brain damage and increase the risk of seizures.
Seizures from Alcohol Withdrawal
Withdrawal from alcohol is one of the more common ways that alcohol can cause seizures. Drinking too much alcohol can increase the risk of seizures, but alcohol withdrawal is the most common culprit. As the brain is adjusting back to normal, the usually over-stimulated GABA receptors in the brain go into an under-stimulated state temporarily as the alcohol that causes the over stimulation is removed from the body. When the GABA receptors go into that under-stimulated state, they cause the risk of seizure to be greater.
Alcohol withdrawal does not guarantee that a seizure is on the horizon, however the risks outweigh the reward when it comes to this. Due to the potential for them, proper care and medical monitoring while going through alcohol withdrawal is the best way to prevent these potentially fatal seizures from occurring. You never know how your body is going to react when removing the alcohol, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse in South Florida
Alcoholism can have devastating effects on someone’s life. It can lead to some severe long and short term health concerns. Receiving help for the struggle of alcohol abuse can benefit and improve the life of the person who is suffering from alcoholism. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse and want to begin the process of healing, there is help. At Ambrosia Treatment Center we offer personalized care to those who seek our help.
Our team of professionals is standing by, able to help guide you through the beginning stages of starting a life in recovery. Contact us today and begin your life of recovery.