Seizures involve the disruption of the normal brain activity. It can lead to involuntary muscle spasms and triggered by various conditions, stimuli and substances. The intake of alcohol can trigger the occurrence of seizures in various ways such as alcohol withdrawal, binge drinking and adverse reactions to the ingredients. All of these will put an individual at higher risk for experiencing a seizure. It is important to note that seizures related to these causes will not necessarily have distinctive symptoms, but each would require appropriate first aid care and specific mode of treatment.
Seizures triggered by alcohol poisoning
Alcohol poisoning typically occurs when an individual ingests a large amount of alcohol in just a short period of time, which is a practice commonly referred to as binge drinking. This can also occur if the individual unintentionally ingests a powerful dose of alcohol. Take note that seizures are one of the usual symptoms of alcohol poisoning along with pale skin, vomiting, slow or erratic breathing, unconsciousness, confusion and even death.
Seizures that coincide with binge drinking can be triggered by hypoglycemia or severe dehydration. The seizures caused by alcohol poisoning are defined by an abrupt loss of consciousness, muscle stiffness or convulsions and loss of bladder or bowel control.
Seizures due to alcohol withdrawal
Even though seizures can be triggered by excessive and fast intake of alcohol, it can also be caused by stopping or reducing the intake of alcohol after a period of heavy drinking. Once an individual who has alcohol dependence stops drinking, it can lead to grand mal seizures and even nausea, elevated heart rate, insomnia, anxiety, hallucinations and hand shaking.
Grand mal seizures start with a tonic stage lasting for 20 seconds in which the individual is unconscious along with muscle contractions. This is followed by the clonic phase defined by the rhythmic muscle contractions that often last for less than two minutes. Other symptoms that can indicate an upcoming seizure include severe headaches, involuntary screaming, auras and confusion. Auras are the abrupt, oftentimes unusual warnings that vary from one individual to another and can include distinctive smells, uneasiness, numbness or anxiety.
Seizures triggered by alcohol intolerance
Alcohol intolerance can cause mild symptoms that manifest quickly after ingestion of alcohol. The common symptoms include nasal congestion and facial flushing, but can also include headaches, elevated heart rate, nausea or heartburn. In extreme cases of alcohol intolerance, it can induce seizures right after drinking large amounts of alcohol, but this is considered rare. Just like with seizures due to alcohol poisoning, this is defined by loss of consciousness and convulsions.
Alcohol intolerance can be responsible for an allergic reaction to a specific ingredient. In such cases, the specific symptom of a seizure that is induced tends to vary greatly but can include other symptoms that are connected to a specific allergen being questioned such as sudden rashes or facial swelling.