Jump to content

Pots And Confusion Or Irrational Behaviour


Recommended Posts

My daughter is 19 and has POTS. From the age of 16 she had up to 25 faints a day which were mostly convulsive and would see her rambling during them

They only happen infrequently now although symptoms are probably worse than when she did faint

Anyway we live in the UK and shes about to start University. Socially drinkings a big thing amongst her peers but she doesnt go out often

Last night she went out and had the same as her usual limit steering clear of anything thats a trigger. She had eaten and drunk plenty of fluid before.

I spoke to her to arrange a lift home and she was fine but within 30 minutes she rang disorientated and slurring her words with no idea where she even was. Luckily I found her

Having spoken to her friends they describe she seemed to collapse twice. On the second occasion a doorman came and threw her out into the street. When I got there she was confused, irrational and was rambling.

Now I do understand this could be alcohol induced. She knows my opinion on drinking with POTS but for the majority of the time is fine

I dont understand the slurring confusion and irrational behaviour. It scares the life out of me.

I dont get how one night can be fine and another has her like this

Has anyone else experienced something like this. I need to help but I dont know where to start :/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please tell her to stay away from alcohol. It is especially bad for POTS patients because it lowers blood pressure and causes dehydration. Sometimes I get confused and slurry even without alcohol (not enough blood getting to my head). I am very sensitive to it and do not tolerate more than 1/2 a bottle of beer.

It is dangerous for her to go out and drink. It will make her POTS worse and she will be out of it. She runs the risk of sexual assault if no one is there to prevent it. Please let her know the dangers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's going to be hard to keep her away from alcohol considering her age and just starting university. Does it have anything to do with what she is drinking? I know personally I can't handle red wine or any of the harder liquors like whiskey but I can still get down a stout beer on occasion without it bothering me much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like maybe a combination of alcohol and POTS. Everything you mention - slurred speech, confused thinking, falling over - can definitely be signs of drinking too much. And I wouldn't be surprised if her tolerance is much lower than normal because of POTS. (I know I can't drink at all because of it.)

I'm 24 so I can understand the difficulty of being at an age where so much social activity involves drinking. At first it was hard for me to accept that I couldn't even have a single drink with friends. But I just realized my health and safety is far more important to me than drinking a little alcohol. It sounds like the problem isn't so severe for her, so if light drinking really doesn't bother her, it's probably ok for her to indulge sometimes. Maybe you could talk to her about moderation and staying safe? That's important for any young woman going out, but especially with underlying health problems. It doesn't have to limit what she can do. I still hang out with friends while they're drinking and it's not awkward or anything (unless they're really drunk, but that's not usually very pleasant anyway!). Maybe she could try alternating between drinks and water when she goes out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience and opinion is a bit different from the others that have responded. I haven't had a drop of ANY alcohol in YEARS as it bottoms out my BP and makes me so ill with my POTS but I have had a few similar experiences as your daughter. For me, The first time it happened about a year ago I was sitting in my room. I started hallucinating (though I didn't know I was) and talking to someone that wasn't there. My husband saw and heard me and said I was slurring and not making sense. He couldn't rationalize with me at all. He decided to take me to the ER. I had testing, was admitted (all the while still having these full blown symptoms). The episode lasted many hours and I still to this day dont remember any of it. I dont even remember giving the ER nurse a urine sample, seeing my family in the ER, having conversations, or having an IV started even!! Apparently I would make sense sometimes and not others.

The next day I woke in the hospital. It was quite scary hearing everyone tell me everything I did and said and having no memory of it but a few flashes here and there. The conclusion was the lack of blood and oxygen to my head. I do believe this because I have had some more minor episodes since then and it seems (especially when I haven't slept much a few nights in a row from my bad insomnia) when my BP gets too low and/or my heart rate so fast that my heart doesn't profuse properly I get easily confused, dont make sense off and on, and have difficulty communicating etc. When this happens I lay down for a while, nap if possible, and it clears up. Just getting more blood and oxygen back to my head for a while resolves the bizarre episodes.

I still get these occasionally but have started to recognize when I need more blood/O2 now so can usually lay down and prevent them. Maybe your daughter could have been tired, supine too long, and the alcohol lowered her bp even more causing the symptoms? Of course this is just my personal experience I wanted to share and hopefully it wont be an ongoing issue for her but of course never hesitate to bring it up with her doctor incase it could be something else. I can relate to how an episode like that is a little scary, it still amazes me that I was so irrational and not myself. I hope this was a one time incident that both of you wont have to worry about anymore.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I slowly came to realize that I couldn't drink anymore. It started with two episodes a month apart when I went out with one of my friends for dinner. Each time I had one drink before dinner and a glass of wine with dinner. Both times I ended up projectile vomiting violently about a half hour after getting home. I also had flu like aches and pain along with profuse sweating followed by night terrors and night sweats once I fell asleep. I thought....hmmmm...that's weird to have food poisoning twice in a row from two different nice restaurants. Then, 2 months later, on Christmas Eve, I went to happy hour with a large group of friends and coworkers. I ordered a vodka tonic (I knew the bartender and asked her to make it weak which she did). It took me a little over an hour to drink this one drink while I stood mingling. Suddenly I had to run to the ladies room in the middle of a conversation with a coworker. Again, projectile vomiting, profuse sweating, aches, pains....but this time I started to fade in and out of consciousness and I couldn't stand up. When my friends realized I had been missing for 20 minutes, they came looking for me. Apparently, I was slightly combative with them at first. When they got me to my feet the vomiting started again. They knew I wasn't drunk because they knew I had only had the one drink. They, in fact, were afraid someone had some how slipped something into my drink. That wasn't possible because I never put it down anywhere. The girls were unable to get me out of the bathroom because I couldn't stand on my own at all. One of the guys came and carried me out to my friend's car and they drove me home, walked my dog, the girl changed me out of my sweat soaked clothes, and they stayed with me because I said I knew something was really wrong but didn't think I needed the hospital. That was the last time I drank. A month later I was diagnosed with POTS. Then I was diagnosed with MCAS a few months later. I bring that up because if your daughter has any mast cell symptoms, alcohol is a powerful mast cell degranulator and could be another reason why alcohol has such a significant affect on her. I also found out that tonic water, which contains quinine is a no no for people that have bp or balance issues as quinine affects something in the brain that makes us worse (sorry, can't remember the scientific explanation of this right now.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...