Discussions By Condition: Cardiovascular disease

Alcohol, fainting, shock symptoms

Posted In: Cardiovascular disease 26 Replies
  • Posted By: batyah
  • March 19, 2007
  • 01:40 PM

I witnessed something strange recently and would like input if anyone here is a medical person. I'm a retired nurse, but something about this doesn't add up for me.

I was at a sit-down dinner where the host thought it was funny to keep filling up everyone's wine glass and then pressuring them to drink up. An obese, middle-aged man sitting across from me politely drank his refilled glasses of wine before the main course had been served. I really do not think he had more than 2 or 3 glasses of wine, but it's hard to say for sure. He got up to go to the bathroom and promptly fainted and took a hard fall to the floor. We did not see him fall so I can't say if he hit his head directly, but he did not complain of any head pain or chest pain. I rushed over and he was just coming to and said he did not remember falling. Classic fainting spell. I assumed it was nothing more than his drinking too much alcohol on an empty stomach. I had him sit up, and he immediately complained of faintness and his skin became dusky, cool and clammy. Had him lay down and elevated his legs. He did not lose consciousness again, just complained of feeling faint every time he tried to sit. Throughout the entire episode, he was completely lucid, clear in speech, and did not appear "drunk" at all. I had him drink water as well as nibble on something to eat, and periodically would try to sit him up, but once again, he would go cool and clammy and feel faint.

This lasted 2 hours! I began to suspect that there was more going on than just a little extra alcohol on an empty stomach. It seemed to me that he should have been able to recover more quickly and I began to wonder if he had some sort of cardiac arrhythmia or vascular problem. Heart rate was on the rapid side but otherwise even. After about 2 hours, he was able to stand without falling down, and we accompanied him back to his hotel room. He looked straight at me to thank me, with good color in his skin and lucid speech, and promptly fell down! He insisted he was fine and stood up, and we stayed with him for about a half an hour until I felt reasonably sure that he was okay. He was planning to go straight to bed. I told his companion to have him call the hotel medical service immediately if he experienced any chest pain, odd sensations, or any episode of loss of consciousness again, and urged him to see his doctor when he got home. I never heard what became of him.

Is this just a case of having too much to drink on an empty stomach, or is there more going on? Two hours seems like a long time to pass before being able to simply stand up, particularly when he did not exhibit any CNS symptoms of alcohol intoxication. I think my husband thought I was being a bit of an alarmist, but something didn't seem right about this picture. Any thoughts?

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26 Replies:

  • Exact scenario happened to me few week ego . I was out drinking ( had 4 glass of wine ) with friends and collapsed for five minutes . I ended up going to ER anyways and was told it was dehydration ....I week after that I developed Palpitions and shortness of breath ....and diziness at times ...I have gone a series of test and I am still scheduled for some more : stress test , echo and so forth and my cardiologist keeps telling me that my heart rate is perfect ( low except my usual murmur , which I have had since bearth) and I shouldn't worry too much for now ...I must say I am sceptical because it seems like there is more to it than what he is telling me ...I tend to have these shorthness of breath at night when sleeping and I have this cough that won't go away ....also do get numbness on my left leg at times I think drinking might have triggled something that was already there for both this individual and myself ..it is just a matter of figuring out what that something is ..........I wish him the best and hope he gets the care he needs
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I found this post rather interesting as it is actually a common symptom for me to faint after alcohol, even after a good meal. I am Chinese of origin and I used to put it down to lack of alcohol dehydrogenase. I used to get full-blown rash all over my body for a couple of days and they pass quickly. In more recent years, I no longer get rashes. Nowadays, depending on how fast I finish the drink (which can be as little as half a glass of wine), I would start feeling dizzy when I try to stand up and when I lie down for a while, my body would shut down completely and I'd "fall asleep" for 5-10min and wake up completely sober. The effects of the alcohol would also be gone by then.Last night something else happened. I felt faint as usual but the next thing I knew my body went completely rigid and I could feel my body muscles tighten and my fingers clenched so tight, I had no control of my body whatsoever. I also started having difficulty breathing. This went on for about 10-15min (I think). My husband said that my hands were completely ice-cold. The scary part was the fact that I was consciously well aware that something was happening but I didn't know what. I've always known that I probably can't really drink but so far, I don't read much of these symptoms as commonly known for alcohol and yet it's happening to people.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • file:///C:/Program%20Files/Smileycons/Packs/Emotions/120.gif This may sound like an easy fix, but what say to hyperventilation? Something so simple just might be the answer. I read the posts and it would seem that a medical diagnosis is preffered. The only reason i bring it up (i'm not a medical professional) is that my sister suffered with a malady such as this one. Turns out it was hyperventilation or in laymans terms, a ("Panic Attact").. The cure? breathing into a brown paper bag until the symptons subside. Sound too easy, well how would you know, until you've tried it. :) ?
    hogndog 426 Replies Flag this Response
  • Just thought I would mention that this also happened to me only with wine not any other alcohols. I found out that I can not drink wine or wine coolers because of the sulfites in these particular types of alcohol. I knew I was allergic to sulfa drugs but now know that I am also allergic to sulfites which by the way also are ingredients in foods listed differently such as bisulfate and a lot of other different names. The sulfites and the alcohol can also trigger reactions if you are on prescription medicines. Research sulfites and learn about the other names it is listed under.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 30, 2007
    • 00:32 AM
    • 0
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  • Hello. Hopefully I can get the answers I'm looking for. After a night of drinking, the next day i would feel faint, sick and just not right. I thought it was just a coincidence but it has happened everytime, the next day or 2 after a night of having a few drinks. Even just from sipping about 2 shots of a rum runner. Since then, I have refrained from any alcohol use and still experience feeling faint (but don't actually faint). It all started when i fainted from watching a blood test. Normally I am pretty good with this. I watch discovery health channel all the time and nothing bothers me. Then i realized that I had had a drink the night before, thinking that had something to do with it. Thats when this feeling faint all started. That was the first and only time i ever fainted in my life. Since then it has been happening (feeling faint) the day after having a few drinks and now at random times. I'm starting to think that i really have a problem.If anyone has had any experiences like this or has any information on what they think it is please reply. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.Also, is it common to vomit immediately after fainting?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 2, 2008
    • 00:33 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • What did your doctor say?
    hogndog 426 Replies
    • December 2, 2008
    • 09:50 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I didn't go to a doctor
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 24, 2008
    • 00:33 AM
    • 0
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  • Can you afford one, is transportation a problem, can you get to one?hogndoghttp://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u298/hogndog/twocents.gif
    hogndog 426 Replies
    • December 25, 2008
    • 02:11 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Yes, I can. I just haven't gotten to one yet. I have been doing better. I haven't felt like I was going to faint in a while, even after having a few drinks. I have a feeling that it was all in my head from the one time when I did actually faint.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 27, 2008
    • 10:34 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I witnessed something strange recently and would like input if anyone here is a medical person. I'm a retired nurse, but something about this doesn't add up for me. I was at a sit-down dinner where the host thought it was funny to keep filling up everyone's wine glass and then pressuring them to drink up. An obese, middle-aged man sitting across from me politely drank his refilled glasses of wine before the main course had been served. I really do not think he had more than 2 or 3 glasses of wine, but it's hard to say for sure. He got up to go to the bathroom and promptly fainted and took a hard fall to the floor. We did not see him fall so I can't say if he hit his head directly, but he did not complain of any head pain or chest pain. I rushed over and he was just coming to and said he did not remember falling. Classic fainting spell. I assumed it was nothing more than his drinking too much alcohol on an empty stomach. I had him sit up, and he immediately complained of faintness and his skin became dusky, cool and clammy. Had him lay down and elevated his legs. He did not lose consciousness again, just complained of feeling faint every time he tried to sit. Throughout the entire episode, he was completely lucid, clear in speech, and did not appear "drunk" at all. I had him drink water as well as nibble on something to eat, and periodically would try to sit him up, but once again, he would go cool and clammy and feel faint. This lasted 2 hours! I began to suspect that there was more going on than just a little extra alcohol on an empty stomach. It seemed to me that he should have been able to recover more quickly and I began to wonder if he had some sort of cardiac arrhythmia or vascular problem. Heart rate was on the rapid side but otherwise even. After about 2 hours, he was able to stand without falling down, and we accompanied him back to his hotel room. He looked straight at me to thank me, with good color in his skin and lucid speech, and promptly fell down! He insisted he was fine and stood up, and we stayed with him for about a half an hour until I felt reasonably sure that he was okay. He was planning to go straight to bed. I told his companion to have him call the hotel medical service immediately if he experienced any chest pain, odd sensations, or any episode of loss of consciousness again, and urged him to see his doctor when he got home. I never heard what became of him. Is this just a case of having too much to drink on an empty stomach, or is there more going on? Two hours seems like a long time to pass before being able to simply stand up, particularly when he did not exhibit any CNS symptoms of alcohol intoxication. I think my husband thought I was being a bit of an alarmist, but something didn't seem right about this picture. Any thoughts?I can't shed any light on what was going on with the gentleman, but certainly have experienced something similar. First was last Christmas when I had guests over and had 3 glasses of wine during the afternoon. As I was cleaning up I suddenly felt weak, dizzy and broke out in a sweat. I grabbed hold of the kitchen sink and held on for dear life. Fortunately the episode passed and I put it down to too much wine and the stresses of company.A couple of days ago I had company in and again had 3 or 4 glasses of wine between 3 in the afternoon and 7 that evening. I got out of bed about 11:00 and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. I had a recurrence of the same symptoms, but this time I did faint. I came to on the kitchen floor with a large goose egg on the back of my head where I had fallen. I tried to get up but again experienced extreme vertigo, so I finally slowly crawled back to my bedroom and into bed. When I looked at the clock it was after midnight so I must have been out for quite awhile. I tried a couple of times to get up, but had the same experience so just stayed in bed until I felt sure the symptoms had passed. I am sure this must be alcohol related, but I have always drank wine and only had the two episodes, so I don't know for sure.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 30, 2009
    • 09:00 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • A friend of mine invited me to his house last night to play a few games of pes soccer on the ps3. He said he would pick me up around 8 and then turned up at 5:30 before i had had a chance to eat. When we got to his house another of our friends turned up with a bottle of canadian blue (it's like Jack Daniels) and some potent marijuana. I smoke marijuana regularly, so was unperterbed by the fact I hadn't eaten yet but was a bit worried about drinking on an empty stomach. Never the less, I had a few drinks (5 or 6) and started to feel tipsy. At about 8pm I woke to find myself face down in the middle of the living room with my friends stood over me panicking. When I came around I had no recollecton of how I had gotten there.My face is pretty messed up with cuts and carpet burns around my eyes and forehead. My nose was bleeding and there is no skin left on my upper lip. Both of my friends were outside smoking at the time and never witnessed me falling. They just heard a loud bang and came in to see what it was. When my friends talked to me, I understood everything they where saying perfectly and was able to respond clearly and entirely lucidly. In fact I was even able to joke about what had just happened. After curling up into the faetal position for about five to ten minutes one of my friends thought it would be funny to take a couple of photographs. Which to be honest I wasn't too eager to participate. I tried to get up so as not to end up on the internet as a slobbering drunk but got up a little too quick and went cold, sweaty and dizzy. I sat on the couch for a moment and the world started spinning at what felt like a million miles per hour. All of a sudden I felt nauseus and had to get to the bathroom quickly. The stairs to the bathroom caused the same problems for me as I would imagine kilimanjiro has for wheelchair access. Eventually I completed my climb and made it to the toilet. As soon as the bowl was beneath me I threw up violently for about two minutes. It seemed like all of the alcohol had left my system immediately as I was able to get up without dizziness and felt absolutely fine except for the pain in my face. I was no longer drunk or stoned but was left feeling terribley embaressed about the whole episode. The only thing concerning me though is that I have no memory at all of falling over. The last thing I remember is sitting on the couch. when I woke up I was no-where near the couch. I think that I had had a blackout just before I feinted. Long story short...... Eat before you drink or pay the carpet with your lip.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 15, 2010
    • 01:22 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • Of course, everyone should be properly diagnosed in person by a qualified medical professional.I just wanted to say that the past year, I had been suffering from serious faint spells. It started after drinking wine, so I chalked it up to not being able to drink wine. Then the faint spells became worse, and I had existential crisis- feeling that nothing was real, and I was either about to die or already dead. My heart rate would speed up (probably due to anxiety from the fear), my extremities would be soaking (I very rarely sweat), etc. etc.I had gone to the ER, seen cardiologists, refrained from alcohol...nothing was working.Finally, I was diagnosed with very bad reactive hypoglycemia.After a few months of retraining my body, learning about how I feel at various levels of blood glucose- I now have glimpses of my own solid mental state. And I'm able to have a few drinks every now and then to boot (though I must eat during, after, and often in the middle of the night- and I can never have more than three without having a REALLY horrible bed ridden day the next day. And I used to be able to drink anyone under the table if I had the mind...)Hope this helps. And hope everyone is OK!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i havnt drank for over four mounths now i dont no wat it is but every time i seem too drink i feel like im gna faint even just of a sip of it and dont have a clue why this is even wen i think bwt ail i seem to feel dizzy nd panic nd mi heart races ?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 3, 2010
    • 11:33 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Your hyperventilating just breath in an out of a paper bag until you get feeling better say oh 1/2 hour.. :)Hogndog
    hogndog 426 Replies
    • October 4, 2010
    • 08:12 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Exact scenario happened to me few week ego . I was out drinking ( had 4 glass of wine ) with friends and collapsed for five minutes . I ended up going to ER anyways and was told it was dehydration ....I week after that I developed Palpitions and shortness of breath ....and diziness at times ...I have gone a series of test and I am still scheduled for some more : stress test , echo and so forth and my cardiologist keeps telling me that my heart rate is perfect ( low except my usual murmur , which I have had since bearth) and I shouldn't worry too much for now ...I must say I am sceptical because it seems like there is more to it than what he is telling me ...I tend to have these shorthness of breath at night when sleeping and I have this cough that won't go away ....also do get numbness on my left leg at times I think drinking might have triggled something that was already there for both this individual and myself ..it is just a matter of figuring out what that something is ..........I wish him the best and hope he gets the care he needsI am not a physician. I am a medical student and may be reading too much into your symptoms, but have you mentioned the shortness of breath at night and occasional numbness of your leg? Have you gotten a chest xray? What about an angiogram? Have you ever asked about Deep Vein Thrombosis in your left leg? What about Pulmonary Embolism, Pulmonary Hypertension, or Pulmonary Edema?If not, please make an appointment with your cardiologist, or with a new cardiologist, and have these options explored. If these options have been already elminated, or your symptoms have been taken care of/improved, then no worries.Best of luck, and please update us on how it goes for you!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 11, 2010
    • 07:48 PM
    • 0
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  • Are you out to top me, I drank myself into a three month coma. ****s is your only friend...
    hogndog 426 Replies
    • December 14, 2010
    • 09:35 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hello All, I am looking for some help and suggestions. I have been dealing with fainting after drinking alcohol for some time now and doctors can't seem to locate the cause. I am not binge drinking or doing shots, etc. In the beginning I thought it was wine so I stopped drinking wine and stuck with beer. The feeling faint or actually passing out I feel like was less then drinking wine, but it still happens. It can happen while eating, sitting or standing. I have gone to an cardiologist and my heart is perfect and my blood pressure is good, but on the low side. The doctor claims its vasovagal, but I tend to disagree. I have consulted with my endocronologist and all my blood work comes back normal, just had a glucose tolerance test done and that came back normal. What other test should I do? This is so frustrating and get scared going out because I don't want to pass out. Besides feeling really embarresed I feel like crap the next couple weeks following an episode. Again I am not drinking heavy amounts a glass or two does the trick. I hate for others to be experiencing this, but kind of glad I am not alone and don't feel its in my head and I am going crazy. Thanks All!
    atalay 1 Replies
    • January 13, 2011
    • 09:35 PM
    • 0
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  • Quit Drinking..http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u298/hogndog/2z7pg9i-1.gif
    hogndog 426 Replies
    • January 14, 2011
    • 01:31 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I can't shed any light on what was going on with the gentleman, but certainly have experienced something similar. First was last Christmas when I had guests over and had 3 glasses of wine during the afternoon. As I was cleaning up I suddenly felt weak, dizzy and broke out in a sweat. I grabbed hold of the kitchen sink and held on for dear life. Fortunately the episode passed and I put it down to too much wine and the stresses of company.A couple of days ago I had company in and again had 3 or 4 glasses of wine between 3 in the afternoon and 7 that evening. I got out of bed about 11:00 and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. I had a recurrence of the same symptoms, but this time I did faint. I came to on the kitchen floor with a large goose egg on the back of my head where I had fallen. I tried to get up but again experienced extreme vertigo, so I finally slowly crawled back to my bedroom and into bed. When I looked at the clock it was after midnight so I must have been out for quite awhile. I tried a couple of times to get up, but had the same experience so just stayed in bed until I felt sure the symptoms had passed. I am sure this must be alcohol related, but I have always drank wine and only had the two episodes, so I don't know for sure.This may be nothing to do with the man's cardiac condition at all, and could have everything to do with his ears. I had an onset of symptoms like these (without having the alcohol) and the dizziness got worse over the course of a day until I could not stand at all - turned out I had acute labrynthitis - the stabilizing mechanism in m ear was totally out and I ended up in bed for two weeks.
    julslovesjesus 1 Replies
    • February 9, 2011
    • 05:23 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u298/hogndog/cooltext498085186.pngQuit Drinking mate
    hogndog 426 Replies
    • February 9, 2011
    • 00:17 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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