Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Concussion made worse by alcohol?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 20 Replies
  • Posted By: Eric_85
  • November 14, 2006
  • 02:32 AM

My previous post shows my symptoms: http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/showthread.php?t=4097

Well, I was just informed I hit my head last Sunday night (November 5th) and may be suffering from a concussion. Do any of the board members know how much drinking about 16 beers in two hours (for a BAC of .41), less than a day after I hit my head, would affect my recovery from a concussion? I didn't even feel that abnormal (just like I had a prolonged hangover) until after I drank that much - then the effects came up on me out of nowhere the next day.

Apparently, even knowing these symptoms, people who saw me hit my head (I don't remember it) didn't feel it necessary to inform me that it had happened until today, more than a week later. And if I had known after it had happened, I wouldn't have gone and drank the hardest I ever had. Now it seems likely that my recovery is affected and that some of these problems may be here to stay.

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20 Replies:

  • Eric 85, I suppose you didn't get much response on the original thread because most people can't believe that any one who had blacked out after heavy drinking could then pick themselves off the floor and drink themselves even harder into a blackout again. If your BAC really was 0.41 (which is unlikely), you are lucky to be alive. That would be enough to kill about 50 % of people. You said that you had seen doctors, so it is important to know what they said. If you still have problems, you need to seek medical advice quite urgently and be honest about how much you drank. It may be concussion, but who knows.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 14, 2006
    • 10:33 AM
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  • Eric 85, I suppose you didn't get much response on the original thread because most people can't believe that any one who had blacked out after heavy drinking could then pick themselves off the floor and drink themselves even harder into a blackout again. If your BAC really was 0.41 (which is unlikely), you are lucky to be alive. That would be enough to kill about 50 % of people. You said that you had seen doctors, so it is important to know what they said. If you still have problems, you need to seek medical advice quite urgently and be honest about how much you drank. It may be concussion, but who knows. In retrospect, I think the first blackout (on Sunday night) was due to me hitting my head. I did have about ten drinks, but this was over six or seven hours and usually wouldn't cause me to blackout. I was only later told that I had hit my head, and I believe this is why I had a memory lapse/blackout - not the alcohol. The next night, not knowing that I had hit my head, I was drinking again (birthday celebrations). And believe me, that was my BAC. I wish it wasn't. I do plan to get the doctor (again) but it's hard for me to drive in this state, and it's also hard for me to get anyone to drive me there (there are only a few people I could call). When I previously saw them, I felt it was something more to do with the alcohol in and of itself, and they agreed (remember that, when I last saw them, neither they nor I knew I had hit my head). Since I'm still feeling just as bad more than a week after I hit my head/drank so heavily, I don't think that is the case. I think the concussion was worsened by the alcohol.
    Eric_85 3 Replies
    • November 14, 2006
    • 10:49 AM
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  • Eric,If you have hit your head over a week ago and your simptoms are just as serious, you had better still go for a MRI on you brain. You don't know how hard you hit it but there could be bleeding depending where and how hard you went down. Also, have your ears checked, if there is any damage to your ear cannel due to a fall this can make for the incredible feelings you are going through, ear problems can make for real horrible sickness. You should be feeling a lot better by now.And as for your drinking, at your age to be drinking like you are is a real worry, to be drinking like that at any age is horrendous, and if you have something wrong with you that is not connected with drinking or a fall, doctors may not be too keen in taking a closer look at you as they will see your drinking as the problem, not anything else.agape,searchingsam
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 14, 2006
    • 11:33 AM
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  • As searchingsam says, it is now a week so you must go to the doctor ASAP. It is speculative what caused what, but you are clearly not feeling well so something must be wrong.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 14, 2006
    • 11:39 AM
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  • I went to the ER. They did some blood work, did a CAT scan, took x-rays... apparently they're leaning towards a concussion. I'm going to see a neurologist next. I think it speaks to how scared I am that a concussion would be the best possible problem (versus something permanent). What I don't understand, however, is why the symptoms didn't show up for well over a day after I hit my head (except for memory loss of the incident and a few hours before and after it). And, further, why would the symptoms be relatively mild at first and then become extremely worsened after the alcohol? In and off itself, the amount of drinking I did, while pretty ridiculous, shouldn't cause these problems - and yet I would imagine a concussion's symptoms would have shown up earlier and I can't understand why, if this is a concussion, the alcohol made it so much worse. According to what I've read, I could have post-concussion syndrome, where symptoms can peak weeks after the injury, but it still seems odd that my symptoms didn't start immediately after hitting my head.
    Eric_85 3 Replies
    • November 15, 2006
    • 11:50 AM
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  • Eric, I understand that being concussed can seriously affect your ability to handle alcohol. By drinking so much when concussed, I suppose you could have affected the brain's recovery process and exacerbated the concussion. Is it possible also you hit your head a second time when you blacked out again? In the end though, what is done is done no matter how it was caused. The important thing is that you get the best medical advice to help you recover. Worrying about it isn't going to help at all.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 15, 2006
    • 01:03 PM
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  • i also have a similar situation, i only had about a shot of 40% alchohol, and have a mild concussion, can someone help me out?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 29, 2007
    • 04:55 AM
    • 0
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  • I am also in a similar situation. I had a very mild concussion and felt fine afterwards. I took a few sips of a mixed drink days after and my brain felt like it would explode. Since then I have exhibited all the signs of post concussive syndrome. How would that little amount of alcohol affect me like this? Should I go back to the E.R?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hi, I am now doing a search about concussions and alcohol..it has been 2 years since a very severe concussion, then 5 months ago I suffered another one..I now seem to have a low tolerance to alcohol..to the point of blacking out,,,,does this sound at all familiar to anyone..I am really concerned..thanks
    montreal_woman 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Eric, as hard as it is for you to find a ride, please, please, please, please, please do not drive yourself!!!! I cannot stress that enough. Normally people who have had a concussion shouldn't drive for the first week at least. But when the symptoms persist, it's absolutely imperative that you not drive yourself. With symptoms like yours it's very likely that anything could happen, and you just don't want those things to happen while you're behind the wheel. You could black out completely, or only halfway and not really be aware of much, your memory and concentration could lapse. Any number of things could happen and you just don't want them to happen while you're driving something that could easily kill you or someone else. Think of it like you're still drunk, because you essentially are. Except this time, you can't predict when your drunkenness will pop up again and impair you. You don't have to be drunk to have your judgment impaired, and trust me, after a concussion like that and the symptoms you've been describing, you are impaired. I hate to say it so seriously, but I've been where you are - I passed out a couple years ago in the bathroom and knocked my head silly. Thankfully I've gone through some professional driving courses, I've seen serious accidents in my own family, and I know just how dangerous driving can be when taken lightly. I'm sure you would never get behind the wheel drunk, so please don't get behind the wheel now. What I don't understand, however, is why the symptoms didn't show up for well over a day after I hit my head (except for memory loss of the incident and a few hours before and after it). Concussions seem simple because we're so aware of them, but they can really be quite complex and no two concussions are the same. Think of it like when you bang your knee and end up with a really bad bruise. It can feel okay for the first few days, but once that bruise develops, it can hurt all over again more intense than before. In a sense, your brain is somewhat bruised. It's been knocked around, it's not happy, and there's probably a bit of inflammation going on. As that inflammatory process progresses, naturally the sensations are going to change and your symptoms might evolve a bit. So don't be too freaked out by that, but definitely get it taken care of and looked at thoroughly. Definitely go see a neurologist, get an MRI done, and go from there.And please, for your sake and everyone else's, please don't drive! Spending a bit on a taxi is such a small investment compared to further injuring yourself or someone else. Driving is a serious, serious responsibility - one so many of us usually take too lightly, and the consequences of not taking it seriously can be life-long, or in so many cases, life-ending. It's worth $20 to get in a cab and avoid getting behind the wheel while knowingly impaired.
    HeatherShow 19 Replies Flag this Response
  • im in a similar boat. its been a week since my auto accident. i was never diagnosed with a concussion but i remember nothing right before, during or afterward. also i had been drinking so im not sure if the amnesia was caused by the alcohol or the bump to my noodle. after negative ct scans i was discharged from the er the same night and sent on my way. my friend who was driving also has no memory of the incident.4 days later i was feeling better. not 100%, but i decided to do a little drinking anyway. i ended up getting pretty hammered which really isnt like me. i can normaly handle my liquor pretty well. since then my symptoms have worsened considerably. i just want to know exactly what is it that causes alcohol to have such an effect on concussions? and can one night of drinking during recovery cause permenant damage?
    agntornge 1 Replies
    • October 3, 2008
    • 01:08 AM
    • 0
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  • to answer your question. I am a 21 year old male who recently got a concussion when I was drinking one night. My friend felt the need to slam me to the floor when I wasn't looking and I hit my head against the corner of a table. I got a CT scan and everything. Most of the time when you get a concussion they told me the feelings that it causes you don't feel for up to 48 hours after. This is infact because of the time it takes for the brain to swell up enough to cause the impairment that you are feeling. If it is infact a concussion, within 2 weeks you will feel normal, but another knock to your head, even minor, can cause the stress of that spot to pop and your blood can drain into your skull. Think fast before you do anything stupid.-your savior.
    Citalianstalli0n 1 Replies
    • November 19, 2008
    • 10:51 PM
    • 0
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  • I got a concussion 3 and half months ago while I was drunk. I was't unconscious or anything but do not recall the event. Anyways, I started feeling better after 3 weeks and then one night I had 5-6 beers. Since then I've gotten my symptoms back. I feel bad for drinking that night, but didnt know it would cause that much trouble. I have already had my CT scan and EEG done and doctors have said it's a concussion. Does anybody know if these symptoms I'm having (like lack of awareness, and short term memory problems) are gonna get away? I'm pretty worried.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 2, 2009
    • 07:40 PM
    • 0
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  • im in a similar boat. its been a week since my auto accident. i was never diagnosed with a concussion but i remember nothing right before, during or afterward. also i had been drinking so im not sure if the amnesia was caused by the alcohol or the bump to my noodle. after negative ct scans i was discharged from the er the same night and sent on my way. my friend who was driving also has no memory of the incident.4 days later i was feeling better. not 100%, but i decided to do a little drinking anyway. i ended up getting pretty hammered which really isnt like me. i can normaly handle my liquor pretty well. since then my symptoms have worsened considerably. i just want to know exactly what is it that causes alcohol to have such an effect on concussions? and can one night of drinking during recovery cause permenant damage?let's think about it this way, a concussion is the brain being bruised/bleeding, alcohol thins the blood, i hope you can draw ur own conclusions from that
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 12, 2010
    • 10:57 PM
    • 0
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  • hi, I am now doing a search about concussions and alcohol..it has been 2 years since a very severe concussion, then 5 months ago I suffered another one..I now seem to have a low tolerance to alcohol..to the point of blacking out,,,,does this sound at all familiar to anyone..I am really concerned..thanksthe worst thing you can do to your brain is drink after a concussion. You are causing more damage. This is a known fact. The damage to the brain from a concussion happens in the days and weeks following the concussion. You cannot drink at all. Period. You will have to live with dire consequences if you do and they will be life long. We are talking depression, sleep problems, memory problems,learning problems, social interaction problems. Its not worth it. You can have a good time without alcohol and if you drink you are risking a lot.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • your bac was not .41
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • crashed my bike 4 days ago. cracked helmet. limited memory of incident. I was drunk and did not blow a 0.00 BAC until 20 +hrs after i stopped drinking. vomited that night. CT scan negative 3 days after accident. all the typical concussion symptoms present, sometimes worse, today. Following Drs. advice of rest and lay low until symptoms clear, expect 4-5 more days. Did alcohol make symptoms worse? Duration? Long term outcome?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I got a concussion around april 3rd. about 2 weeks after i tried drinking a few beers one night,seemed fine at the time but m symptoms came back. I then had finals week about 3-4 weeks after and once i was done i drank for about a week to 2 straight.. im now still suffering from migraines and headaches everyday. If i could go back in time i would have never drank, I definitly feel like it made things worse
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I suffered a concussion 3 weeks ago, not knowing it was a concussion (didn't lose consciousness). Was feeling a little "foggy", so I went to see a neurologist. Everything was normal, and he said it could take up to 6 weeks to recover. I was improving until this past weekend when I drank heavily (too much, blacked out), and now I am experiencing worse symptoms. I am curious if other people in this post (especially from a few years ago) ever fully recovered and how people are feeling now in general? Obviously I will be holding off on alcohol for a while.Please let me know of personal stories and recoveries..thanks so much!
    PeterD1361 1 Replies
    • September 26, 2011
    • 11:27 PM
    • 0
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  • I was jumped by a person out of the dark one night after drinking. My BAC was 0.24 in the ER. I do not remember going to the hospital or events there until shortly prior to release. Those who saw me directly after the incident said I was very, confused, angry and cursing my attacker. The doctor gave me a diagnosis of Moderate Concussion. My question is, under those circumstances could a person who is concussed, drunk and angry at the person who jumped him remember saying things or the events in the ER? And what tests and values are used to grade a concussion? And does ER staff have the credentials to accurately diagnosis the concussion? Are there web sites or references that address the effects of being concussed while under the influence of alcohol?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 29, 2012
    • 10:27 PM
    • 0
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