Can Alcohol Poisoning cause Permanent Lightheadedness?.?!

Question: Can Alcohol Poisoning cause Permanent Lightheadedness?.?
Hi, my name is JM and on Sept 12th, 2009 I was in Las Vegas for my 25th birthday. I ended up drinking way more alcohol then my body could handle and ended up getting really sick. I then ended up throwing up a ton of the alcohol in the restroom. I stopped drinking that night and turned to drinking water and getting some food in my system. The next morning (Sunday) I woke up feeling completely horrible. This was the day we were all heading back home from our trip. The drive home was about an 8-9hr drive. When finally leaving Las Vegas I kept telling the driver that I was feeling really bad but everyone in the van insisted that I wait it out till we got back home. There were many times during that day I felt as if I were going to die, literally. I didn't know what to do but drink water and eat small snacks through out the day seeing that the driver would not take me to the hospital. We finally got back home around 11-11:30 that night and I was still feeling really horrible. At this point I was concerned because never had a hangover lasted the entire next day after drinking the night before. Let alone made me feel the way I was feeling. I ended up going to sleep and when I woke up the next morning (Monday) the feeling was so intense I started to freak out/panic. Around 10ish I made the decision to drive to the hospital and I ended up in the ER. I went through two IV fluid bags and the doctor told me that I was really dehydrated even though I had drink a ton of water the day before and felt as though I had flushed out whatever alcohol was still left in my body. He also told me that I did have alcohol poisoning. Anyways, It has just about been 1 year and 5 months to the day since the nigh I drank and I am constantly lightheaded all day long every day. I have had other health problems as well, including Anxiety and Panic Attacks. I have had numerous test done including an MRI, Cat Scan, EKG and numerous blood work done and every test seems to come back completely normal. I have never been the biggest drinker and before the incident happened I was in Perfect Health, Physically and Mentally. I had never had a health problem in my life!. I don't drink alcohol anymore but I am still suffering from constant lightheadedness. (The best way I can describe this feeling is, It's like having a hangover but always present.) I don't know what is causing this feeling and I am afraid/worried that this feeling is going to be permanent. The doctors don't seem to know what is going on either and they just keep giving me different medications to cope with it. I have been taking a medication called "Buspirone 5mg" which is for anxiety for a little over a month now but it doesn't seem to be working.

Is there anyone out there that might be able to tell me why I am feeling constantly lightheaded?, And if it was something caused from the alcohol itself or caused from something else. I have read about Stress and Anxiety and they both mention that they can cause a lightheadedness feeling, but it say that that feeling comes and goes. It doesn't say that that feeling is present all of the time. The only other thing I can think of is that my brain wasn't getting enough oxygen that night while I was sleeping. I am hoping that that is not the case. I have heard that that can cause irreversible brain damage which would mean that this feeling I have will be permanent. Honestly thinking about that scares me. I haven't given up hope yet and I am trying my best to stay positive that one day this feeling will go away.

If there is anyone out there that might be able to give me an answer as to why I am constantly feeling lightheaded and if this feeling will ever go away...I would greatly appreciate it. Even if you know of someone whether that person has been in the same situation as I or has been affected by constant lightheadedness and whether or not they have ever gotten better. It would be nice to know that I am not the only person who is going through something like this.

Anyways, Thank you for taking the time to read about my problems lol.

(Oh, my blood pressure is always normal every time I test it as well)


Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

Since alcohol takes 48 hours to leave your system totally, it might have been, in your case, a little longer (explains the hung over feeling for a more than 2 days). Also, you would not feel light headed and hung over all the time for over a year because you have not consumed any alcohol! it seems a tad in your head, you think youre sick, or you make yourself sick by believe something has caused illness(i did this for about 6 months, constantly thinking my stomach had severe problems but it was just caused by me stressing and pain was never real physically there).

Unless it is the Buspirone negatively effecting your system, there is nothing wrong with you. All those tests would have revealed something wrong with your brain if there was anything wrong. If youre concerned about not having enough oxygen go to your brain, add an iron supplement to your diet (as hemoglobin [which brings Oxygen to your cells] needs iron to function).

Brain damage would not necessarily be the main focus right now, since it sounds like youre functioning adequately. I am almost certain your illnesses are caused by "thinking that you have an illness" as I described above. Feel better and talk to someone who specializes in medical psychology, psychiatry, etc.

As a big drinker, and a person who has suffered from anxiety issues, I can tell you from experience that your "lightheaded-ness" is not a result of your hangover. Luckily, when you pass out, the last body function to go is the regulation of heart beat, breathing, etc. The function of your kidneys, liver, and the like may have been temporarily compromised, and that, combined with the dehydrating effects of the booze, may have left you with extreme dehyrdation even if you think you drank a lot of water the next day. But, the lingering lighthead issues are not a result of you being deprived of oxygen, they probably just started as a 2 day hangover.

Once they became a part of your routine, or you were constantly worried about them for a few days, they may have become a psycho-somatic issue. Or, there may be another cause of the feeling that may have yet to be detected amongst your tests.

Either way, rest assured that lack of oxygen from being passed out is the cause of your problems. If your brain was deprived, you'd either be dead, or suffering from much more severe problems than light-headedness.

My advice would to be see a psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety, just to help calm any issues, and/or to go out drinking again. Not getting Vegas/blackout/lose-your-pants drunk, but to have a few drinks, and see how you feel in the morning. This will not only help with your anxiety by showing you how you feel in the morning (ie- even more lightheaded, the same, or better; either you'll know, right?), but it may be just what you need to get back to normal.

Sorry I've rambled on for so long, but you left a pretty big question too haha.

Good luck, and let us know how you make out!

-First class drunkard
-experienced similiar things
-Master's degree

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