Is There a Connection Between Epilepsy and Alcohol Use?

An increased risk of seizures for people who are already susceptible is associated with some of the following factors noted below. The connection between epilepsy and alcohol use is well documented for people with moderate to severe addiction. Learning to know the signs of addiction and what to expect for people who struggle can help mitigate some of the issues associated with problem drinking behavior.

Factors in Seizures

The following factors may play a role in whether a person is going to suffer from seizure activity. This can include:

  • Insufficient food intake
  • Alcohol use or abuse
  • Failure to take anticonvulsant medications
  • Sleep deprivation or fatigue
  • Stress

Alcohol and Epilepsy

Alcohol-induced seizures can occur during acute alcohol withdrawal. Some studies have looked at the onset of epilepsy as independent of this factor but other studies that looked at associations between alcohol consumption and onset risk of epilepsy or seizures have indicated that risk of seizures was dose-dependent. Daily alcohol consumption was measured by the number of pure ethanol grams consumed.

Alcohol-Related Seizures

The relationship between alcohol and seizures is complex. Long-term alcohol abuse can change the alcohol level seizure threshold and increase the risk of prolonged or sustained seizures. Alcohol can trigger seizures unrelated to withdrawal and impair seizure control in people with epilepsy. An estimated one third of people hospitalized for acute seizures drank too much alcohol prior to the seizure occurring.

Abstinence from Alcohol

The best way to prevent seizures from happening is to abstain from drinking alcohol. It is not a good idea to stop cold turkey if you have been drinking a long time as sudden death from the onset of seizures can result. Long-term alcohol abuse is a risk factor for developing epilepsy in later life so stopping may not entirely create space where it won’t happen but it is key to think about how problem drinking behavior is impacting your life and, if it is, to find a rehab place that supports your sobriety and recovery to be as healthy as possible.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Our medically supported detox environment can help you come down off addiction to alcohol more safely than doing it alone. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.