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alcohol & symptoms? (new person question)

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 1:21 pm
by JenniferF
Has anyone else noticed that drinking (say, enough to get a sturdy buzz - not fully drunk) can bring on symptoms?

I'm usually a very moderate drinker (glass of wine with dinner type). Other night drank a little more of a stiffer drink than I intended; *most* of my body had the normal person-who-has-a-buzz symptoms. But the infamous arm and leg went the extra mile -- as strong of symptoms as I've ever had. (weakness and numbness - their usual.)

Anyway I thought it was interesting. Sort of a like little Hot-Shower-In-A-Glass* as far as inducing symptoms. Hadn't read about that effect before, wanted to know if anyone experiences this.


*If you are going to panic, do panic properly: I am highly unlikely to repeat the drinking experiment. Hot showers? Yes, that temptation I do not resist very well. So lecture accordingly. I don't need the consuming-adult-beverages lecture, just the 'quit wasting water' lecture.

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:40 pm
by Loobie
That's why I don't drink anymore, and I LOVE to drink.

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 3:11 pm
by Terry
Yeah, for me it often causes burning legs and trouble peeing. (Which is bad b/c usually it would make you pee more- talk about a bladder stretch!) I can't say that I've stopped, though, but I drink less often. It has to be an occasion worth the risk.

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 3:38 pm
by Grumpster
No lecture here- wish I had a beer

Yes it is something I have experienced. More lately than I used to. I limit my drinks to 2 now, especially in any type of social setting. I actually found it easier to have none since moderation has never been one of my strong suits. I also find that the after effects are worse now, ie the morning after. Bummer I say. A good drink once in a while should not be off the table entirely, but beware the wobbly leg syndrome.....

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:05 pm
by Bubba
Wow.. Where do I start????? :roll: I love to drink beer. My BBQ smoker wont work unless I have plenty of cold ones in the cooler. I have come to the realization that I need to STOP! :( My body temp rises dramatically and the extreme fatigue sets in when I consume. I have even tried just slowing down, like from 18 beers to just 2, and I still get the same effect. However, actually the less I consume, when consuming, the worse I feel. If I drink an 12 pack, my symptoms arent as bad, or maybe I am just to buzzed to realize it. I do miss beer though, the way I used to enjoy it anyway. Still drink it, but I pay dearly for it. :evil:

Re: alcohol & symptoms? (new person question)

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:57 pm
by cheerleader
JenniferF wrote:
Anyway I thought it was interesting. Sort of a like little Hot-Shower-In-A-Glass* as far as inducing symptoms. Hadn't read about that effect before, wanted to know if anyone experiences this. are very the shower in a glass reference. My husband doesn't drink much (never did) but more than a glass of wine or beer and he feels really lousy. I look at it from the circulatory perspective. Alcohol, at lower levels, is a opens up the veins, makes you feels relaxed. That's the nice buzz. At levels past that, it becomes a vasoconstrictor and shuts down your circulation. That's why folks get frostbite or exposure when drunk and lose your circulatory regulation. And looking at MS from a vascular perspective (as I do) it makes sense why too much booze is no good. Hope that helps...

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 7:00 pm
by Loobie
It happened real gradually for me. It was a MAJOR lifestyle change. I mean we camp, tailgate (not me anymore), and all kinds of things that involve drinking. It was really hard, but it's not anymore because it actually makes me feel ssoooo bad. I was a wine collector for a long time and I'll have a sip of my wife's, but only that much. I hate it, like everything else with this disease. If I can become undizzy after my vein operation (fingers crossed but who knows?), the first thing I'm doing is drinking a big 'ol Guiness or something like that. I miss good beer so bad. Hell, I miss all beer bad. I would put plenty of Lite away when we'd go camping because it's cheap and we'd drink all day. It now makes me super dizzy and my legs just not work right. I know it doesn't do it to everybody, but I would bet that those of us lucky to feel dizzy all the time have problems with the drink.

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:27 am
by robbie
Have always drank beer, to good to give up. Ms can’t have that pleasure as well. Drinking in moderation has no affect on ms neither does pot which now that I’m in the chair I smoke more of because I don’t have the problem of going to the bathroom as much.

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:01 am
by JenniferF
Thanks, everyone! Okay, good to know I'm not crazy :-). Annoyed, of course, but ah well. Gosh, you know the MD would be a lot more fun if they'd go ahead and sub in the beer test for the old hot water test. How come we don't see this in any of the diagnostic criteria, eh? So much cheaper than an MRI. I'm sure I could find a driver . . .


PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:30 am
by Mike56
When I told my GP I had a couple beer the other night and got a bad headache he said "next time have a couple more" HAH He's a great Doc! I took his advice.....he was right!

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:18 pm
by Bubba
robbie wrote:Have always drank beer, to good to give up. Ms can’t have that pleasure as well.

Absolutely... :D

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:04 pm
by catfreak
I am not much of a drinker, every once in a while a sip of wine or khalua and coffee. My husband and I even make homeade wine and we don't even drink it we just taste it to bottle it and give the darn stuff away.

It does not really affect me one way or the other.


PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:49 am
by Wendigo
I am not a drinker of alcohol, never have been, probably never will be. My MS to varying degrees makes me feel like I'm drunk without the booze anyway so no desire to make that worse :)

I get into bad sleeping cycles related to fatigue - naps during the day interfere with sleep at night. I have a bottle of wine and tried a couple of glasses of that to get back to sleep but it didn't work.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:44 am
by gainsbourg
It all goes to show how people are affected in different ways by this illness. I haven't been able to drink alcohol for years and years and I miss it badly!

It would be interesting to find out if those who suffer from heat fatigue are the same ones who can't tolerate alcohol....I can't take the heat or hot showers either.

Many neurological illnesses are caused by toxins (i.e. poison in the blood). Inflammation or damage to nerves often occurs as a result of toxins in the bloodstream, e.g diabetic neuropathy is causd by faulty metabolism which results in an excess of sugar (excess sugar is toxic to nerves).

Apparently, alcohol is one of the most poisonous things we ever put into our bodies. It's fine for healthy people because the liver can usually handle it, but not if it is being chronically overworked by other poisons the rest of the time. There's a great article on alcohol here

Once in the body, alcohol is quickly converted to acetaldehyde which is approximately 30 times more toxic than alcohol. Acetaldehyde is responsible for the unpleasant side effects after drinking.

Autoimmune activity still gets the most of the blame for the neurological damge in MS, as it does in peripheral neuropathy disease, but I'm always open to the idea that some kind of 'hard to identify/detect' toxin (or food allergen) is stealthily triggering the damage or autoimmune response. It could be a viral toxin, mercury or toxin from candida fermentation (also acetaldehyde).

Sorry to ramble on but any sudden excess of toxins, like drinking alcohol, is bound to temporarily make MS symptoms worse.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:40 pm
by Wendigo
Gainsbourg - I must be the rarity in that a hot bath does nothing to my symptoms of MS. I live where it gets to 115 degrees in the summer and, yes, that heat wipes me out but no more than anyone else or any other time in my life. In fact even in summer I sleep with a heating pad - it just feels comforting, like someone is there - and doesn't worsen my symptoms.

I've done a lot of stained glass work in the past - nasty up close chemical and lead exposure there. My first child died with deformities not compatible with life (Potter's syndrome) and I had been doing the stained glass intensely before realizing I was pregnant. I'd prefer to believe that was the cause of the syndrome rather than a rogue gene being handed down. I was told there was a 1:4 chance of it happening with each subsequent pregnancy and went on to have five healthy normal children. The neurologists have always questioned me on the death of this baby but I think it has been looking more for evidence of an autoimmune factor in me. Also, there is a history of refinishing wood, old cabinetry and antique furniture - a variety of toxic exposures there too.