Hyponatremia and Central Pontine Myelinolysis

What is hyponatremia? Information regarding CPM and EPM.

Archive for the tag “Alcoholism”

Todd’s Story: CPM

Todd and I have corresponded for the past year, and I find his story also very motivational, so I’m happy to start sharing it here. Todd’s story shows how alcohol can lead to hyponatremia, and being an alcoholic can further increase your chances of developing CPM. It’s a dangerous combination, alcoholism and hyponatremia.

Now, I want to spend time explaining some of the things I’ve hit upon before regarding alcohol.

You are at risk for developing hyponatremia if you have even one drink….however, it is very unlikely for you to develop it after drinking just one drink.

The more you drink, the more likely you are to develop hyponatremia. If you are an alcoholic, you are at great risk for developing it. You can also develop CPM/EPM if you are an alcoholic without developing hyponatremia. In other words, drinking chronically can lead to demyelination of your pontine area, basal ganglia, or other areas of your brain.

I hope Todd’s story will motivate those who are drinkers to think twice about picking up their next drink.

……Unfortunately, I don’t know how to blog, but anything I share with you is free game, my life is an open book now, I don’t hold any secrets about myself anymore. You description of the causes of CPM was explained to me as the perfect storm:

1. I am an alcoholic
2. I pounded scotch and water.
3. I was taking htc for HBP.
4. I got sick on both ends

I am starting to work on my testimony for my recovery group and will share if when I am done.

I try to wake up everyday trying to figure out why God spared my life? Everyday is a great day is I choose to make it one which I suppose about 50/50…..

Hey,
I finished ready your blog today. I know exactly what you mean because sometimes it takes me an hour to write these short little notes because I do not want to offend anyone. I’m in a quandary, I what to forward the blog address to my health care providers but can’t find the right words. There is a long story behind it: They were my clients and they fired me! My work with them was in the med-mal arena.

Hey,
Housekeeping: I was diagnosed with CPM Late December 2007. I am an alcoholic. I haven’t seen a neurologist in 2+ years, they really never wanted o bother with me. My primary care Doc’s are great. I use to go once a week but now it is once a year. The remnants of the CPM are my involuntary grunting, drooling and uncontrolled belching. I also 90% of the time have a “deer” in the headlights expression. Physically, I’m proud to tell you I am in the best condition of my adult life. Over 4 years of sobriety with 3*** and Copenhagen FREE. I’m into biking and spinning. You have to brag when you can: I burned 818 calories in today’s spinning class, a personal best.

My life partner read your Blog and is super impressed with your research. She will be way more useful than me, because she lived the CPM, I only remember certain aspects of my time in prison.

She obviously has permission to correspond with you but is still getting computer literate (I finally bought her and everyone I love a MAC) and is also busy.
We have 5 children, 2 still at home………

Hey,

I forgot to mention that my speech is not perfect. I do stutter when I get excited and my volume increases and I don’t realize it. I also cannot write that well anymore not that I could in the first place. My mother, an RN, who in retirement took me to her continuing education seminars on brain injuries, when I would look down always reminded me, with brain injuries, always give it at least 4 years for recovery.

p.s. Spinning is the best Cardio ever and it is easy on the knees.

My life partner swears that my better days are the ones when I’m active in exercise. I can remember the first time to the gym: 1/11 of a mile was a victory….then a mile…..then two and now 100 mile bike rides.

Keep up the great work.
I’m still encouraging Linda my life partner to write you, I overheard her discussing the Blog with my oldest daughter about their experience with my CPM and the surrounding events. The only things I remember are the peace of the ICU, before being admitted telling my boy to take me out if they cath me, being able to memorize the 8 questions of “Are you an Alcoholic“. Being on the general floor on the Hospital, constantly asking to be walked, because I new something was wrong. I do not remember having headaches. I’ll keep encouraging her because your story sounds familiar to what happened to me except alcoholism was the proximate cause of my low blood sodium.

Hey,
I just got back from a session of speech therapy. I went for a 4 year/50,000 mile tune up. The good news is in their humble opinion and expertise my speech is great. I would admit that normally I feel 95-98% but somethings dip below 90%, I admit the speech problem is all in my head.
One issue that they identified is my facial expressions.
“deer in the headlights” eyebrows always up and my mouth is constantly open. Two things I was not aware of.
So much for my Neurologist’s suggestion for becoming a professional poker player! At the end of the day I can feel some self confidence with my speech.

Hey,
The “deer in the headlights” look is definitely a CPM issue along with my mouth being unconsciously open 24/7 unless I’m thinking about correcting it. The toughest setback of CPM is the mental aspect: Remembering how things were before CPM, then now. Trying your hardest for minuscule gains is a bitch. Don’t be worried about the muscle issue yet. I cannot specifically say that happened to me but I definitely lost strength. Three hunting seasons ago, I could barely carry a 20 gauge and was so pissed off after the season I went directly to the gym. Three years later, I carry what affectionately call “the cannon”–Weatherby O/U 30inch 12 gauge. After this year a buddy told me to “knock off that disabled shit because you can’t fool me, I saw you dropping everything you shot.” He was right. Bottom line–we know when someone is BSing with us or is sincere. Personally I like the BS too because I like to give it out.

SO, as you can see from Todd’s story. There is hope for living with CPM/EPM. He isn’t the same person he was before the injury, but he’s making strides to make the best of his life now. I still have a lot of questions for Todd, so please don’t consider his story complete at this point, but I wanted to get his story out there.

Have a great night.

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Hyponatremia: Alcohol relation

It’s been a few days since I last posted. My excuses: it’s the Christmas season. My son just had his tonsils out a week ago ūüė¶ I’ve been horribly upset because I had cognitive testing to see how CPM/EPM has impacted my cognitive abilities.

My issues are with memory, concentration, communication. Anyway to make the longest story short, the neuropsychologist that administered the test decided I was faking and/or my issues weren’t related to CPM/EPM, but were being caused by stress and fatigue, because my results on things like memory, etc were way below normal, but my tests that test intelligence show I’m way above normal.

Most of you don’t know that much about me, so you might not understand why this really ticks me off. I wasn’t faking. I’m an A type personality. It’s not in my blood to do badly on a test, definitely¬†not on purpose!!

I was hoping to take the MCAT before this all happened. I’m still hoping to take it, but it will literally take an hour or two to write these brief posts, so it will be difficult to take something like the MCAT. ¬†Thank God, I can catch my mistakes, but it takes me an hour or two of constantly reading and re-reading my post before I get it right. ¬†You can’t do this on a MCAT.

I’m not the same person I was a year ago. A lot of my CPM/EPM issues have improved, but one of the areas I’m experiencing the greatest frustration is with my cognitive abilities. I have a hard time remembering simple things.

Ok, see. I’m going off on a rant. I’m already way off the topic I wanted to discuss. So, I’m going to just leave it at that. At one point, hopefully soon, I will discuss my story, how this all happened, but right now, I want to discuss how alcohol impacts blood sodium.

Some of this information might have been posted about in previous blogs, but I honestly don’t remember. So forgive me if this is a bit redundant.

I was extremely surprised to find out that you do NOT have to be an alcoholic to develop hyponatremia or CPM! You have a higher chance of developing hyponatremia even if you have just one drink.

You have a much greater chance of developing CPM if you are an alcoholic or a recovering alcoholic than a person who has just consumed one drink.

Reasons why alcoholics develop hyponatremia:

A.) They vomit due to excessive alcohol intake.

B.) hypovolaemia is decreased blood volume/ blood plasma. This occurs in alcoholics because of vomiting.  This also leads to secretion of ADH (helps control urine output) which causes a person to urinate less and leads to fluid retention.  Also, it stimulates thirst mechanisms. This leads to an increase of fluid consumption and a decrease of urine output which essentially dilutes your blood and lowers your blood sodium level.

Hypovolaemia is not the same as dehydration. Dehydration is due to excess fluid loss, but hypovolaemia is characterized by a loss of sodium..which leads to hyponatremia.

C.) Excessive consumption of large amounts of alcohol, which is low in salt, along with being malnourished. This is called “beer potomania”.

D.) The less common cause is because of SIADH, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion.  The body secretes too much ADH. This again leads to dilution of the sodium in the blood.

Ok, folks. Here’s the thing. Earlier, I posted that ADH is inhibited when you drink alcohol. Now, I’m saying it is produced in excess. I’m totally aware of this contradiction, but this is a contradiction that is published in the literature.

According to the NIH, it is inhibited. Check out this link below:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-1/84.pdf

According to this published article, ADH is produced in excess. Check out this link below:

http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/6/612.full

SO WTF?? I really don’t know. I’m going to say that with everything in the body there has to be balance, so I’m going to say that if a person starts to consume alcohol, ADH is inhibited. However, as alcohol consumption increases, ADH begins to be released excessively because the body has dumped a large amount of nutrients, etc due to the frequent urination and possible vomiting.

Let me see if this makes a bit more sense. If you consume a large amount of fluids, you pee more (less ADH is released)…what goes in, must come out. At some point, you can push that balance to the other extreme. At some point your body realizes that you’ve lost a lot of your nutrients and fluids (have become dehydrated), so your pituitary releases large amounts of ADH to try to maintain that balance. If you continue to consume liquids, at the same time you are releasing more ADH, then you dilute the system even more quickly.

So, that’s my opinion, and I’m guessing that’s why there’s a contradiction in how ADH is impacted when you consume alcohol…but this is just my opinion. I will try to find some more clarifying information regarding it.

I hope you find it helpful or at least inspiring to do your own research.

 

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