Tricky question, meningitis and alcohol

Hi, I had bacterial meningitis aobut 4 years ago. I had a good recovery and other than a bit of fatigue I am well.

I was always enjoyed drinking alcohol, but now I think that I am becoming alcholic and it seems to link with when I had the illness. Its a hard question, but has anyone else noticed that having meningitis made their reaction to drinking change?

8 Replies

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  • Actually, I would have to say I drink less. I guess it just makes me tired. Good luck on finding your answers, but if you just need to chat, I am always willing!

  • Hi Mate. I have had meningitis bacterial type 4 times in my life time, and one attack of late but fortunately recovered. eventhough a few complications eg Balance , memory issues and as yuo mentioned tiredness, and occasional head aches , in relation to drink i can see how easy it would be to resort to drink as a comforter after being ill with such a significant illness, but in my case I must be honest i drink alot less NOW as im too tired .

    Good Luck

  • I had bacterial meningitis more than 20 years and find that just one alcoholic drink knocks me for six! Sorba

  • i has my bm about 8 tears ago

    i have had a few pints in that time and always felt un well after so have given up

    Pills and booze don't mix, also booze is a deppresent and don't want that can get it enough with out alcohol

    don't let become a demon to you

  • Hi -I had same,nearly 5 years ago.For a good few years I could not drink alchohol as I was also taking lots painkillers,migraine meds,which prohibited alcohol.However I have always enjoyed my red wine!Dont drink anything else.

    Menigitis has damaged my vestibular system ,so I actually feel 24/7 drunk !I use crutches inside and wheelchair. After a while I started to try some wine and amazingly I found that my balance and dizziness improved,as long as I only had a small glass.As it made me feel so much better I did start to almost "crave" my nightly glass.I asked my specialist why alcohol would make me less dizzy and he said that as it is a vestibular depressant that is exactly why.It works in exactly same way as the pills you get for vertigo eg stemetil.He also said that perhaps it made me more relaxed and less fearful of falling.THis is of course the exact opposite of a healthy balance system when you take alcohol -that will make you dizzy/drunk,but because ours are damaged it has the opposite effect! I can only have 2 small glasses maximum,any more and Im incapable of even using my crutches.I think I am quite unusual to be able to tolerate alcohol as most folks after M can't at all.

    You are right to worry though,if you feel you are becoming addicted please seek professional help.What I now do is have a glass wine two nights a week only.I look forward to this and its my wee treat, but addiction is indeed a demon and very very easy to fall into.

    I know someone who had Meningitis who feels her tastebuds have been radically altered -she no longer likes meat,but craves sugar thus has piled on a lot of weight.I certainly find I crave sweet thing,.which I didnt before Meningitis.

    I think ,you need to listen to your body - you are obviously aware that you are becoming dependent,so try and take action now before you have another probelm as well as living with after effects of Meningitis?I am no expert,but could you try altering your routine? eg if you would noramlly sit down to watch Tv with a drink,could you have glass water or herbal tea instead.The period of a few months when I did worry I was becoming addicted was hard as I had to consciously stop myself pouring a glass every evening.I used to order Tesco wine by the case ,so always had wine there,but have stopped this.Now I am pleased to say I can look forward to my twice weekly wine but really can take it or leave it.I think addiction comes when you simply cant leave it?

    I wish you all the best.You have survived Meningitis,so dont let alcohol cause you more health problems.Do let us know how you get on.We are a friendly bunch on this forum and no one will judge you.

  • I drink very little alcohol...maybe 4 drinks a year. I've never understood WHY people want to drink: they certainly DON'T become more entertaining or clever...only the DRINKER thinks he's sharper with booze. A dull person becomes even MORE dull and painfully SLOW-WITTED!

    A clear sharp mind is ALWAYS more appealing!

  • Hi, like many others I dont understand the alcohol thing... I was never a big drinker but irl, I always loved a real ale or two, or a glass of good champagne. I find I cannot tolerate it now much, maybe one half occasionally and a very occasional glass of wine. I am 3.5 years down the road from VM. Like so many others I find if I do have more than an occasional drink I have worry brain in the night, sort of boozy blues come early or something. I have other friends who have similar experiences too. Life is just as interesting and wonderful without alcohol, being well is the most important bit, dont be a slave to booze, ask someone for help if you really feel it is getting hold of you. Its very understandable with all you have been through to latch onto something that seems to help, but alcohol is also a very vicious drug... be careful.

  • Thanks for all the replies, very helpful.

    I have read that TBI's, traumatic brain injuries, which might include meningitis because there can be severe brain swelling, increases the chances of alcoholism, so worth being aware of.

    I'm going to be careful. Thanks again!

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