This may be trivial but wondering if anyone else has found their reaction to alcohol different post stroke? I have never drunk very much but since my stroke (2 years ago) even one small drink will result in me having no sleep no matter how tired I may be & leaving me extremely tired & even less able to concentrate. My head seems to buzz as if it's trying to connect to all sorts of neurons, heart palpates & prevents sleep. Pre-stroke a small glass of cider or wine & I'd have a great night sleep. Also, it doesn't taste the same.

I know the solution is not to drink - which is my norm but on special occasions (Christmas dinner or like last night Burns night) I'll try again but next day wish I hadn't due to excessive tiredness.

I just wish there was a way of harnessing the way my head seems to go into stimulus overdrive with it. I wonder if the boffins have discovered what's going on why stroke has made a depressant a stimulant? Or is it just me?









Dear Fiona

there are of course the medications that you now take. They alone could have a reaction to alcohol.

i certainly dont drink as much as pre stroke. I would say I am comfortable with less than half previous levels.

and i built up to this one half level over 2 or 3 years. 

having worked in a chain of wine shops, i am careful with alcohol. I always have an annual rest from all booze. I used to stop for a calendar month but nowadays i abstain throughout lent.

my taste buds changed instantly.

So probably nothing untoward but maybe your reaction is more extreme than average.

No doubt your issues with booze will slowly fade. You might prefer to just accept what you can drink, and I would recommend that you do not make a big deal to friends and family. 
you can, if needs be, say its your medication.

and by the way, i dont think this is trivial. Us SS are not understood and far too much is swept under the carpet. You must be at a stage when you are expected to have "got better" or even worse, to get back to normal. 
best wishes



Hi Colin, I am basically a tea drinker but even that now has had to be curtailed to decaf & only one or two cups a day - another stroke side effect. However I would like to be able to enjoy a glass of wine for toasts at my son's wedding, but  know it's probably not worth it. (Covid permitting for summer wedding).

Yes, outwardly I look 'normal', two years on but I had to take early retirement as my cognitive, memory issues & sensory overload were not compatible with my employers expectations of work load. At 58 I feel a husk of a person & these wee things like not drinking, limiting even a cup of tea are wearing. I shouldn't moan, I basically have good health post stroke, probably being in what amounts to my 3rd year of lockdown monotony is getting to me.

I must thank you for the advice you gave me previously when I posted regarding fatigue, cognitive & work issues. I hope you are doing well.

Hi Fiona,


Just trying to give you an answer to your question:

After a stroke, which may have caused permanent brain damage, your brain 'reroutes' some of the affected senses and capabilities through other parts of the brain. Those other parts then have to perform at over 100% capacity, which causes fatigue and makes us more susceptible to experiencing issues when tired, unwell or affected by medications. Those issues can be any of the wide array of stroke deficits - tiredness, anxiety, confusion or clumsiness all included.

I'm normally pretty robust and mobile but give me the flu or a hangover and I'm slower, more anxious and can't relax. Afterwards I'm back to my stroke normal.

I now drink less than a bottle of wine a year and would rather have things easier. It has really helped my epilepsy too.

Take care,


There are alcohol free wines and beers. I think your sons wedding would be good opportunity to try one.

i guess i am lucky the stroke waited until i had retired. I am an FCA and did an odd few jobs, mainly voluntary, exactly as you say memory etc is hopeless and no way could i continue professional work. I got my own tax return wrong and was investigated by the IR. A difficult few months, but the inspector was amazingly understanding.

it took me years to discover just how much memory loss had occurred. I would assure you that the memory etc does eventually settle. And the horrid dreams do ease.

i reckon the monotony is more covid than stroke, i try to reduce the times i hear tv or radio news. Spectacular failure on that score.

i have an idea about feeling just a husk. Once this pandemic eases i am sure you will find something useful to do. I made coffee and waited on tables, getting a real boost from doing something useful. Us SS will have a heads start with grasping New Normal etc.


HI Fiona - I'm a non-drinker myself except for the odd latte at the drive-through. At home I stick to filtered water and drink around 4 pint glasses a day and at least half a pint glass through the night.

The last alchoholic drink I had was for the toast at our daughter's wedding 11 years ago which was a glass of champagne which  I spread out to most of the afternoon by drinking water after each sip.  I know!  Defeats the object of the exercise! But I don't like the taste of alchohol.   

I'm wondering if drinking a glass of water after your drink or in between sips may help to ease your symptoms?  After stroke, the brain needs lots of water to keep you hydrated - just a thought.

I did have a glass of  non-alcholic wine at Xmas which tasted lovely and it is one which I have had at previous Xmas's for guests who were driving.   However, in Oct this year, I had a second stroke (TIA) and after one glass of the non-alcholic wine, I felt extremely tired.  It actually felt like I had a hangover the next day so maybe my brain wasn't ready yet for even the non-alcholic wine - who knows?   Ha, I've just noticed, I can't spell alcholic right today but it's been one of those yukky days today.