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3 Year Old Acts "drunk" For Hours: Symptom?
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My daughter has been gluten-free for almost 4 months. For the most part her previous symptoms of clinginess, refusal to eat, frequent crying, etc. have resolved. There has been alot of trial and error as far as learning which foods are REALLY gluten free and which just say they are :unsure:  but we are getting better and better at eliminating all sources from her diet. Her health is improving more and more. However, a new "symptom" has popped up in the last week that we didn't experience before. She has started to appear and act "drunk" or heavily drugged for long stretches of time throughout the day. She isn't in a bad mood per se, but just acts very loopy and uncoordinated, and even slurs her words. She also plays in a much more destructive and haphazard way during these times, and her speech is not only slurred but doesn't make sense. In her normal state, it is possible to have a mostly reasonable conversation with her (for her age) and her sentences mean something. During this "drunken" state, she will say things that make no sense, and repeat them over and over, sometimes just talking to herself.  The drunken state seems to switch both on and off quite suddenly, however once it has started it typically lasts for at least a few hours. Then suddenly it will be done, and she will be back to her regular self. 

 

She hasn't been sleeping well at all and I wonder if it is possible that she is just so exhausted at times and this is causing her to be slap-happy. But part of me wonders if I am STILL missing some gluten somewhere (we have been SO scrupulous, it seems impossible!)  or if this is a symptom of something else altogether. 

 

Any insight?

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Have you talked to her doctor about this? While it could be a symptom, it could be something else.

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I would video it. Sometimes when you go to drs. symptoms are not there. Def. go to Dr. With this!!

 

I did get Glutened once and I felt later in the day like I was drunk! I started going for a walk and noticed I couldn't walk straight! I came back inside the house and promptly went to the restroom and puked my guts out!! It was horrid!!! I was very tired the next few days!! Then it was gone!! I was over it ... I have not gone thru that again. Hopefully never will! 

 

 I hope you find the answer 

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I would certainly be concerned about slurred speech and would make an appointment with her pediatrician about that immediately.

 

As for saying things that don't make sense at all, repeating those things over and over and talking to herself? Sounds like normal 3 year old behavior to me. By itself it isn't a reason for concern. My kids frequently didn't make any sense to me, talked to themselves and were freakishly obsessed with repetition as most kids are.

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GET HER TO A DOCTOR!

there is a chance it's from gluten but the chances are better that it is something really serious!

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I agree on taking her to the Dr.  I have read of some rare cases where a person's stomach produces its own alcohol, making the person drunk.  I can't remember what this is called and I don't know if it applies here.  It could be a stroke or some kind of seizure.  I wouldn't wait!  Also agree on videotaping it if it is something that might not present at the Drs. office.

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Yep, I would call and get an appointment with the doctor ASAP. 3 year olds acting weird isn't unusual. 3 year olds slurring their words is unusual and cause for alarm. Especially if accompanied by decreased motor skills. That would definitely freak me out.

Was this a symptom when she was getting glutened before? Or has it just started? Lack of sleep can definitely do weird things to your body and dealing with gluten issues can do weird things too. But slurred speech is an automatic trip to the doctor the same day for my kids.

 

I would call and talk to the nurse and see what they have to say.  Hugs mama! Please keep us updated on this. I hope it's just a little bit of gluten sneaking in somewhere and you can figure it out and get rid of it.

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Are you seeing the "drunk" symptoms appearing at the same time or around the same activity (before nap/after nap, needing food, needing to poop, etc)?  Three year olds are like wild animals - so hard to understand!  The only symptom that you're describing that seems enough for a phone call (for my personal taste) is the slurred speech.  If that's truly new to her then I'd call the Ped and get to the bottom of it.

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I am thinking seizures,....good luck.

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I am thinking seizures,....good luck.

 

I think that ran through a lot of our heads, which is why we all said to make an appt. right away. None of us wanted to be speculative and alarmist for no reason though. It still could absolutely be symptoms of a glutening, which a doctor can do nothing for. But at that age there is no reason to take chances with a child's health when they show such an alarming neurological symptom.

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I brought her in to our doctor a few days after it started happening and he didn't seem too concerned. He suggested hypo-glycemia related or due to exhaustion. After reading everyone's comments I feel like I ought to get a second opinion however.  It does seem to always be worse in the morning, and then again it comes back before bedtime. Will keep everyone updated as I find out more.

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I brought her in to our doctor a few days after it started happening and he didn't seem too concerned. He suggested hypo-glycemia related or due to exhaustion. After reading everyone's comments I feel like I ought to get a second opinion however.  It does seem to always be worse in the morning, and then again it comes back before bedtime. Will keep everyone updated as I find out more.

IF he thinks its hypo- glycemia, what does he say to do about it? That sounds like a lot more than a mild response.

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F he thinks its hypo- glycemia, what does he say to do about it? That sounds like a lot more than a mild response.

 

No kidding! That's pretty extreme for a hypoglycemic response. Did he recommend testing her during one of these phases to check for it? Hypoglycemia in a child that young would require medical monitoring and treatment for episodes, as well as lifestyle changes to prevent episodes. If your doctor is shrugging it off he's a moron and should be fired.

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See...I was thinking something along the lines of blood sugar or seizures as well. I don't think I'd be comfortable with my doctor brushing that off, even if it is a symptom of ingesting gluten....I would want it investigated fully, just in case.

 

I've always heard that slurred speech, in anyone who isn't drinking alcohol, is a cause for concern. Always. I would get a second opinion.

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F he thinks its hypo- glycemia, what does he say to do about it? That sounds like a lot more than a mild response.

Indeed!  And if he really did think it was that...  Why did he not prescribe a meter and strips so that the blood sugar could be tested?  It's not like it was when I was a kid.  We had no meters and we were diagnosed by symptoms alone.

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if you live close enough to an ED I would suggest that next time she is symptomatic.

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My grandmother was an insulin dependent diabetic.  "Acting drunk" was definitely a symptom of her sugar being off.  Definitely get to a doctor and take this seriously.  Smell her breath to check what is going on.  Control sniff ~ no symptoms.  When symptoms are present sweet breath smell ~ needs insulin, the other breath odor is described as smelling like acetone (nail polish often contains acetone for a reference of the odor) ~ needs sugar.  Breath smelling like acetone is too close to a possible diabetic coma (in my opinion)

 

I was friends with a couple who both diabetics who often starting slurring and stumbling because of their sugars.

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Went to see another doctor today and she suspects it is blood sugar related. We are going to do urinalysis over the next few days to see if anything turns up  :(

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Went to see another doctor today and she suspects it is blood sugar related. We are going to do urinalysis over the next few days to see if anything turns up  :(

 

 

That's a good thing! Doing tests instead of sending you home and waiting for your daughter to end up with a life threatening low is a far superior course of action then "meh... why should I care? I'm only her doctor. Go home and ignore it, serious medical conditions are nothing to get worked up about."

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That's a good thing! Doing tests instead of sending you home and waiting for your daughter to end up with a life threatening low is a far superior course of action then "meh... why should I care? I'm only her doctor. Go home and ignore it, serious medical conditions are nothing to get worked up about."

 

This. Sooo this. I hate it when doctors act like that! :/ Hope you can get to the root of it and it turns out to be something minor and easy to deal with.

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This. Sooo this. I hate it when doctors act like that! :/ Hope you can get to the root of it and it turns out to be something minor and easy to deal with.

This is exactly how I wound up with complications from diabetes.  Dr. said I had diabetes, then sent me on my merry way.  No meds, no nothing.  Husband called and talked to him and he told husband that he never told me that I had diabetes!  So I saw another Dr. but one from the same medical group.  She had me do a 24 hour urine collection then said I didn't have diabetes.  I had no clue that wasn't the correct test.  Not quite a year later, I wound up in the ER, unable to walk and very dizzy.  I now have nerve damage to my feet, legs and stomach.  Thanks Drs.!  I think sometimes it seems like some Drs. don't want to give you bad news so they just don't tell you.

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A few times when my daughter was not feeling well, she would just start to talk "crazy".  It was a sign that she was getting dehydrated.  She has hospitalized a few times needing an IV.  Dehydration is also life threatening and needs prompt medical care.

 

Before she was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitus she was getting malnourished.  A large chunk of hair fell out in her hand.  YIKES.

 

Are there any other signs or symptoms that you can recall? (Diabetes would be excessive thirst and frequent urination)  Kids describing symptoms are so vague and sometimes misleading.  During the prdiagnosed time foe EE, she was having bad headaches and so tired when I asked if anything else hurt she circled her entire abdomen area. (bottom ribs- to her hips~ not anywhere near her throat/ esophagus.  Guess what?  The majority of children with EE describe it the same way.)

 

Sure enough when I brought her into the doctor and said she was completely "out of it and talking crazy" I was completely blown off. <_<  <_<

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The only other symptom besides the "loopiness" is that she is literally constantly hungry (or says she is). I mean, she will eat a meal, and then 5 minutes later ask to have breakfast again (or whatever) and eat a whole bunch more food.  ALL DAY LONG. Which is completely opposite of how she was with food before we found out about the celiac: back then she would go days eating nothing but tiny pieces of banana. 

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The only other symptom besides the "loopiness" is that she is literally constantly hungry (or says she is). I mean, she will eat a meal, and then 5 minutes later ask to have breakfast again (or whatever) and eat a whole bunch more food.  ALL DAY LONG. Which is completely opposite of how she was with food before we found out about the celiac: back then she would go days eating nothing but tiny pieces of banana. 

 

That is completely normal, recovering celiac behavior. Many of us can remember that in the early weeks after diagnosis we were starving pretty much 500% of the time. For the first time her body is getting only food that isn't (for lack of a better term) poison to it. Some of us probably thought we were going to eat ourselves into the poor house. :lol: My recommendation would be to feed her as much as she is comfortable eating that doesn't make her sick. Her body is beginning the healing process and mending and needs all the nutrition she wants to stuff into it.

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We got the results back from the urine analysis: everything was completely normal. Not sure whether to be sad or happy, the weird behaviors are still happening daily.  :mellow:

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