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HomeAnswersGeneral MedicinedeliriumCan delirium be caused by fasting and lack of sleep?

Will fasting and lack of sleep cause delirium?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Amit Jauhari

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At February 28, 2019
Reviewed AtAugust 24, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Can delirium be caused by fasting and lack of sleep? My 25-year-old daughter is delirious. She does not know who she is, thinks she is in a coma, etc. The hospital ran blood and urine tests and a CAT scan, and all were normal. No new medications. I thought it had to be something physical because it came on so quickly, but nothing was found. How do we help her return to herself? The hospital advised Benedryl to help sleep and to encourage food and drink.

Answered by Dr. Amit Jauhari


Welcome to icliniq.com.

The answer to your query is yes. Prolonged fasting and no sleep can cause mental and physical symptoms similar to mania or delirium or coma. It would have been helpful if serum electrolytes, catecholamine levels, and urea levels were recorded or mentioned because BP is on higher side. The advice for adequate rest and a proper diet is also correct. It may be beneficial to visit a counselor to prevent such episodes in the future.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Amit Jauhari
Dr. Amit Jauhari

Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)

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