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Q. Will fasting and lack of sleep cause delirium?

Answered by
Dr. Amit Jauhari
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 17, 2019

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 was in a coma, etc. Hospital ran blood and urine test and a cat scan, all were normal. No new medications. I thought it has to be something physical because it came on so quick, but nothing was found. How do we help her return to herself? Hospital advised Benedryl to help sleep and to encourage food and drink.

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Hi,

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.


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