What causes stupor? 15 possible conditions

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Definition

Stupor is an alteration of consciousness marked by decreased responsiveness to environmental stimuli and absence of spontaneous movement.

Alternative Names

Obtundation, obtunded, stupors, stuporous.

Synopsis

Stupor is a state of impaired consciousness in which it is difficult to arouse a person even with vigorous, noxious stimulation. The state of obtundation resembles a deep sleep from which the person can only be awakened for brief periods by shaking, shouting or pinching. Any alteration of consciousness is considered a medical emergency and immediate medical evaluation and treatment should be provided.

Stupor can be caused by trauma, narcotics, adverse changes within the brain such as a stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning – prompt medical attention is crucial to prevent brain damage and death.

Associated Diagnoses

  • Acetaminophen overdose
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Alcohol related disorders
  • Head injury
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Concussion
  • Delirium
  • West Nile Virus
  • Narcotic overdose
  • Hypoxia
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Uremia
  • Hyperammonemia
  • Sedative overdose
  • Anti-convulsant overdose
  • Psychotropic drug overdose
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Heat stroke
  • Hypothermia
  • Acidosis
  • Alkalosis
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalopathy
  • Encephalitis
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)
  • Tumors
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Basilar migraine

Diagnosis and Treatment

Stupor is a medical emergency requiring immediate medical investigation to determine the diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Call 911

If you are unable to arouse a person with a decreased level of consciousness.

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See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Head Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A head injury could be an injury to the brain, skull, or scalp. It can vary in severity depending on the cause. In some cases face swelling can be a sign of a head injury.

Read more »

2

Epilepsy Overview

Epilepsy is a neurological condition caused by malfunctioning brain cells that result in seizures. There is no cure for this disorder but episodes can become less frequent.

Read more »

3

Hypovolemic Shock

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Hypovolemic shock is a life-threatening condition that results when you lose more than 20 percent (one-fifth) of your body's blood or fluid supply. This severe fluid loss makes it impossible for the heart to pum...

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4

Schizophrenia Overview

Schizophrenia is the common term for a group of serious psychiatric conditions called the schizophrenic disorders, which are generally characterized by hallucinations and delusions. Auditory hallucinations (hearin...

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5

Hyperparathyroidism

In hyperparathyroidism, the parathyroid glands make too much of their hormone. It affects a number of body systems and can cause skin changes, including brittle nails and itching.

Read more »

6

AIDS

There are many symptoms of the autoimmune disease HIV/AIDS, including persistent skin rashes, night sweats, and mouth sores.

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7

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication that stems from diabetes. If you don't have enough insulin to help your body process sugars (glucose), your body will start burning fat to fuel itself. As a result...

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8

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. A severe and long-lasting cough, fever, and night sweats could indicate an active TB infection.

Read more »

9

Acetaminophen Overdose

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever found in over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and in prescription medications. Overuse of this ingredient can lead to liver damage, and an overdose can be fatal.

Read more »

10

Aftershave Poisoning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Most aftershaves contain the poisonous ingredients. If swallowed, it can produce harmful effects. Symptoms include muscle cramping, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, and dizziness.

Read more »

11

Isopropyl Alcohol Poisoning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) poisoning occurs when the liver is no longer able to manage the amount of IPA consumed accidentally or otherwise. Dizziness, abdominal pain, and nausea can occur.

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12

Acetone Poisoning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Acetone poisoning occurs when there is more acetone in the body than the liver can break down. Acetone is a chemical that the body produces naturally and that is also found in many household products. Acetone poisonin...

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13

Reye's Syndrome

Reye's syndrome is a rare condition that results in sudden swelling and inflammation of the liver and brain and is often accompanied by a red scaly rash. It is not contagious.

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14

Typhus

Typhus fevers are caused by a bacteria that is transmitted by bites from fleas, ticks, mites, and other arthropods. Rash is a common symptom of typhus.

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15

West Nile Virus Infection (West Nile Fever)

Spread by mosquitos, West Nile virus symptoms can vary in severity. Diarrhea and abdominal pain usually appears within two weeks of infection.

Read more »

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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