Woman Acts Drunk For Two Years Due To Tumor On Her Pancreas

Gregory Wakeman

A woman who was mistakenly presumed to be drunk by her friends for two years, has been diagnosed with a rare tumor on her pancreas, which made her act in this manner.

Rosemary McGinn was acting strangely because her blood sugar would drop due to this tumor, which then starved her brain and caused these incidents.

The 54-year-old was diagnosed with hypoglycaemia, and she started to carry around various juices and snacks to keep her blood sugar stable.

McGinn told Medicine Matters, "When my sugar would suddenly crash, it was like I was drunk. I would become very combative, not knowing what I was saying, and sway back and forth."

This lead to her gaining weight due to her constant intake of food, and it also saw her sent home from her job early in Spring 2011, because her colleagues believed that she was inebriated.

McGinn's mystery illness also saw her experience bouts of memory loss, which included forgetting where she lived when she was driving her husband home, and she also forgot the name of the president and what the year was. Paramedics then needed to feed her candy to keep her blood sugar up so that she could escape the ordeals.

McGinn revealed further details of her "drunken" episodes to ABC News, explaining, "I'd be having 3,000 different conversations with myself. It was scary. I though there's no way in hell I could live like this."

Dr Ronald Tamler, a physician at Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, discussed McGinn's case, revealing, "A normal blood sugar is around 100 mg/dl, and most people star feeling poorly when their sugar dips below 70. But Rosemary had a sugar of 20. Some sugar needs to stay in the blood stream. It acts as fuel for red blood cells. If the brain doesn't get enough sugar you're in real trouble."

McGinn was close to falling into a coma several times before she was ultimately diagnosed with insulinoma, which sees a rare tumor on the pancreas continue to produce insulin even though that person's blood sugar level drops are too low.

McGinn's tumor was subsequently removed, and she hasn't had a "drunken" experience since.

[Image via alby851/Shutterstock]