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Brooke Shields reveals she had a grand mal seizure: What is it?


(NEW YORK) — Brooke Shields has revealed she recently experienced a seizure, a medical event that sent her to the hospital, which she hadn’t previously spoken about publicly until now.

The actor, supermodel and author said in a Glamour interview published Wednesday that she had a seizure one evening before her solo show, Previously Owned by Brooke Shields, which ran in New York City from Sept. 12-23.

“I had a full-blown grand mal seizure on Thursday before the show. Nobody knows about it,” Shields told Glamour Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry.

Shields said the episode unfolded after she left home and was waiting for an Uber and was drinking water. She said people noticed she appeared to be “looking weird” and asked her if she was OK but she didn’t think anything was wrong. Shields recalled then walking to a restaurant and restaurant staff coming up to her before she apparently lost consciousness.

“Everything starts to go black. Then my hands drop to my side and I go headfirst into the wall,” Shields recounted.

The 58-year-old said she apparently experienced multiple symptoms, including frothing at the mouth, trying to swallow her tongue and turning a blue color.

“The next thing I remember, I’m being loaded into an ambulance. I have oxygen on,” she continued.

Shields said fellow actor Bradley Cooper ended up accompanying her to a local hospital, where doctors told her she had consumed too much water and had low sodium levels.

“I flooded my system, and I drowned myself. And if you don’t have enough sodium in your blood or urine or your body, you can have a seizure,” Shields said.

What is a grand mal seizure?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a grand mal seizure, also called a tonic-clonic seizure, is a type of major generalized seizure affecting both sides of the brain.

With this type of seizure, the muscles in the body can stiffen (become tonic) and then the body can start shaking or jerking periodically (become clonic).

What is hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia is a condition where the sodium levels in the blood are abnormally low, causing water to move into cells, leading to swelling. This can occur due to other underlying medical conditions, some medications or excess water intake. Symptoms can include nausea, headache, confusion, weakness, or in serious cases, seizures.

What are the signs of a grand mal seizure?

A grand mal seizure causes an individual to lose consciousness, cry out, fall to the ground, or experience muscle spasms or jerks, according to the CDC.

The agency states that if anyone near you starts to show symptoms of a grand mal seizure, you should gently set them on the floor and turn them to one side to help them breathe. Make sure the area near the person is free of any hard or sharp objects to and try to place a soft item under the person who is seizing. If they are wearing glasses, remove them and loosen any ties or anything around the neck area that may constrict breathing, the CDC states.

The CDC recommends calling 911 if someone exhibits grand mal seizure symptoms for longer than five minutes.

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