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From South Africa:

The son of a friend of mine is a diabetic, Type 1. He is 15 years old. Last year he suddenly experienced epilepsy. Is there any connection between diabetes and epilepsy? Can hypoglycaemia play a role in causing epilepsy?


There are several possible connections between seizures and diabetic hypoglycemia. He may for example, if he has had diabetes since infancy have had a number of severe hypoglycemic episodes at that time leaving him vulnerable to epilepsy. Another possibility is some inherited or acquired event may have left him with a proneness to epilepsy that has remained latent until he was exposed to insulin hypoglycemia. A final and rather unlikely possibility is that diabetic hypoglycemia of recent onset alone caused the seizures.

Whatever the answer, it is important that your friend discuss the next steps with the physician in the diabetes team because it may well be that further investigations plus medication and specific efforts to avoid hypoglycemia due to the diabetes, will prevent the recurrence of this problem.


[Editor's comment: And there's always the chance that epilepsy (which is relatively common) and diabetes (which also is relatively common) might occur in the same person without either disorder being caused by the other. WWQ]

Original posting 20 Jan 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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