From Chicago, Illinois, USA:
I am 33 and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 20. On a few occasions I have had seizures related to severe hypoglycemia. What toll could these severe episodes take on my body? I assume that death is an immediate risk, but is there any cumulative effect that isn't obvious? Could these episodes affect my heart or brain over time?
The fact that you had a seizure means you have demonstrated the ability to have a severe reaction which could result in death. I cannot overemphasize the point that you need to aggressively pursue a course of treatment which allows you to avoid hypoglycemia. Presumably, you have some defect in your ability to identify low blood sugars, (hypoglycemia unawareness) and you are having a loss of mentation as your first symptom. It has also been shown that your ability to perceive low blood sugars is compromised by a preceding hypoglycemic episode. The cumulative risk to your heart and brain is not as well studied but seems to be well tolerated, as long as the hypoglycemic episode doesn't last too long. It sounds like you need to discuss major components of your diabetes therapy with your physician.
Original posting 9 Nov 2000
Posted to Hypoglycemia
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:15
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