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Question:

From Dallas, Texas, USA:

I have had seizures since I was 16 that are very spread apart (years). They diagnosed the first as hypoglycemia (I also went semi-comatose), and I have been very critical of the diagnosis but after three neurologists have said it is not epilepsy, and the emergency room doctors always comment on my glucose I started self testing. Soon after a seizure, I self tested, and I got a 38 mg/dl [2.1 mmol/L] one morning. I ate something, waited 15 minutes and tested at 45 mg/dl [2.5 mmol/L], ate something else and waited, then tested 55 mg/dl [3.1 mmol/L] so I ate again and tested at 70 mg/dl [3.9 mmol/L]. I felt fine the entire time.

As weeks passed, my numbers looked more normal. I wasn't getting lows as low or as often. After two months, I don't like testing again because, no matter no matter when or what I eat or don't eat, I am between 70 and 120 mg/dl [3.9 and 6.7 mmol/L].

I am also concerned because it is about a year or more between incidents. Diabetes runs on both sides of my family, and it has been 15 years since I first seized, and the first incident that I know was glucose induced without question. During the last one, the EMT gave me a glucose IV and when I woke up he looked at me and said, "Wow, it really was your glucose." I was told I started crying when he stuck me with the IV, but I don't remember it.

When I read your responses I see you tell people do not have diabetes but have incidents of low glucose that their seizure is not related to glucose and yet you tell people with diabetes and much higher glucose levels it was induced by hypoglycemia. Is there a different value determined as hypoglycemia for a person with diabetes versus someone who doesn't have it?

Answer:

Seizures can occur in the presence of hypoglycemia, in those with diabetes and in those without diabetes. The seizure threshold is different for each person. Underlying diagnoses also play a role (for example: children with growth hormone deficiency seem to have a lower threshold for seizures than most.).

Most healthy people keep a very stable blood glucose so I'm not surprised by the flatness of your glucose levels. As to the specific diagnosis, I'd suggest you ask your physician for a referral to an endocrinologist.

LD

DTQ-20010718142410
Original posting 10 Aug 2001
Posted to Hypoglycemia

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:24
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