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Question:

From West Monroe, Louisiana, USA:

My husband is an alcoholic who stopped stopped drinking about nine months ago, and, within a month of stopping, he began having hand tremors, shakes, profuse sweating episodes, violent vomiting episodes, and confusion. A month later, he had a grand mal seizure. We went to the hospital and they ran several tests, which were all okay. So, he saw a neurologist who thinks that the seizures are the result of my husband's history of head trauma. (He has been knocked unconscious many times playing sports). My husband is now on medication.

All of the doctors that he saw asked if he had diabetes. He had never been diagnosed, and none of them ran a blood test to see. He still has periods of confusion, nausea, drinking a lot, using the bathroom frequently, tremors and shakes, and he still occasionally has seizures. Sometimes it is a grand mal seizure, but usually it is just passing out. When he regains consciousness, it takes several minutes for him to remember what is going on. After a grand mal he does not know me.

His job requires that he be gone from me six days a week. When I am able to monitor him, I can tell when he starts to feel "low" and can make him eat or drink and will see a positive response in a few minutes. When I can get him to eat six meals a day and rest, he does well. He is alert and feels good. When he does not eat or sleep right, he slips back into states of I don't even know what to call it. He slurs his words some, he cannot think straight, can't keep his balance well. It looks as though he is drunk.

I am 99% sure that he is not drinking. On the days that he is with me I know that he does not, and some of the days he is fine and others, not. Our family doctor has ordered the fasting blood sugar test to see if that is truly the problem. The only problem is that I cannot get this stubborn man to go get the tests done. His mother's side of the family has a history of diabetes. Does this sound as if it could be diabetes?

Answer:

I can't really tell from the symptoms. This is where your husband needs a physician who can sort through the possibilities and use real science to make a diagnosis. Several possibilities include head trauma, high sugar levels, low sugar levels, and garden-variety seizure disorder. Seizures are worse in individuals who are poorly rested. Your physician can do blood work to look for high or low levels, EEGs to determine persistent seizure focus, and possible additional hormone testing. This is too complicated to sort out by e-mail.

JTL

DTQ-20020517163318
Original posting 28 Jul 2002
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:36
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