Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Illinois, USA:

I read an article about hyperglycemia being a cause of seizure. Can a seizure be interpreted as a safeguard, in other words, an internal mechanism telling the body it's in trouble? Where can I find more information?


I have never (knowingly) seen and am not aware that hyperglycemia, per se, "causes" seizures.

A convulsion typically leads to some minor breakdown of skeletal muscle which will also have led to some increase in the serum glucose. In addition, the extra adrenaline and cortisol made during a convulsion can lead to higher glucose levels. So, a convulsion can lead to higher glucoses, not typically the other way around.

On the other hand, with SEVERELY elevated glucose levels (e.g. over 800 mg/dL [44.4 mmol/L]), there can be sluggish blood flow to the brain and this can lead to changes in level of consciousness or, perhaps, a seizure. It is not the high blood glucose directly, but rather the affect upon blood and nutrient flow to the brain.

For people who have diabetes and have marked increases in glucose, this same principle applies. Again, they typically do NOT have seizures, but can have diminished levels of alertness. In fact, too rapid lowering of the glucose can be dangerous also and could be associated with brain swelling, damage, etc., which could lead to serious altered levels of awareness and possibly convulsions.


Original posting 10 Oct 2005
Posted to Hyperglycemia and DKA and Other


  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:04
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2015. Comments and Feedback.