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From Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA:

My 14 year old son, who has had type 1 diabetes for three years, recently told me about an something he experienced in the middle of the night (not the for the first time). He said he was awake but could not move. It was frustrating and scary for him and has me concerned that he might have been experiencing a somewhat severe hypoglycemic episode. I have searched your site and did not see this specific set of symptoms. He has not (to my knowledge) ever experienced any severe lows). Does this sound like a hypoglycemic incident?


I imagine that you have already started to collect a profile of early morning blood sugars and have looked to see if any low blood sugars can be related to missed bedtime snacks or vigorous exercise on the preceding day. This can certainly be associated with transient episodes of paralysis and the possibility needs to be excluded and treatment appropriately adjusted.

On the other hand, the story fits exactly with another probably benign condition called 'sleep paralysis' which may be frightening when it first happens but is usually benign; see Sleep Paralysis. If these episodes were really of quite short duration and had disappeared by the time your son was fully awake this would almost certainly be the answer.The condition is however linked to narcolepsy and as such may occur with other sleep disturbances including hallucinations as well as psychosocial problems at other times. In other words, if these episodes ever amount to more than a very occasional transient affair that can be contained with reassurance then it would be appropriate to ask your son's doctor to help arrange a neurological and sleep laboratory assessment.


Original posting 8 Mar 2002
Posted to Other Illnesses


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:30
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