Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Wrentham, Massachusetts, USA:

Please explain to me why is it that a person with type 1 diabetes can have a rebound from a low during the night as opposed to having a seizure. I do not at all understand the mechanism behind this. Although I do know that the liver puts out glucose in the instance of rebound, why then does this not happen with all lows? Why wouldn't the liver kick in each and every time a low occurs? How long would it take for the liver to replenish its stores?


You assume that everything works perfectly all the time. Probably when one has diabetes, there are some subtle abnormalities of the autonomic nervous system. This controls a lot of things including the body response to hypoglycemia. We suspect that this "thermostat" mechanisms is faulty, and the body either does not recognize or is not able to respond appropriately with hypoglycemia stress. So, sometimes there are symptoms and sometimes none at all. Sometimes seizures and sometimes just shakiness.

Remember also that the blood glucose level is not exactly the same as the brain glucose levels, only an approximation of each. It is possible that brain hypoglycemia is lower than what can be measured at home or even through a vein blood glucose level but the subtle differences may also explain differences in symptoms and response. The best way to prevent severe episodes of hypoglycemia is to know what causes them, do things to minimize their occurrence and do lots of blood glucose testing to recognize when they are happening.


Original posting 25 Apr 2003
Posted to Hypoglycemia


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:46
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. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.