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March 4, 2002

Hypoglycemia

Question from Hubert, North Carolina, USA:

I know of a person who has had type�1 diabetes since early childhood and who has been in and out of diabetic comas. She had a possible episode of kidney failure a while back as well as severe sinus problems, and she claims to have had a migraine which lasted two weeks. Her husband says she has been found passed out at least twice within the last few weeks, and she was found unconscious by her six year old who could not wake her. Her husband has tried to get her in to be seen. What can be done be for her? Can a person with diabetes have a seizure?

Answer:

It sounds like this woman suffers from intermittent low sugars. Since glucose is the primary fuel for the brain, when it is low, the brain does not function normally. The result is loss of consciousness, seizures, and neurologic symptoms.

It is very important that your friend get help from someone with expertise in controlling blood sugars so that she can prevent these episodes and any severe complications associated with them.

JTL