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July 28, 2006


Question from Texas, USA:

My friend has a number of illnesses in addition to diabetes. She has Crohn's, asthma, arthritis and arterial sclerosis. She has been experiencing sleepwalking, sleeplessness, nodding in and out of regular everyday household duties, plus drifting in and out of conversations. She is unaware of losing consciousness, even when driving a automobile. Have you ever heard of anything like this? If so, can she do to help prevent this from occurring? I am concerned that something really bad might happen to her from falling down in the middle of the night and breaking her neck or worse, like going 70 mph and nodding out just before an S-curve.


This is a serious medical problem. The question is whether these changes in levels of consciousness are the result of low blood sugars or marked daytime somnolence resulting from a sleep disorder. I would suggest she monitor her blood sugars intensively to determine the relationship between glucose levels and these episodes. In addition, I would have her speak with her physician about these. Additional tests may have to be done. I agree with you that it is a serious issue. She probably should not be driving or operating mechanized machinery if this is occurring.