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September 30, 2000

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from South Carolina, USA:

My nine year old daughter has been having seizure-like episodes for the past three years. She has been to her doctor and had many tests and nothing was found. Diabetes runs in both my family and my husband's. After the second seizure, we checked my daughter's blood sugar with a home checking device and it was 220 mg/dl [12.2 mmol/L]. The doctor ran blood tests and found nothing. Another time after another seizure it was 165 mg/dl [9.2 mmol/L]. I've asked my doctor these questions and have not gotten answers: What is normal for a child? If she had diabetes, could that make her have the seizures?

Answer:

It doesn’t sound as though your child’s seizures are related to diabetes. Diabetes-related seizures are extremely unusual in someone not previously diagnosed with diabetes and occur in the setting of severe hypos.

The readings you have mentioned do not suggest that the seizures are related to blood sugar readings.

JS

[Editor’s comment: However, the blood sugar numbers that you mention are elevated, and should be reported to the pediatrician. They might be due to stress, or other factors (such as a meter problem if you’re not familiar with home sugar testing), or to diabetes. Normal values for blood sugars in kids are about the same as in adults; see Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes for more information.

WWQ]