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January 13, 2003

Hypoglycemia, Other Illnesses

Question from Butler, Pennsylvania, USA:

In the last few days, my eight year old son, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about three weeks ago, has begun to have whole body muscle spasms that last approximately 30 seconds to one minute about one to two hours after the injection of Humalog, or as his blood sugar levels begin to drop when exercising, etc. None of our diabetes team specialists seem to have an explanation for this, nor do they seem too concerned. However, as a mother, this is difficult to watch, and I feel that this is something to be concerned about. Although I will continue to pursue this with our specialists, I wondered if this team had any thoughts regarding these spasms.

Answer:

This is certainly not very common. You need to do some more blood glucose testing very frequently to see if you can document rapidly changing levels. Making sure that there is no celiac disease adrenal insufficiency or thyroid problems would also be important since some nerve and muscle problems could co-exist with these other autoimmune problems.

Ii is also conceivable that some mild vitamin or mineral deficiencies would also produce such symptoms, but this would be very rare without gastrointestinal problems of some sort or very odd eating patterns. Go back and review this with your son’s diabetes team again, please.

SB