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April 12, 2007

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Question from Nashville, Tennessee, USA:

My 18-month-old granddaughter has been having breath holding spells since she was four months old. About three months ago, one of these spells occurred and she had a seizure that lasted four minutes and she was rushed to the hospital. She was referred to a neurologist and testing was done. They had no explanation for the seizures. She has since had many more on medication, so the medication Keppra was increased and she had been seizure free for about three to four weeks. However, on Sunday, April 8, she had two seizures. These only occur when she gets upset and cries and has a breath holding spell. She also drinks water all the time from her sippee cup and frequently has a saturated diaper at night, which leaks out. She had been eating candy quite a bit on Sunday when she had the seizures. Could the seizures be related to her blood sugar or diabetes in any way?

Answer:

Low blood glucose levels, hypoglycemia, can cause seizures. I would assume that the doctors caring for this child have checked this, but you should ask specifically. Most seizures as you describe are brain/neurologic problems and not sugar related. Diabetes would not usually cause such problems unless someone was already taking insulin and taking too much insulin, drinking alcohol, not eating, etc.

SB