June 2, 2003
Hypoglycemia, Other Illnesses
Question from Newnan, Georgia, USA:
In the past, my son has had fainting spells which the doctor believed were because his sugar level dropped. He gave me a diet which also included several snacks between meals, and we have been monitoring this for about two years. Today, he had blood drawn to see if he has mononucleosis, and immediately afterward, he had a seizure that lasted a little over a minute. Could this be a diabetic seizure? If so, could the seizures occur more often and last longer? As a parent, what precautions do I need to take until we find out to what caused the seizure? What tests should be ran to diagnose someone with diabetes?
The only way you can have a “diabetic seizure” is if you have diabetes. It does not sound as if your son has diabetes. A “diabetic seizure” is most often due to low glucose sugar readings, in someone known to have diabetes, and is usually due to excessive dosing of insulin relative to food intake.
Many things can cause the glucose to be low, but the only way to really suspect if the seizure was due to low sugar was to have measured the sugar at the time of the seizure. Many things can cause seizures. Because your child was (presumably) ill (after all, someone suspected mononucleosis), I think you have to talk to your pediatrician about other possibilities, some perhaps very serious; some not nearly so.