Diabetic Seizures

By Richard157 Latest Reply 2014-08-17 21:42:00 -0500
Started 2014-08-13 19:07:55 -0500

In the Facebook Joslin medalist group someone asked if any of us had experienced seizures due to low blood sugar. Every medalist had been type 1 for at least 50 years, and most of the 53 replies given indicated there had been no seizures. Only a few said they had experienced seizures.

I always thought that a low that caused unconsciousness, with difficulty in being revived, was a seizure. Some medalists were saying that unconsciousness with a low is not a seizure, even if glucagon or a trip to the ER is involved. I began thinking I did not know the true definition of "seizure".

How do you define a seizure? I found the following definition of seizure on Google:

"Seizure: Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical convulsion, minor physical signs, thought disturbances, or a combination of symptoms.The type of symptoms and seizures depend on where the abnormal electrical activity takes place in the brain, what its cause is, and such factors as the patient's age and general state of health.

Seizures can be caused by head injuries, brain tumors, lead poisoning, maldevelopment of the brain, genetic and infectious illnesses, and fevers. In fully half of the patients with seizures, no cause can yet be found."

One medalist said she had many seizures when she was very young. She fought and bit her tongue, and lost part of her tongue with the biting. A few medalists have had seizures with terrible convulsions. Most medalists have not had seizures in light of the definition given.

During my first 60 years with type 1, I had at least 200 episodes with unconsciousness and difficulty in being revived, but I never had convulsions or needed to be restrained, so I conclude that I have never had a seizure. After starting pumping in 2007, I have not needed assistance with a low.

Have any of you reading this post had seizures? If so, were they long ago, or do you still have them? This may be a very personal question, so I understand if you do not want to reply.

7 replies

katieroselynn 2014-08-17 21:42:00 -0500 Report

I have had type 1 for a little over 5 years and I have had about 20 convulsing seizures since being diagnosed. I have had to be revived a couple of times. I haven't thankfully had a seizure in quite awhile.

hantuni 2014-08-15 00:46:22 -0500 Report

I have only stopped having seizures in the last May be year and a half, I had bad control but not bad enough that they were picked up by any medical teams … My partner became very talented at reviving me and it was all kept a massive secret until I realised my memory was being effected! … I had seizures at least twice a week only ever occurring at night, resulting at the time in a black and blue tongue, wetting my self, and like a jerking motion that caused me to make strange like moaning noises … The morning after memory loss, headaches and sickness, … and still panic attacks, memory loss and I still carry round a bag of chocolate like a security blanket.

I was amazed at the amount of abuse your body can be put through as despite having these seizure regularly I became so akin to them that I would still get up the next day feeling rough and go to work, play my rugby matches, act a relatively normal life! And no one would ever know other than me taking pain relief for my head and being paler and quieter than normal.

A year and a half ago my memory loss hit it's worst and enough was enough resulting in me telling my doctors about what was going on, they put me on a pump instantly, my driving license was given up for 8 months and I'm glad to say I am now back on track with a HBA1C 6.7 :) so I'm a very happy girl!

Richard157 2014-08-15 06:46:16 -0500 Report

I don' know why you waited to tell your doctor about all this, but it seems that you are doing really well now. Keep up the good work!

hantuni 2014-08-15 09:54:32 -0500 Report

I'd just left home n have a fab relationship with my parents n worried to begin with they'd be disappointed, I also didn't attend hospital for a long time due to a dislike of the doctors and after a month or two it just became the norm n didn't seem that horrific (as odd as it sounds) … I then had a fantastic nurse at my doctors who I know I owe my health too! She got me back on track and along wit my partner and family was my saviour! … Looking back I lost a lot due to being stubborn and worried about upsetting family! … But I turned the corner and like you say Richard I'm doing really well now :) thanks x

GabbyPA 2014-08-14 19:47:48 -0500 Report

I have never had a seizure, but I am very familiar with different kinds of them on a personal level. It is a symptom of something happening in the neurological parts of our bodies. There are many things that can trigger them and they are not all convulsing. Sometimes they are just a lapse in "cognition" .

I had a roommate years ago and her seizures were triggered by extreme stress. She had the typical convulsing type and we had to keep her on the floor and in a safe place. She never recalled one, but she knew when they were coming.

On the other hand, I have now had two dogs that have had seizures. Neither of them were convulsing, but they would do what is called "star gazing". Like when you go into a room and cannot recall why or how you got there. There is a time of "no one is home but the light is on". It's almost more creepy because you still kind of function, but you are not there.

So I believe that there could be unaccounted for seizures that happen but we just don't know because we limit it to flailing on the floor. Its much more subtle than that sometimes. But once you have seen one of the subtle ones, you know what's going on.

Type1Lou 2014-08-14 08:41:14 -0500 Report

I've had diabetes since 1976 but can't recall ever having had a "seizure". I've had numerous hypoglycemic episodes requiring glucagon, ER visits, and one hospitalization but never seizures. I began pumping in August 2011 and haven't had any serious low BG episodes since then.

MoeGig 2014-08-14 00:25:35 -0500 Report

I have had many lows where I've had to be revived , but on a couple of occasions over the last 49 years I have experienced convulsions