A diabetes seizure happens because of high blood glucose levels or low blood glucose levels. When this occurs the brain gets mixed signals, causing a seizure. Both of these conditions can cause seizure, convulsion, coma, and even death.
For the diabetic, or their family, knowing the symptoms of a diabetic seizure is important because these seizures are more common than most people realize.
Seizures in diabetics are one of the lesser known complications of diabetes.. Since it is so serious, anyone who has diabetes or who has anyone in their family who is diabetic should be aware of the symptoms.
The symptoms for other forms of seizures are much the same as those of a diabetes seizure. The difference is…those blood sugar irregularities that caused the seizure can also cause the diabetic to lapse into a coma.
It is necessary to understand that not all diabetes seizures are the same. Some can appear much like a grand mal seizure (or, tonic seizure) where the person may cry out, lose consciousness and fall to the ground, and convulse. This is the type of seizure that the majority of us are familiar with.
When a person is having a complex partial seizure he may appear confused or dazed and will not be able to respond to questions or direction
Another type is less obvious. The only indication that a person may be experiencing an absence (petit mal) seizure is rapid blinking or a few seconds of staring into space.
Convulsions and seizures that happen during the night are caused by ‘nighttime hypoglycemia.’ The blood sugar levels can drop anytime during the night usually around 3 a.m.
These seizures take place at night making it difficult to know if a seizure occurred. The only indications that a nighttime seizure happened would be waking up in the morning with damp sheets from a night sweat and suffering from a headache. The morning blood glucose level would be high. This is called a ‘rebound’.
Some of the symptoms are not that much different than those displayed when a person is drunk. Mistaking a diabetic who is having a seizure with a person who is drunk could lead to tragic consequences. A person suffering a seizure needs immediate medical treatment not being treated for being drunk.
Two of the symptoms that are often mistaken for intoxication are slurred speech and lack of coordination.
Other less apparent symptoms of a diabetes seizure may be as faint as staring into space or blinking.
A person experiencing a seizure may be fully awake and alert but may be unaware of the surroundings and may even appear disoriented. He may experience memory loss.
Sometimes when person is experiencing a seizure he may smell orders or sees bright lights that aren’t there.
The person will often act in a manner that is different than normal. He may experience loss of sensation or numbness and tingling.
The length of time a seizure lasts may appear to be differ. Some may last just a short period of time or others can last until medical help arrives.
Of course, experiencing these things does not always mean that a seizure had happened but it does indicate that the diabetes was not in control.
Not all diabetics will have a seizure but if their diabetes is not in control they run the risk of suffering one.
It is a frightening experience whether we have a seizure or one of our family does. Since these seizures can be because of the diabetes not being in control, every effort should be made to manage the diabetes. That way, not only a diabetic seizure can be avoided but other complications of diabetes as well.
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