It is important for a diabetic or their family to know the symptoms of a diabetic seizure. These seizures are more common than most people realize. The first time I was aware of this diabetes complication was when my daughter had one at the age of fifteen. To say it was a scary experience is an understatement.
A diabetic seizure is one of the lesser known complications of diabetes. Can you recognize a diabetes seizure? You should. It can be life threatening.
Not all of the seizures caused by diabetes are the same. Some can appear much like a grand mal (which is the type my daughter had) but others are not so obvious. Would you know if someone was suffering a seizure due to their diabetes? Would you know if you had suffered one?
First, lets consider what could cause a diabetes seizure. If we are to avoid ever having a seizure it only makes sense that we know what causes them.
The main cause for diabetes seizures is uncontrolled diabetes. When diabetes is not managed properly and blood glucose levels are either too low or too high mixed signals are sent to the brain. This triggers a seizure.
Some of the symptoms are not that much different than those displayed when a person is intoxicated. Mistaking a diabetic having a seizure with a person who is drunk could lead to tragic consequences. A person suffering such a seizure needs immediate medical treatment.
Some symptoms of a diabetes seizure are easily recognizable as in the case of a person who is having strong convulsions from a grand mal type of seizure. Sometimes the symptoms are more vague and less obvious.
Less obvious symptoms of a diabetes seizure are:
- Staring into space.
- Fully awake and alert but may:
- Be unaware of his surroundings.
- Appear disoriented.
- Smell odors or see bright lights that aren’t there.
- Behave in a different manner than normal.
- Experience memory loss.
- Experience loss of sensation in addition to numbness and tingling.
- Display a lack of coordination.
- Exhibits slurred speech
A diabetes seizure may last just a few minutes or it may continue until medical help arrives.
Since these seizures usually happen at night and the symptoms can be so vague, it is difficult for a person to know if they had suffered one. The only sign that a seizure occurred would be if a diabetic woke up in the morning with a headache, damp sheets from a night sweat and high blood sugar levels.
Not all diabetics will suffer a diabetic seizure but if our diabetes is not in control we run the risk of having one. Whether we suffer a such a seizure or one of our family does it is a frightening experience. Since these seizures are a complication of diabetes it is one more reason to make sure we manage our diabetes.