Diabetes And Seizures: All You Needs To know!

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Epilepsy or seizures is a sudden, uncontrollable electrical disturbance in the brain that causes abnormal behavior, tremors, movements, and loss of consciousness. And often such as diabetic seizures, require the medical attention and emergency treatment. If not, it can be proven to be fatal. 

A Connection Between Diabetes And Seizures

It is crucial to learn about signs and symptoms that may able you to act promptly and save the lives of your loved ones, an acquaintance, or a stranger. Read further to know about signs, causes, and what to do. 

Diabetes And Seizures

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 12.6% of the population in the United States have diabetes with or without a diagnosis.  In the past, diabetes was often fatal as they have a greater susceptibility to infections, non-healing injuries, edema, a range of complications, and seizures. Though recent progress in science and medicine made diabetic people lead a normal life. However, the CDC states that diabetes or complications related to it is still the seventh most frequent form of death in the US. 

In Diabetes, Hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar), hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), diabetic ketoacidosis(DKA), nonketotic hyperglycemia( NKH) can lead to a certain range of complications and risks. We’ll be studying on risk caused by Diabetes Mellitus( DM) hypoglycemia.

What Are Diabetic Seizures? 

Epilepsy or seizures are often observed in Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and the emerging correlation between two associated medical conditions is purely coincidental based on recent studies. Approximately 25% of Diabetes Mellitus patients frequently experience seizures of various kinds. Furthermore, diabetic patients who are Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) have a greater chance of susceptibility. However, with careful monitoring and medical assistance, we can avoid any fatal situation 

In a Hypoglycemia patient, the blood sugar level falls low, below the normal level usually below 70 milligrams per deciliter ( 70mg/dl). Frequently monitoring the blood sugar level and checking the nutritional value as caution can prevent any risks. For the decade, there are no criteria for diagnosis and treatment for Diabetes Seizures. According to literature debates, multiple physiological conditions can rise symptoms like immune abnormalities, microvascular lesions in the brain, metabolic factors due to diabetes, the genetic condition that may contribute to the factor. 

What Are The Causes Of Diabetic Seizures? 

As stated above, the apparent attribute factor for the cause is unknown. The administrative database of medical science and physiology gives the correlations of multiple physiological factors that may cause Diabetic Seizures. As Diabetic Seizures are an independent risk for seizures in individuals, a close inspection of the intake of foods leads to the prevention of seizures. Because of the low sugar levels, alcohol, too much insulin have dangerous effects. 

Blood sugar levels can be abruptly dropped in a condition when a person

1. Takes too much insulin in a single dose

2. Intake of too much alcohol or higher concentration of alcohol

3. Delays or skipping the meals

4. Perform strenuous exercise or any excessive activities. 

Signs and Symptoms you need to look for. 

Early signs and warnings of diabetic seizures may vary from individual to individual. However, most of them exhibit some common signs given below. 

1. Confusion

2. Dizziness

3. Unconscious

4. Nauseous

5. Sweating

6. Drowsiness

7. Feeling body shakes, nervousness, irritability, or anxious

8. Uncontrollable movement or tremors

9. Rapid heartbeat

10. Loss of ability to speak or unclear speech

When a diabetic seizure occurs due to a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels, the following can be symptoms

1. Unconsciousness

2. Uncontrollable movements

3. Staring into space

While at night, if a person encounters diabetic seizures, he may wake up with the following signs

1. Irritability

2. Severe Headache

3. Confusion

4. Sweating


The efficient way to manage diabetic seizures is to prevent them from occurring. To remind, there’s no cure for diabetes and diabetes seizures with current medical science and physiological advancement. However, doctors commonly assume and may prescribe antiepileptic drugs for a purpose but most patients with partial epilepsy are resistant to anti-epileptic drugs especially nonketotic diabetes-like Diabetes Mellitus (DM). 

The following steps should be taken carefully to prevent diabetes seizures. 

1. Monitoring blood sugar levels every 5-10 hours. And eat whenever you notice a drop in blood sugar levels. 

2. Take the right dose of insulin regularly as scheduled. Or follow the instructions provided by your doctor carefully. 

3. Do not take large gaps between meals. Eat meals regularly at right time. Do not intend to skip your meals. 

4. Control the intake of alcohol as much as possible. And if you wish to take in moderate quantity, eat something along with your drinks 

5. Exercising regularly is good for maintaining blood sugar levels. However, restraint from performing excessively. 

6. Records your low glucose levels reactions and study the patterns in which it occurs for future references and cautious steps. 

7. Carry some kind of diabetic identification or medical identification card, bracelet to let others know. So that they provide emergency assistance in case you need it. 

Actions to take if you are a diabetic patient

If your symptoms appear suddenly, then the person should take high-carb food to resolve the signs. During the early stage, when you can study the signs of seizures,  America Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the following steps:

1. Take 15 grams (g) of carbohydrate food and wait for 15 minutes to check the blood sugar levels. 

2. If levels are still below 70 mg/dl, take another 15 grams(g) of carbohydrate sugar and check for the blood sugar levels. 

3. When glucose levels are above 70 mg/dl, take a meal. 

4. If symptoms persist, seek medical help. 

If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia several times a week or more consult your doctors. As you may need to change your medication dosage or timings. Or even may need to change diet and treatment regimen. 

What actions to take if a person beside you shows diabetes seizures? 

One of the essential things to do when a person experiences diabetic seizures is to provide immediate treatment for them. 

If you notice the early symptoms of diabetic seizures and they are conscious, 

1. Give them a glucose tablet which they often carry on themselves. Or put honey or sweet syrup under their cheeks and observe their conditions. 

If you see a person experiencing extreme diabetic seizures and unconscious,

1. Get medical help. Call the emergency medical assistance available near. 

2. Prevent any form of injury. Help the person to the floor while making enough space for them and around them. 

3. Carefully observe their state, such as how long did seizure occur, how did their body move, and how was the person acting before. 

4. Do not them anything to eat or any fluid unless they are completely awake. Because this may cause choking

5. Do not inject any insulin, as this cause the blood sugar levels to fall further low 

6. Give Glucagon, a hormone that stimulates the release of sugar in the blood, through injection or nasally

When to seek medical help? 

Even after taking 15 g of carbohydrates and symptoms doesn’t subsidies and the diabetic patient is conscious, repeat the step after 15 minutes. However, if symptoms persist and seizures get stronger, immediately seek medical help. 

About Tim Mathew

Tim Mathew is an Endocrinologist specialized in general endocrinology, diabetes, and lipid metabolism. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in a science-related discipline and completed a medical school program in New York. Once Tim Mathew quoted that Endocrinology is both a challenging and rewarding medical specialty, so he wants to specialize in it. To know more about Tim Mathew kindly go through our about page.

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