What Causes Seizure in Diabetes?

diabetes and seizures

Diabetes seizures are common signs in diabetes. It can occur due to different circumstances but the most common reason is when blood sugar levels are at abnormal levels. Both low blood and high blood sugar level can lead to seizures among diabetes patients.




Hyperglycemic Seizures

Hyperglycemia is a condition where the blood sugar  at an abnormally high level. High blood sugar can lead to hyper-excitability of neurons, found in your central nervous system and brain. For normal functioning neurons require a normal level of glucose, as it is their main source of energy. Otherwise, they will not be able to function properly. The overexcited imbalance of the brain is what leads to the hyperglycemic seizures. Basically, too much sugar forces neurons to overwork. As such, it can lead to “short circuit”, which causes seizures.

Hypoglycemic Seizures

Low blood sugar can also trigger seizures, known as the hypoglycemic seizures. This is actually more common than the hyperglycemic seizures. The reason is usually related to the fact that brain depends completely on the sugar in order to function because it does not produce its own glucose.

It’s hard to predict at what low levels of glucose a patient have before he or she suffer from seizures. Patients that have chronic high sugar level might have seizures at much higher level compared to those with normal blood sugar level.

If you’ve got low blood sugar, the activity of the neurons in your brain will be reduced.  In the absence of the regulated sugar levels, neurons respond by minimizing the activity across the synapses, the spaces between neurons, which propagate the activities in the brain and preserve the bodily functions. This will in turn cause seizure.




Other Electrolyte Imbalances

Diabetes that’s poorly controlled may also result in a poorly controlled level of some other electrolytes and this can trigger the seizures. For instance, the high serum sodium, also known as hypernatremia, could lead to seizures. This happens due to the fact that water follows sodium all over the body.

If the blood is filled with too much sodium, water would try to get out of the brain and this will usually preserve the quantity of sodium through its own protective mechanisms. The brain will respond by increasing the concentration of a sodium-like substance to prevent too much water from going out. If the concentration of the blood’s sodium will be corrected too quickly, then the brain will not have enough to re-adapt with the new state and water will then flood it. This will result in a condition known as the cerebral edema and can then lead to seizures.


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