Diabetes and Epilepsy

Diabetes can bring with it associated health conditions such as eating disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, mental health, skin problems and thyroid conditions.

If you are concerned about any aspects of living with diabetes and other health issues as a result of having diabetes, please ask our experts here.

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by Lottiep on Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:41 pm

Diabetes and Epilepsy

I was diagnosed with Epilepsy when I was 15 years old (21 years ago). It is controlled to a degree by drugs (i am currently trialling drug no 7) but i do still suffer on average 2-3 seizures a year. Last year my husband and I decided to try for another baby and I had to be taken off all my medications, unfortunately I suffered a seizure as a consequence and had to be taken to hospital and for what ever reason the Drs tested my blood sugars. These were found to be high and the next thing I knew I was being seen as a high priority case in the Diabetes clinic and was subsequently diagnosed as a type II diabetic. A few weeks later this diagnosis was altered to Type I, I was started on Metformin and then on a very low dose of insulin twice a day. Six weeks ago I was informed that whilst I was a type I diabetic the antibodies were in fact inactive and therefore not attacking my pancreas. I was taken off the insulin but kept on the Metformin.
I have a few questions - could there be a link between my epilepsy and diabetes?, is it common for people to be diagnosed with both conditions? Could the drugs for my epilepsy have caused the diabetes? If the antibodies are inactive and I am type I diabetic do the same rules re diet, sugar etc apply? Unfortunately the consultant I am under at the hospital has been particularly unhelpful and my GP, who is, has just gone on secondment for 3 months! Any information would be very gratefully appreciated.

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Dr Masud Haq
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by Dr Masud Haq on Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:51 pm

Re: Diabetes and Epilepsy

Thank you for your interesting post.

There's no direct link between epilepsy and diabetes. Both are relatively common conditions, so it would not be uncommon for some patients to be affected by both.

I don't think your epileptic drugs have caused your diabetes however.

I really don't think you have classical type 1 diabetes as you would be dependant on insulin and your age of onset is older than one would expect at the time of diagnosis for someone with type 1 diabetes. I think you either have type 2 diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood (LADA). It would be relatively straightforward to make the correct diagnosis by taking a careful history and physical examination to include your weight and body mass index. A family history would be of value as well.

Whatever type of diabetes you have you should follow a sensible healthy diet and avoid refined sugar in your diet.

Best of luck.
Dr Masud Haq
Consultant in Diabetes & Endocrinology
Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells Hospital

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... ud_haq.php

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