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Re: [IP] hypoglycemic seizures
email @ redacted wrote:
> Karen, Janet, one thing we often tend to forget is that the BG readings on
> our meters don't necessarily provide an accurate instantaneous measure of
> what is in our brain cells. There is a lag due to diffusion of glucose to
> the cells. I don't think you can have real seizure if the BG in the brain
> cells is 75 (and Janet you don't have to go down all the way to zero to get
> them either). So if you do have a real seizure and your capillary blood
> is really 75, that means that the brain BG is much lower, and the seizure
> will likely correct itself. This lag between what's in the brain and
> what's in the blood may also partially explain why the rate at which the
> glucose changes affects our hypo symptoms.
Some questions for you Wayne (or any other physiologically knowledgeable person):
1. Couldn't the seizure result from the speed or acceleration of the bg drop in
the brain itself rather than just the instantaneous bg level in the brain?
Or, 2. Does the body have protections in place that tend to make brain bg levels
more static than blood bg levels? (Maybe even some storage system such as muscles
3. Is there really a single brain bg level (or do the working brain cells take in
and use glucose on a more independent basis?).
4. How much time might it take to have glucose diffuse from the blood stream into
the brain cells? What sorts of things might slow or speed up this rate?
5. Might really rapid drops in blood bg level be the result of the brain sucking
up some much needed glucose?
I don't think that I have ever had a full-blown seizure, but I certainly have had
many instances of "leg jerks" and other neurological symptoms (I still have this
problem unless I am very careful concerning exercising soon after a bolus). I
have sometimes had these fairly extreme symptoms occur at reasonable blood bg
levels such as in the 4's (mmol/l) which are in the process of dropping into the
2's within 10 minutes (I think that this is fast).
What I find to be as interesting as it is scary, is that though my brain cannot
control my muscles very well at these times, it is functioning well in terms of
abstract and practical thought.
One more question:
Is it possible that humalog/insulin (when peaking) actually prevents the body from
using fat or muscle glycogen stores for energy? A number of people on this list
have mentioned having problems with exercising after humalog boluses. Certainly I
do - and I am well trained physically - with lots of endurance (which I would
think would mean that I am naturally good at converting fat or muscle glycogen
into fuel...) . Yet after a meal with a bolus, my system seems to work completely
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/