Community Forum

Hypoglycemia? Anemia? Dehydration? Or Epilepsy? You tell me!

Hi everyone.

What a good find this site has been. I need to know if any doctor or experienced person can tell me if seizures can be caused by any of the aforementioned conditions because i have taken an EEG, ECG and even Brain Scan test and nothing has been found to explain the seizure i had six days ago. But perhaps a little background information on my story is needed so please bear with me if its a bit too long. 

Am 24 and about one month ago i had dental surgery under general anasthesia to extract 5 heavily impacted teeth from my mouth. As you can expect i lost alot of blood and my mouth was really messed up. Anyway, for 7 days after the surgery i virtually could not eat anything and so my diet was not good. Then on the eigth day, while i was home alone in the kitchen, i think, (am not sure), i fainted. it could have been a seizure or mere fainting, am not sure. But what i know is i was just standing there and then i just lost conciousness and fainted and fell on my back and also hit my head. 

Now the funny part is when i woke up from this faint (seizure?) i was in my bed and not in the kitchen! How i got there without remembering, am not sure! And i had hurt my back really bad from the fall and was in alot of pain. And i was also out of breath and fighting to breathe. I noticed i had also wet my pants. The only thing i could do was pick up my phone and call my sister who came over and they carried me to the ER. They did a scan on my back and told me that i had a small fracture on my back from the fall but that it would heal in a few weeks. As you all know, once you injure your spinal cord, the pain spreads to every part of the body because all nerves are connected to the spinal cord. Anyway the doc told me i must have fainted because of dehydration and lack of glucose because for 7 days i was not eating because of my teeth. Anyway, i was discharged with some pain killers and went to recuperate my back from home. 

It took an extra 3 weeks for both my back and teeth to get much better and i could finally eat some solid foods but i had been on a very poor diet. I had also noticed that i had developed heart palipitations possibly because i had become anemic or lost alot of glucose. I could just feel my heart racing for brief periods of time. So any way last week on wednesday at night, about 20 days after my fall and 27 days after my teeth surgey, i was in the living room talking to my sister and having a laugh when i decided to turn around and go fetch something from the kicthen. In turning around, i turned my neck and head to the right at a tight angle. On turning my head like this, i just felt it get stuck there, like it was going more and more to the right and i couldnt turn it back, however much i tried! Its then that i lost conciousness and just stood there with my head tilted to the right. My sister thought i was pulling a prank until she came around and had a look and saw that my head was actually stuck and my eyes were rolled up and i was having a fit. Its then that i lost my balance and felt to the floor and started shaking before just laying still with my eyes rolled up. Kind of like a grand mal. 

Now the funny thing is that seizures are supposed to last for like a few minutes right? Well i stayed like this for a very long time, around 20 mins. I woke up at the ER confused and could see my sister sitted there talking to the doctor in tears. Then another funny thing is that after about 15 mins, another 'seizure' started and i started convulsing and fighting with the nurses though i dont remember anything. This lasted about another 10 mins and i was passed out for about 20 mins before waking up on drip. I also realised i had bitten my toungue. The doctor then ordered 3 tests. An EEG, ECG and Brain scan. They all came back normal and the brain scan guys said they saw nothing wrong and it was probably dehydration or possibly a 'brain atrophy', something they also couldnt explain well when asked. 

Anyway, they did other tests and told me i was anemic and i had been on a poor diet too. So in addittion to folic acid, the neuro surgeon prescribed for me nootropil and phenytoin and sent me home saying i will be fine and i should watch my diet. I took phenytoin for 2 days but its side effects were so bad that i could not even concetrate at all and was always sleeping. I told the doc this and he said that thats how it was and i had to 'rest'. Well guess what, i wasnt having none of that! so i stopped taking the phenytoin and nootropil altogether and just continued with the folic acid for the anemia. I know many of you will condemn me for that but i do not believe that what happened was epilepsy and therefore was not going to continue on anti-epileptic drugs more over with very very bad side effects. 

Its now been 5 days and no seizures or anything like that and am on a proper diet and doing alot of research on seizures and epilepsy and how one can have a seizure with the EEG, ECG and brain scan all coming out normal??? A numer of websites have suggested that seizures can be a symptom of any of the follwing issues: Hypoglycemia, Anemia, Dehydration, Palpitation. All of which i was suffering from. Also another website suggested that turning the neck at an acute angle could lead to blocking a nerver that takes blood to the brain and can lead to fainting with seizure like symptoms???

Anyway, there are just too many opinions out there and it can all get a bit confusing so was just wondering what you guys make of my story? I know its been kind of like a movie or something but i had to just put it out there. Anyone with any suggestions or opinions is free to comment. 

Thanx alot for listening.

Comments

Hi!  So sorry to hear of your awful experiences!  Prior to your dental work, did you have any symptoms at all?  I can tell you that if you are not eating/drinking well, this can throw your electrolytes out of whack which can throw the heart rhythm out of order if your heart might be "prone" to it.  When the electical system of your heart is not working properly, it can cause dizziness, syncope and seizures.  Did they do a 4 lead or 12 lead EKG?  I would certainly have them do the 12 lead as it's more accurate just to be safe.  If they find any kind of abnormailty, they can do an EP Study.  The nerve which you are referring to is the Vagas nerve.  I don't know too much about that but I have heard about it.  I hope that helps!  Keep me posted and I wish you all the best.  Good luck!
Jan

Hi. Thanx for the comments. Just to let you know that prior to the dental work i had never ever had any problem with fainting or seizures or anything like that. Its only after that surgery that everything began! Which makes me imagine that it was all connected to the surgery. Whether it was a 4 lead or 12 lead EKG i could not tell you for sure but am now gonna try and find out and will get back to you. Though just wanted to know what the difference was? And what is an EP study? And do you also think this could also be a heart problem? Would appreciate any answers you have and thanx for your time.

Hi!  It does seem a bit odd that everything started after your surgery.  I would definitely go back to your dr. and ask for his suggestions as well.  It really could be so many things.  Lack of eating/drinking does send the body out sync, including sugars, etc.  Have him start ruling things out.  That seems to be the only way to help narrow things down, but I wouldn't stop the medication without his help/knowledge.  As many say, seizures can be caused by many different conditions.  They might not always show at the time of the test--they hide. I just found it odd that it all started after the surgery/lack of eating.   Seems there might be a connection? Also, I believe that there are types of local anestheics used for numbing that can cause a problem on some people.  Could be something really simple.  A 12 lead EKG is more accurate and detailed.  If they were to find any abnormalites, they will try and find the cause.  If you were to have an arrythmia, an EP study would reveal the location/cause of the problem in the heart.  Again, it's to help and narrow things down to try and find the problem.  After being told that I had E and ended up having a heart condition, you can imagine the shock--literally.  It almost cost me my life.  I just found that with the help of your dr along with specialists, things get resolved.  Ask lots of questions and be your own advocate.  Listen to your gut---you know yourself better than anyone else.  Voice your concerns and let them know how you feel; don't leave out the small stuff because that is sometimes the biggest clue.  I certainly don't want to say that all seziures are heart related, but after my recent experiences, many ruled my heart out before even testing.  It doesn't hurt to ask, right?  Keep me posted!

Hey, thanx for the reply. I agree its totally not so funny that this all started after the denatl surgery! Everything, the palpitations, the fainting, the anemia, seizures, everything! And guess what, after i called the dentist that did the op, ofcourse he had to deny and say everything went 'perfectly'. And who am i to say it didnt? I mean i was unconcious! I wouldnt also admit it myself if something went wrong anyway, so why would i expect him to admit it. All i need to know now is what nerves are there near the jaws or neck that are connected to the neuro? My God too many questions i wish there was a neuro surgeon on these forums to help us answer some of these questions! However, thanx for your replies, they are helping with my investigations. Will keep updating.

Hi, as part of the dental surgery did you have amalgam fillings removed? If so it is possible that the amalgam (mercury based) may have entered your blood and you may have been poisoned. If a seizure is caused by an imbalance in brain chemistry, then the presence
of poisons in the brain (which would cause an imbalance) could lead to a seizure. For
example, the mercury preservative thimerosal, used in vaccines, has been
linked to autism. 

It is important to combine chelation therapy with amalagam removal, which binds up all the metals in the body and allows them to be flushed out. This must be followed up by replenishing the body with the minerals and vitamins lost. Spirulina for example is an excellent natural nutritional supplement, which is also high in available iron so can be used to treat and prevent anaemia as part of a balanced diet. 

A blood infection caused by a rotten tooth can also directly lead to a stressed heart. Dental problems are also physically linked with spinal/neck problems. I myself had corrective braces as a teenager. The tension on the jaw and facial muscles from the movement of the teeth cased me much neck ache and jaw clicking. I have since had cranial osteopathic treatment for this. 

A seizure is a frightening experience. Nevertheless I believe it is always beneficial to research and educate yourself as much as possible, while seeking alternative medical opinions. Not just a second, but a third, fourth opinion... from conventional as well as alternative practitioners. This is because drugs are all too eagerly prescribed these days! (and drugs themselves are poison when they are not absolutely essential).  Any test, be it a blood test or brain scan, has an inherint error margin - so it can result in a false positive. I once had a blood test for a thyroid hormone level. The test showed this hormone was far too low and the doctor immediately wanted to prescribe drugs for this. He said I might be on these for the rest of my life! I asked for a follow up test - it came back fine! The first test had been a lab error! 

I would never start taking drugs on account of a lab result. I would only resort to drugs as a last resort, having consulted trusted doctors and friends and exhausted other options first. Other options include living a healthy and balanced life style. A brilliant book that may be of help to you, as it is to me, is "Healing with Whole Foods" by Paul Pitchford. 

I wish you all the best in regaining your good health!

I have hypoglycemia, pvs, sleep deprived and latey feel dehydrated. I have always correlated my seizures to my hypoglycemia, when I was a teenager they were always the day after a party or holiday. I have been seizure free for almost 3 years and 20 years before that. I had a seizure Saturday night, 6 hrs after being at a party, eating a large piece of cake, and dieting and eating pasta all week. Also 6 months ago my insurance made me switch from brand name lamitcal to generic. I feel so shaky ever since the seizure.  I have been in contact with the doctor she wanted me to switch back to brand name and up my dosage to 100 mg, she hasn't requested blood work or an eeg. She feels my seizures are due to being sleep deprived. I have two children, 3 and 5, who always come in the middle of the night to sleep with us. I'm looking for answers as well just wanted to add my experience.

hi,

first i don't condemn anyone.  i don't always walk in the right path, so it is not right for me to think that the path others are on is wrong. 

All of the things you mentioned can independently each one of them can cause "fainting or seizures"  The neck issue.  the vagal nerve is in the area as well as others.  the bigger thing is the carotid artery.  there is a place that when compressed can slow the heart and cause fainting.  When put together it could be a wild ride.  All that stuff you should at least feel like you got hit by a train.

The back problem  the fracture is more than likely a chip.  It is not likely that a doc would send you home with a spinal cord injury.  the chip fracture yes.  the idea that it would take a few weeks to heal, goes along with that idea.  if there is any question about it, then it is wise to question. 

Not all seizures are epilepsy.  There are many causes of seizures.   usually if there is more than one episode, docs tend to start medication.  that is the norm.  The test you had being normal, and you still having seizures or epilepsy is not abnormal.  The EEG usually show a positive result when there is active seizure.  The ECG could show a heart rhythm problem that may be a reason for the seizure.  The brain scan is the see if there is something abnormal in the structures of the brain, that might give rise to the seizures.  These test are pretty much normal to be negative.

That covers the knowledge and opinion part, now on to the suggestion part.  Keep a journal of all of the activity of each day for a while.  that while bieing untill you are rechecked by the docs.  The docs should start with the family doc, or private doctor.  then follow their recommendation.  Stopping the medications can cause it's own problem with regard to driving, or insurance issues.  It is a good idea to get it cleared up.  With your state your doc may have been required by law to report the seizures.  That may require you to present to the Department of motor vehicles the medial clearence to maintain.  check it out for your state. you probably don't want to bring up the subject to the dmv.  the docs are the best place to start.  Some states require you to self report. Once reported most states require your licensed to be suspended for a lenght of time.   Things to check,  follow the docs advice for now.  educate yourself, and make informed and educated decisions.  hope it helps.   rikk

 

Hi. Thanx for the reply. I guess something thats puzzling me the most is the fact the my seizure was so long! I mean a continous seizure of 40 minutes non stop??? That was the first one. Then the second one was around 2 hours! So are those really seizures or something else? How long is your avaregae seizure/convulsion and how long before you wake up?

Hello,

Just briefly reading your story and thought I should share mine. After only having a couple of fits as a child I had a Tonic Clonic seizure in my sleep at 27years. I also have a type of iron deficiency where I am getting enough iron but it not absorbed properly by my red blood cells. I also have a slight heart murmur and my blood pressure is a little on the low side 100/60. 

There are two Q's I would get you to ask yourself. If you think it is a seizure find out what type. My Tonic Clonic (Grand Mal) was typical. i.e. The fit itself went for about 1min and then I was in a catatonic state for 30mins. 

THE FIRST Q - Did you fit for 40mins or did you fit and then stay catatonic? Also you may not have had a fit before but have you had other weird things go on like loss of time, waking up in the morning with blood on the pillow, or waking up and feeling like you have just run a marathon (seizures in your sleep are common). Do people saying you ignored them. Do you start talking and then having a break in between your sentence, forgetting what you were saying or not being able to remember the word or words or maybe not following someone because you have missed a bit of what they are saying. Have you ever been writing and then skip a word or letters in a word or maybe got a letter upside down p instead of d. Do you need to take a lot of breaks and get exhuasted easily. Do have weird emotional moments or have twitches. 

The later signs are another type of seizure called a partial seizure. This is where the seizure is only happening in one area of the brain. These partial seizures (petite mals) come in clusters and can turn into grand mals.

There are other seizures however if you think it was a grand mal then you may have these focals seizures many times a week (good days and bad days type of thing).

THE SECOND Q - Have you had a sleep deprived EEG, I had a normal EEG and nothing was found. But when I had a sleep deprived EEG they found a focal abnormality in my left frontal lobe. Basically what that means was I was having a partial seizure during the test. As I said before this partial seizure can turn to a Generalised (whole brain) seizure in my case a Tonic Clonic.

The point I am making is that an EEG can only tell you for certain that you have epilepsy (well that you are having a seizure anyway). It can't tell you for certain that you don't have it. So I would start by asking to have a sleep deprived EEG.

Good Luck

  

 

I know this is an old post but just in case you're still struggling or someone else needs to find this...

I agree with a previous poster than dental amalgams can contain mercury which can cause many problems and could have contributed.

Seizures of unknown cause with anemia, folate/folic acid deficiency and hypoglycemia (present when not seizuring) can be also be a sign of malabsorption, in particular celiac disease. In some cases there can be bioccipital calcification present shown on imaging, but not always.

I used to have migraines fairly often and would have spells where my vision would bleach out and then I would become very weak, fall over and pass out, waking up some time later. I never had one that someone else witnessed so I don't know if I had a seizure or what, but anemia effects the frontal lobe (vision depends on this area) and it is particularly sensitive to lack of oxygen which happens with anemia. But I was chronically anemic and had poor ability to regulate blood sugar (it was often low, without a problem with my insulin levels) and they placed me on high doses of iron, with vitamin C as an acidifier, which actually made my anemia worse and caused diarrhea - the usual response to high doses of iron is constipation. The doctor's response was to put me on even higher doses of iron, so I did a little reading and asked if they could check me for some type of malabsorption such as celiac - she refused. So I consulted another doctor/gastroenterologist, who immediately took blood tests for gluten allergy and celiac antibodies, and of course I was raging positive! I also had deficiencies in many other vitamins/minerals due to celiac dz. I wasn't diagnosed until 28, but now my anemia is much resolved, my ability to regulate blood sugar is much better and my migraines happen maybe 1/10 as often, and I never pass out any more! So if you're still struggling, I highly recommend you look into it, especially if you have GI signs or nutritient deficiencies.

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
24/7 helpline