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What does excessive sleepiness in a diabetic person suggest?

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Posted on Fri, 15 May 2015
Question: My brother, age 66, diabetic, has recently been falling into a deep sleep each time he sits down or lies down during the day. His wife called me and was really concerned because she sometimes has to yell to get him to awaken. What do you think?
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Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Should monitor his blood sugar levels...

Detailed Answer:
Hi Bilsby,

I understand your concerns.

You are reporting that your brother :

- is a type 2 diabetic: what medications he is taking and at what dosage?

- has started recently to fall into a deep sleep each time he sits down or lies down. Does his wife tell if he has a strange smell from his mouth? Did they check his blood sugar level at the moment he falls asleep? If yes, is it low or high? If not, try to talk to his wife to check his blood sugar at the moment she awakens him.

To my opinion, he might suffer of extreme oscillations in blood sugar at the time he sits down (too low or too high levels). Perhaps, he might need correction of dosage of his actual medications.

For the moment, I advise to:
- keep him well hydrated
- monitor his blood sugar levels (bsl) and record the results
- encourage to have his meal regularly
- encourage to be more physically active (e.g. walking around for more longer) although his age
- discuss with his doctor to check his liver/kidney function in order to exclude related problems

Hope it was of help!
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini (0 minute later)
How long should it take to get the email? I don't have an iphone. I am at a PC.

My brother is on a pump and monitors his blood sugar religiously. He has an endrocrinologist who also monitors periodically. We were wondering if there might be any heart or lung issues.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini (12 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Check in your e-mail for the answer;further diagnostic tests advised...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back my dear,

If I was his caring doctor would check his vitals first including:
- blood sugar levels
- blood pressure
- liver/kidney/pancreas function test
- ECG/echocardiogram to monitor his heart

After that, we can analyze and discuss his actual problems. Without such tests, and with no physical examination, we cannot assume anything.

All the best!
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Albana Sejdini

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 7151 Questions

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What does excessive sleepiness in a diabetic person suggest?

Brief Answer: Should monitor his blood sugar levels... Detailed Answer: Hi Bilsby, I understand your concerns. You are reporting that your brother : - is a type 2 diabetic: what medications he is taking and at what dosage? - has started recently to fall into a deep sleep each time he sits down or lies down. Does his wife tell if he has a strange smell from his mouth? Did they check his blood sugar level at the moment he falls asleep? If yes, is it low or high? If not, try to talk to his wife to check his blood sugar at the moment she awakens him. To my opinion, he might suffer of extreme oscillations in blood sugar at the time he sits down (too low or too high levels). Perhaps, he might need correction of dosage of his actual medications. For the moment, I advise to: - keep him well hydrated - monitor his blood sugar levels (bsl) and record the results - encourage to have his meal regularly - encourage to be more physically active (e.g. walking around for more longer) although his age - discuss with his doctor to check his liver/kidney function in order to exclude related problems Hope it was of help! Dr.Albana