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Old 08-28-2010, 04:15 AM
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Epilepsy drugs and exercise

Does anyone know if any of the epilepsy drugs given either through a canular or taken orally can damage any of your circulatory system or your heart. Can you exercise to the full, the reason I ask this is I was very fit before this recent period of seizures. I have had a few status episodes and had to go into hospital and had all sorts of drugs administered to stop and try to control my seizure. I have frontal lobe seizure which can be hard to control so still adjusting meds. Want to start exercising again.

Any info welcome

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Old 08-28-2010, 06:35 PM
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I was running on a treadmill one day and I had a goal of running for 20 minutes. I had about 2 minutes left to go but before I could finish I went into a seizure. When I go into a seizure I black out. I got a rug burn on my hand and by the time I snapped out of the seizure I somehow woke up in my bed. I don't know or remember how I got to my bed.

Ever since then I've noticed that I couldn't push myself anymore in any sort of exercise. I don't know if it's because my heart races before I go into a seizure and anything that speeds up my heart rate too fast throws me into a seizure or if it's because medication can tire out the body and too much exercise adds to the tiredness. I don't know. Too much caffeine also bothers me. So I've had seizures while exercising before. I wish I could be in sports and maybe that will all change when I get better control of my seizures. Perhaps light exercise might help us.

Last edited by Cordero; 08-28-2010 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:45 PM
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Hi, Janet,

One thought. Are you taking a supplement of vitamin D, and getting a blood test for D every six months or so? Anti-seizure meds suck the D right out of your body. Most of us in here take between 1,000 - 5,000 IU of vitamin D a day, and some real hard cases have to take up to 50,000/day (by prescription).

A lack of vitamin D can make both bones AND muscles weak. It takes awhile for the bones to weaken, but the muscles do faster.

Tiredness is a seizure trigger for lots of folks in here. They have to watch out that they exercise in moderation. Hard exercise can also cause dehydration or an imbalance in electrolytes, both of which are seizure triggers for some. So drink sports drinks while you exercise and keep hydrated. Getting overheated is a problem for some, too.

Last edited by Endless; 08-28-2010 at 07:48 PM. Reason: added a thought
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:43 PM
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I second what Endless said. I'm on a relatively low anti-epileptic drug dose, I get a ton of sun, AND I take a D supplement. Despite all that, a recent blood test showed my D levels lower shorter than my doctor recommended. So I've upped my D supplement from 1000IU to 5000IU. We'll see what happens. I may up it again when winter comes.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:05 AM
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Thankyou all for your information I shall get my vitamin D levels checked with docs. What would we do without this forum to give us these facts that can have big impact onour quality of life.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:50 AM
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Regular physical exercise may have a moderate seizure preventive effect in 30-40% of the patient population, while in about 10%, strenuous exercise may provoke seizures.

Clinical and experimental studies have analyzed the effect of physical exercise on epilepsy. Although there are rare cases of exercise-induced seizures, studies have shown that physical activity can decrease seizure frequency, as well as lead to improved cardiovascular and psychological health in people with epilepsy.

Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, clearly benefits people with epilepsy because it often reduces seizure frequency, relieves depression, reduces social isolation, and promotes cardiac and general health.

In one study, 14 women completed a 3-month prospective exercise program and reported a significant reduction in seizure frequency during the period in which they exercised. In another prospective study, 26 children with intractable epilepsy underwent video-EEG monitoring during exercise and more than half showed a significant improvement in their EEG activity. A survey of 74 patients with epilepsy reported that those who exercised had significantly fewer seizures.

Research has found that most people with epilepsy experience improved electroencephalograph (EEG) readings during and after exercise. The reasons for this are unknown, but theories include:

The heavy breathing associated with exercise stops the build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood…

Reduction and management of stress…

Increase of ‘feel good’ brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) may calm the brain…

Concentration may focus the brain so that seizures are less likely…

If you listen to your body, stop when you start feeling tired and slowly build up your routine, exercise can make you feel good, look great and put your mind in a better place.

Personally, I’ve been walking 3 miles a day for 20 years. I find it energizing and calming at the same time. Sometimes, I use “heavy hands” which start at one pound each. When I was younger, I was up to 5 pounds in each hand, but age has caught up with me, I’m sad to say.

Also, keep these exercise safety points in mind, for your own protection:

Before starting any new exercise program, consult with your doctor or specialist.

Avoid known seizure triggers.

Always take your medication as prescribed.

Make sure your sporting companions are aware of your condition and know what to do if you have a seizure.

Let family or friends know your walking, jogging or exercise route before you leave and how long you will be out.

And don’t forget to have FUN!!!

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