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Old 03-25-2013, 12:27 PM
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Exercise/Cold weather induced seizures?


Well, most of you who know me (and even those who don't could figure it out!) know that I really like to run. Or anything active, actually. However, several of my partial seizures (the stronger ones) have been while I've been out running. The past week or so it's happened a couple of times, and then I notice I have a really difficult time getting words out clearly. Not when it's warm though... it's always been during early morning, cold runs. Any of you who exercise in the mornings/cold, do you notice any differences? Or do you even notice a difference in seizure activity between warm/cold weather? None of my T/C seizures were when I was outside/cold (well, one was in February, but I was indoors), but I have had a decent share of partials when I've been out running. I dunno... maybe change in breathing pattern?
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by RunningGirl85 View Post:
Any of you who exercise in the mornings/cold, do you notice any differences? Or do you even notice a difference in seizure activity between warm/cold weather? None of my T/C seizures were when I was outside/cold (well, one was in February, but I was indoors), but I have had a decent share of partials when I've been out running. I dunno... maybe change in breathing pattern?
I've had complex partial's inside, outside, hot weather, cold weather, sitting, walking, bike riding, so don't know. I've also had many tonic clonic's while out walking, too.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:08 PM
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Yeah, sounds like not much of a difference then I've had at least simple partials in all settings too, I've just noticed there's more of a frequency when I'm outside exercising in the cold. Who knows...
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:10 PM
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It could be related to how your breathing changes in cold weather. Cooler dryer air can be harder for the lungs to work with, particularly if you breathe more through your mouth than through your nose. Plus you need to hydrate more in cold weather than in warm, so if dehydration is a trigger for you that may be another factor.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:19 AM
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Our Jonathan has had several seizures that were triggered by a cold wind. One time he had gone for 1 1/2 years without a seizure, and then we were out on the tuk-tuk (motorcycle taxi) in a chilly wind, and he had a tonic seizure later that night. Another time we were out on the golf cart in a chilly wind, and he had a tonic seizure (actually a string of seizures that went on for several hours). One time he was coming out of the shower, and was still a little damp and walked in front of the fan, and had a seizure.

We've also noted that if he goes swimming in COLD water that he will often have as seizure (which may be delay -- not immediate). This has happened 5 or 6 times (during a time period when his seizures were few and far between). It doesn't happen with swimming in warm water, just swimming in cold water.

After finally (it took us several years to relate the seizures to the cold wind or cold water) figuring it out, it occurred to us that his nocturnal seizures might be because his body temp was dropping too low at night -- in the wee hours of the morning (he always kicks the covers off). So...in winter he goes to bed in sleepers (over his pj's), and in summer he wears long sleeved, long pants cotton pjs to bed, and we make sure the AC doesn't get too cold. That seemed to help a lot with the nocturnal seizures.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:22 PM
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Wow, very interesting. I do know my breathing is affected with the cold weather, so I'm sure that doesn't help matters any. Maybe it's the combo of breathing extra with the cold weather? I dunno. I've never had the problem in the gym, so I don't think it's purely exercise induced. Heck, I've run marathons without any issues (well, my last T/C was like a week after my first marathon - but I don't think that's what caused it).
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:10 PM
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With Jon it does seem to be the cold rather than breathing, because, like you, if he's swimming in warm water, no problem.

Oh, and another thing...when he was having his really bad spell last Fall, where his seizure threshold was quite low (for some reason -- THAT is still a mystery) he would frequently have seizures after drinking cold water. We had to give him lukewarm water to drink (yuck!!). But now he's back to normal and drinking cold water again with no problem.

This reaction to cold is associated with Dravet Syndrome (a childhood epilepsy that tends to get progressively worse), but we (neurologist and us) don't think that Jon has Dravet. But, if cold CAN trigger seizures in those with Dravet Syndrome, who's to say it can't trigger it in folks with regular epilepsy?
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